In the Studio with Darlene Klister

In the Studio with Darlene Klister

How did you start making art?

I think I’ve always had an interest in art. Photos taken when I was about 4 years old show I made collages by cutting out shapes from catalogs and pasting them on paper. At 9 years old I received a gift of my first set of oil paints, canvas, and easel. I have been obsessed with art in almost any form ever since those early days!

Why do you create and what need does it satisfy?

During many years of working in the stressful world of law, making art was a breath of fresh air allowing me to be creative, go outside the lines and be in a different place within myself. Now I find new expressions of my art using materials found in nature and working with metal without the need to be in a different place, instead flowing forward with my love of nature and animals while growing my art in new directions.

What is your favorite season?


What is something that you can’t live without in your studio and why?

My Smith torch because without that I couldn’t heat my metal and work with it effectively.

If you could cook one dish perfectly, what would it be?

A frittata. There is the possibility of so many different ingredients for making a frittata that I would always try to perfect that dish!

Who is another artist you admire and why?

I live on Guemes Island in the San Juan Islands and there are so many wonderful artists here. I live up the street from Leo Osborne and love his work whether it is sculpted, painted, or written. His work has a visionary quality. The gardens surrounding his home are lovely and are touched with his spirit and grace. He is inspiring.

What is your least favorite part of your process?

The “ugly duckling” stage of a project. Having visualized the piece, drawn the idea out on paper, somewhere in the middle of the process of making the piece it just looks ugly, or bad, or “off”. I have my doubts about whether it will turn out the way it was envisioned. Then, further on in the creative process, the piece comes together, the vision unfolds, possibly with some modification, and it is complete!

What is your favorite part?

Visualizing the piece, drawing it out on paper. Figuring out what the piece means to me, what I’m trying to convey with the piece.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Basically to be an individual and think for myself. Beyond that, I have been given good advice at various times during my life and I think I’ve absorbed and applied those words so I couldn’t give you a direct quote of them.

Want to see more? Take a look at our other artist features!

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