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?


Marjorie said...

LOVE the tortoise! It's got a different feel than the IWAKO eraser paintings - rougher and less idealized. But it looks like it could walk out of the painting and take a bow for cuteness.

Annie Coe said...

I think they are darling and every bit as interesting as the eraser animals. Good work! xoxo

Laraine said...

I especially love the tortoise, too! Cute but just enough "realism." Keep going! Will you try some birds, maybe a roadrunner?

Denny1600 said...

Love them! Made me smile.

Cynthia Schelzig said...

I think you need to market your own line of critters.....those clay cuties look wonderful but then the turtle painting....super!!!

Patty said...

Oooooh, it'd be cool to include the with the painting, maybe tucked behind the canvas, or nearby somehow. Yay Karine!

Carla Sonheim said...