Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Klahn Regeneration of my old landscape

Casey Klahn came to Texas last weekend and gave a pastel workshop like no other! He's a Modernist and a Colorist in the nature of Henri Matisse and Wolf Kahn. He creates works of art with amazing visual power that perfectly straddle the line between abstract and representational.
(I tried to decide which site of his to link his name to, but there are too many! Just Google his name, or connect with him on Facebook.)

One of his demos on the weekend was to resolve another artist's work with his own colorist solution. I volunteered an old landscape of mine...
(See Casey's post about this project HERE.)

 First, he scrubbed off parts of it, scribbled in some colors, and sprayed a little fixative...

 After some more intuitive colors, he decided he liked it better without the bottom third.

The entire finished painting
His original crop

His final crop
It's hard to decide which I like best. Luckily, I bought it, so can view whatever part I want. (Maybe I'll make some interchangeable mats. Hmmm...)



  1. Hi Rita! I've loved your work for years. I'm being mentored via email by your friend, Enid Wood, who first turned me on to your work. (I think 'Rosie,' the piggie portrait you traded with Enid, is sensational--so much pig emotion in that little face!). Anyway, I like the larger crop of your 'reworked' landscape by Mr. Klahn. It has better balance to me, & the square format really works, in my opinion. Mr. K wants to get to the 'essence,' I suppose, but he'd probably whittle it to a postage stamp & still not be certain he'd found that
    indefinable 'essence.' I think the 'round' right side trees are nice & enhance the linear left side trunks. Plus, the grayed color on the right is a nice 'resting spot' as you circle around the painting.
    But in the Bigger Picture, YOU can paint masterpieces like 'Rosie' & 'Four & a Half Goats' & 'Calf Stretch' & all your wonderful human portraits. An (early?) landscape of yours reworked by Mr. Klahn is hardly a blip on the radar when it comes to your true artistic output, which, as I've indicated, just knocks my socks off! Your work is great, Rita. You encourage me to keep practicing! L&K, MaryB

    1. Well, thank you very much, MaryB! Your words do great things for my ego! ;) And your analysis of this composition is intelligent and insightful. I completely agree with your opinion of the square crop, but I also appreciate that it's Mr. Khlan's final impulse, as the artist, to crop it again, and I see that smaller cropped image as the true 'finish' to this painting.
      However, that said, I still have the complete painting, unframed, propped up in my studio as inspiration, and I have a feeling it may be quite a while before I ever finally decide to frame it! lol.
      I'm glad that my work is inspiring artists like yourself. I find inspiration in many artists works, Enid Wood's included for sure! Enjoy the mentoring! I wish I had had an opportunity like that in my early years.

  2. Hi Ma'am, your vibrant animal paintings have really inspired me to work with soft pastels. I tried a few trial paintings ,and it turned out to b good. But when I sprayed a fixative on my paintings to finish it, Colors blew up and painting darkened.I would like to know what brand of fixative, sift pasteks and what type of surface you use for your paintings.Thank You.

    1. Hi Amol, Personally, I don't use fixatives. My thoughts on that are if the surface is holding the pastel as it should, and any excess dust is knocked off when the painting is finished and before framing, then once it's under glass, nothing will alter the surface of the painting because nothing will touch it.
      If you feel you need to use a final fixative, try Lascaux brand. it's rated to be best for not altering colors/values.


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