Forget Oils or Acrylics: This Rehoboth Artist Paints with Booze

Kim Klabe will demonstrate her unusual method at the Peninsula Gallery in Lewes Feb. 17–18.



Rehoboth artist Kim Klabe once relied on oil paints to express herself, but in the last six months has switched over to a completely new medium: booze.

Klabe pours red wine or dark beer on watercolor paper, shifts it around and then lets the liquid dry. She adds color to the shapes created by the wine with markers and colored pencils. The finishing touch is often a title encapsulating the current events that inspired her work; recent pieces include “Steve Bannon,” “What Happens Behind Closed Windows…” and “The Bunny of Due Process.” 

“It’s really unusual,” Klabe says. “It’s a lot of fun because it’s pure creativity, pure imagination.”

Klabe will demonstrate her painting process at the Peninsula Gallery in Lewes on Saturday, Feb. 17 (noon–4 p.m.) and Sunday, Feb. 18 (noon–2 p.m.). More information on Klabe’s art, including a time-lapse video, can be found on her website.

How did you start making wine pours?

Back in 2011 I was involved with a winery, and I thought it would be fun to paint the winery’s logo with red wine. At the time I just used it as a watercolor. [...] This year after the election and the political stuff that swirled around, someone gifted me artist markers. I hadn’t used artist markers since art school. […] I just spilled the wine, thinking I could have some fun and play. I was going through the process of venting about what was going on.


Has your art helped you work through your frustrations with the current political climate?

It’s helpful because it is a way to vent—but there’s humor in it, too, which helps. It’s part humor, part stress relief.


What's your favorite wine pour?

"Hurricane Harvey." It’s not something you’d hang in your living room.


What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m a runner. I ran Boston in 2015. I’ve done seven marathons.


Favorite place to eat in Rehoboth?

"The Cultured Pearl or Stingray."

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