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Thinking about current events

I AM watching the news, and I don’t want you all to think that I have my head buried in the sand, and am just happily in my own little world, making art. I see what’s happening to us, and it hurts me deeply. I don’t know what I can do to make it better, so I share things that help me and others feel good, and encourage them to work on their own creative projects. Art is a great way to deal with feelings. For me, art is a therapy, and there are a lot of studies that show it really does cause positive things to happen in the brain. There are also studies that show that social media is causing psychological and social problems…

i don’t use social media for politics. In my perspective, it’s a terrible way to try and have dialogue about divisive issues. I’ve watched friendships end and families grow further apart because of the way social media brings out, and magnifies the worst in some people. (i guess it’s profitable, or the tech companies just like to destroy people’s lives) I have friends from a wide range of perspectives, who I know in real life, and I can tell you, we have more in common than social media would have us believe.

I believe that religion is personal, and I don’t talk about it on social media (for the same reasons). Since it’s Sunday, and I think it is important, I will share with you that I believe that we are ALL children of God, we are ALL brothers and sisters. EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect, fairness and dignity. I believe (and I’m trying to be better at) following Christ’s teaching to love thy neighbor as thyself. I know this is a crazy time, and everyone is scared and angry a suffering loss and going through a million other feelings right now. I hope that all of these challenges we are going through has some kind of meaning, and, in the end, we use this experience to lift each other up, and become better neighbors.

I’m scared, and feel helpless and angry, but I also feel more connected, and a feeling of togetherness with you all (even if we have to stay 6 feet apart). You have gotten me through, what is possibly the biggest trial of my lifetime. Since social media isn’t going away, let’s use it to keep the good vibes going, and try to have a little more understanding and empathy toward each other…this is HARD, but we will get through this together.

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Pig Mug – Sgraffito video

I’m back in the clay studio, working with a decoration technique, called sgraffito. The word comes from Italian and means; to scratch away.

The way the technique works, a pot is covered with colored clay, then I scratch the top layer, reavealing the design.

Since i have a printmaking background, this technique feels familiar. It’s the same way I would make a woodcut.

The idea for the mug i’m working on is tow pigs enjoying a field of clover, and they both found a four leaf clover at the same time. What a lucky pair of pigs!

If you are interested in seeing how these pots turn out, stay tuned, i’ll show them off once they are fired in the kiln.

UPDATE: i forgot to mention…i don’t sell pots online. I believe a pot has to be experienced in person, so the owner can hold it before deciding to take it to it’s ‘forever home’. Hopefully a drive in the country to Old Washington, ky isn’t impossible for you. Thanks again everyone for the great response!

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

I’m a lifetime learner, and student for life, so teachers have a special place in my heart! Thanks to all the teachers for making our community a better place!

Here’s a linocut that I made a few years ago for a project, called ArtZine. Visiting and local artists met in a different small town each month to create a ‘zine’ . The theme for November in Vanceburg, KY was GRATITUDE, and this was my entry.

Feel free to click the image above to download and print your own copy of the linocut that you can print and share with the teachers in your life.

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We will get through this together-linocut

My latest linocut!

This will be a greeting card to share with friends and family who might feel alone right now.

i assume all kentuckians know where this phrase comes from. for those who don’t, every day, our governor addresses the state for an update re: covid 19. He always starts saying this, then encourages us to say it together. his demeanor and team spirit has calmed me down on more than a few moments during this anxious time.

I know that a lot of people are experiencing economic insecurity right now, and would enjoy this image, but can’t buy a card right now. I would NEVER encourage digital printing of a hand printed work of art, but these are serious times. If you would like to download a high resolution copy of this art to print and share (for personal use only) follow this link.

https://www.kenswinson.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GetThroughThisTogether.jpg

Below is the step by step process:
A rough sketch for today’s linocut. This will be a greeting card to share with friends and family who might feel alone right now.

 I used my iPad to do some fine tuning on my design. Now I’m ready to transfer it to a block for carving.

design transferred, and ready to carve!

Carving. I included my finger in the photo to give you a sense of details and scale. I’ve been carving a lot of wood lately, compared to it, the limo cuts lite butter!

a little bit over 1/3 done
YOU ALL KNOW NOT TO TRY CALLING ME BETWEEN 5 AND 6 PM. carving during the governors update
Carving Done! Time To Print!
The first printing!
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Dishwasher bunny

I’m about to start the 4th in my dust bunny series of bunnies spring cleaning. Today’s woodcut is dishwashing!

the design is sketched out on the block. Time to start carving!

This is the first indoor scene. I have been using a similar pattern to represent clouds, but for this scene, I’ll use the same pattern to represent soapy dishwater.

soapy water?!

Almost there!!! Still some details to carve, then I’ll be ready to print!

Not sure what I was thinking when I gave this dust bunny modern appliances. THEY took more carving than the rest in of the design. Ok, let’s take it to the cabin to put some unknown paper!

the test proof!

Overall, I’m happy with it. I might have made some different choices (no modern appliances) in parts of the design, but it’s still cute as a button, and will be a good addition to my army of dust bunnies, who are going to do all my spring cleaning for me!

Time to print!

laundry bunny

Watch this space for updates as they happen.