Thursday, June 28, 2012


"Lizzards", 10"wx30"h, not for sale

"Three Maples" 4"wx6"h
This painting from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth features a historic building in downtown Duluth currently occupied by Lizzard's Art Gallery and Framing. The building has many details that I worked long hours to capture on canvas such as it's unique brownstone brickwork and arched windows. The gallery features many local and regional artists and is set up very uniquely with a mezzanine, so that there are two levels of art to view. The mezzanine has an open railing so that you can go upstairs and view the work hanging on the gallery's high walls from above and below. This is the first gallery that accepted my work and helped me get started as an artist and so I wanted to remember that start in a painting.

"Red Ridge", 4"wx4"h
As an art student at UMD's School of Fine Arts, I would frequently stop in to Lizzard's and was awestruck by the landscapes and figurative painting of Adu Gindy (one of my teachers at UMD), Ann Jenkins and many others. While I've expanded to other businesses and gallery space since then, I always enjoy my stops into Lizzards to view artwork and chat with the owner Jeff. I recently dropped off some new work (which are the three landscapes featured here), please stop in soon and say hi ... and then stroll across the street to Jitter's Coffee to view my Urban Oasis work. Don't forget to try the coffee ... Jitter's makes some of the best in town. :)

"Summer Song Triptych", Three 4"wx4"h canvases

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Malt Shoppe

"The Malt Shoppe", 20"wx16"h, $250
This painting from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth hopefully doesn't need a whole lot of explanation. It's just a playful take on a familiar landmark. I just love this building. It's so small and unique, perched overlooking Lake Superior. I can see why The Portland Malt Shoppe attracts tourists to it's unique location that features tasty treats. I'm glad I tried to tackle a challenging subject matter ... but the funny thing is ... I don't even drink milk or eat ice cream! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Urban Oasis: The Anchor Holds

"The Anchor Holds", 16"wx20"h, $250
This painting from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth features a familiar anchor located in Canal Park, Duluth. I've walked past this anchor hundreds of times, but one day I stopped and looked at the lighthouse in the distant pier and moved so that it was centered in the composition. I then enjoyed viewing the anchor and lighthouse together, and just had to paint them. Both elements can be thought of as safety for people on ships ... especially in storms. The anchor could keep a ship from being smashed on the rocks ... the lighthouse could guide a ship through rocky waters. The line of rocks in the midst of this composition is a reminder of how important these items are to those who are at sea. To tourists, they are friendly landmarks of a port city, to the artist they are elements of a composition that play off each other .. what do they mean to you?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Urban Oasis: Blazin' Maples!

Afterburner, 10"wx10"h, $100
With these works from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth I envisioned some sunsets on Lake Superior that featured maples with a brilliant sun shining in it's strength. I wanted the foreground to be the dominating element of the composition, the trees casting long shadows into the distance. I just love painting in the deep cobalt blue and bright yellow range of color. The burnt sienna colored trees and foreground are almost passive observers to the complementary colors competing for visual dominance. The punchiness (is that even a word?) of these compositions remind me of a small dog that needs to constantly be yipping and yapping, demanding your attention. I always assume that the little dog just doesn't want to be stepped on! lol.
Aflame, 10"wx10"h, $100

The sky and lake may be the last elements of the composition you focus on but they are important nonetheless. The blazing yellows and golds of these compositions that were painted together in one day inspired their titles: Aflame and Afterburner. Perhaps the warm summer weather outside may have influenced the titles a little bit too. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Urban Oasis: Tiny Birch Landscapes

Blueberry Birches, Acrylic on 6"wx4"h canvas
These canvases titled Blueberry Birches and Five Birches from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth each measure a whopping 6"wx4"h. They both have a couple things in common. First, of course is the subject matter. No big surprise there. But the other thing they have in common which is compelling is they leave the viewer to use their imagination.
Five Birches, Acrylic on 6"wx4"h canvas

