|Casey Klahn - "Treetops"|
This week I would like to touch on the difficult-to-verbalise business of "seeing differently".
I am attracted always to the works of artists who have this ability to "see differently". The camera does a remarkable job of capturing nature exactly as seen, as do certain artists.....but I am far more impressed by those artists who have managed to find a language of painting which is more about shapes and colours and expression and atmosphere and poetry. An art which is fuelled by imagination and invention...and by this I do not mean purely imaginative or abstract art. "Invention" in this case means finding a way to see beyond the obvious, to INTERPRET the subject matter in his or her own way - to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Many artists of old were able to do this. Samuel Palmer, inspired by poet/illustrator William Blake, saw in the ordinary English countryside, a "differently seen" beauty - arguably somewhat whimsical and fantastical - which he was able to incorporate into his drawings. the drawing below is of a couple of trees. An ordinary and simple subject, but he has given these trees real character. His colour choices are his own too. Believe it or not, this image is approximately 200 years old......
We know "Windbreak" is about trees. We know there is a scene of distant hills behind the trees...perhaps a lake...perhaps it is snow...it doesn't matter. It is an ordinary scene made extraordinary by the use of a very personal choice of colour and of a personal approach to the shapes within the rectangle. What matters is the feeling that this painting gives to you. It gives me JOY, because I so thoroughly enjoy those tiny, rich touches of turquoise, blue and pink between the network of branches - masterful, beautiful, surprising, delightful. I just want to stare and stare at them. And that royal blue..why would he use that, asks the logical brain......but in the hands of someone confident and brave - just look how successful and oh how visually satisfying - particularly with that little touch of pink at the base of the picture....delicious.
- A painting must become more than the sum of its parts.
- A painting is a history of what happened to the artist.
- An artist should communicate his ethos through his art.
- I believe that a painting should affirm the personal.
|"Cool Spring Woods" pastel 6"x6"|