Thursday, December 13, 2012

The concept

Those of you who have been reading my blog or getting my newsletters know that I have a solo show coming up in April at the Metro Galleries in Bakersfield, California. I have been turning ideas over and over in my head for the show. I wanted to have something new that still had a strong connection to the work I have been doing. (Artists always want something new, doncha know.) As the days passed and the clock ticked, I began to fear that an idea would never come. Just when all hope was lost, it came. Whew! (breathe a sigh of relief for me here.) Now at last I can move forward with my paintings for the show. Since I abhor waiting until the last minute, I am really really happy about this.

Here it is: "Real and Imaginary: A Collection of paintings." I plan to paint a series of animals. Some will be done from real animals like what I've been doing with the desert animals, and some will be done from imaginary animals (mainly toys.) I am going to include the non-representational (abstract) paintings in the show. It is a way to show a progression: how far can we get from the way a real animal looks, while still recognizing it for what it is? It is a way for me to explain that my abstract work is not imaginary, as one might think, but rather a conglomeration of all the visual information that I take in all day every day.

Here is the first painting:
"Seated Horse." Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. ©Karine Swenson 2012
This was painted from a tiny eraser I have, which was given to me by a dear friend. For one thing, when was the last time you ever saw a horse sitting down? If you compare it to what a horse really looks like, it really doesn't resemble a horse at all, and yet, somehow, we think of it as a horse, and we even teach our kids that something like this is a horse. There are more ideas that have been sparked surrounding my idea for this show, but I just wanted to give you a little taste. (this isn't a great photo of the painting, but it's too rainy outside today to get a better photo.)

What do you think of my concept?

I'm getting ready. Canvas and stretcher bars have been ordered. The first batch of art supplies arrived today.  Now I need to do some exploring of places with animals, to get some photos from real animals to paint. I will keep you posted on the progress here, just stay tuned.

"The concept is only the start of the process, the hardest work always comes after, when you're trying to make the idea real." - Harry West (Continuum's CEO)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One last peek at Sequim

It's fun to look at my photos from Washington state after being back in the desert. Such contrast. Mushrooms, for example. Not something we see everyday in Joshua Tree, that's for sure.

This photo has pretty much everything Joshua Tree doesn't have: water, leaves and tall trees.
It was nice to see the ocean, too. I took photos of the water, but of course it's always the creatures that really capture my attention.

I even got to ride on a ferry, and see Seattle in sunshine. WOW.

I knew I was back in the desert, driving back from Las Vegas Airport, since I had to watch out for all the tarantulas crossing the road. I wanted a photo to share with all of you, but it didn't seem safe to lay down in the middle of a road to photograph a tarantula. (I now regret not taking that small risk, since I haven't seen a tarantula since I got home.)

I love visiting other places, but it is always always nice to be home.