June Klement was in born Knoxville, Tennessee and now calls Augusta, Georgia home. She has always loved to draw and create. June first learned to paint with acrylics in high school art class and was quickly accepted into the North Carolina Governor’s School of Art to study painting. After graduation, she went on to North Carolina State University where she earned a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering.
Life sometimes gets in the way of artistic passions. For two decades June laid her paint brush aside until she began a watercolor painting course at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art. This reignited her artistic flame and led to more classes, now in oil painting.
Her work focuses on translating the emotions felt when exploring urban and natural environments. June’s impressionistic style of lively, vibrant, and bold brushstrokes highlights the ephemerality of color and light through textures on canvas.
While June does still paint many of her works in studio, painting en plein air allows her to communicate nuances in light and feelings that change quickly in an outdoor environment. En plein air is a French expression that means “in the open air.” It became popularized in France in the early 1800s with the invention of pre-mixed tube paints, which allowed artists to leave the studio and paint anywhere. This method is used by artists to capture landscapes and views in natural light.
June draws inspiration from nature with scenes full of light and color. The light in her work represents joy and love of life. Her colors are symbolic of feelings or emotions and not an exact representation of the reference.
Her process is simple. Using her intuition, she finds a view that speaks to her, quickly makes a sketch for composition on the canvas; breaking it down into large basic shapes. She then creates a notan sketch, or light-to-dark sketch, to prioritize values and to visualize the finished painting. Once she has decided on her composition, she applies a thin translucent underpainting to pave way for color to be introduced.
Plein air painting provides artists like June the opportunity to connect intimately with nature. Being in the landscape while you are painting, according to June, fills up the senses. Losing myself in that creative flow is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world and keeps bringing me back to plein air painting.
You can find many of June Klement’s most recent plein air and studio paintings in her solo exhibition, Exploring the River Region, on view in the Augusta & Co. Gallery from March 30 – June 29, 2023 with a reception on April 14th from 4-6:00pm. You can find more information on this exhibit here.
June is also part of an upcoming Aiken Artist Guild Member Show in Aiken, SC at the Aiken Center of the Arts in May, and in Augusta, GA at the Sacred Heart Cultural Center Show in September. Nationally, she will join the upcoming Birds of the Rocky Mountain Region juried exhibit in Big Horn, Wyoming at The Brinton Museum in May 2023.
Her work has also been featured in exhibitions in local galleries including the Westobou Gallery, the City Gallery, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, the Mascaro Group Art Show, the North Augusta Cultural Center, and the Aiken Center of the Arts as well as galleries throughout the US. This past year, she was honored to participate in the Olmsted Arts Georgia Color Plein Air Competition. Many of her works are in private collections throughout the United States. You can find more information on her website at www.juneklement.com or on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.