Monday, August 31, 2009


Connie Kleinjans abstract paintings8x10x0.75," oil and cold wax on couched board

As mentioned in an earlier posting, I invited Rebecca Crowell to California to teach a workshop. Her paintings are wonderfully textured abstracts with the look of age and depth to them. That seminar was at the end of July, but between vacations and surprise trips, I haven't made time to work much more with her techniques.

But the other day I revisited some of the work I did during the workshop and decided that I liked this one as it is. Yes, it can be hard to know when something is done, of course, but this didn't ask for any more work. So here it is. I did buff it a bit to bring out the texture.

Hmm. Actually, I did make one final change. I had been looking at it with the red part at the top. Just how my mind's eye saw it. Then, just for grins, I turned it over. The red part, being darker, anchored it better. The amber part then looked more richly texture. It was interesting, and, as I think I've said before, realistic painters can't do this. Here's how it looked the other way, in case you're curious. I welcome opinions.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I recently joined the SBAWCA, which is a part of the Women's Caucus for Art, a national organization celebrating women in the arts. The SBAWCA is the branch in my local area. Today the group opened its 20th anniversary show, and two of my pieces were in it. They looked gorgeous! When you first walked in the door, the first thing you saw was a wall of paintings, among which was Abyss (here's my original blog post):

Connie Kleinjans abstract painting
Once you stepped into the room and looked around, you saw that And So... (see my last post) had a wall all to itself. It looked wonderful, and glowed proudly:

Connie Kleinjans fine art
And, yes, I totally got the book for the show, which contains the paintings and my statement about each one. The show runs until September 19. The location is Art Object Gallery, at 592 North Fifth Street, San Jose. It's Japan Town, so it's a fun area to visit.

This is the first national arts organization I've joined. I admit I still don't know how they work, but I saw work from a lot of talented women artists, and I'm looking forward to learning and networking.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"And So..."

Connie Kleinjans paintings36 x 60 x 1.5", acrylic and mixed media on stretched canvas

This piece and another of mine, Abyss, will be in the SBAWCA show starting this Saturday, August 29, in San Jose, CA. Information is here. SBAWCA is a local branch of the WCA, or Women's Caucus for Art, a group I joined recently.

What to say about this? Well, I got interested in circles, and learned about the Enso. This is an image strongly associated with Zen. Its simplicity is profound, and monks who do brushwork will use it as a practice: create a perfect circle with one brushstroke. More at wikipedia. I couldn't name this "Enso," since it's not one brushstroke, and the monks have an entire discipline that I have too much respect for to use the name. So the name is evocative to those who know, but still has a flavor or sense of movement. Also, it turns out that the circle fascinates a lot of people, who attach metaphorical meanings to it, or analyze it mathematically, or associate it with shapes in nature. I'd like to do more. I have one in the works that is resisting completion. You know how that goes.

When I look at this, I'm reminded that they say "the simpler, the better." While I'm cautious of rules (someone will come along and break them and succeed), I can agree that there's something profound about simplicity

This is also the largest piece that I've done that isn't a theater flat. I have another canvas this size, and I got it so it would sit and mock me. OK, not mock, really. But it would encourage me to work larger.