When it pours

William Faulkner thought drinking was integral to writing (and life). If he spilled his whiskey, though, he’d ruin his work and make a mess (and likely be morose about it). Some artists have it much easier. Take Kim Klabe. She can’t even begin to create until she spills her wine and beer.

On display in the exhibit Pours: Feelings of an Almost Human Nature — Klabe’s works made from a base of wine and/or dark beer. Klabe, who focused on acrylic and watercolor paintings for 30 years, says she got bored and then discovered this new way to engage with creativity. Unlike the precision of representational painting, she calls this form “happy chaos.”

The process: she pours the liquid onto thick painting paper, swirls it by moving the paper around, then returns to the dry canvas to see what she can make out of the lines, drops, and dribbles. She then uses markers and colored pencils to complete her creations. She likens it to seeing shapes in clouds (as one does, perhaps at a picnic in the park with alcohol handy).

The images are weird, whimsical, and wild (and for Faulkner a waste of perfectly good liquor). Titles are inspired by current events, personal and global. This particular exhibit revolves around music, including Pink Floyd, The Police, and David Bowie, among others.

I spied a giant fish, a skeleton, and a mermaid in the display, which couch viewers in their pajamas can enjoy at their leisure (perhaps while imbibing spirits as they choose) on the Delaware Division of the Arts Flickr. For COVID-masked locals, the exhibit runs weekdays through Jan. 8, 2021 at the Carvel State Office Building’s Mezzanine Gallery, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington, Del. (COVID closures could change operating hours)

Visit Kim Klabe on her website to see more, including COVID-inspired pieces, and to learn more about each piece and her artistic take.