Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thoughts on a Tuesday evening

"Intimacy."  Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.  ©Karine M Swenson 2011
News:  A spider has built a web around the pedals in my car.  I find this perplexing.  I don't drive every day, but I do drive my car more than once a week.  Plus, my car sits in a garage.  It amazes me, and I almost don't have the heart to destroy the web.  As an artist, I can respect the work involved.  If and when I do destroy it, simply in the act of driving, it will be with an explanation to the spider.  "Sorry, spider.  I respect your web, and your need to build it in order to survive.  However, the location you chose for your web was unfortunate, since the pedals must move in order for me to drive my car, so I can go to the grocery store.  I have to eat, too." 

People often ask me which subject matter I prefer.  I paint abstractly, I paint people, and I paint animals.  I have also been painting sunsets in the desert.  I love everything I paint.  If I didn't love it, I wouldn't paint it.  One of the reasons I became an artist is because I hated the idea of having to do the same thing every day.  Some days, I don't want to paint a rabbit.  I don't want to paint a portrait.  I just want to paint what's in my subconscious.  Those are the days for abstraction.  On other days, I don't want to paint abstractly.  Those are the days to paint rabbits, or skies.  What matters most to me is that I am squeezing color out of tubes, mixing it on the palette, and laying it down on canvas or board with a brush or a knife.  Art is how I understand the world and how I understand myself.  I seem to need to jump around from subject to subject.  That is how I stay excited about what I am doing. 

I have also found that painting abstractly helps my representational work.  I am able to be more free with color and mark-making.  I also have stronger compositions because of the abstract work.  The representational work, in different ways, helps with my abstract work.  I learn how to make the paint do what I want it to do, and it helps me keep my drawing skills sharp.  For me, the different styles of my work are what make me a better artist. 

Interestingly enough, it seems as though the majority of people who collect my work seem to have a preference for one style or another.  Not all of the people who like my rabbits, coyotes and portraits respond to my abstractions.  Conversely, not all of the people who like my abstract work like my other art.  That is just as perplexing to me as the spider web in the pedals of my car. 


Deb Ammerman said...

Hi Karine. I think it is great that you like to do more than one form of art. There are days, like today that I wanted to play around with a realistic painting, and then there are days when I don't want the restriction and I paint abstract. There are the days when I am happy with a pencil or markers, and others that I love my pastels. I don't see anything wrong with that. Being well rounded in your art just means that you can please a larger audience of people - just maybe not with the same painting. The important thing is that you are doing what you love to do.

ps. I hope the spider found other accommodations... years ago, I read a wonderful short story by Robert Fulghum about spiders (you should check out one of his books, my favorite is: "All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten")... I wouldn't feel too bad about the web, the spider will get over it. :)

Annie said...

:-). I have come to figure out that everyone likes different things because of where they have been in their life, I like all different kinds of art, but prefer abstract. I used to paint animals, but I no longer have the urge, I still love them of course, I have just gone all the way in to abstraction and feel no need to come back :-).This new painting is beautiful. Love the blue. xoxo