Both of these works were finished when I could have continued. I could have added the sun or moon ... or even some stars or even a nice ambient light source. But I chose to stop with both of these pieces, and I'm glad I did. They have a very honest feel to them, almost like a short story that is simply stated. If there is any more to be experienced from these works, it will come from the viewer ... They can write the ending.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Urban Oasis: Small Birch Sunsets

These canvases titled Blue Vista, Shimmer, and Sundowner from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth may not look tiny but they each measure only 4"wx6"h.  Compared to the large canvases I've painted in the recent past, these feel like painting on a postage stamp! I enjoy the challenge of working small though, you have to really concentrate and realize that every brushstroke is going to be viewed and scrutinized.
 These works feature birches along Minnesota's north shore. In the compositions are the familiar large stones found along the lakeshore, birch trees, the lake, sky and ground. The light source causes the birch trees to cast shadows along the ground which is more than just a nice effect. It's a recent theme of mine, and I find myself enjoying the shadows as I paint. I think it may be due to the shadows being the last brushstrokes of the painting, kind of like the icing on the cake. Like the last chapter of a good book, when the painting is complete I find myself wishing I'd enjoyed the process more than just trying to get through the work to the next painting.
Viewing these images together is quite soothing to me. Even though the sun and bright birch trees light up the images, the stones, blues and ground give a nice calming effect. While these paintings are very affordable, they still require a great deal of creative effort, which you just can't put a price tag on. I'd also like to see a triptych or large horizontal scale of this composition ... perhaps in the near future.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Urban Oasis: Vertical Birches

6"wx12"h, $65
These 6"wx12"h works titled What A View, Sunset Solitude, and Above All from my Urban Oasis show at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth feature many themes that I've been exploring as of late. One theme is the sun and moon shining and how the light emanates from the brightly lit circle. The sun and moon demand your attention, but after a while I find myself studying the composition quickly. Up until now, my work has featured many twilight and low-light compositions that were more calming, but these new works are filled with energy and light up the space they are hanging in.
6"wx12"h, $65

Another theme is the water. It could be Lake Superior, or any northern Minnesota lake or even stream. The range of blues in the skies and waters are just a joy to paint. I layer shade after shade of blue, knowing that I can't always load my brush with blue, but for now I'm content to feature blue in much of my work. Why? Perhaps it's the sight of water to a thirsty person. Or it's the blue sky causing you to smile after days of gray skies.
6"wx12"h, $65

The birch tree is another recent theme of mine. I could paint birches all day. I just love the graphic black and white tree standing in the midst of a colorful landscape. The birches in these compositions do not have leaves as I wanted to draw attention to the sun and moon, and not the golden leaves of the birches. Perhaps I'll paint some spring and summer birch trees soon. For now it's back to the easel on a rainy day in Duluth. We've received 9 inches of rain in a 24 hour period where I live, and my studio area is warm and dry ... and I'm thankful. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Urban Oasis: City Night Lights

Park Point Night Light, 8x10, $100
I've decided to feature several works simultaneously for the next several days. I've made this decision for several reasons. One, I wanted people to be able to read about the works in my Urban Oasis show at Jitter's Coffee in downtown Duluth before the show comes down at the end of June. Since time is of the essence, it just makes sense to group works together. Another reason for the grouping of works is that they go together and are more meaningful when viewed together. Ultimately, the paintings should be viewed in person hanging in the show, but thanks to the internet, they can be viewed on screen. You may click on any image to enlarge also.

Snively Bridge, 8x10, $100

These works featured today are all framed in a unique presentation where the work floats within a black frame. It makes for quite a visual statement, viewing an 8x10 canvas in a large frame. What a difference the frame made, I usually present my canvases with the gallery wrapped edge painted black. But since these canvases were traditional in profile (3/4" edge), the frame made all the difference in the world.

