30 January, 2008

Violet World

Violet Oil Drum
7.5" x 10.5"
Soft Pastel
Casey Klahn

Uh Oh. This realist stuff is getting to be habit forming. Well, maybe we can consider this one "in-between" my New School Color style, and regular landscape fare. It's certainly inspired by local scenery and color, and it did derive from a plein air sketch.

On the home front, we are still snowed in and a number of roads are closed. Apparently a record amount in a 24 hour cycle. We had to postpone my operation which was to have been next week. Dang.

28 January, 2008

Snow Headaches & Then Some

A foot and a half of snow in a day is nothing to sneeze at! On the good side, my wife has been stuck at home to watch the kids and freeing me up to be in the studio.

On the bad side, I am chasing deadlines, and at the same time fighting nausea and pain in the run-up to my operation next month. This morning, I had to leave the studio and precious studio time to take a narcotic pain med and lay down. Then the snow plow came, and my wife went off to work in Spokane. Ug.

I just need one or two more pastel works to have a photo session and try to hit these jury deadlines by the end of the month!

BTW, we also suffered an internet outage for a day and a half. I picture some tech guy sitting in a control room, seeing the Klahn household using too much bandwidth, and lowering the flue on our internet feed. We had no recourse but to pay the extortion money for an upgrade and more bandwidth. I guess I've been in the studio so much running the internet radio that it ate up all our allowable service. Or whatever! Get 'yer hand off that flue, now, buddy. We paid the extra money.

25 January, 2008

Wolf Kahn Studio Visit Film - Part 2

We last linked to Wolf Kahn's studio here.

The second part is now available...Enjoy.

What I liked was his Cinderella Story of neglect to stardom.

24 January, 2008


The Heins' Farm
7.5" 15"
Casey Klahn
Private Collection

This piece, which actually began as a plein air pastel, is my current inspiration. It's unusual because on-sight is not my typical method. This particular farmstead, which is down the road from me and belongs to the farmers who farmed my land, is an artist's delight. They complain that photographers stop on the highway to take pictures of it, and snarl the traffic.

I am cropping little areas out of it to do architectural subjects. In reality, the buildings are places to hang colors.

23 January, 2008

Seattle Art Blog

Here is some exposure at the Seattle Art Blog which I bring to you a little late. But my art is still featured at the Karlson/Gray Gallery for the balance of the month.

21 January, 2008

Studio New

In the studio. Looks like I may be developing architectural images for my jury slides this year. Remember the barn? In that vein.

Even my lovely wife is snowed in today, as her SUV is stuck a quarter mile up the road in a snow drift. The county will get us plowed when they get us plowed. We have had a modest snow cover, plus a little fresh. Then comes the day of high winds and you get dunes of snow deposited on your roads.

To add insult to injury, our furnace decided to quit last night about dinner time! Did I mention it's the coldest spell of the year so far (10 degrees F)? The propane fireplace had also quit that morning, due to a north wind blowing out the pilot.

Luckily, I got the fireplace back in action and then we realized that we had the studio as another back up! Big, warm and cozy. And that wood paneling is just the ticket to make you think you're camped out.

Now, back to the studio for more art.

18 January, 2008


Pure Pigment, Paste & Passion - Casey Klahn on the Pastel Medium

All of the action is over at my other blog, pastelsblog dot blogspot dot com, due to my "phase" of creating more realist works. That is, rather than New School Color works, you see.

I did create a keeper in the New School Color genre (you know - my whacked out colorist abstracted landscapes) but don't have it photographed yet. I'm waiting to use the tungsten lights and the D-80 set-up for that jewel, since color accuracy is critical in recording these. Even then, I am only just barely satisfied with the image produced. The evil photograph will never replicate the colorist pastel's myriad of colors and values. Even by shining a light through the back, as is done here on the PC screen.

Now, on a personal note, I have been suffering some health problems just like I did @ two years ago before my Italy trip and had an operation. Long time readers remember that business. No cancer, so calm down. Just pain. It's a "man" thing, to steal a phrase.

