|"They Danced." Oil on Canvas, 20 x 16 inches. ©2012 Karine Swenson|
I have been asked by Patty to tell you what this new series of paintings was inspired by. So I will give it my best effort. This new batch of paintings was a direct result of my ongoing awareness that certain things in life (maybe most things) cannot be controlled by me. I have my desires and goals, and things that I want to have happen. I think we all have that. Life has a way of taking over, and going in directions I didn't plan for. Things happen that I didn't want. (Husbands get a job working overseas, for example. Or people get sick. Or I get sick...etc.) I know that the only thing I can really control is how I react to what happens. Since art is life, I decided I wanted to find a way to deal with this topic in my art. With these new paintings, I do not have a plan when I start painting. Well, I don't with my other paintings either, but I am not even trying to push these in a certain direction, as I may have done with my earlier work. I simply take the brush or knife in my hand and say to myself "just paint." I just paint. I make every effort not to judge what happens. I want to have the painting lead me. I guess I am trying to let go.
If I have spent a long day working on a painting, I set it out where I can see it. I like it to sit where I can see it while doing dishes or eating or cooking. I look at it and decide if I like what I see. This process can be a matter of minutes, hours or days. If I don't like what I see, I take it back into the studio, and work on it again. I work in the same way - "just paint." But I don't try to cover up or erase everything that was there before, necessarily. I try to make use of it. Perhaps a bit of blue pokes out from underneath. Or a little shape that was there before isn't entirely covered. This is a progression, where the history becomes part of the finished work. I think this is like life. There may be things in our past that we don't like. Things we wish we could cover up. But those things remain a part of us, ultimately.
So there you have it. This is the new series.
"To talk about painting is not only difficult, but perhaps pointless too. You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing." -Gerhard Richter