Harbor Light, 8x10, $100
These works also feature a similar theme ... lights. Cities take on a new life at night when the buildings are all lit up, and Duluth is no exception with its historic buildings and bridges all lit up for the world to see. Many lights in Duluth have been around a long time, such as the lighthouses, and others are relatively new, like the light in my Harbor Light painting, and the light in my Snively Bridge painting, the light being a replica of what Mayor Snively may have chosen to put there back in the roaring 20's.

I'll Lead You Home, 8x10, $100
These works all have a peaceful blue hue to them, the lights playing different roles of prominence in the paintings. The blues dance across the canvas, being anchored by thick concrete walls and large stones. I really enjoy the Harbor Light and I'll Lead You Home paintings viewed together. In one work, the light is center stage, demanding your attention, while in the other the light is in the far distance, beckoning the viewer to come closer. Lights may be considered more task orientated, but for me, the lights in this show represent beauty and safety.


You really take lights for granted ... until a raging storm cuts the power and you're left in the dark quiet solitude of candlelight, the way people lit up their world for centuries before electricity gave us something so which reminds me of childhood nighttime fears comforted by nightlights.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yours Truly

Acrylic on 8"w x 10"h canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
$65.00 Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth to purchase.

This painting was part of my Tremendous Trees show at Blue Lake Gallery.

This is the last post for the work I created for my Tremendous Trees show. I could paint these birch tree compositions all day. I just love the blues, grays and golds. I had a little fun with this title too, knowing it was the last painting I created for the show so it's only right that it's the last blog post from the show as well.

Yours truly,
Aaron Kloss

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Birches in Blue Diptych

Acrylic on two 12"w x 16"h canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
$300.00 Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth to purchase.

This painting was part of my Tremendous Trees show at Blue Lake Gallery.

A peaceful birch two canvas composition in a favorite theme of mine. I have many reasons why I return to this theme, and I know I've talked about it in previous posts .. it's the feeling of safety and solitude this composition gives me. The rocks are a natural protective barrier, the birches are a fence, and the chocolate colored foreground a warm invited place to rest. The multiple shades of blue in the background calm the soul in the midst of a storm.

I have three more works to share from my Tremendous Trees show ... then I'm excited to start sharing my recent work from my Urban Oasis show which is at Jitters Coffee in Downtown Duluth during the month of June, 2012.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Urban Oasis

Please stop by Jitter's Coffee during June to view my latest work titled Urban Oasis. This show features a nice blend of urban art featuring buildings, streets, lighthouses and street lights along with some Lake Superior inspired landscape paintings.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Red Birch Ridge

Acrylic on 20"w x 16"h canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
$250.00 Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth to purchase.

This painting was part of my Tremendous Trees show at Blue Lake Gallery.

This painting and yesterday's titled Red, White & Blue were painted consecutively. What I love about this piece is the sharp contrast between the red, white, and black colors. The background is comprised of hundreds of shades of luscious cranberry red. Abstract but very compelling. I've almost reached the end of the posts from my Tremendous Trees show at Blue Lake Gallery. It's been so fun reflecting on the work that has made this show so special and memorable. It's sunny and 75 degrees here in Duluth today ... just beautiful.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Red, White & Blue

Acrylic on 12"w x 16"h canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
$165.00 Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth to purchase.

This painting was part of my Tremendous Trees show at Blue Lake Gallery.

Just so ya know, the title of this piece reflects the colors and doesn't aim to make a statement about the U.S.A. Now that I have that off my chest, I can say I love the bold complementary colors in the background. The birches are expressive, and the reds and blues include many shades that move throughout the piece. Interesting how some birches are more expressive while others are more realistic, I suppose it's just how I'm feeling that day. I feel pretty good today. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peaceful Birch Forest

Acrylic on 12"w x 16"h canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
$165.00 Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth to purchase.

This painting was part of my Tremendous Trees show at Blue Lake Gallery.

The title of the painting says it all. :)