All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Friday, November 7, 2008

Spirit Takes Flight

Continuing work on this piece.

I'm fond of this one. It has some real potential.
The other day I was exploring different possibilities for the egret. Possibly more than one? Who knows what will happen....

New daily sketches and studies

Check out the daily sketches:
Colorado: Daily Sketches!

W.I.P. - Up For Air

The initial inspiration came when I caught a glimpse of one of the dolphins going up for air, and the way the light was shining was just too good. The idea has been sitting in the back of my mind for a while.
The other day, I ran across the initial sketch, and to my delight, i can recall the whole scene vividly.
The initial Block-in:

Acrylic on canvas board, 11x14"

Digital Art!

A quick foray into digital illustration:

Listening to jazz at a local coffee shop on a Friday night. Very nice.
The model is LockStock:

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This one just kinda jumped out at me, and I'm glad it did.
While searching through reference material, I kept coming back to this one time and again. I love the pose. The model is the lovely and remarkable Cordula, photographed by Marcus J. Ranum:
Then I accidentally rotated the image...and immediately I thought she looked like she was flying, or rather, just hovering in the air, weightless.

I was enjoying myself so much, I stayed up through the night and into the morning.
As I was working, a thought process began:
The gesture is nearly perfect. The most important thing is the space. She needs to be in a different space from the clouds.
It needs to not just look like a picture turned sideways. It has to be convincing...compelling.
"Why? What's the point?"
She needs to look not like she is flying, and not like she is suspended, but floating -weightless - of her own free will and under her own power.
This is about the sensation of weightlessness.
"Why weightlessness?"
It's about the desire to float free from all constraints.
"Why is she floating?"
Because she wants to.
"Why does she want to?"
Because she can...

This went on for hours. It was very interesting. At times I felt like a spectator to my own internal dialogue.

I still have quite a bit of work to do on this, and I'm loving every minute of it. Stay tuned for updates.

New Color Studies

Check it out:
Colorado: Daily Sketches!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Ranch!!!

Peggy, a friend and fellow artist from high school, owns and operates a ranch just north of Denver. She has 20+ horses and teaches 'Dressage', which is a very old European riding style.

She has been so very generous to invite me to come out and sketch to my hear's content. And let me tell you, it is a phenomenal experience!!!

The ranch is in a beautiful location, and very, VERY picturesque:

I would have to be unconscious NOT to be inspired.

And the experience of sketching these beautiful animals, the surroundings, the light, the sky....

Peggy, you ROCK!

Stay tuned for sketches and more from this amazing experience.

Colorado: Daily Sketches!


Watercolor, 9x12"


Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO.
Watercolor, 9x12"


Graphite, 11x14"

Portrait Studies:

Acrylic, 11x14"

Ship sketches:

Charcoal, approx. 18x24" total

Here are some recent study paintings:
A seascape:

A landscape:

Another visit to Peggy's ranch:

COLORADO 09/29/08:
I finally have time to do some much needed 'ketchup' and upload some recent sketches and color studies. The inspiration here is phenomenal, and I am doing my best to take it all in, and translate as much of that as possible to the paper/canvas.

Daily sketch of a face, I liked the the expression:

The first two visits to Peggy's ranch:

After visiting with my good friend and former climbing buddy Aaron, I did this sketch of Mt. Potosi, a beautiful mountain in the San Juans, one of my favorite and very picturesque:

About a year ago, I saw a couple of dolphins doing what appeared to be a game of hide and seek around the large outcropping of rock. I really liked the idea. So here are some more sketches exploring the concept:

Some figure study sketches, exploring the figure and various kinds of drapery and robes:

Exploring the clothed figure:

Other Figure Studies:

My friend Kathy practicing her guitar:

I was fascinated by the smoke patterns of a small candle. This started off a three-day-long exploration of smoke patterns:

Here is the initial block-in for a Work-in-Progress: a full length figure, approx. 18"x24"

Coming home from work one evening, I ran up to the railroad tracks to watch the sun set, and this scene struck me. Looking at the hazy distant mountains, the pale blue, orange and yellow of the sky, the middle-ground trees and hills in dark silhouette, with the glow of the street lights and the headlights and tail lights of the cars, it all came to me. "I know how I'll paint this." So I watched, absorbed the scene, and let it all sink in. I went home and did a quick (ha! I was up late...) color study:

This one might turn into a painting, or perhaps spark off a series. I have made it my new personal mission to find as many cool places for sunsets as possible, and then to take the time to watch the sun set.

A bird:


This is where I will post daily sketches since I moved to Colorado.
For previous sketches, check out:
Daily Sketches/Studies

Monday, September 29, 2008

New daily sketches and color studies!

I finally have a moment to insert a couple recent sketches. Check the daily sketches links for updates, or follow this link:
Colorado: Daily Sketches!

Additions to posted artwork

New banners:

While settling in, I stumbled across a few older pieces that I had not yet posted on the blog. I decided a couple of them merited a post, so here they are:
This portrait was done in 2007. I wanted to do a soft, 'sfumato' rendering (the technique used by DaVinci,) and the photo was perfect - the 3/4 pose and the wistful, far-away look in her eyes reminded me of the pose in Leonardo's "Lady with Ermine"