In Memoriam…

Wolf Kahn.

Many years ago while taking a drawing class I was forced to confront landscapes. While used to altering my camera settings to create the feel that I wanted for an image, having to do the same with pastels, while outside, seemed almost insurmountable. I began a search for artists whose work resonated with me and came across Wolf Kahn. His use of bold colors, often at odds with the subject matter, in addition to its often abstract nature, inspired me.

In the chaos of 2020 I missed that he had passed away in March at the age of ninety-two. I played with my photograph of trees, shot after a devastating wildfire swept through, to come up with this image that gave me the feel of Wolf Kahn.

In an interview he stated, “My choice of color is dictated by tact and decorum stretched by an unholy desire to be outrageous.”

Words as delicious as his work.

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it a good one! 

Explore…

other artists and at the same time, challenge yourself!

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Chaos in nature is immediately challenging and forces a good artist to impose some type of order on his or her perception of a site.

Wolf Kahn

I was taking a pastel class and our teacher, for the week’s homework, sent us out to paint…of all things…landscapes!

I was horrified and almost got queasy at the thought of attempting a landscape. “You don’t like landscapes,” that inner voice whispered in my ear. “You will most definitely fail at this assignment.”

Dreading the onslaught of things that would soon be bombarding my senses I decided to do a little research and see if I could find anything that resonated with me before heading outside with paper and pastels.

I discovered Wolf Kahn and immediately fell in love with his view of the landscape. This was something that I could relate to. The colors were bold and the subject matter was just abstract enough to make me believe that I too could choose to see things differently.

It was a turning point in the way that I began to use my camera; more as a paint brush that could move and meld images into the way that I would love to see them. Not always as they were but as they could be!

I am eternally grateful to that teacher and mentor, that talented artist who was able to see that pastels were not where I needed to be and that it was okay for me to spend my time in class repeating my work with my camera.

Those pastel classes freed me to accept my love for the camera and to commit to following that medium wherever it would take me.

This is a landscape. These are birch trees. They calm me and at the same time send my imagination soaring.

Don’t be held back by preconceived limitations and be willing to step out of your comfort zone and explore other mediums. You might be surprised at where it leads you and the friendships that you might build with other artists.

I envision some day doing a show with a group of artists all looking at the same “scene” and then interpreting it in their own medium and own style. I think it would be fascinating.

And for those who take the time to teach and encourage what they see in others artistically, I am incredibly grateful.

Thank you, Nan…