Paul Klee

     I haven't studied Paul Klee extensively, because I felt a brotherly recognition from the first time I saw pictures of his small, quirky, imaginative, colorful paintings. He paints like a child paints. How he maintains such a childlike, fairyland consciousness as a grown-up is a mystery. He is a creator of worlds, each one different, on his small pieces of paper, canvas, or material like burlap. His paintings have what my friend Lyn Ott called an "inner glow". Lyn was writing of Rembrandt, yet Klee, with his little designs, manifests a species of the same beauty as the great Dutchman.
     Klee's paintings show that the everyday world contains hidden magic. I imagine him amusing himself, making his little doodles even in a doctor's waiting room or somewhere equally boring. His works of art are spiritual maps that point the way to the eternal child within us, who alone can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Even his dark works, done in the World War II years, bring me this sense of magic, and I have to glean a sense of the somberness of the pieces from their titles.
     Learning that Klee, a longtime teacher at the Bauhaus, also wrote journals that have been published, I rushed to find what tales such a whimsical, mystical soul would spin in words. I was perplexed to find the pages I turned to to be ruminations on abstract, mathematical underpinnings of art that I couldn't even begin to fathom. Maybe some day I'll look again. The whimsy, the soul, must be there in those pages, somewhere.
     My world is much richer for Klee. His work reminds me that hidden in every situation is a world as magical as the ones he depicts.

a discussion of Klee, including the painting above

a nice online gallery of Klee's works

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