Saturday, December 26, 2009

Goodby 2009, Hello 2010!

This portrait was an interesting challenge for me. This pretty young girl's grandmother commissioned me to paint it for a Christmas gift. The biggest problem was working from a dark 5"x 7" photo and interpreting the look of her teeth under braces. I had the painting checked several times during the process to verify correctness. Fortunately the client is happy with the end result. Would I do it again? I'm not sure. Ask me next year. Actually I had fun doing it. I never thought I would ever say something that sounds so masochistic but it's true. With every new challenge comes knowledge gained from the experience and I love challenges so I must be getting smarter, right? ........Don't answer that.

Nancy and I had a nice holiday with family members who live locally. We always wish the entire family could be there but that's never possible anymore. That's kind of sad.
What's ahead for 2010? As I mentioned in my last post we will be staying here in Loomis, CA over the winter and I plan to build up my painting inventory for the Art Fairs this summer. This, of course, will depend on the progress of the economic recovery. I want to paint some larger paintings which seem to do better in the West. Most of my current works are smaller 8"x 10" to 16"x 20" and some of these I'm selling at auction on Ebay to Easterners where, I'm told, smaller works sell better.
Ebay is a tough art market because customers there are looking for bargains and there is so much work available world wide. In the future this may change as marketing art on the Internet becomes more acceptable to collectors and there is no reason why it shouldn't. Naturally you have to use good common sense just as you would any purchase and make sure the seller is legitimate. In most cases you are guaranteed satisfaction or your money back. In my case I even refund the shipping cost of returning it.
Please email me with your comments at Also you may click on to go directly to my website to view other works of mine.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Early Morning Color, Oil Painting

Have you ever walked along a quiet frozen creek in dead of winter? I have and it is amazing. The crunch of the frozen snow under your feet warns of your advance keeping the animals and birds v-e-r-y still. Stop for a few minutes and the forest comes alive with bird calls and squirrel chatter. The air is crisp and Jack Frost bites at your cheeks and fingertips. You feel alive, really alive and it is good.

Memories of scenes like this live in my mind from days of my youth in North Dakota and adult hunting outings in Wyoming, Idaho, & Montana. I remember a time when I was a Boy Scout in Cavalier, ND when in the dead of winter I and a couple of my buddies decided to try winter camping in the woods of my friend Bill Well's uncle's farm. I had to borrow a sleeping bag and the zipper didn't work. It was a really cold night and I would get up every hour to re-start the fire to warm up. I was elected to sleep with the canteen to keep it from freezing but guess what? It was frozen solid in the morning. We were only a mile outside the town limits but we had to hike back in a blizzard and temps about 10 deg below zero which was common in those days. That memory is as clear as if it were yesterday.

As usual I've been re-miss in keeping up with this blog. I've have another painting just completed which I will post next and I've been working hard on a portrait I was commissioned to do of a granddaughter for her grandmother. It is a present for Christmas so it has to be completed in time to dry. I'm almost finished with it. Right now I'm nitpicking it finding little corrections to make. I'll post that on a future blog.

Normally Nancy & I would be preparing to leave for Arizona for the winter months but we have decided to stay in Loomis, CA through the winter this year. The winters here are mild anyway, just a little wet in normal years. In fact it is raining as I write this. It has been 12 years in a row that we have travelled to Quartzsite, Yuma, & Wickenburg during the winter months so this will be quite a change for us. I expect to be working the Census beginning in March through June or so. I did Census work in 2000 and it was fun with a little adventure added here and there as some individuals feel they don't have to give census information. I have news for them.

Well that's it for this time. Oh yes remember the paintings I posted for auction on eBay? One was shipped to upstate New York and the other to Virginia. You missed a great buy if you didn't bid on those two. It's customery to leave a comment, positive or negative, about the transaction and I was please to receive this from the last one, " Painting is a real gem! I feel lucky to have won it!" Thank you so much.

As always please feel free to forward this blog to your friends and family and should you choose to discontinue receiving it simply reply with the word, cancel, in the subject line.

If you would like to be included on my mailing list please email me at Also you may click on to go directly to my website where you may view other works of mine.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Coming Home

"Coming Home" is the title of my recent 9"x 12" Oil painting which I'll probably use for this year's Christmas card. I absolutely love painting mountains and having been raised in North Dakota painting snow comes pretty natural to me. There is a waterfall dropping into the lake which is mostly frozen over except where the moving water passes through it and spills over into a small stream which then passes under a one lane bridge leading to a snow covered cabin.

