In my continuing Artist of the Month series I routinely try to explore artists outside of the Fantasy genre that have influenced my work or inspire my work tangentially through their unorthodox process. This month I expand upon this idea by including one of my favorite artists Franz Kline (1910-1962).
As a fantasy artist it would seem that there is very little connection between the high modern Abstract Expressionist and myself, but he is one of the few painters who's work I keep hanging on my wall in my studio. Kline is the ultimate composer. When ever I begin a work in the thumbnail stage I, (and every artist) should look to Kline. Eliminating narrative, eliminating color, eliminating space, Kline works in pure abstract composition. Influenced by Asian character brush painting Kline takes the pure form of the thumbnail sketch and elevates it to high art. The essence of the creative process.
There is not much to say about his work. It is what it is. Pure and clean and sublime. There is no context or narrative, simply the essence of painting. I have always admired his compositions and he is the master of the thumbnail. So the next time you are struggling in your sketchbook over a dozen preliminaries, look to Kline and draw inspiration from the master who spent his life executing thousands of paintings dedicated to this simple and limitless exercise.