Monday, June 11, 2012


Why are we so infatuated with animals? I suppose we see ourselves in them, in a way. We project onto them our own emotions. Sometimes, their struggles become our own. I often ask myself why I like painting animals so much. The answer is fleeting, at best. I know that I am much more interested in painting wild animals than I am in painting domestic animals or pets. I think it's because our encounters with wild animals are so much more fleeting. I want to capture that moment and preserve it. Remember it. How special it seemed. As though, just for one moment, God was looking right at me and saying, "here is a gift." Whatever it is that keeps me painting the creatures of the desert, I know I am not done yet.

My newest painting of the desert cottontail:
"Approaching." Oil on board, 10 x 8 inches. ©Karine M Swenson 2012.
There is no telling if I may one day start painting domesticated animals and pets. I no longer say "I will never..." (I have proved myself wrong, one too many times.) But for now, I will stick to the wild things. Those creatures who come and go at their leisure. I will continue to try to capture those magic moments when I look out the window and see an unexpected visit from one of our tenacious desert creatures.

A few photos of animals in Germany: (these are nearly all domesticated animals.)

This is a "lion's head rabbit." I have never seen anything like it before. So fat, compared to our little desert cottontails.

These rabbits were pets, and they actually had ROLLS, they were so fat.

What animals most inspire you?


ArtPropelled said...

The most wonderful gift .... to be face to face with a wild creature... and you paint them so beautifully. I can feel the softness of the cottontail and can imagine the nose twitching. Stunning!

Annie said...

Oh I love them all! I could never pick. I do have a special place in my heart for coyotes and goats. I used to paint dogs and cats, long ago, but I no longer paint animals I am content with being around them.
This is a wonderful painting.

Cynthia Anderson said...

You are the best painter of desert bunnies I know!

Sherrie York said...

I love the rabbit painting, Karine... I think I saw it on FB the other day... it reminded me of a Holbein painting of a Durer engraving I just saw in Paris! (Yours is more... engaging... I think.)

Karine said...

Hi Annie - coyotes and goats! That's quite a disparate combination. But you probably weren't putting them together. Or maybe you were? I love them all too. Thanks for your comment.

Hi Robyn - nice to see you! Thank you for stopping by!

Cynthia - I hope to catch up with you a little bit soon.

Sherrie - what a wonderful compliment. Thank you. When were you in Paris? How cool!

Patty said...

Best bunny ever!!

Nicole Hyde said...

Love the painting!