Portrait by: Gene Sasse 2013
Red Rock Stage | Oil 2008

Stories from the Art: Keith Klingonsmith


“I decided that you need to study everything if you are going to paint and draw. The more information you have about your subject, the more realistic and believable it is going to be when you put your image down.”


Curious and intelligent, Keith Klingonsmith’s art reflects the passion and depth of his search for truth. His creativity spans decades, and he has an impressive mastery of different mediums.

Keith wants his paintings not only to be enjoyed, but to be a vehicle that encourages others to think outside the box. “Part of the purpose of my work is to get people to question what they know, to look deeper into their beliefs” he says. Keith is as interested in passing on knowledge that he has acquired as he is in finding it for himself. His art chronicles this passion and conveys images that he believes could have taken place thousands of years ago.

Interested in UFO’s since he was 12, Keith has invested years of his life in studying the phenomenon, and has come to deep seated opinions based on information gleaned from numerous sources. “I am a seeker of truth and knowledge” he says, and indeed has a remarkable body of knowledge to draw from.

Keith’s studio – one side lined with books that discuss everything from the world’s religions, to archeology and the study of human origin – also houses dozens of finished paintings. He has studied extensively, and dug deep into his own belief systems; this searching led him to settle on a particular theme for his work over the last few years. “My art deals with ancient civilizations and the study of the Gods” he says.

Keith doesn’t do anything by half measure, and when it comes to research for his paintings, it’s no different. He creates a written outline for most of his work “I make an outline of the different characters I am going to put in a painting, he says, “ how they are going to look, what they will be doing in the scene, what they will be wearing…”  He first writes out his plans, does his pre-sketch, researches the flora, fauna and facts that will be involved in the picture, and does more sketching before he ever picks up a brush.

Through travel, study, family, friends and his ever present ability to create, Keith has come to a place of harmony and balance. He lives in the moment and enjoys life in a way that is enviable. He is a musician as well as an artist, and brings these elements into his family life and the time he spends with friends. He enjoys giving impromptu lessons on throwing pots to friends, and loves to show his grandchildren how it feels to work with clay, as well as to paint as he nurtures their artistic talents.

Keith encourages people to find the art inside themselves, and to live a life of balance. Regardless of the medium, his creations are infused with his natural optimism and happiness. “It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but I have a full and rich life.”  For Keith, being in harmony with those around him, as well as the planet itself, makes life an adventure to embrace.

Goddess Innana | Oil 2012
Passage From Nibaru | Oil 2012

Stories from the Art - Slide Show

© 2013 Inland Empire Museum of Art
All Art © by The Artist