04 March, 2011

Studio News - Winter 2010-2011

Studio News - Winter 2010-2011
Casey Klahn

1. There are over fifty new artworks in my two flat file cabinets, waiting for the framer. I don't actually expect all fifty to make the final cut - what I do is eliminate the worst third or more after I get a better look at them (and come to my senses). This process I wrote about previously: The Axe Falleth

These artworks are also waiting for the formal photographs, and then they go to the Photoshop technician and the archiver. We now have the latest Photoshop program in the house, but I think I'll stick with my old version 1-point-oh. I mean, if it was good enough for Fred Flintstone, then it's good enough for me. 

2. The direction of my art is evolving. I am trying to simplify my colors. That means that I am developing smaller ideas, or maybe I want to say more singular ideas. 

Subjects are the prairie, especially the trees and up the hill, and the Hoquiam River. Also, I am going bigger. I continue to struggle with doing full sheet work, but I am creating many pastel paintings that are in the almost full sheet sizes. Is it the opening dimensions that I struggle with? Possibly. I typically do not compose well with traditional opening sizes, but am prone to work in "custom" sizes. It has to do with my way of composing images - from the inside out. By the same token, I do respond very well to the Golden Rectangle - which is, again, not a standard opening size. I drive my framer nuts.

3. I have been cleaning, organizing and doing minor changes in my studio. The biggest addition is the sheet rock wall, where I have a nice, white wall space that is well lit.  Visitors are expected, and studio sales may become a major part of my vocation in years to come. 

I also installed another track light bar. The biggest challenge has been having too much light from snow reflection. Even pulling the blinds was not enough. I finally hung a blanket over my north windows to cut the harsh light. 

A new microwave oven keeps me in the studio for lunch, which gives me more time for art making.

Did you see Cindy Michaud's new modular custom studio space? It is well thought out and worth your look: New Studio Reveal

4. It has been record-cold around here. My studio is nice and warm, except when the wind hits my east or north windows. They may be insulated windows, but there are gaps opened up by the loss of squareness that comes from moving a trailer once or twice. Also, the front door, which opens into my studio, has lost it's weather stripping and I haven't replaced it - as simple as that would be. Good thing there is always Duct tape.

4. This blog continues to be a popular place for readers to find out what goofy ideas are in my head about art and I guess they come here looking for what art I am doing lately. I always say the pictures are coming, and then I post old images that I have on file. New readers like to see these, and maybe my old readers have missed one or two. 

5. On a personal front, I just finished reading a private, unbound  memoir of an American who spent the Second World War as a POW in Japan and The Philippines.  He was an army officer who survived the horrific Bataan Death March and was imprisoned in 5 camps altogether.  His humility and courage is typical of his generation, and it must be said, atypical of people in general.  

6.  If you are someone who comments here often, and yet don't find your blog on my text blog roll, send me a note so I can fix that.  I am not as attentive to that as I should be.  I just found one that made me say, "Doh! How could I not have her on my blog roll?"

River Corner, Red
3.5" x 3.75"
Casey Klahn

My wonderful daughter turns 8 on Monday.  

Photo Credits:  Lorie Klahn


William Cook said...

I'd love to be on your blog roll. I always thought it was the shifty eyes on my icon. Wm

Deborah Paris said...

Glad to hear you are working larger Casey-looking forward to seeing them!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with working larger too! I think it is an issue for scale.

I just painted a wall in my studio white and thought of you! It was brown paneling. sooo.....hmmm?

I would like to have more sales in my studio but, am not sure how to go about it. I look forward to your progress report!
Very thoughtful post Casey!

Sonya Johnson said...

Good read on what you've got going on, Casey.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has difficulty pushing myself to work in bigger sizes; I think I'm afraid I'll be forced to start adding a lot more detail, which is something I'm trying to get away from. And yes, I'll look forward to seeing the larger pieces as well.

Nice one you've posted, and it does look bigger than its stated size.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

I did a double take at your painting, there's so much depth and push and pull, I thought it would be much bigger in the real. I look forward to seeing what you do with larger scale work.

(Duct tape has solved many a problem in this house too ;o)

Brenda Boylan said...

Ah yes, good ol' duct tape!
We must be tracking each other, cuz I've been doing a lot of the same "things" with not much painting.
I like working larger, but pastel demands glass, which is heavy and doesn't ship well :( Am looking forward to seeing what comes off your easel.

Casey Klahn said...

It shall be done, William.

Casey Klahn said...

I am happy you want to see them, Deborah. I am following your advice, of course!

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you for reading, Mary! Great minds think alike.

Casey Klahn said...

Hi, Sonya! I have done this painting in several different ways, including bigger.

Casey Klahn said...

Hi, Lisa! I did two duct tape repairs today. I'm glad you like the artwork. It is from nature - a scene on the Little Hoquiam River on the Pacific coast.