So, that's why my posts at The Colorist have been a bit thin lately. On the good side, my physician has offered to do an operation in barter for a painting. His idea. On the negative side, the pain and recovery will be weeks. If it's anything like the last one (picture me in Italy with intense pain) it will knock me out of a few art fairs.

It's hard to say if my studio time will be wiped out, reduced, or maybe increased. And blogging may be curtailed (4-6 weeks, but I'm betting longer) or it may be my only outlet for all things art. Who knows?

Anyway, I haven't decided to have the op, yet, so we'll see what happens. It's not every day you get an operation in barter for an artwork, but the dollar value turns out to be equal. BTW, he's the best doctor around and I've had a number of these guys. And, usually, I enjoy pain tremendously, but in this case I may have to take the bigger pain to relieve the long term pain.

See These new Works @ Pastel

15 January, 2008

Studio Visit with Wolf Kahn

Bell Tower Process Sketch
Casey Klahn

Alyson Stanfield, being a good friend, passed this interview link to me the other day. It comes just in time for some much needed inspiration. And, you'd better believe I hung on every word that Wolf Kahn had to say, and drank up every corner of the great man's studio with my eyes. Thanks, NewArtTV. Let's get that part 2 in the can real soon!

One thing that I gleaned from his studio tour was his willingness to show his older works. He even turns a canvas around to reveal the rejected one on the back! Gutsy.

Alyson's ArtBizBlog.

12 January, 2008

Pencil Me

Pencil Me
Digital Image
Casey Klahn

Somewhere I saw a self portrait "call", and so I thought about this Photoshop. I decided to post it here and think about a direction for a self portrait.

Recently, I began an inventory on how many posts I was doing about myself. That's the big complaint about blog content, you see. My first results for a period of time showed 1/3rd of the posts were either fully or nominally about myself. I was happy with that, since my goal is to keep it broad here. Anyway, excuse the flagrant selfishness of this one, but it is a self portrait you know!

11 January, 2008

Studio Progress

What's on my desk? Right now a big mess, that's what! My laptop comes and goes from the house, but the peripherals stay- a printer and a scanner. And I am enjoying a decent speaker set, complete with woofer, that Santa gifted for Christmas. It produces sound from the laptop computer, and it "makes" the kids' whole studio experience.

I am happy to be fielding a heavy duty "L"-shaped desk that was surplussed from the Spokane Federal Building. On the floor you see the new vinyl covering, and under it lies the refurbished wood flooring.

While I'm thinking about decorating the new studio, I am getting some art created. My time is not my own, of course, and won't be until both children are in school every week day. But, I am training my daughter ( who is a part-time pre-schooler) to play and nap in the studio while I work.

And slowly, things are getting done. I think I logged three days of multi-hour sessions out here this week. Two pastels are done and in the frame. After the first one was complete, I actually found myself back in the house, doing my Mr. Mom routine, and I had the strangest feeling I'd had in some time. Satisfaction. Contentment.

Next: I'll tour you around my easels and palette and storage equipment. Thanks for the numerous reactions to my decorating call, which can be seen in the comments for the post: Studio Project. I am still seeking help on this front. If you don't respond with some good studio decoration ideas, dear readers, I may end up with this...

10 January, 2008

Great Man's Passing

"I have moderate abilities but I combine these with a good deal of determination and I rather like to succeed," Sir Edmund Hillary, of Everest (1919 - 2008). R.I.P.

I have had the pleasure of meeting several Everest summiters, by virtue of associations in the Seattle area. Probably over a half dozen, and every one of them I called by first name and enjoyed the conviviality of shared bonds. Three are now deceased.

Not that I will summit Everest, but at least I share Sir Edmund's self creed from the quote above.

Do you have a "Mount Everest" that you intend to conquer?

