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Monthly Archives

November 2016

Texting and Internet in Film and Paintings

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We spend our lives around and within the internet, using email and text messages. But these digital layers of information have yet to integrate into our paintings. Why?

These images present us with quandaries. How do we combine the “real world” with “online world” … and should these screen images really be put in paint at all? How many of us use the internet to research subjects, collect images, learn techniques and gain inspirations, but don’t include the context of their harvest due to issues of taste and subject matter?

Maybe the solution lies not in content, but in form. Here’s another short by Tony Zhou’s “Every Frame a Painting” series, with ideas for film that can be applied to your paintings. As he says, the playing field is wide open. It’s time for us to invent and re-integrate our lives with our art works.

(5 minutes)





Showing work by: Valery Grancher, Mark Takamichi Miller (Seattle Artist), Erin Riley, Shawn Huckins, Miltos Manetas

The Geometry of a Scene

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One of Akira Kurosawa’s many gifts was staging scenes in ways that were bold, simple and visual. Here’s another short by Tony Zhou’s “Every Frame a Painting” series, with ideas for film that can be applied to your paintings. (3 minutes)

The Poetry of Details

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What can one detail tell us about a scene? If you’re Lynne Ramsay: absolutely everything.  In this episode from “Every Frame a Painting” Tony Zhou considers the poetic possibilities of cinema. He presents ideas for film that you can also be applied to paintings. (7 minutes)

Nicolas de Staël

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Nicolas de Staël was a French painter of Russian origin known for his use of a thick impasto and his highly abstract landscape painting. He also worked with collage, illustration and textiles.

After suffering from depression, in the wake of a disappointing meeting with a disparaging art critic on March 16, 1955 he committed suicide. He leapt to his death from his eleventh story studio terrace, in Antibes. He was 41 years old.

In the US, his name is rarely cited as an influence. The first reason for his relative absence is simply bad timing. As Eliza Rathbone explained in 1997: “The very fact that [de Staël] began to achieve fame and recognition during the same years as the New York School was establishing its reputation on native soil, made a challenging environment for the work of an artist steeped in artistic culture and traditions of France.”  The romantic image of the New York School remains powerful today. Struggling inwardly in a studio on 10th Street continues to capture the imagination of young American painters more than painting light and heat on a beach in Antibes.



On screen these compositions look small, but look at the size of these works in context.



At the Table

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Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Thank you for listening to my thoughts.

Without you I’d just be muttering to myself.


Casey Klahn: Color, Unity, & Form

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I posted a V-Note about Casey Klahn’s pastels a while ago, and received a letter of thanks from him. We chatted a bit and I asked him if he’d be willing to teach a workshop at our new school. He asked about the students and the space, and I described us as a puppy with big feet. He agreed to join us, and has already started promotions. I’m thrilled the League is hosting Casey Klahn for a workshop on Color, Unity & Form March 4/5 2017.


Casey Klahn

Casey Klahn is an American artist born in 1958 in Hoquiam, Washington, and now living in Davenport. He drew as a child, but only became a professional artist some 15 years ago. He is in the main self-taught, but did take the Norman Rockwell Famous Artist School Correspondence Course for Talented Young People (that is some handle!) when about 11 or 12 years old, which he still values highly. He has attended some workshops, and now teaches fine art workshops on his own New School Color, from Boston to Denver, Durango, Portland, Seattle, to Georgia.


Casey explains: “New School Color is my way of describing new expressions in colorism similar to Fauvism but exploring the new.  Contemporary colors are more numerous than either the Fauvists or van Gogh had available. We are in a new era in that regard. I wish to explore what new things may be said with color.” Often surprising in the use of colors, his palette is up-to-the-minute. His visual ideas extend the explosion in art that began over a century ago with Modern painters such as Cezanne, van Gogh and Matisse. Currently not a physical construction of bricks and mortar or an organized school, the New School Color is more a conceptual entity, but who knows what the future may hold as Casey’s influence spreads, as he garners more students and followers.


Pastels are the oldest colored medium, the purest form of pigment, and there are far more colors available today than at any other time in history. So what do you do with all that color? How do you infuse joyful expressionism, while maintaining unity and form? In this class, students will enjoy an in-depth exploration of the properties of color, and learn about Colorist and Tonalist art.

Casey’s workshop includes painting demonstrations, short visual lectures, easel and formal group critiques, and plenty of student painting time.

Casey Klahn and Paul Cezanne

Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even

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French: La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même
(Le Grand Verre)
ArtistMarcel Duchamp
TypeOil, varnish, lead foil, lead wire, and dust on two glass panels
Dimensions277.5 cm × 175.9 cm (109.25 in × 69.25 in)
LocationPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même), most often called The Large Glass (Le Grand Verre), is an artwork by Marcel Duchamp over 9 feet (2.7 m) tall, and freestanding. Duchamp worked on the piece from 1915 to 1923, creating two panes of glass with materials such as lead foil, fuse wire, and dust. It combines chance procedures, plotted perspective studies, and laborious craftsmanship. Duchamp’s ideas for the Glass began in 1913, and he made numerous notesand studies, as well as preliminary works for the piece. The notes reflect the creation of unique rules of physics, and myth which describes the work.

Source: Wikipedia

“How is it that you used chance operations when I was just being born?” Cage asked Duchamp.

Kiki MacInnis

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Kiki MacInnis is a painter who lives and works in Seattle. In her current practice she focuses on drawing with brush and ink on paper. She draws large drift trees and roots on site at the beach, and brings smaller matter like seaweed holdfasts, barnacles and shells back to her studio. Each time she returns to the beach objects large and small have unexpectedly moved. Most of the drawings in the Water Margin animations are studies and sketches accumulated from older projects. Like a sunken log–once a tree, now home to lively communities of sea organisms –these drawings had a previous life and are now transformed.

I took an ink class from Kiki a couple of years ago and loved every minute of it. She feels like family. An excellent artist and teacher. I’m thrilled she’s joined us at the League! Click here to see her upcoming class: an introduction to ink.


Grew up in Taiwan ’53–66

Lived 3 years in Japan ’70–73

Lived in Massachusetts ’75-77

Moved to Los Angeles 1978

Moved to Seattle WA 1993

Sculpting a head in clay

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I’m sending this stuff because I’m watching this stuff, and I’m watching this stuff because I want to do this stuff. I’m gonna make some heads in clay! Sounds like fun, and if they work, they’ll be good subjects for drawings and paintings when live models aren’t available.

The wonderful secondary benefit is that studying sculpture will make my paintings better. Physically working information into a 3 dimensional form will help me develop my 2 dimensional paintings. It’s a complementary level of knowledge.


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Pouncing is a technique used for transferring an image from one surface to another. It is similar to tracing, and is useful for creating copies of a sketch outline to produce finished works.