Tuesday, February 28, 2012


"Discussion." Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches.  ©Karine Swenson 2012.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Joshua Tree in bloom

I just can't seem to get enough of it. Those white blooms, teetering at the end of a branch. They wear large green spiked collars. For some reason, none of the trees near our house are in bloom. It doesn't seem fair, but then, what in life really is fair? Well, not much. I think maybe this is just God's way of telling me to get more exercise. So I strap on the camera, call for the fuzzy dog, and we are off in search of a tree with a bud or a blossom on one of our many favorite trails. Pono isn't really as interested as I am, but there's always something to sniff, so that's good. It's better that I don't drive, this time of year. If I see a Joshua Tree in bloom, there's a good chance I will veer off towards it - maybe even slamming on my brakes in the process. Perhaps I need a bumper sticker that says "CAUTION - this vehicle stops for flowers."

Here they are.

Wasn't that fun?

I had a photo of a new painting to share with you, but now that I have pondered it, I decided it's not finished yet. So back to the studio I go...
Have a happy Sunday, all you dear things.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New work

"One thing leads to another." Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. ©2012 Karine Swenson
Two coyotes moved quickly through our yard this morning. Pono the dog didn't even see them. I tried to get a good photo, but only managed one as they ran off. They saw me through the window. Darn! I should have put on my invisibility cloak first. I often think I am too busy gawking at them to actually push the button on my camera. I am in such awe.

Warm weather has arrived.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Art at the library

The Head Scarf. Charcoal, 16 x 25 inches. 
On Saturday, I hung some of my portrait drawings and paintings at the Joshua Tree public library. The work will be up for several months, so if you happen to stop in to get a new book, take a look and let me know what you think. I will be giving a talk about creating a portrait from life on March 3rd at 12:30pm in the library. I am hoping to find someone to make a video of my talk, for those of you who are far away. The drawing above is one of fourteen pieces in the show.

I have been hard at work in the studio, and hopefully, I will be able to post some photos of the new work this week. I find that once I am in the studio, nothing else gets done. No blog posts are written, no dishes are washed, no trash is taken out,...nothing. I will stay in there with brushes and painting knives in hand until I am too tired to paint anymore. How fortunate I am to be able to lose myself in my work! I know this blog has been neglected, and at times I am tempted to give it up entirely. It is only your comments and emails that keep me writing. Thank you all, for your encouragement, my dear readers.

A gift for you - some more photos of our beloved Joshua Tree.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spring Already?

Well, according to the Joshua Trees near my neighbor's house, it is. I wasn't sure there would be any blooms on the trees this year, since it has been so dry. I noticed these on a walk with Pono last week, and now I have my eyes on high alert every time I pass a Joshua Tree. So far, I have only seen three trees with buds or blooms.

These photos were taken with my phone. 
We also have the wind, which seems to be another, much-less-loved harbinger of spring in the desert. It just arrived today, and is causing me to want to hole up indoors, under a blanket.

I was attacked by a not-so-nice head cold/flu last week, and spent a couple of days flat on my back. I rarely get sick, and I must say, now I know why I try to hard to be healthy. YUCK! Unfortunately, the studio time suffered as much as I did, and there isn't much new work to show you. I did manage to complete another portrait for a show at the Joshua Tree public library which is going up next week. I will be spending this week framing the drawings and wiring the backs of the canvases. So exciting! I am looking forward to this show, since many of the works have never been shown before, and I haven't really had a show with all of my figurative work together. A big thank you goes out to Marjorie Franklin, for all of her help organizing it.
A recently finished oil painting of the lovely Erin Michner, which will be in the library show.

Happy almost Valentine's Day, everyone!