I'm working on another vertical painting which is yet untitled. You will be seeing that one shortly.

In the meantime if you didn't bid on my last eBay auction you missed a great buy. It went to someone in upstate New York. I have placed another small framed painting of a old barn and wagon with again an opening bid of $19.99. The retail value is $249 including the frame.

If you want to check this auction out just click on the hotlink below. It is an 8"x 10" original oil on canvas and framed as you can see. The title is "I Remember When" and I certainly do. These old barns are rapidly disappearing from the countryside and being replaced by all steel structures, not nearly so attractive to my way of thinking.

All works are copyrighted and all rights reserved by Ernie Kleven.

If you would like to be included on my mailing list please email me at Also you may click on to go directly to my website where you may view other works of mine. Feel free to forward this to your friends and any comments are welcome.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Bargain For You

I can't believe time slips by so fast. Aside from the email I sent you by mistake the other day it's been a whole month since my last post.

The news is that I've just completed another publication rights sale of my newest painting, "RV Rally Campfire" for a future magazine cover, the date yet to be determined. Since the rights they are purchasing are "First Publication Rights" I can't publish it here until after the magazine comes out. I think I mentioned before that it has 16 figures of people in it so it was an ambitious project for me.

I am again setting my display up every Sat morning in front of the Blue Goose Produce bldg on Taylor Rd in Loomis, CA. I hope to continue through Oct as long as the weather is good. If you are in the area come see me and buy some fine fresh produce while you're there.

I've also been juried (accepted) into the 2nd Annual Placer Valley Wine & Art Party, Oct 17, at the Fountains in Roseville between 6 & 11 p.m. It's a fun evening and I'm looking forward to it.

I mentioned prevously that I would be cleaning out my inventory by posting some of my older works on eBay. The above painting entitled "High Country" has been posted with a beginning bid of $19.99. It is a bargain since the retail price is $299. Check it out and place your bid by clicking:

I'm sorry I didn't get this posted sooner but I had some trouble uploading the photo of the painting. Computers are great. (when they work)

If you would like to be included on my mailing list please email me at Also you may click on to go directly to my website where you may view other works of mine.
© Ernie Kleven, All Rights Reserved

If you are an artist click on this:
for great marketing info. from Allyson Stanfield's book, I'd Rather Be In The Studio
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Friday, August 21, 2009


"Blue Lagoon At Sunset" 11"x 14" Oil. This is a 2007 painting this is sold but I like it so much that I thought I would include it since it was a painting that was sold to someone who fell in love with it and bought it just as is expressed in the following article.

One of the great email newsletters about art that I receive is the “Fine Art Views Daily Newsletter” available at Recently they had the following great article written by Jan Blencoe. Do yourself a favor and visit her website to see her wonderful work at

“One of a Kind” by Jan Blencowe

Lately, I've been reading a lot about the twin subjects of pricing artwork (a subject for artists) and reasons to buy artwork. Pricing paintings is a task for the artist and for the art gallery.
Understanding why it's worth it to invest in a piece of original art is important for everyone.


In our utilitarian culture, it's imperative to remember the long term value of owning something that feeds your soul, brings you joy, enhances your quality of life, touches your heart, brings beauty into your environment and uplifts your spirit.

The value in a piece of art is twofold. First, it's about possessing something unique, a one of a kind creation, the very special expression of one human being to another. Because of the singularity of an original painting, my advice is, if you love it; buy it, right then and there. I say this because I know, as an artist, that I may never paint another piece like the one that is calling to your heart. I may or may not paint another with similar subject matter. There are many elements, some technical and some emotional, that will not be the same, and in fact can't be recreated. If the painting is beyond your present financial means, don't let it go. Ask the artist or gallery if they can arrange a payment plan for you. I would readily arrange a payment plan for you, and I suspect that many galleries would also do so, especially if it's obvious that you love the painting.

Understand and value the rarity and uniqueness of an original painting. You will be the exclusive owner of a one of a kind creation. Among all the mass produced products in the world when you purchase an original painting you will own the only one in the world! There are few things that fall into that category.

