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Spilled Wine? No Worries - Grab a Paintbrush! A&E Spotlight: Kim Klabe

March 13, 2018
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When was the last time that you felt great about spilling red wine or dark beer on something white? Did you ever take a final farewell glance at the blotchy booze stain your one-time favorite, pristine white shirt or blouse and think, “Hey, I can make something cool out of this!”

Probably never.

While a large percentage of us have had the unfortunate incident of spilling red wine or dark beer on some easily stainable item of clothing, few of us get excited about the possibility and even less actually choose to pour the brew on to the material!

Yet, that’s exactly what Rehoboth Beach based artist Kim Klabe does when she’s creating her fascinating illustrations.

Her body of work is called “Pours” and, while it’s a relatively new addition to her oeuvre, the process evolved over the years when she was experimenting with using wine as a watercolor like pigment.

While that wasn’t a particularly successful experiment, it did open her mind to incorporating the deep pigmentation of the wine into a paint medium.hKwDu9l.jpg One thing led to another, and then one day, she simply poured the wine onto #400 stock watercolor paper.

The splash of the pour led to some very interesting shapes and blotches – plus the sturdiness of the paper gave the wine a chance to pool and air dry without being overly absorbed into an unusable red wine messy pulp.

When Kim saw the unusual shapes and nuances that occurred with that process – inspiration stepped in and creativity took over.

Kim fine-tuned the method (for example, she now includes dark beer as a medium) by defining the shapes with markers and colored pencil, using the lines/shapes of the pour. Some of the wine or beer stain is left untouched while other areas are mostly covered, but the integrity of the pour remains. 

t0Swgzc.jpgPIW3CjA.jpgKim says that “Sometimes, I have no direction for what I expect the final piece to look like. It’s always a surprise. Something to discover as I go. I take the titles of the pours exclusively from current events (whether world-wide or personal events), which date stamp a place in time.”

The results are fascinating, intricate, detailed, passionate and often political. From the whimsical to the penetrating, her figures are steeped in color, story and emotion.

Host and Executive Producer of The Arts & Entertainment Report, Michael Sprouse has been friends with Kim for many years. “I’ve always been a fan of Kim’s work, not only in the studio, but on stage as well. She’s an accomplished actress and we’ve shared the stage in productions several times,” Sprouse said.

“These new works are so radically different from the work that I’m familiar with from Kim. Her oil landscape paintings of Delmarva are absolutely beautiful, but these fine art illustrations take things to a different level. You really must see them up close to get a sense of just how intricate and expressive they are. They may be small figures on paper – but they pack a powerful punch! I’m thrilled that we we’re able to run a feature on “Pours” for the show,” he added.

Examples of Kim Klabe’s “Pours” can be viewed at the Peninsula Gallery in downtown Lewes. Following Kim Klabe’s successful demonstration of her wine and beer pours at the gallery in February, her exhibit is being extended so she can once again demonstrate her amazing creativity from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 24.  (www.peninsula-gallery.com/kim-klabe).

For more about Kim Klabe, visit her website at www.kimklabe.com.


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