Creative Cauldron - Paul Klee

Monday, July 02, 2012

Artist inspiration and artist influences. No biographies, dates or scholarly research here -  this is a personal response to the work of Paul Klee by Australian artist Fiona Morgan.

Paul Klee painting - Twittering Machine
Twittering Machine - possible my all time favourite painting
I've been putting off writing this post on Paul Klee as I knew it would be such a difficult one for me to write. There are so many paintings of his that I admire that choosing would be a nightmare. It was. Which is why I ended up deciding to include so many.

Paul Klee painting - Ad Marginem
Ad Marginem
What is it that attracts me to so many paintings of this one artist? For starters, he worked small and so was able to make an incredible number of paintings. There are many more to choose from than usual. In an age (ie. now) where massive paintings get the most kudos, it's good to be reminded that size is not everything.

Paul Klee painting - Ancient Harmony
Ancient Harmony
Paul Klee painting - Fig Tree
Fig Tree
But this idea of size is only a side interest. What I love about Paul Klee's work is the childlike quality. The innocence. The playfullness. The intimacy. It's the same set of qualities that attracts me to the work of a number of cartoonists, Michael Leunig in particular.

Paul Klee painting - Good Place For Fish
Good Place For Fish

Paul Klee painting - The Mountain of the Sacred Cat
The Mountain of the Sacred Cat
At the moment there is a fashion for whimsy, which also makes use of this set of qualities along with a dose of nostalgia. I'm not sure what it is about whimsy that repels me, perhaps it's that it feels a little contrived and sugar or even saccharine coated. So I guess there's another ingredient in Klee's work too, something approaching genuineness.

Paul Klee painting - Polyphon Gefasstes Weiss
Polyphon Gefasstes Weiss
Paul Klee was already an excellent musician when he decided to become a visual artist. Many people, including myself, sense that his paintings are pictures of music. Music is an excellent form for conveying emotion and these works are like visual poems, evoking moods (with what I find to be an enjoyable touch of intellectualism)

Paul Klee painting - Ripe Harvest
Ripe Harvest
I also enjoy the sense of calm that always seems to be present in these paintings. Although I know that some of them are anti war paintings, I look at them and feel they have all come from a very centred and still place. There's no guts or glory or anxiety ridden navel gazing. They are quiet pictures.

Paul Klee painting - Signes En Jaune
Signes En Jaune
His art often contains some symbolism, something that often seems to attract me to artworks when it's done with subtlety. Another common attraction I've begun to notice is tonally related or limited colour.

Paul Klee painting - Paukenspiele
Paul Klee was incredible for experimenting. Materials, style, techniques, subjects. This I admire. His experimental approach meant that he developed his own visual style and did not follow trends of the day. What a fabulous legacy, though I imagine his experimenting with materials causes conservators endless headaches. While I aim to avoid making art that won't last, I do value trying new ways of doing things and not swallowing 'it's always been done this way' without thinking.

More Paul Klee paintings

Paul Klee painting -

Paul Klee painting - A Childrens Game
A Childrens Game

Paul Klee painting - Composition

Paul Klee painting - Bird Garden
Bird Garden

Paul Klee painting - Abenteur Schiff
Abenteur Schiff

Paul Klee painting - Abstract Composition of Houses
Abstract Composition of Houses

Paul Klee painting - Ad Parnassum
Ad Parnassum

Paul Klee painting - Analysis of Diverse Perversities
Analysis of Diverse Perversities

Paul Klee painting - Around The Kernel
Around The Kernel

Paul Klee painting - Castle Garden
Castle Garden

Paul Klee painting - Castle and Sun
Castle and Sun

Paul Klee painting - Cat and Bird
Cat and Bird
Paul Klee painting - Fire in the Evening
Fire in the Evening

Paul Klee painting - Fish Magic
Fish Magic

Paul Klee painting - Flora di Roccia
Flora di Roccia

Paul Klee painting - Flower Myth
Flower Myth

Paul Klee painting - Fruchte Auf Rot
Fruchte Auf  Rot

Paul Klee painting - Gedanken Bei Schnee
Gedanken Bei Schnee

Paul Klee painting - Heroic Strokes of the Bow
Heroic Strokes of the Bow

Paul Klee painting - Homes Of The Tree
Homes Of The Tree

Paul Klee painting - Im Bachschen Stil
Im Bachschen Stil

Paul Klee painting - Insula Dulcamara
Insula Dulcamara

Paul Klee painting - La Belle Jardiniere
La Belle Jardiniere

Paul Klee painting - Lady Apart
Lady Apart

Paul Klee painting - Landscape with Yellow Birds
Landscape with Yellow Birds

Paul Klee painting - Main Lane and Side Lanes
Main Lane and Side Lanes

Paul Klee painting - Mask of Fear
Mask of Fear

Paul Klee painting - Orpheus

Paul Klee painting - Pastoral (rhythms)
Pastoral (rhythms)

Paul Klee painting - Picture Album
Picture Album

Paul Klee painting - Red Balloon
Red Balloon

Paul Klee painting - Rose Garden
Rose Garden

Paul Klee painting - Rote Weste
Rote Weste

Paul Klee painting - Scheidung Abends
Scheidung Abends

Paul Klee painting - Senecio

Paul Klee painting - Sinbad the Sailor
Sinbad the Sailor

Paul Klee painting - The Golden Fish
The Golden Fish

Paul Klee painting - Three Houses and a Bridge
Three Houses and a Bridge

Paul Klee painting - Cathedrals

More Paul Klee links

Paul Klee Centre

About the Creative Cauldron series of posts

Creative Cauldron - artistic influences & inspiration for Australian artist Fiona MorganThe Creative Cauldron series of posts explores and showcases the visual styles, techniques, attitudes, ideas, artists and paintings that have had the most impact on me. 

The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.

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