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NEW! Ken Swinson Monotypes

A monotype is created by covering a sheet of glass with ink, then removing the ink with brushes, rags and Q-tips.  884
When the image is complete, a damp sheet of paper is pressed against the ink, resulting in the final image.


You can only print once, so each monotype is a one-of-a-kind unique print.  If the paper is too damp, or the plate moves during the press, the image is ruined.   littleGirl
You never know what you’ll get until you pull the paper from the plate, it’s an exciting process.


The Smithsonian Institution offers a great series of videos about monotype you can watch at the link below:

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Hiking BuzzardRoost Rock Trail

I like to hike in the winter. The air is cool. No bugs or snakes.

And with no leaves, you can see the shape of the earth. A friend once described it as seeing mother nature with her clothes off.

Just outside West Union, OH is a Buzzardroost Rock trail. It’s a short drive from my studio. You can read more about the trail and preserve here.
The trail winds along a few ridges, and ends at a spectacular panoramic view of the Nature Preserve.


My dogs, and buddy Mike all had a great time getting outside…climbing big hills and enjoying the fresh air.

The drive to the preserve is an experience in itself. We followed a narrow winding country road through some of the prettiest country I have ever seen.
So if you’re looking for something fun to do in the West Union area…don’t miss this trail.

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Meet The Swinsons

For Thanksgiving, I took a long overdue trip to see Mom and Dad.  They have been very busy taking care of their parents and don’t get to come to Kentucky as much as they would like.


My Brother, Jon, the Marine, was there, none of us like having our picture taken, except Mom and the neighborhood cat .


My parents are neighbors with Dad’s parents.  Mom is a nurse and she and Dad make an awesome team of care givers.  Grandaddy was a pilot in Germany during WWII, Korea and Vietnam.  He has flown very dangerous missions, and has won a lot of military honors.  Grandmama took care of 4 children while moving all over the world, living the military lifestyle.


Granny (mom’s mom) lives about 10 miles from my parents.  She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She remembers who I am, and can tell great stories about being a Navy wife and raising 7 kids…but she can’t remember what happened 5 minutes ago.  Twice a week, she visits mom, and the two are quilting maniacs.  Quilting and walking are the t


Dad is a cycling maniac.  When he retired a few years ago, he rode his bike along the mountains from Washington, DC to his new home in Georgia.  He also recently followed the Mormon trail from Wyoming to Nauvoo, IL on his “trike”.  While visiting, I helped him design a custom seat for his bike and mom did the sewing.


So that’s part of my clan.  The more time I spend with them, the more I realize how special they are!  I have a sister and another brother who didn’t make it for Thanksgiving, but you’d like them too!

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Art Events This Weekend

There’s 3 great reasons to visit my favorite neck of the woods this weekend.

  1. Art Show At The Beehive
  2.  Sixth Annual Nativity and Music Festival

    by Trinity and St. Paul Lutheran Churches

    View over 200 nativity sets created by artists from around the world.

    I was able to make a really amateur video with my phone while taking a sneak peek at the nativity display.  Special thanks to the show’s coordinator, Barb Clarke, for giving me a few minutes while working so hard on the upcoming event.
    Saturday, December 12 11am – 5pm
    Sunday, December 13 12pm-4pm

    Free and Open To The Public (Non-perishable food items will be collected for the Mason County Food Bank) over 200 Nativity Sets From Around The World Sacred Music of the Season A Restored Life-Size Nativity Set from the 1950’s Free photos of children in a stable setting (costumes provided) Featured set – vintage hummel 621 Parker Road, Maysville, KY 41056 606.564.3566

  3. The Maysville Players Present – Christmas Belles

    Our local performing artists with their Holiday Special!
    It’s Holiday Time in the small town of Fayro, Texas, as a church Christmas Program spins hilariously out of control!  Guaranteed to bring Joy To Your World!

If you come on Saturday, enjoy a special bonus, the
5th Annual Festival of Books
will be held at the YMCA gym from 10am-3pm.  Meet local authors view artwork from the  Ohio River Valley Artist Guild.  This fun fundraiser helps the KY Gateway Museum Center continue to bring educational programs to our community.

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Pottery Woodcuts

pots One of my first loves in art is pottery.  When I moved to Augusta, KY 9 years ago, I opened a small pottery studio on main street.  I loved the entire process of making something using earth, water and fire.  I dug clay from the banks of the Ohio River, and experimented with pit firing.

