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iPad sketching trip – close to home

Sometimes you don’t have to go far to find inspiration. I was looking at a map of my county, and saw a road that I had never traveled…I thought, “hmm…I am going to take my ipad and see if there is anything on that road worth sketching”


It turned out to be an adventure…complete with a flat tire!

truck on winding road

I love railroad tracks and winding roads…

Winding road with a cow and horse

I love how the hills roll in this part of the country, and you can see barns for miles.

House By the Crick

I stumbled into an amazing old house beside a creek.

House by the Crick 2

Here’s a simpler version of the same scene…not sure which I like better, but it started raining while I was sketching.

Kentucky scene of rain and rainbows

In Kentucky, weather is a big thing because it is so dynamic…it’s not unusual to have storms and rainbows at the same time.

Rain In The Distance

Last one…a long view with a raincloud and sunburst at the same time.  I don’t think I have ever painted rainclouds before, but they might be my new favorite thing.

So, that’s just a few iPad sketches from just one little segment of the road.  It is one of the most beautiful roads I have ever traveled, and less than 5 miles from my house. There is a second part of the road, maybe even prettier than the first…I’ll go back soon.

I am going to paint (yes paint!!!) some of these scenes.  Do you have a favorite sketch?

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HWY 61 Block Print – ANIMATION

Earlier this month, I spent some time traveling down the legendary HWY 61.

Artist Ken Swinson Visiting HWY 61

I saw a unique visitors center after crossing the Mississippi border.

inking a linocut of HWY 61

It was a touristy spot, but I am a sucker for old buildings and signs, so I couldn’t resist.

printing linocut on paper - HWY 61

I have been experimenting with GIF animations, and made these to illustrate the hand made printing process I use to make my prints.

linocut of visitors center in Tunica, Ms - HWY 61


Please follow this link to support my work and add one of these fantastic prints to your collection:


I will be sending a newsletter later this week with more pictures and prints created while traveling down the Mississippi River.

After that, check your inbox (and junk mail) for a confirmation email.

My plan is to send 1 or 2 each month. To get an idea of what you can expect, you can see my first newsletter here:

Ken Swinson On The Road Newsletter –


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Road Trip Map 2013

I still need to unpack, but I wanted to share this map of my road tripping art adventures of 2013 so far.  If you click the map, it will take you to a more detailed and interactive google map.


I am getting better at travel. The more I see, the more I realize how diverse and awesome the South is. My goal for 2013 is to spend 6 months traveling, so even though I just got home, I am already planing my next trip.

I didn’t think I got a lot of artwork done during this trip, but when I got home, I was surprised to count almost 50 new pieces!  It will take at least a week or so to put them together for my next newsletter, but if you are interested in seeing the latest/greatest artwork, make sure you are on my mailing list.

After that, check your inbox (and junk mail) for a confirmation email.

My plan is to send 1 or 2 each month. To get an idea of what you can expect, you can see my first newsletter here:

Ken Swinson On The Road Newsletter –

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Wandering Mississippi with the social media blues


My big goal for 2013 is to be on the road 6 months out of the year. I am a week into my second trip south for the year, and so far, I have seen some beautiful things, met fascinating people, had incredible experiences, and made artwork I am proud of. I decided not to share every detail of this trip on my blog. Here is why…

Sometimes when I am at a scenic or historic location, I notice that people park the car, get out to take a photo, and then leave. They don’t always bother to get out of the car for their photo op. I think I understand what is happening. In this ‘always connected’ time, I want to document and share my experiences with my friends…sometimes the urge to share is so strong, I forget to stop and enjoy the moment for myself.

In early February, I took a two week road trip to the south. I tried to write a blog post every day of the trip. Working on the road was a challenge. Being ‘live’ and ‘in public’ made me feel like my friends were with me for the ride, and it was an awesome experience. There was one challenging time where my friends helped get me out of a funk. We had an interesting conversation about creativity and inspiration, and it turns out a lot of us share similar challenges.

I love social media, and it is ingrained in my daily life, but i want to try something new. This trip, I want to stay ‘in the moment’. I don’t want to make art while wondering how many ‘likes’ it will get. I made it to satisfy myself. I have seen some amazing sunsets and views, and I decided to keep my camera phone in my pocket. Instead of diluting the moment through the lens of a camera, I just enjoyed the show.

Tomorrow, I am going to send an email with a sneak peek of some of the art from my trip. If you want to make sure you are on my list, you can sign up here: