The Swiss artist Paul Klee is perhaps my favorite. I especially appreciate his expressive lines, sense of humor, and inventive spirit in experimenting with new techniques. While in high school, I made several copies of his famous painting Battle Scene from the Comic Opera ‘Sinbad the Sailor.’ However, instead of duplicating the medium he used (pen-and-ink and watercolor on paper), I glued sand on plywood and then painted over it with oils. The technique is a little painstaking but results in an interesting surface texture.
I later used this same technique to transform the Klee pen-and-ink drawings “The Great Dome” and “The Flood Washes Away Cities” into oil paintings.
At first consideration, “colorizing” a Klee may seem as heretical as colorizing a classic black-and-white movie. However, (a) Klee himself often cannibalized his pen-and-ink drawings by using a transfer technique onto watercolor backgrounds (as in his Sinbad ) and (b) the idea is not that different from the time-honored practice of one composer orchestrating the work of another.
One of my early original oil-on-sand paintings created under Klee’s influence is shown above.
*weariness of life