I grab 30 buckets of paint, ten huge canvases, some food and throw it on the truck. I run away into the wilderness and hide for some weeks. I tie my canvases to trees and rocks and sleep outdoors no matter what season. I am safe. I paint and I get lost. I keep going and I get stuck. So I move on to the next canvas and the next one. Day after day and I make that forest my territory. I am trailing my way back to that inner space where you can wonder around and see in the darkness. I gather rustling leaves and underbrush and logs. I want my canvases to heat me, to feel me, to shine into my inner space.
In the mid of the 19th century the expression “plein-air painting” was shaped by the School of Barbizon. At that time the painters turned against the so far expected subjects of historical, religious and mythological matter, where landscapes were composed in the studio following classic-idealistic principles. Now the concept was to get as close to nature as possible to achieve a highly realistic representation. Along with the newly gained liberty by painting out in the open air the principles of realistic representation eased up. Plein-air painting soon lead from the “paysage intime” paintings to impressionism.
Looking at Klares work it is apparent, that to him plein-air painting does not mean to go outdoors and choose nature as a motif. The motif or better the motivation of Klare is to go out and disengage. The incentive is freedom itself - or at least the search for it. He leaves the studio and finite space to expose himself to the that fresh air and infinite diversity of nature. The old genre enfranchises him to explore and leads him to a fresh way of painting: romantic in attitude and expressive in gesture.
That past session was cold but bright. Very cold with pure light and crisp air and no one around. The forest at that time of the year looks black and white framing an endless variation of subtle tones of grey. Dark straight pine trees are evenly lined up in the soft sheets of snow. And the white grounds are much lighter than the languorous skies.
Angeles Crest Canyon: It was a six-week session up in the California wilderness. I carried huge canvases up a savage canyon that I had found. It was beautiful and I was all by myself and by my nature. I painted each day in the heat, sweating and covered with mosquitoes. I had placed the canvases all over the mountain. Each spot was so special and different from the others. Whenever I got stuck on a painting, I took my mind off of it and run up or down to work on another canvas.
There was no path. At first I was walking slowly with a big rock in each hand. I had found bear shit and I knew that people had been attacked by mountain lions up here. Later on I was jumping like goat boy over bushes and rocks, just watching out for snakes. Several times deers came by and little owls lived in the fir trees above me. But I winced each time at the loud bang of an acorn hitting the streched canvas. I had tied the paintings to oak and sycamore trees to be in the shade.
It was a dry summer and the yellow grass appeared to be pink. Out of the blue there was one week of very heavy rains. The paintings warped and juicy green grass started growing everywhere, while the poison ivy turned a milky vermilion. It was awesome.