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Finally…a chance to paint…and bike (at the same time!)

It’s been another busy couple of days.

I tended bar at George Clooney’s party at the Beehive after the screening of his movie “Leatherheads”…didn’t get home until 3am.

The next day I went to Artcroft to mix some glazes. While moving, I discovered a lot of unfired pottery. I would like to get them glazed…if for no other reason I can use the dishes at my new place. It was nice to visit the farm again. It was like going home in a way…felt very comforting and familiar.

Wednesday was a beautiful day. I received the postcards for the April 7th exhibit at my studio, and noticed that the date was wrong! Guests would have to time travel to see the April 6, 2007 artshow.

Instead of deal with that crisis, I thought I would mount my art supplies on my bicycle and do some painting. I have not had a chance to paint since leaving Artcroft. (It takes a lot of time to move…and frame 60 new paintings!)

After a really long window shopping session on sites like, I have been inspired and I am trying to develop a way to mount my art studio onto my bicycle. I love riding my bike. Not only is it great exercise, but it gives you an opportunity to slow down a bit, and enjoy the scenery.

My first stop was the top of Sutton hill in downtown Maysville. Sutton hill has a great view of Downtown…

I want to put a few finishing touches on this one, but you can get the basic idea for the painting.

My second stop was a view of the houses on the river on the East side of Maysville. The wind picked up, and there were a few instances when I needed to chase my painting down the street!

I’ll put a few finishing touches on this one too!

So now I’m home…putting 7s on the 6s and 8s on the 7s…for 500 postcards!!! I will probably have blisters

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Press Release

I have decided to schedule my public opening with a “Gallery Hop” style event happening at the same time as a big opening at the Maysville Museum Center. The event is on April 7th, from 6-9pm.

I had a very hard time writing a description of my work for the press release. Brooke Shaffner, Artcroft’s current writer-in-residence offered to write my press release for me, and WOW!!!

Here it is…

Ken Swinson Black And White


Ken Swinson’s Studio

As part of the event, Ken Swinson’s brand new art studio at 120 W. Front Street will be open to the public. Ken recently spent 30 days at the Artcroft Creative Residency Center, which offers unfettered time and studio space for creative immersion to emerging artists and writers. Inspired by Artcroft’s picturesque pastoral setting and the daily wonderment of farm life (including assisting in the delivery of three baby goats), Ken created a series of vibrant oil and oil-pastel paintings portraying the Artcroft farm and its environs. Rendered in a whimsical, folk art fashion, these paintings joyfully depict rolling ridgelines, full moons rising, crow-filled trees, hay bales, snow-covered fields, baby chicks, and families of goats. This is Ken’s only show this season, so don’t miss the magic! 10% of all sales from his series will be donated to the Artcroft Foundation.

For more information:

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A Busy Week

Moving has been hard work, but I am feeling settled in my new home/studio.

I like living in town by the river. Now, when I run, follow the river from my studio to the ‘new’ bridge that crosses the Ohio river. Then I follow the river to the ‘old’ bridge which returns me to downtown Maysville. It’s a 7.3 mile loop without any loose dogs. I do have to pay attention to cars though.

augusta Sunset
Last week, I pretended to be a waiter at The Beehive Tavern in Augusta, KY. I took a break from helping feed the folks long enough to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the Ohio River.

I wanted to store some of my dusty pottery equipment to Artcroft so the equipment can get some use. Robert was nice enough to meet me in Maysville and carry 2 kilns, my kickwheel and other ceramic materials to Artcroft.

mike And Robert
Here’s a photo of my housemate (Mike) with Robert and the stocked truck…never mind the tornado damage in the background.

I never found my framing tape, so I had to drive to Cincinnati and buy some at the framing supply. I needed mattboard anyway, and a friend needed a ride to the hospital, so I was able to get a few things done in one trip. While at the frame supply, I was browsing their frame moulding, and thought I would buy a few styles of moulding.

