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ABOUT THE ARTIST
HE CAME WEST TO PAINT, The story behind Ed Klink’s love for the land.
(Excerpts from an article by Catherine Coggan)
After you have made enough money, what mountain is left to climb? It is a question most of us, unfortunately, never get to ask. But Ed Klink asked it ... and the answer sent him in a direction he’d never dreamt possible.
Ed Klink grew up in Delmar, New York, as he said, “very poor. My parents were divorced and things were tough.” He went to West Point and studied math and science. “I was caught up in getting out and being successful,” he admitted. “There wasn’t room in my life for anything else.” He did two tours in Vietnam and then went to the Harvard Business School. After working for a while in the Boston area, he headed out to Indianapolis, Indiana to take a better job. Ultimately, he wanted to work for himself. He teamed up with a partner and they bought a business that manufactured wax products for automobiles. For years he and his partner concentrated on making enough money not to have to worry about money ever again. And that’s when Ed Klink had his epiphany.
“I was searching for something else to do. I’d lost my passion for business but I’m not the retiring kind. I was looking for another passion.” So he went searching. “I was open to anything, really. I didn’t go into this with a closed mind.” Then he took a drawing course at the Heron Art School in Indianapolis. Almost immediately Ed Klink knew he had found his next mountain. “I absolutely loved it. I drew for six months. Then I decided that I wanted to paint. I bought paints and took a whole lot of seminars.” With each course, his spirit moved closer and closer to total devotion.
“Then I hooked up with an artist in Corrales (NM), Tom Perkinson. I studied there for six months then moved on to study with two artists in Santa Fe. There my wife, Shelia, and I fell in love with New Mexico. For the couple, moving to New Mexico was like moving to heaven, Ed Klink could paint and Shelia could study alternative health and spirituality. Shelia was Klink’s best and toughest critic. “She’s great. She can look at my paintings and know exactly what they need,” he said proudly. He painted trees set on a high, far horizon flanked by swathes of foreground. “I’ve always loved landscape,” he pointed out.
Paintings by Ed Klink look Dutch in their smoothness. Layer on layer brings a vivid texture. The trees stand clustered like field animals. Slightly fuzzy with thin, leggy trunks, they look vulnerable and suddenly delicate, almost human. The gorgeous gold frames that surround the pictures are a part of the experience. Rather than merely dressing the painting they seem to hold the colors in the moment as though you were looking at a rich fragment of nature through a window. “My paintings are about texture. My foregrounds are very abstract. What makes them landscapes is the trees.”
Ultimately, Ed Klink worked on expanding his vistas. “I want to play it through while enjoying it.” Actually, that is part of the art that he loved. “You’re never ‘there,’ you’re in constant change.” Like any good artist, Ed Klink didn’t admit to a goal. What he did strive to do was explore his imagination and he continued to paint for as long as he could hold a brush.
“The smartest moves I ever made were to hook up with the artists who helped me so much and to devote myself 100% to painting. I was in a position to be able to do both. But if I had been unable to do those two things, I would have given up studying with the artists and continue to work hard, because most of us simply cannot get there without hard work and lots and lots of painting. Fortunately, I love it.”