Thursday, March 28, 2013

New abstract painting

"Somewhere Between." Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. ©2013 Karine Swenson
Today is going to be visuals only. Hope that's okay...
Oh, and just a quick but heartfelt THANK YOU for all of your encouraging words. It helped me so much, knowing all of you are out there, rooting for me!!! You guys are awesome.

Happy almost Easter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Desert in Outrageous Bloom

I have been working so hard in the studio that I think I have finally hit a creative wall. I think I actually have to take a day off! (whoa.) I know, but there's nothing else that can be done. I tried to paint a cottontail rabbit today - nothing new, nothing I haven't tackled before - and I just couldn't make it work. There was frustration. There was a throwing of a brush. There were breaths drawn to calm down. More working...getting more awful by the brushstroke. I finally had to WALK AWAY. Sit down in a different room. Gather myself. And then, I went back and wiped the whole painting off. (oh yes I did!)

So I have decided to write you here, my dear blogger friends. Hi. I promised to share with you some photos of the Joshua Trees in bloom. I am going to do that, and I am also going to share some photos of the Mojave Yucca blooms. We've got one in front of our house that is exploding with flowers. Astonishing flowers. Here are the Joshua Tree blooms (and one bud):

Here are the Astonishing Mojave Yucca Blooms:

Taken in the last light of the day - so delicate

Don't you LOVE them?

Send me your encouraging words, as you have done before. Please. Since delivery for my April show is less than two weeks away. And I need to have at least two more (preferably three!) paintings. (And this is oil paint we're talking about here.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Necessity really is the mother of invention. If you have been following this saga about the animal eraser paintings, you will know that there was a two month waiting period for me before the permission form was returned. During this time, I did move on to other animal paintings, created from "real" animals. But I also had this concept for my upcoming solo show ("Real and Imagined: A Collection of Animal Paintings"). I wasn't quite ready to throw that concept out the window. A friend had suggested I create my own imaginary animals. Of course, I had considered that already, but after she said it, I knew I had to try.

First, I did a couple of one-line drawings in my sketchbook. Then, I decided I needed to have something three-dimensional. I bought some Play Doh. I made a rabbit out of Play Doh. I didn't like it, so I squished it and made another. I did another drawing. I made ONE LAST Play-Doh rabbit, lighted it and photographed it. Then I painted it. I wasn't too happy with my rabbit painting, so I did the same thing with a tortoise: drawing, play-doh, squish, drawing, play doh, photo,... And then I painted it. Now that I have begun to once more paint the Iwako "imaginary" animals, I am finding myself more and more satisfied with my own "imaginary" animals. They will make it into the show in April.

a preliminary charcoal drawing

Play-Doh rabbit

Play-Doh tortoise

Here is my tortoise painting:

"Tortoise." Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. ©Karine Swenson2013
What do you think of my "imaginary" animal?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We love spring

The weather has been warm and glorious here in the desert, these past few days. Things are starting to bud and bloom. The Joshua Trees are covered in buds. I have already seen a few of them in full, wonderful bloom. Photos will be forthcoming.

I am in the studio, frantically trying to make up for time I spent waiting for the well-worth-it letter from Japan. Now that I have a green light, I want to paint more of the Iwako erasers. I forgot, in my last post, to send a link to the company that makes the little animal erasers I have been painting. It is a great website, and if you have a moment, I highly recommend visiting. Click here for a visit to the Iwako, Co, Ltd. website.

I need to get painting, so here are a few glimpses of spring in my yard:

And one new painting:

"Well Defined." Collage, acrylic and oil on board, 9 x 12 inches. ©Karine Swenson2013