The second long term benefit is what art will bring to your life. I've heard some people describe a favorite, cherished painting as an old friend, with whom they have a visual conversation. I've heard others say it was amazing how the painting seemed to reflect their mood. When they were feeling introspective and solitary, the painting seemed to embody that emotion; when they were lighthearted and joyful the painting seemed to take on those qualities. Others have found having paintings in their homes gave them a place to focus their gaze during times of stress or illness and they gained peace and comfort. I find the same is true with books, music, poetry even favorite movies. In fact all the arts seem to share the ability to nurture us on a very deep level. Over the course of a lifetime you can gain much from art. Investing in art is investing in your long term inner well being.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Daughter's Gourd Art

This week I thought I would share my daughter's beautiful Gourd Art with you. She also does painting, woodburning, and any number of other artistic things. Visit her website at

I just finished the Mammoth Lakes Pacific Fine Arts show this past weekend. The turnout was disappointing as you might imagine since the economy is in the toilet. For this reason I don't plan any more Art Fairs for 2009. Hopefully 2010 will be better but I imagine it will take a little longer to recover from this recession. Fortunately good art will retain it's value and even increase in the future and there are still those collectors who are aware of today's bargains.

I'm thinking of trying eBay again to reduce my inventory. If I do there may be some real bargains to be had. Please send me an email if you wish to be notified as I put paintings up for auction.

In the meantime I will continue working on my new painting for a magazine cover. It is a campfire scene with a number of human figures which takes more time to paint.

I'm also thinking of trying miniature ACEO paintings. They are 2.5" x 3.5" and will be original oil paintings. ACEO stands for Art Card Editions & Originals and are becoming popular among collectors, especially on eBay. They are like baseball cards of which you may be familiar.

Nancy & I are camped at 7600' near Mammoth Lakes. Family members will begin arriving this weekend for our annual family campout. We have been doing this for a number of years now and it is always a blast. The temps have been very low this week but it is supposed to warm up beginning tomorrow.

If you would like to be included on my mailing list please email me at Also you may click on to go directly to my website where you may view other works of mine.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

My Painting On RV Magazine Cover

Here is my painting on a national magazine cover that I promised in my last Blog. The scene is one I happened on in one of the Escapees RV Parks in Tennessee a few years ago. I had my camera near the door but the scene was developing so rapidly I didn't have time to open the door; I had to shoot it through the screen. Even Photoshop can't remove the screen (at least I couldn't) so I decided to paint it. A few months ago I offered Escapees, a large International RV Club, first rights for a cover and they jumped on it. At first they planned to use it on their Sept/Oct issue but to my surprise they chose to use it on their 31st anniversary July/Aug issue. They also gave me credit at the bottom of the cover as well as on the Contents page which was very nice. The crazy part is that one of the ladies had a white parrot on her shoulder which first caught my attention but by the time I finished the painting I had forgotten all about that. There was so much going on in the painting anyway I decided to leave the parrot out.
They want to see some more of my work so I'm now working on a campfire scene in the Arizona Desert. Also I am now looking for other markets to sell one time publishing rights of this painting. I will have this 18"x 24" Oil painting on display in my booth at the Mammoth Lakes Art Fair the last weekend of this month. Later I will make full size Giclee` prints on canvas available by special order and smaller ones on paper as well. Ever onward!

If you would like to be included on my mailing list please email me at Also you may click on to go directly to my website where you may view other works of mine. © Ernie Kleven, All Rights Reserved
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Double Primary Palette

As I promised in my last Blog here is Jack White's "Double Primary Palette" which I have used for several years, the use of which has kept the colors in my paintings bright and vibrant. There is nothing more discouraging to an artist than to be mixing several colors for just the right hue only to have the color suddenly become muddy. Sometimes this happens on the painting itself if you are painting wet on wet. You'll sometimes see this on paintings that seem dull and lifeless.

I contacted Jack for permission to share this with you and he being the generous and outstanding person that he is, granted it without hesitation. The critical part of this palette which Jack discovered after much research is that those base colors he selected include other primary colors within them. For example Phalo blue has Yellow in it and Lemon Yellow has Blue in it so when you mix the two you get a pure Green. In fact you can create any number of Green hues with this palette.

In case the type is not clear in the photos here are the base colors: Ultramarine Blue (warm), Phalo Blue (cool), Alizarin Crimson (cool), Cadmium Red Light (warm), Cadmium Yellow (warm), Lemon Yellow (cool), & white. Just double click on the picture for a larger view. If you have any questions email me.

