201912_Abide Within.jpg

ABIDE WITHIN; casein on panel; 16" x 24"

Some thoughts on ABIDE WITHIN: I have a fascination with painting fish bowls and house plants.  The first time I painted them in combination was in 2006 in my studio at Old Town Artists in St. Paul, Minnesota.  While there, I did several large oils on this theme.  Later on, I explored the idea in linocuts.  Above, you see one of my latest renditions in casein on a 16” x 24” panel.  The casein, being a water media, is particularly suited for this current piece.  With it, I am able to bring out the amazing colors in the shadows while mirroring the water within the bowl.


When approaching a larger piece like this, I like to make a smaller study from life in order to capture my impressions of color, light and movement.  But there can’t be too much movement – hence the purchase of a realistic-looking plastic goldfish.  The problem comes when trying to position the fish just so.  You don’t want it to spin – and you want the ability to lower and raise it when posing the scene.  So what’s missing in the painting above are the wires, threads, washer weights and top-balancing skewer to dangle and angle the fish to my liking.  Somehow, when in the midst of painting, I really don’t ‘see’ these supports.  The focus is on the myriad light effects, colors, rhythms, and refractions – everything else melts away.


-Mary Nagel Klein



Incline Village, NV