Friday, March 6, 2015

Local Art Seen: Aaron Kloss at the Red Mug

The R.A. at Scott Quad (Resident Assistant of my dorm at Ohio U.) was a painter who did very large landscape paintings in a somewhat modified variation of stipple, or a version of pointillism using his fingertip instead of a brush. The colors were vivid, yet natural. And the paintings were beautiful. I can't recall his name, but I've not forgotten his work and when I first saw the paintings of Aaron Kloss a few years back my mind went further back to this artist who lived down the hall from me my freshman year.

For the month of March the paintings of Aaron Kloss will be on display at the Red Mug Coffeehouse in Superior.

Kloss first took an interest in art as a child. One of his favorite art quotes is also on my own short list of faves, from Pablo Picasso: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

Like myself, art class was something he looked forward to every day when he was in school. I still remember some of my own early projects, a favorite being a cowboy I created by cutting out the components from colored construction paper.

Kloss enjoyed the encouragement he got from teachers and ultimately wanted to become a full time artist while in high school. The practical realities of making a living as an artist led him to enter the field of graphic design, which he majored in in college, and I believe that R.A. I mentioned earlier used his skills in the field of architectural design.

But Aaron still had a heart for painting and when he began designing page layouts for art editorial he reconsidered the possibility of turning his art into a career. In a 2012 interview he talked about the path he took when he came back to making art.

"I love landscapes and geometric style. I wanted to somehow combine those two into painting, but it took a while. I basically just painted in acrylics and explored different styles and ideas. I was drawn to anything graphic in look and feel, anything that featured the color black," he explained. "I suppose it was the way the black made the colors pop and give them life. Working towards this goal yet not reaching it was frustrating at times and I did give up. Drawing comes naturally to me, but painting was always a huge stumbling block. I worked for years as an airbrush artist and often would grab my airbrush when I was frustrated with my acrylics on canvas. The feel of the airbrush in my hand, the ease I had using the airbrush after years of experience would soothe my creative blocks and give the feeling of accomplishment. I soon noted that I needed a style, something that would be totally unique and unseen before. Something that would give my work a signature, so that people could glance at it and know I had created it. I needed to be different. I needed a style, and once again I began seeking that style through acrylics on canvas and through trial and error my style emerged one Spring day and once I saw it I knew I had found what I was searching for."

If you've never been to the Red Mug, it's a worthy destination, just across the High Bridge and just across the tracks on the corner of Broadway and Hammond. You can follow Aaron's activities on his website at

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend. It feels like warmer weather has been forecast. Let's hope Ma Nature follows the script.

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