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Brenda! I am doing a lot of images with the bigger edge at about 18 - 19 inches. Happy arting in your studio.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

That's a teaser, Casey! 50 new works in your flat files and just one beauty posted today. Very exciting to hear that you're exploring new ideas and refining things in a new way. I think that's how bootleggers got the best moonshine results, but I only hear stories and have no personal experiences with that!

Happy birthday to your daughter and congratulations to you and your wife. Did you know that it's a Dutch tradition to congratulate parents on the birthday of their child? I used to think, when my sons were little, that it was kind of a salute to me for not giving up or something. But, I'm sure your daughter is a sweetheart! What a beautiful age.

Mindful Drawing said...

Have you ever made a painting of your wonderful daughter? I have a wonderful daughter of 9 and people ask why do I not make a painting of her? The only answer I can come up with is that my daughter is too close to me and too wonderful.
Is this recognisable?

Johnnny said...

After all of your reorganizing, perhaps you went from Casey Klahn 1.0 to Casey Klahn 2.0?!

SamArtDog said...

Larger pastels? As I see it, there would be more of your work to love. And more color, o great colorist! Like the rest of your fans, I can't wait to see them.

Speaking of your readers, please put me on your list. They're good company.

Happy Birthday wishes to your daughter. Eight is great!

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to read these day-to-day aspects of life in the studio. Thanks for sharing.

Celeste Bergin said...

I thought I commented ...? Well...great list of updates...love the photo of your daughter best--- :)

Art Matters said...

I think most artists love the time they spend re-organising their studios.
Interesting to see how much you do with such a tiny format.

Casey Klahn said...

Hi, Kvan, thanks for the congrats. Amelia is special and great.

Paula, you hit the nail on the head. Even after I really pursue the figure and the head, I probably won't take up portraiture, although I enjoyed it very much in high school.

Hey, Johnnny - except maybe it's 4.0, since I have re-worked my studio many times like a compulsive housekeeper.

You are kind, Sam. Consider it done.

Thank you for the comment, Randall.

Well, Celeste, you are the most consistent commentator I have, along with a few others. Thanks for being around and for all of your support.

Hi, Carol. And, my studio is my hang out, too.

Brian McGurgan said...

Great update, Casey. I'm working my way gradually towards larger sizes - very, very gradually - mostly in oils right now with the pastels still smaller. Ok, so I bought larger linen board but haven't actually used it yet...

You've got a wealth of inspiration for your prairie works right there around your studio so it's great to hear you continue to delve deep in that direction. Looking forward to seeing more of these recent pieces.

Thanks very much, by the way, for the video posts with Wolf Kahn and Richard Kendall. I have three books on Degas that Kendall authored or contributed to so it was great to hear the expert discussing Degas "live".

Adam Cope said...

best with big! create well :-)

small up-close 'details' might look great on the web but can loose impact by their minature scale in real-life IMO... so I think u r right to go big ... but can u go big but keep that freshness of handwriting & mark-making that is so attractive in yr minatures?

u were getting there with yr river series last year. great !


lovely photo of yr daughter.

re-portraits & one's own kids... Paula says "too close to me and too wonderful"... it didn't stop Rembrandt, Renoir, Casset, Sargent or John, au contraire intimacy adds.... personally, i feel i have the opposite problem. That's to say, no one other than may kids, my wife & my teacher interests me as much. OK, maybe one can make a proficient likeness but is the insight, understanding & intimacy there?

Of course it's a white rabbit or red herring commercially tho' maybe my kids might enjoy them one day.

Casey Klahn said...

Adam, you really hit the nail on the head. Can the larger work be intuitive? That is the key. I can just see me wrapping a charcoal around a long stick and standing way back, per Henri Matisse.

I wonder altogether about portraiture as concerns the market, but as to the question of art, it is very grand. I often see myself drawing Amelia, but it is a big life commitment. Time will tell. First, I am exploring the figure again.

Your family drawings are deeply enjoyed. Sorry I don't comment more there.

Casey Klahn said...

Brian, I have heard Kendall's name before. maybe one of my Degas books is by him - I'll have to look. The format of this video really does bring out his love for Degas.

Your situation is the opposite of Sonya Johnson, who is making larger pastels and smaller oils. It goes to show you that the medium is one thing, but the artist's choice is a personal, and often intuitive, one.

Jala Pfaff said...

Happy birthday, daughter of Casey!
Stay warm.
I don't want to work big in pastel...I think primarily because it has to be framed with glass...

Adam Cope said...

Hey casey

yr comments are among the very few & among the highly treasured :-)

So that Matisse portrait was from memory?

Casey Klahn said...

Amelia thanks you, Jala.

One nice thing about full sheet pastels is it makes it easier to use the museum glazing - no cutting, and it looks great.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

A colorist indeed.
This is beautiful.
As is your sweet daughter. Happy 8th birthday (they grow up and away too soon)

Casey Klahn said...

Amelia and I say thank you, Mary.

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