GUEST ARTIST: “A Journey of Discovery” by Al Kline

Bayfront Watercolor By Al Kline - Doodlewash

My name is Albert Kline and my friends call me Al.  I live in Corpus Christi, Texas. I was born in Amsterdam, Holland and my grandfather was a famous artist and tenor. I am a foot surgeon in South Texas and have been practicing medicine since 1994. I am getting closer to retirement, so I decided to take up painting.

I began watercolor painting in April 2017.  My background in art is very limited.  I recall painting watercolor as early as age 9 in art class.  I seemed to excel in art as a child, but did not pursue it as a teen.  I did some drawing and commercial art in High School.

In college, I studied medicine and did not paint or draw at all.  I was recently inspired by my daughter, who went to art school in Chicago and is a very accomplished acrylic painter.  I chose watercolor because it’s not messy and easy to clean.  Little did I know that it was such a difficult medium.

My early paintings and drawings in the first few months were frustrating.  I began to blog a lot about my experience on my website and began to chronicle my journey.  I forced myself to persevere even in those early months.

I visited with Daniel Marshall, a student of Joseph Zbukvic who is considered to be one of the finest watercolor artists in the world.  This was helpful because I began to learn the basics of watercolor painting just 2 months after I started.  I decided I would start correctly before instilling too many bad habits in those early stages of painting.

I then began to seek out expert instruction and went to 4 workshops in watercolor painting.  This included instruction by Frank Eber, Iain Stewart, Vladislav Yeliseyev and Herman Pekel, all gifted watercolor artists and instructors.

Practice, Practice Practice

I primarily use Arches rough paper, Escoda brushes and Daniel Smith paints in my watercolors.  I live in a coastal community so I really enjoy painting boats and nautical scenes.  My community has a large port with trains and grain silos, which are wonderful subjects to paint in watercolor.

Train Watercolor By Al Kline - Doodlewash

St. Marys Victoria Texas Watercolor By Al Kline - DoodlewashI began painting everyday and still try to sketch and draw daily if I’m not painting.  I recently blogged about a process I call ‘sketch painting’ which includes a quick, loose sketch and paint.  These paintings, or sketch paintings as I call them, can be done in a short time and are great when traveling.  I recently completed a series of sketch paintings while on vacation in Florida.

I also enjoy plein air painting, which is much more difficult than studio painting. Some of my early works were plein air works of boats and nautical scenes.  I especially enjoy going to a location on our bayfront where they dock boats for repairs.  It seems that you can go there anytime and a different boat will be docked giving you an unlimited array of subjects to draw and paint!

I entered my first watercolor competition with the South Texas Watercolor Society and took first place in my work entitled Dock Inspection, which was inspired by plein air painting and sketching.

Dock Inspection Watercolor By Al Kline - Doodlewash

Dock Inspection

I’ve also enjoyed writing articles and have chronicled my experiences on my website.  I hope you will visit my site and read some of the enlightening articles.

London Eye Watercolor By Al Kline - Doodlewash

For me, since I’m a new watercolor artist, it’s a process of learning and gaining knowledge as a road to improvement.

Al Kline
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Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
12 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    Albert, your work has great power and beauty! I love the textures. Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us.

    • alklineart 5 months ago

      Yes, and thank you. Look forward to writing more on this interesting art form.

  2. alklineart 5 months ago

    Thank you for this opportunity!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      So happy you shared your story, Al! Your work is beautiful!! 😃💕

  3. Sandy 5 months ago

    Al, you have quite inspired me. I retired about a year ago and recently decided to resume my artistic efforts. Since it is winter (I live in Virginia), it’s too cold to open windows for ventilation during oil painting which I learned in college (Associates degree). I opted for watercolors since I have an old Cotman set from the 80s (even they don’t know the specific colors; I asked. :D) because it’s my intent to see a few places and visit friends and watercolors would travel well.

    I’ve been considering taking some classes and it might behoove me to follow your example. I’ve been working using library books by Donald Voorhees and David Bellamy but it’s not like having an instructor right there to critique your work. There are a number of art guilds in the Washington DC metro area and those may have great resources as well as a great choice of colleges and universities.

    I really like your work and the insight on how you got to this level of expertise. I also enjoy your subject selection for this article. It reminds me that there are so many subjects to paint and my area has everything from shore to mountains to big city to small towns and all that is in between residing in farms or wild areas.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and examples of your work.

    • Al Kline 2 weeks ago

      Thanks and just get out and sketch and paint, in any weather!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 5 months ago

    Your waterscapes are beautiful!

  5. Eve McHugh "Sqwiffy" 5 months ago

    Hi Al, I hope you don’t mind me being so familiar but it feels like I know you aa little from your work! I haven’t looked at your blog yet and I expect you will show how hard you have strived but I think you have inherited some natural talent. I’ve been painting/ drawing for about 7-8 months since retiring from a stressful job and I cannot paint anything like this! However, I will continue to try and I find a kind of inner peace so even if I am never accomplished, I will be content.

    • Al Kline 2 weeks ago

      Just keep sketching and painting and have fun!

  6. Janneke Booister 5 months ago

    This is beautiful! Please do continue to paint, I hope to see much more of your work 🙂

    • Al Kline 2 weeks ago

      I continue to paint as much as time allows. Please visit my instagram for almost dailiy updates.

  7. Anita Sinha 2 months ago

    Beautiful paintings .. Thanks for sharing your artistic journey!

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