Susan Klinger, Artist
What's your story?
I read an article recently about the importance of stories. It made me wonder if it was important to share the stories of my paintings with my viewers. So, for this week's blog I am sharing the story of my Deep Blue series of paintings.
The series was spawned by a trip to the Abacos in the Bahamas. It was a vacation I had eagerly anticipated – my first time to anything Bahamas - and the week flew by. The entire trip, I was awestruck by the colors, especially of the water. As we said good bye to the Abacos, and the plane lifted into the air, I looked back at the islands that had become so memorable. I was mesmerized by the many patterns and colors of the water created by the different depths created by the sandbars along the shorelines. I did not initially set out to paint a series. I looked through my photos that I had taken out of the plane window and just started to experiment with my pastels. Turquoise, teals, and lavenders are colors that I have always enjoyed. I was excited to work with these colors to try and interpret the images that I had seen.
The photographs, taken through a scratchy plane window, could not come close to depicting the beauty that I had seen. But that is what is so great about being an artist. Photos serve as but a reminder of a scene. As an artist, I am not restricted to the limitations of a photo. I can interpret, enhance or completely ignore a photo if I wish.
Deep Blue #1, although appearing somewhat abstract, was actually based solidly on realism. I was hooked. At that time, I had not worked much with abstraction. Yet with these, I was working with the realism I loved, but achieving the appearance of abstraction. In Deep Blue #2, I decided to include a hint of the land mass. The warm brown tones served as a nice contrast to the cool greens and purples. (Of the three, I think #2 is my favorite.) Deep Blue #3 became more about the colors of the water, as seen filtered through the clouds as the plane ascended. The series paused after these three, but may not be complete. I have more photos, and lately they have been nudging at me. My working style has matured so I am curious to see how new pieces in this series could develop.
So, what do you think? Is the story important to you as you view this series? Do you prefer to read the artist’s story, or would you prefer to interpret the work solely on what you see in the image? I have many stories to tell, so let me know what you think.