09 January, 2008

Studio Project

Here we have the new studio space. These are the bare bones pictures of about a week ago. I have actually fired 'er up and am creating, now. A wise man would have finished the base boards, thresholds. etc. But, I couldn't wait.

On My Desk dot Blogspot will be getting a guest post from me in the near future (if they'll accept it).

I'm thinking about opening a thread for your help decorating this big studio space. Right now, the very "sixties" wood paneling is the motif major. Help me figure out what to do, blogger friends.

If you don't act now, I will be hanging army canteens and head mounts of Wild Turkey on the walls...

08 January, 2008

Barn Sketch

Winter, Barn Look-Through
10" x 10"
Graphite on Sketch Paper
Casey Klahn

Found in my new studio: an old sketchbook, and a handy scanner. Imagine that.

07 January, 2008

More Book Reports

The Artist's Realities, Philosophies of Art (2004), Mark Rothko, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.

Rothko's new book was among the more influential books that I read last year. I have yet to fully internalize the heavy, heavy philosophy MR shares in his writings. That might take a lifetime, anyway.

My reports on The Artist's Reality can be found here, and more under the label Mark Rothko.

The Yellow House, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (2006), Martin Gayford, Little, Brown and Company, New York.

This engrossing book I also covered at great length in this blog. The entertaining and silly review I posted here.

American Art Collector, from Alcove Books of Berkeley, CA continues to be a profitable resource for showcasing my art. It's a handsome collection of juried art, crafts and photography.

Also, consider:

Peggy Guggenheim & Frederick Kiesler, The Story of Art of This Century (2004), by Davidson, Rylands, editors, Guggenheim Museum Publications. Link.

I don't recall finishing this one yet, but I did notice the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice took a peek at this blog post. I about spit my coffee on the laptop screen when I saw that. To all those concerned at the museum, if you see this post, I know you're either going to send me a summons, or a purchase order. I would prefer the latter.

05 January, 2008

Books I Read This Year

Casey Klahn (2007), Casey Klahn, Colorist American Landscapes, Pastel Works.
Self Published.

Hmmnn. What to say about this one? I certainly agreed with the author 99.999% of the time, and I really dug the art images. The book is 11" x 8.5" and features 25 artworks, both full color pastels and drawings, as well as candids and petite essays on my art philosophy and process. I think I still have about 6 -7 of these sitting in the studio. If you contact me, I will ship a book/books to you for $30.00 each plus tax and postage.

When I do another one this year, I'll try to have more pages and images, as I felt that it was a little thin. I will probably repeat the spiffy essays with art approach, and I hope to add some actual blog rips as well.

To Continue...

04 January, 2008


Time, once again, for my annual report on art books read in the previous year.

Juliette Aristides (Link), 2006
Classic Drawing Atelier,
A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice
Watson-Guptill, New York

I just like the way that name sounds on the lips: "Atelier".

No doubt one of the best books out there for going back to the figure. A great boost for me, but weighted down by unnecessary dogma. I "get" that there were great realist artists functioning when the abstractionists were tearing at the fabric of art and culture. But, I don't see the need for a dialectic of "this versus that". I love Rothko, and I love Aristides' work.

This author's book isn't as dogmatic in presentation as others in the contemporary realist movement, but she does impress upon you that the lighted path is under the tutelage of a master, in an academic setting, and over the course of something like 3 -4 years. It left me asking, "don't you have an online or a correspondence course for that?" I could dream of moving the family to Florence, but it's not going to happen.

In the drawing book review meme, I give it 4 Pencils. And, even though I have mildly criticized this book, I will be running out to get the next one: Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice, by Aristides. How's my Italian going...?
Another review.

Anthony J. Ryder (Link), 1999
The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing
A Contemporary Perspective on the Classical Tradition
Watson-Guptill, New York

Well organized for the beginner, but very beneficial to the working artist. Nicely didactic, without being academic. Thorough.

I am not finished reading this one, yet, so a review is forthcoming.

I'll have to continue with the next four books later. Thanks for reading!
Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism