Howard Kline used to noodle around drumming with jazz bands. Now he uses a different kind of brush on his whimsical jazzy paintings.
His current series of bright watercolors, "She’s A Star," reveals actresses backstage, wearing their alluring low-cut fancy gowns but without their onstage personas. The show at his gallery in Cambria has been extended through the end of the month.
Kline gets fired up on various themes, having done studies on cats, dancers, hearts, jazz, circuses and the sea and sun.
His range of themes has prompted everywhere from restaurants to lingerie shops to show his art.
His work has also graced promotional devices for one of
Paso Robles’ zinfandel festivals.
From the name of one of his series, "Joyful Harvest," it’s obvious that joy is the operative word when it comes to Kline’s work and the artist himself, whose gallery’s theme is "Come into my world and feel happy."
It’s unlikely there is even a dark hair in Kline’s brushes. "I’m from a place of kindness and compassion," he says. "That’s my private world," although he says he hopes it rubs off on others.
Kline keeps his art free of politics, saying he leaves it to
others to "take on those causes."
However, he donates his giclee prints to benefit Hospice, AIDS, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and environmental groups such as Greenspace, Cambria’s land trust. Art Mitzvah, an event Congregation Beth David put on a while back, used one of Kline’s creations on its promotional T-shirts. His most recent contribution was art for a silent auction for a homeless shelter.
"I’m not trying to change the world, just trying to make the world a better place," says Kline.
The graduate of Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts opened The Howard Kline Modern Art Gallery in the early 1970s in New England but relocated to Cambria in 2001, where he says he’s found a more lenient environment and larger audience.
Although Kline is best known for his watercolors and acrylics, he also harbors talents as a printmaker and sculptor, attested to by awards he’s won in those media.
He is currently preparing for the erotic Valentine show "Beaus and Eros" in the Peninsula Museum in Belmont. He’s excited about that, noting it’s his first museum invitation in California.
It’s just one more thing to keep his spirits high and maintain his uplifting attitude.