I don’t get to make much pottery anymore.  My focus is on 2D work, but I still love the craft.   I am replacing the dishes in my kitchen with hand made pots.   I’m trying to collect Kentucky potters, but a few great ones from Ohio, Tennessee (and beyond) have found their way into my cupboard. 

I created this woodcut to promote my friend, Ann Legris’ pottery studio for her Open House (tomorrow). She is recognized by collectors as one of Kentucky’s most important potters, and was a major influence in my decision to explore traditional printmaking techniques.

My goal with the woodblock was to get 6 different prints from one block using the reduction technique.  My designs do not accurately reproduce Ann’s elegant wheel thrown pots, but I feel they represent the joyful energy  that comes from looking at a wheel thrown pot.

If you would like to see Ann’s wonderful pots,  There are a LOT of great activities this weekend, so

Her studio will be open through December
call Ann at 606.584.2679

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A Holiday Drive

IMG_3918 I don’t clock in and out like many traditional jobs.  The consequence is that I often work myself into a frenzy.   I love my work, and it makes me happy, but there is some truth to the saying, ‘all work and no play’…even for artists.

My Mom and Dad have retired in Georgia, where they are taking care of their parents.  And I wanted to pay them a visit for Thanksgiving…regardless of how busy things are in the studio.  I was also feeling consumed my many projects, and I needed to get away for awhile.

I decided to use all back roads, and avoid the mad holiday rush on the interstate.  IMG_3919The 600mile drive took 2 1/2 days, and it was a beautiful experience.  I drove slow, enjoyed the scenery.  Instead of rushing through at 75 miles per hour, I feel like I had a little more connection to the land I was driving through.

I noticed a trend.  Most commercial activity takes place on by-passes with a sprawl of familiar superstores.  IMG_0878I know you can’t stop progress.  Interstates satisfy a need, and everyone appreciates low prices, I just hope we are not in such a hurry we keep by-passing some of the best parts of our country.  Main street businesses are becoming more of a rare bird.  Their time might have come, but I think it’s worth the extra time and effort to support the idea of Main Street USA.

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Three Days / Three Artists


25 years ago when Luciano Moral opened the Beehive Tavern Restaurant in Augusta, Kentucky, it was his work of art.  The building was restored to it’s original 1790’s style.  The smell of Moral’s culinary arts welcome visitors, as does his singing from the kitchen.  A classically trained Opera singer, his melodies are heard throughout the restaurant.  image Luciano (or ‘Sean” as he is affectionately called) has always been a supporter of the arts.  He believed in the importance of having the arts in his community, and for 25 years, he has played a large role in making the little river town of Augusta a special destination.

image 1990      After many years of being part of Brown County, Indiana’s Art Community, Mea Dewars moved to Augusta, where she and ‘Sean’ became fast friends.  Born Mary Elizabeth Ash, she was raised in Cincinnati by a family of artists.  Her nickname comes from Cincinnati’s Art Academy, where she signed all her work with her initials, M.E.A. Since moving to Augusta, she has been a delightful addition to the community, with her incredible talent for portraits.  Mea also paints Kentucky’s river life, and country landscapes in Oil and Pastel.      

image 2000 Ken Swinson moved to Augusta from coastal Virginia after discovering Kentucky’s breathtaking landscapes and charming way of life. His first art show in Kentucky was setup beside The Beehive during a local festival.  Ken and ‘Sean’ instantly became friends. Ken worked many years as at The Beehive while developing his art.  Ken is also rapidly establishing himself as one of Kentucky’s important artists.  His latest work is a series of woodcuts, inspired by his Kentucky life and traditional printmaking imagetechniques.

Join us for 3 special receptions to meet the artists featuring:
Oils, Acrylic & Watercolors by Luciano Moral
Oils, Pastel & Portraits by Mea Dewars
Paintings & Woodcuts by Ken Swinson

Friday, December 11 from 2-4pm
Saturday, December 12 from 2-4pm
Sunday, December 13 from 2-4pm

Come early for Lunch, or stay for Dinner at the Beehive
Lunch served 12-2pm
Dinner served 5-9pm
(imageserved all day on Sunday)
call 606.756.2202