Some of you may remember in a previous post that I told you I had a national magazine interested in a painting of mine for their cover. They planned on publishing it in their Sept/Oct issue but surprised me by using it in their special 31st Birthday July/Aug issue. I will include a picture of it in my next post.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

North Star Art Fair Completed

WOW! What a beautiful location for an art show. I had a corner site on the skating rink surrounded by trendy stores and condos. I had my panels set up in a square so I could come out from either side. This didn't work as well as I had hoped because I couldn't see the people as they looked at my paintings in front and not all of them were willing to walk through the inside. That means I have a new plan for the next show in Mammoth Lakes at the end of August.

I did discover that people are interested in my painting pallette which holds the 3 primary colors plus white from which I create every other color in my paintings. The former State Artist of Texas, Jack White, researched and created the "Double Primary Pallette" - a warm & cool selection of each primary color - red, blue, & yellow. With these special oils you can mix any together without the colors becoming muddy as is true of some other pallettes. This is why my paintings are always bright and pure of color. I may do my next Blog with a picture diagram of how this works.

While at the North Star Art Fair we camped on the Truckee River and grandaughters, Kayla, Sharona, and their families joined us over the 4th of July. We have now moved on to the Mammoth Lakes area and are staying in a Forest Service Campground called Glass Creek where we have spent many wonderful times with the family over the past 40 years. I have set up the Directv dish and the Hughesnet dish for the Internet so I'm just going to kick back while getting ready for the next show. Hope you are all enjoying your summer as well.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Art Fair at North Star Village, CA

I'm excited about being a part of this first Northstar Village Art Festival put on by Pacific Fine Arts. It is to be set up within the skating rink (not presently in use) and on the sidewalks of the surrounding shops. You can see a map on the Internet by clicking here: If you live in the Auburn, CA area you will receive a postcard via regular mail.
Nancy and I will take our 5th wheel up to Truckee and stay in a campground along the Truckee R. After the event we will mosey on up to the Mammoth Lakes area where we plan to stay in our usual campground through August. I do have another Pacific Fine Arts show in Mammoth Lakes the first weekend of August. At this time I believe this will be my last Art Fair for 2009. I was afraid to overcommit this year.
Locally in Loomis I am setting up my booth Sat mornings at the Blue Goose Farmer's Market. It's only a few blocks from where we are currently parked so it's easy for me to haul everything and set up for such a short event. Also it's good practice. Setting up the canopy & panels by oneself is somewhat of a challenge but it's doable unless like last week when gusty wind kept blowing over my panels before I could get them secured. Fun, fun, fun!

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Twilight Time" 16"x 20" Oil

"Twilight Time" has been beautifully framed and will be available this weekend at the Town & Country Art Fiesta. I will have my canopy set up in Space 302 in front of William Glen & across from Trader Joes in the center of the Town & Country Village at Fulton Ave & Marconi in Sacramento. The hours are 10-5 Sat & Sun, June 6th & 7th.

I have always loved this scene because I can feel the tranquility of a quiet summer evening in this rustic cabin after a relaxing day of fishing on the lake. The boat is tied to the dock, the fish have been cleaned, and I hear a loon off in the distance. The sun is slowly setting between the mountains and my dinner will be ready soon. A glass of wine and good company. Ah-h, it doesn't get much better than this.

It was such a pleasure painting this one that I have had it photographed and it is ready for printing on canvas. A 16"x 20" unframed, numbered, & signed limited edition of 50 is available on order for only $125 including S&H anywhere in the US. The framed original will be listed this weekend at Town & Country for $799.00 plus tax.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Autumn In The Woods

This is a 9"x 12" Oil on Canvas. I started this last fall and finished it about a month ago.
It's been months since my last post but that will change now that I'm getting back on track. I was very busy doing a painting for a magazine cover and developing a new marketing program for this economy. Also my work as Co-Chair of the Placer Artists' League in Auburn, CA has temporarily doubled while I've been filling in for the other Co-Chair who resigned for health reasons.

Currently I am preparing for the Town & Country Art Fiesta in Sacramento the weekend of June 6, 7th. Some of you locals will be receiving postcard invitations for this event. I may try to create an email rendition of the postcard also if I can.

During 4th of July weekend I will be doing a Pacific Fine Arts show at Lake Tahoe-The Village at North Star, a Ski Resort between Truckee and Tahoe, CA. Then the first weekend in August I will be doing another show in Mammoth Lakes, CA. You may have noticed that I'm doing fewer events this year trying to get caught up.
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