31 July, 2009

My Matisse Book Report

"Seek the strongest color effect possible...the content is of no importance," Henri Matisse.

Reading Hilary Spurling's giant two volume biography on the great French Modernist, Henri Matisse, has been a blessing and a burden. Quite readable, they are, well...long. And, to quote someone on Twitter, "I hate finishing biographies; they always end the same!" I had the same problem with the van Gogh Yellow House book. I couldn't bring myself to face the old boy's demise.

Everything Henri Matisse.

Color photos of Matisse in his studio from LIFE magazine.

Matisse was not only the "King of the Fauves" - he was the master of all Modernism. Equaled only by Pablo Picasso of Spain, our Matisse brushed, sculpted, cut, designed and lived five decades ahead of his time. He was a luminary artist whose colors and lines are his signature, but whose life, until now, has not been well revealed. I cannot recommend Spurling's excellent and authoritative books more.

I want to keep my reactions to the long books concise. How about a painting done in the style of Matisse? Although Matisse himself was très original, it is not uncommon for an artist such as myself to copy a past master to internalize his methods. I was doing a painting as a copy from one of my numerous instruction books, and it reminded me slightly of HM's muse. I ran with that.

After Matisse
9.25" x 12.25"
Casey Klahn

The instruction book image was "Erick," by artist Sally Stride. I'll be out of town until Monday - enjoy your weekend!

29 July, 2009

Fauve Tree

Bright Red Tree
8" x 5"
Casey Klahn

Back to the upright format for a while. This one is the spin off of some trompe l'oeil work I did in the studio. Apples, wouldn't you know?
Trompe l'oeil means deceiving the eye.

Marlena Shaw's vocals. Eleanor Powell dances.
Wade in the Water.

24 July, 2009

Ol' Man River

River Aine
3.6" x 8.25"
Casey Klahn

That ol' man river, he jus' keeps rollin' along. Let the Chairman of the Board explain it to you, in this gem from 1946. Dig the beehive next to that kettle drum. That had to hurt.

On an administrative note, I have killed the profile widget in the margin. It was so "blogger." See the biography of me under the business card instead. Takin' my profile back from the man, that's what I call it...

21 July, 2009

Stephen Bauman Blog

Allow me to introduce a new blogging artist and teacher: Stephen Bauman. If you share my love of Italy and of Classic Realism, you will see his new blog as a treasure trove.

Bauman found my post with cast drawings, and was kind enough to comment there. Compare this with these and you will be in for a treat.

Stephen Bauman. "I was raised in Miami, FL and now live and work in Florence Italy. I teach painting and drawing at the Florence Academy of Art, under the direction of Daniel Graves."

20 July, 2009

Remembering Forty Years

Neil Armstrong in the Lunar Module After the First Moon Walk, July 20th., 1969.
Photo: NASA

That's why I love history. Apollo 11.

Charley Parker alerts us to the art of Apollo 12 Astronaut Alan Bean.

17 July, 2009

Colorist Studio Update - Bumpdated

Bumpdate! See below for updated items of interest.

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Casey Klahn Mugging for the Camera
Photo: Lorie Klahn

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Here are a few things for your weekend reading interest. I made the time yesterday to listen to contemporary master, Wolf Kahn, giving a speech at Wheaton College. It is occasioned around a show of his and Emily Mason's works, and he speaks for 50 minutes (fair warning for your Internet time!) on the "Six Reasons Not to Paint Landscapes." Find it here.

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Two American artist bloggers are live blogging their European vacations, complete with museum reports. Jala Pfaff, of Colorado, is in London viewing John Singer Sargent, and Kelly Borsheim, an expat living in Florence, Italy, is giving us Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt in Vienna.

Back to Wolf Kahn for a moment. Kahn is known for painting barns, and fine artists realize that that isn't about sentiment if you can help it. I like the formal parts: the negative spaces, the position of the barn upon the land, the color planes, the leading of the eye, the bigness, etc. Bob Lafond has been doing barns at Mark and Remark, and has one here that I really love.

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Time for a cup of coffee. I have been busy in the studio trying to finish the last few artworks for my upcoming Sausalito show. Other challenges I'm planning for are framing and making sure my booth is ready for the unusual set-up at Sausalito (they provide the artist's booth - I usually bring my own). Not to mention the long drive to the Bay Area.

Visitors to the Sausalito Art Festival will get to see all of my River Series pastels in one place for the first time. Probably the only time they will appear together, BTW.

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The music stage schedule at the Sausalito Art Festival (Sept. 5-7, 2009) has been announced. Always top drawer, this year's Sausalito music venue is themed as a 40th. anniversary Woodstock tribute. Many San Fransisco Bay Area bands were there, and will be on tap for this special event. My faves? Country Joe McDonald, Johnny Winter, and the Jefferson Starship.

Sausalito Art Festival.
Marin County.

15 July, 2009

Pink Haze River - Stay Away From My Door

Pink Haze River
9.25" x 13.5"
Casey Klahn

River, stay away from my door. Fiona Apple sings in an acoustic session of this timeless song.

10 July, 2009

Rennaisance River

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Renaissance River
7" x 17"
Casey Klahn

Let's stay with the River, since it flows long and cool. I moved the cedar shed image over to Pastel to keep themes separate.

If you haven't figured it out yet, dear reader, my videos accompanying these river works have all been "rough-out" and atmospheric cuts of music with the river theme. Narrative, American, unfinished: words that describe my series. Skip the videos if you must, but the whole experience weaves a story of lazy, summer times by the river; sometimes jazz, sometimes country, rock, spiritual and sometimes silly. Enjoy.

Peter Gabriel, River.

09 July, 2009

Scattered Sky

Sky Scattered River
6.5" x 9"
Casey Klahn

Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water.
Shoo fly, dragonfly, get back t'your mother.
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River.

Whaaaaeelll... John Fogerty, Green River.

Follows: Gee Gee Kettel, One Man Band. Link.

06 July, 2009

The Lazy River

Lazy River
19" x 25"
Casey Klahn

Here is the big one from my River Series. Enjoy this with some Satchmo, please.

02 July, 2009

Return to the River

Waning Light
@ 9" x 12"
Casey Klahn

Remember the River Series? I return to it here, and will post the rest in the next few days.

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism