My painting style comes from a design background. I majored in Industrial Design as an undergraduate.When asked in graduate school what I wanted to major in, I decided to try Drawing and Painting. Since I had no previous college classes in painting, I had to decide exactly what it was I wanted to paint. I tried one of everything: still-life, landscape, cityscape, self portraits, even 6 foot nudes. I was a good painter, so the paintings were all good. I just had no passion for them and often had to force myself to paint.
It was time for a change and I tried some paintings using very precise designs repeated in a grid format. The more I painted, the more I realized that this was my passion. I couldn’t wait to get back to my work everyday.
I started painting with acrylics and soon switched to gouache. Gouache is an opaque watercolor with a velvety finish. It is not water-proof and the paintings need to be protected with glass.
The work has evolved over the years and now begin with tracings of patterns and designs. These can be taken from books, photos; anything that inspires me. I trace the images over and over, letting the pattern of the painting form as a precise pencil drawing of shapes that are then filled in with color. Once I start to paint, I’m committed to every shape that has been formed no matter how large or small. I usually have a color palette in mind when I begin, but as I paint the colors seem to have a mind of their own and take me to places I wasn’t intending to go. Every painting is done freehand using very small brushes. Some people call it tedious. I love it.
- Madelyn Klein