30 May, 2012

Pastel Studio, Canada

Pastel Studio Art Supplies

I'll be at the Pastel Studio shop in Ontario, Canada,  this weekend.  The See Differently workshop participants will be making new art - never seen before in the history of the world.  It is a thrilling experience for me, and I am always inspired by these classes.

You may see a report via iPhone, but otherwise I won't have my laptop with me on this trip.  See you soon.

29 May, 2012

Carole Buschmann - WBM!

Time for another important episode of When Bloggers Meet!  Here are Carole Buschmann, who blogs at Color Creates, and myself. We have followed each other's blogs for a long time. She was one of several bloggers who participated in my Denver See Differently workshop, taught two weeks ago.

As you can see, there really are people at the other end of the inter-tunnel, and it is wonderful to actually meet.  My previous WBM post was here.

I dug around for that Starbucks cup in Denver, but it was just a prop.  

26 May, 2012

Memorial Day

It was a tremendous honor to participate in creating this memorial at Ft Logan Cemetery, Denver. This is dedicated to the men of the Tenth Mountain Division (including my dad) who fought in WW II. I was privileged to render the climber and the mountains seen in the granite and the marble faces of the stone. Presented in 2009, it is a place to honor our fathers who had the task of seizing one island in the Aleutian chain, and countless mountain redoubts in north Italy. My dad remembered that the German bunkers were also cast into granite mountains; the major ones had walls 200 feet thick!

Photo: Ken Elliott.

25 May, 2012

Canola Field Trip

It's too bad I don't have any subject matter around here to paint.  Just joking.  I have been trying to get out and paint these canola fields in May for nine years, and finally made the effort.

Pastels Available, unframed.  $500 each/ $900 both.

24 May, 2012

When Bloggers Meet - Cynthia Haase

Cindy Haase & I meet at the Denver Workshop

This edition of When Bloggers Meet is brought to you by the talented artist Cynthia Haase & myself.  There were four of us blog-heads there, and we caused much of the trouble that occurred.  

Editor's note:  In spite of the presence of three Starbucks cups in this photo, DO NOT go to Denver looking for Starbucks.  They are few and far between.  Sorry to be so brutal, Denver, but...

Author's note: There is no editor.

23 May, 2012

Demo in Denver

I Demo in Denver

At the last minute while packing for the trip to Denver, my new grays arrived on the doorstep: Thunderstorm grays and a set of gray Diane Townsend Terrages!  I didn't really need them, but I opened up my luggage and crammed them in - I wanted the "jazz" that comes with getting really yummitudinous sticks.  I felt that energy going into my demos, and really had fun making three pictures for the class.  This big violet one sold, but I was the most jazzed by another one that depicted the urban energy of Denver metro.

Denver Metro on the easel
@ 7" x 9"
Casey Klahn

21 May, 2012

Denver Workshop Report

Take the oath to paint your best

My student artists had a great time at the Denver workshop this weekend learning about painting and having fidelity to their own ideas.  I enjoyed seeing them creating pastels and paintings that were new and fresh.

18 May, 2012

In Denver, With a Trivia Question

Me posing in front of a Robert Motherwell.  He & I share one thing that few people know about.  Can you guess what that is?

The Denver workshop, See Differently-Authenticity & Your Art, is all set to go this weekend, and I am enjoying a visit with my host, Ken Elliott.

I will report back here, soon.

11 May, 2012

Dusk Horizon

Dusk Horizon
3.75" x 9.75"
Pastel on la Carte
Casey Klahn

Be self-limiting.
Work fast.
Don't think! See!

06 May, 2012

The Subject Bucket List

Violet Mountain
3.5" x 3.75"
Casey Klahn

Because of my personal history with the mountains and mountaineering, it has been my hip-pocket goal to do a series of alpine scenes. I wonder when I'll start that project?

Currently I am working on Bainbridge Island scenes, and have begun to do barn interiors.  About a year ago I started the shoulders of the butte series.  Then, the Hoquiam River series is ongoing. Also on my plate for the near term are some plein air works.  Oh, don't forget Italy - I am revisiting my old Italy pastels to re-imagine them, and also pouring over old photos I took there.  The other day I took a "drive around" the Florentine hills via Street View, and might try to do some practice works from that.  Then, there is my return to doing figures.

Do I have enough subject matter to work with?

03 May, 2012

Munch's Scream Speaks Loudly

Follows is a re-posting of my essay on The Artist's Ideas, illustrated by The Scream, Edward Munch.

Edvard Munch
The Scream, 1893
o/c, tempera & pastel

A work of art can't be questioned or dismissed. Saul Bellow.

The obscure word ethos has a different meaning today than it did seventy years ago, and it has traveled a malleable path since the days of Aristotle. Whereas, today, it is a corporate creed, it formerly held a deeper meaning. Pre-war artists owned the word - it was the artist's ethos. My 1936 Webster's dictionary has the following:

Webster: From the Greek, ethos, ἔθος, character. The moral, ideal or universal element in a work of art as distinguished from that which is emotional in its appeal or subjective.

How do the artist's ideas exhibit themselves in an artwork? Is it important for an artist to express an ethos through the making of art?

We have been considering 
The Artist's Ideas, with these previous posts:
Have Ideas
Quotes - The Artist's Ideas
The Inner Meaning
The Artist's Ideas
Paint Better Now

The Artist's Ethos.

The Greeks saw ethos as the first proof of debate, and it had to do with trusting the moral competence of the 
rhetorician.Fast-forward to our concerns and the artist's ethos. Let's unpack the definitions of moral, ideal and universal elements.

The Moral Function of Art.
Webster describes a moral element in a given artwork, which is, by definition, an illumination of right or wrong. As concerns the formal parts of art, there is no right or wrong. "There is no must in art because art is free," Wassily Kandinsky. So, we are left with artworks that reveal a moral quality intended by the artist, such as in the case of Sacred Art. See below some artworks that reveal strong moral qualities in a broader context. See The Sistine Chapel for Sacred Art.

John Dewey said that 
“Art is more moral than moralities.” Artist and blogger Katherine A. Cartwright is reading Dewey's important 1934 book, Art as Experience, and hosting a community discussion on The Moral Function of Art. See herehere and here, and remember to read the comment fields.

Here is the "see below." For my part of the discussion at Katherine's blog, I have been illustrating the moral function of art by identifying individual artworks that I see as strong moral forces in the canon of Western art. Blogger/artist Linda W. Roth had the idea first, and she chose Edward Munch's The Scream for its moral content. I think she's right on with that, and I thought of Andrew Wyeth's Groundhog Day, and Willem deKooning's Woman 1. These artworks are linked below.

The following opens a window into Dewey's thinking: Art is morally powerful because it is indifferent to moral praise and blame (loosely quoted). Do you agree?

Ideals - The Artist's Ideas.

otice that the Websters definition relates to a work of art, and not the group known as artists. My understanding of "the ideal" is that an artwork must, to be true to the artist's ethos, reflect his ideas. See these quotes on The Artist's Ideas.

Universal Elements.

Art is a universal mode of language. John Dewey. Philosophers will tell you that language is wanting in descriptive power - it falls short of expressing what man is able to think. Art is a huge bridge in "speaking" to mankind aught words.

Edvard MunchThe Scream.
Andrew Wyeth, Groundhog Day.
Willem de Kooning, Woman 1.

Ethos at Wikipedia.
John Dewey, Art As Experience.

02 May, 2012

Inversion Dusk

Inversion Dusk
5.25" x 7.8"
Casey Klahn

This was one of my demos at Morristown, New Jersey.  I resolved it at home in the studio.

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