Until now, I have made my own moulding from rough lumber. It is very time consuming, but I take a lot of pride in having made the frame and moulding. I think the commercial moulding has a very nice look…and it sheds HOURS off my workload.

Which Frame Do You Like?

What do you folks think? The moulding on the left is my moulding, and on the right is a frame made with the commercial moulding.

Today, I went to the Ohio River Guild Meeting, then worked on some of my clay sculptures. It felt good to get muddy. I have been so busy moving and framing, that I have almost forgot what it is like to do creative work!

Sorry for taking so long to post anything new…I just got my internet turned on at home. Keep visiting my site, I will have some new work to show soon!

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busy framing

I’ve been busy setting up studio. The studio is 90% ready, but I am working out the finishing touches. Since I have 60 new paintings to frame, I have started cutting some frames in the basement. The weather was nice today, so I painted the frames in the backyard.
I am trying to find a way to use the fence to hold the frames while they dry.

I think I am going to like being a townie. My drive to the Y took less than 5 minutes (yeah I should have rode my bike, but it looked like it could have rained. I plan to bike a lot!). I walked to the library in 10 minutes.

I want to have a small open house at the end of the month. I will announce the date and time as soon as I know, but it will most likely be on Saturday, March 29th. I will send invitations soon. If you live in the area, and aren’t sure if you are on my invite list, send me an email…I’ll make sure to invite you!

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snowy day at studio

he weather folk say we may get the heaviest snow of the season over the next few days. So far I think there is about 6 inches, and it is steadily falling.

SnowyDayAtStudio.jpg The dogs love the snow, but after a few minutes, they. Wanted back in the warm cozy studio.

The cats are staying inside!

The studio/office is almost set up. The hardest part for me was to put the pieces of the puzzle together so that it is the best layout for work…because I have a lot of work to do.

I’ll try and post some studio/office pictures soon!


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Artcroft Day 30

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Today is my last at Artcroft.

I spent a few hours cleaning up my studio and packing everything in my car.


Then, I took some photos of Mia Capodilupo working in her studio. She is working on an assemblage using fibers and cast rubber on stretched canvas. I am sorry that I am leaving so soon, because it looks like it will be an awesome piece when it is finished.

I spent some time turning compost, when an idea came to mind (it’s amazing how creative thinking works!). Since both Joe and Mia are artisits who work in multi-media, wouldn’t it be interesting to make a panoramic photo of their entire studio with the artist exposed multiple times so that you could see them working in the different media?

They both graciously allowed me into their studio for a second time, and here are the results of the shoot:

Here is Mia in her studio:

Mia Panorama

Here is Joe in his studio:

Joe Panorama

I made a fire in the fireplace, and then looked through some of the books I had wanted to curl up with the entire month at Artcroft. Right before dinner, Joe came into the kitchen with a startled look on his face.

His mother just called to wish him a happy birthday…he forgot his own birthday! I can understand how it happened. At Artcroft, time slows down a bit…in a good way.

Maureen brought some Belgian creampuffs for dessert. And then I traded Artist Trading Cards With Joe and Mia.

After rattling on a bit…making plans to see each other soon, Robert finally asked with a big smile on his face, “so when are you going to leave?”

I didn’t want to, but it was time to go. After having such a wonderful month at Artcroft, I was afraid that I would be very sad to leave. While driving home, I was suprised that I did not feel sad at all. I will certainly miss being at Artcroft, but the feeling at Artcroft has always been joy and happiness, and I am going to take that with me to my new home. I made some very good friends, and Artcroft is only a short drive away. Robert and I have already planned to work together on some future projects.

Robert and Maureen have created a very special place for artists and writers. Thank you so much for the opportunity to work as artist-in-residence at Artcroft.


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Artcroft Day 29

What a day! It was warm outside with blue skies and hurricane strength winds. Determined to make a plein air painting, I took my gear, and hiked to one of my favorite views at the farm where you can see for miles and miles. The wind was very strong, and I was not prepared to work plein air, so it was awkward at first. I found a rock to sit on, and devised a way to keep my paper from blowing away…and created this beautiful plein air painting!

