Selective Focus: Aaron Kloss


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Aaron Kloss is a Duluth-based landscape painter with a distinctive, contemporary style. He draws inspiration from the natural world, particularly North Shore forests and wildlife.

How long have you been an artist, and what is your primary medium?

I’ve always been an artist, working full time in commercial art, graphic design, and illustration since 1995. I’ve worked full time as a landscape painter in my style since 2011. My medium is acrylic on canvas.

Painting of the moon shining through some birch trees over a lake

Lake Of The Woods

Painting of a yellow moon reflecting off a lake surrounded by pine trees

Moonlight Delight

Did you study art, or are you self taught?

I studied art at North Hennepin Community College from 1993 to ’95, majoring in studio fine arts and graphic design. I also attended UMD 1995 to ’98, majoring in fine arts and graphic design, with an art history minor. I didn’t learn my style at college, my style you could say is self taught.

Is art your primary occupation, or what else do you do professionally?

Art is my primary occupation. I paint full time, and I also freelance in graphic design and install art for Essentia hospitals and clinics around the Northland.

Painting of the moon shining above a lake surrounded by colorful autumn trees

On The Shores Of Autumn

Painting of a flock of red cardinals perched near a Minnesota Highway 61 sign

Scenic 61 Cardinals

Painting of a blue moon shining over a snowy, birch filled landscape

Snow Shadows

How did your current style come to be?

My style is a combination of artistic interests I’ve enjoyed over the years. I paint on black canvas, and leave the black edges visible around certain elements of the painting. This comes from my fascination with woodblock printing.

The impressionists influenced my love of vibrant color, especially the post-impressionistic work of Van Gogh, Gaugain and Seurat. I admired their bold approach to painting, their willingness to do their own thing, not trying to copy anyone else.

I also enjoy sketching, and use crosshatch and pointillist techniques in my drawings. To sum it up, I paint very much with a similar motion as I draw, and use the same small brush. My background in graphic design and illustration has influenced my compositions and technique as well.

Painting of the moon rising above Lake Superior near the Duluth Harbor North Pier Light

Lakewalk Night Lights

A painting of birch trees reflecting their green leaves into the water

The Music on the Lake

Painting of a moon shining above some trees over a rocky creek

An October Evening in Northern MN

Do you have any special places you return to when you need inspiration?

Yes, Lake Superior, the Superior Hiking Trail, Lester Park, the North Shore, and wooded areas that have water, rocks, and trees. As a child I loved exploring forests, and that has never left me. I enjoy being in the woods more than in my studio, so there’s

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