‘Til the Cows Come Home | Behind the Canvas with Jim Klein

“All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.” ~ Grant DeVolson Wood, American painter



Long-time readers will recall that contemporary abstract artist Jim Klein’s life began in agriculture. On occasion, Jim’s origins make their way into his paintings, as seen with his large art pieces Corn or his more recent cow paintings Bosco and Jondy.

After Molly and Gertrude, did you intend to continue painting cows?

Jim: As I’ve mentioned before, I have an agricultural background from growing up on a farm in Colorado. In fact, I have said before that I grew up having more experience with cows than people.

After painting Gertrude and Molly, I enjoyed myself so much I wanted to continue the cow series. My goal was to really zoom in and focus on the face, hone in like a camera.

Is there a story behind the names of the paintings?

Jim: There is, and one of them is a farm story!

When my wife and I were first married, we bought a Holstein steer calf from a local dairy to raise. It was a bucket calf that my wife took a great liking to. For those who don’t know, a bucket calf is a young calf weaned prematurely and they require a bottle – or bucket – for sustenance. My wife took great care of this calf. He became like a pet and would follow us around the farm on our walks, even stepping up on the porch to eat potato chips with us. He was quite the character. We named him Bosco.

And, as you might guess, that artwork was inspired by our friend, Bosco. Bosco the painting has since sold, so a lucky art aficionado has a very friendly guy on their wall.

The Jondy origin story is a bit different. Jondy is one of my paintings completed on raw canvas, which you can read about the difference in a previous blog here. I had just finished the painting on the sidewalk outside the Art Factory. I stood in front of the canvas, studying the art and debating what to call it, when this nice couple from Charleston came by. We chatted for a moment when I decided to ask them what I should title the painting. The woman told me, “You should call it Jondy, that’s my name!”

I wouldn’t have ever landed on Jondy, but she was so confident about the name I decided that’s what the painting needed to be titled.

What has been the reaction to Bosco and Jondy?

Jim: It’s been interesting to watch people visit the gallery and hear their comments while they try to interpret the subject of the paintings. Bosco is a little more abstract; I’ve heard multiple interpretations from a nude figure to a couple dancing.

South Platte on SW on June 13, 2014

The paintings were very popular and have both since been sold. While these cows have gone home, I hope to paint more in the future.

To see more farm inspired art currently available at the Gallery, please see these pieces linked below!


Maple Trio

Fire Flies

South Platte From SW on June 13, 2014

Scottish Angus Cow and Calf 9/20

Nightlife 12/20

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