I did some hiking on the farm,
then had the opportunity to visit Joe Netta’s studio and take a photo of his work in progress.
Only being here for 3 days, he is just getting started, but he is working on a few super cool projects. He is a great artist…with ideas that will change the way you think about things. I cannot describe his work nearly as well as he does, so take a look at the work on his website, and be sure and check out the blog on the site…I am eager to see and hear what he does at Artcroft!

After dinner, I invited Robert and Maureen to my studio to choose a painting to leave with Artcroft. Today is my last full day at Artcroft. Tomorrow, I am going to pack things up. Which one do you think they chose??? You will have to come to my show in April to find out! It will have a big red sticker with their name on it!

Spring is right around the corner. You can see it in the garden beds…new life is already sprouting. At the end of this residency, I feel like a new life is starting for me too. I have learned so much during this month…I will return home a new person/artist. Thank you Robert and Maureen for creating and sharing such a special place.

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Artcroft Day 28

I’m running a little late with today’s post, yesterday was action packed.

The Writer’s At Artcroft meet the first Sunday of each month. I am not a writer, but enjoy reading, and particularly enjoy hearing writers reciting their own work. Everyone (not me) read a poem that they had written during the month, and after a discussion about epilogues, they were given some time to write something that began with an epilogue. Then everyone (not me) took turns reading what they wrote. I was impressed with the quality of work they were able to come up with on the spot.

Robert With Black Baby In Lap
Little Black baby even came to the writer’s meeting. She still hasn’t received a name, but I suspect she may deserve the name of one of the great writers…because I could tell that she diggs poetry!

I had agreed to help the group with their website, and after the meeting, was asked to explain my ideas to the group. I am a very weak public speaker, and after a very awkward presentation, I think the group was still interested in my idea. I need to work on my public speaking.

writers Group
My photography skills were not so sharp that day either…I am sorry for such a poor photo of the group…especially to Joe who is blocked out of the picture. But pictured in the photo right to left are Jude Lalley, Jennifer Gleason, Mary-Louise Dean, Mia Capodilupo, Joe Netta(behind Robert), Ed Taylor, and Jennifer Baldwin.

After the meeting, I went with Robert to load a truckload of firewood. The weather has been unusually warm, and I had a strong urge to create a plein air painting. By the time the wood was unloaded, the sky was dark gray, and some rain was falling. I decided to work on a web design project. After a few hours, I looked out the window, and the sun was back out, and I wondered what I was doing inside doing computer work? It is true what they say about Kentucky weather. If you don’t like it…wait 15 minutes!
me Plein Air
So I stomped outside with my oil pastels and made a painting of my studio. I have had a great time there, and I wanted to capture it’s image.
studio At Artcroft

full Moon Studio

After dinner, I returned to the studio, and made a painting of the studio under the full moon. It is a diptych. I think it will be interesting to frame

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Artcroft Day 27

It was beautiful this morning! I did some straightening up, then went to the studio, and continued my web design project. By 11am, I had resolved the problem that was bothering me yesterday.

I went with Robert to get some firewood, but all the snow, ice and rain made the muddy hill impossible to drive up to, so we returned home empty handed.

I took a 7 1/2 mile run around the block, then did some sketching of the view behind my studio.

Joe Netta arrived first. He is a multi-media artist from Delaware,
followed by Mia Capodilupo, a fiber artist from Chicago.

dinner At Artcroft
Dinner at Artcroft…welcome Joe and Mia

Rolling Hills
Back in the studio, I was struck by the way the light was illuminating the rolling hills in the distance. I thought it would make a great oil pastel painting.

Tomorrow is the writer’s workshop at Artcroft. 10am Writers, if you aren’t able to make it tomorrow, they meet every first Sunday of the month, so mark your calendars.

I am going to miss it here. Only 3 days of my residency left!