Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grateful Notices: Bright Encounter, pastel

Bright Encounter
Pastel on sanded paper, 15 x 15 3/8
Private collection, Ohio

Also available as a limited edition giclee print in three sizes

A few years ago, I began to notice the works of Casey Klahn. He is doing some seriously good pastel works with Very Good and thoughtful color. I wanted to spend some time with him, so we cooked up a workshop for him in Denver, my home.

He had a great turnout and I was in the back of the room with my pastels. At the start of the day, I began an image of trees and a creek - something I was comfortable doing. I didn't have a photo but it wasn't necessary. The start went really well and we stopped for lunch. On my return I realized my start could use a lot more punch or interest. The idea of the class was to break some new ground after all, so it gave it a shot and totally ruined the nice start I had before lunch.

What to do? 

I turned it upside down, filled in some of the awful areas with color and something new emerged! It was this field with a creek at the top. In short order, this very interesting image emerged.

I couldn't make the yellow field work, so I grabbed a color that was not already in the drawing, a pink. I had no ideal what it would do, but it was worth a chance. Sweet!

It needed more, so looking around the room, I stole a red that Casey was using in one of his works for my trees at the top. It worked nicely and with a few tweaks here and there, the pastel was finished.

You would think I knew what I was doing in the back of the room. 



  1. Hey! I recognize that red!

    This incredible work is my bragging rights for the workshops - thanks for doing it and for being the great artist you are, Ken.

  2. Oh yeah! Or maybe it was the BBQ and margaritas?
    You are the bomb!

  3. I love the outcome, Ken! Once, my teacher/mentor/friend had me turn a painting upside down in class to work it that way. Sometimes wonderful things come out of "experiments!" (Jane Memory Gruber)

  4. Absolutely! That is a terrific way to 'edit' your work - turn it upside down and see what it needs.
    Thanks Jane.

  5. You know how much I love the back of the room!! Great color and's an exciting combination!

  6. Thank you Carly. That is your forte!