Oil On Canvas
16 x 16 inches
Much of the artwork by John Karl Claes portrays a tension between land and sky, revealing a fascination with the visual patterns of clouds and the interaction between both sides of the horizon, sky versus landscape. It reminds us that the sky and clouds are constantly changing whereas the landscape is relatively static. Perhaps Claes’ fascination with the land/sky duality is a result of living in California’s Central Valley, land of wide open plains, big sky and distant mountains. John Karl Claes’ examinations of the land and sky inspire, not realism, but an artwork of pattern, shape and color. The organic shapes are derived from clouds and landforms, and the straight lines come from man’s imprint: roads, canals, row crops. In all of Claes’ work there is a power in his clouds, a personality, captured in a moment of constantly changing shape, color and position. His style is a combination of abstract and traditional. Each image is created by using an integrated two-dimensional pattern and an implied three-dimensional space creating a traditional subject.
The artist completed a BA at Cal State University, Stanislaus and an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of North Carolina. He has earned numerous awards on a National level when participating in solo and group shows. John currently resides in central California where he maintains a studio as well.
In recent years, my work has been primarily centered on California’s Central Valley and the surrounding foothills. I find this landscape most inspiring, and I continuously find new visual ideas begging to be painted.