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Cabin by the crik-iPad art

I made this painting with my iPad

it is based on a 3d image I made last week. for me, it’s interesting to explore a familiar subject with a different medium. they are similar, but very different.

I like this subject, and will continue exploring it…maybe with an oil painting?

3d low poly render of house beside creek

what do you think? do you have a favorite medium? can you tell both works are by the same artist?

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two Marsala(ish) sheep

I was reading an article about Pantone’s color of the year for 2015- it’s called Marsala. my first thought was “why would they pick that boring color?”.

sheep painted using Pantone's color of the year for 2015-Marsala
but then I saw some examples of it being used in interesting combinations with other colors, I thought, “I’ll give it a try in one of my paintings”

After painting the sheep, I think I have warmed up to Marsala. in fact, I have been trying to think of a background color that would compliment my tan displays–and Marsala could be the perfect solution.


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A Day At The Krohn Conservatory

Ken Swinson at the Applied Imagination train exhibit

The other day, I went to Cincinnati to see the holiday train display at the Krohn Conservatory. all the buildings are made from natural materials. they are clever beautifully crafted, and some of my friends make up the team that build it an ‘Applied Imagination’. it was wonderful!

photo of the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park, Cincinnati, Oh

if you want to learn more about ‘Applied Imagination’ their inspirational story, I highly recommend you watch ‘Tracks Of The Imagination”: the Emmy winning documentary by Frank Simkonis. it is available to watch online at:


cactus tree

while at the Conservatory, I did a few sketches in the desert/cactus display.

agave plants

I love the variety of shapes and colors of desert plants.

cactus sketch
I learned a lot while sketching the cactus.

cactus sketch

I learn a lot about a subject when I draw it because I concentrate and focus on the plant.

cactus sketch

Even if you aren’t an  artist, drawing could help them memorize the details of different plants.

cactus sketch

This was a fun winter activity, I’m looking forward to returning and doing more sketches soon. Let me know if this is something you are interested in. We can meet up and sketch together!

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new song-Every Day Gets Better

I am learning how to write music, and with it, a whole new way to express myself and share feelings of optimism. I have always loved music, but never thought I could make it myself. the older I get, I am learning that anything is possible, you just need to believe in yourself and do it. I have only been studying music for about 2 months, but I try to write 5 songs every week, and with each song, I get a little bit better. This song is very primitive (especially the singing), but I hope it comes across as a sincere work of art. the idea comes from my experience learning music, but I hope it inspires others to have a good day and try to develop their talents.

illustration for - Every Day Gets Better

I’m just learning, so any encouragement or constructive criticism is welcome.

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Creek In The Hills – Finished!

This project took 2 days. Yesterday, I sketched out the composition and modeled the shapes. today, I did the coloring and lighting, and am excited to share with you:
the finished piece-Creek In The Hills.

3d low poly render of house beside creek

I am relatively new to 3d modeling. I know it has been very important in modern visual arts for many years already, so I have decided to learn what I can and incorporate it in my work.

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Creek In the hills-part 1

I am trying to use my website as a way to keep me motivated every day in the studio. My goal is to create something to share every day, but some projects take longer than others, and I didn’t finish anything today, so I will show you what I have done so far with my latest piece.

I am still working in 3D with the program, Blender, and I wanted to create a scene more complicated than the ones I have made in the past. I used my ipad to make a sketch and use it as the blueprint for my 3D model

.ipad sketch for the 3D design

Working from the sketch, I created this model.

rendering of my landscape with Blender 3D

This has some lighting problems, but I am happy with the overall shape of things.

Check back with me tomorrow, it should be finished. I’m working on the color and lighting today

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The Meeting – Blender3D

3D render of a cow meeting a bird
In my free time, I continue to learn more about 3D modelling with the program, Blender. 3d is a challenging and fun way for me to think about my art, and I learn a lot with every project. I’m getting a little more confident about building complex shapes, but the better I get, the more I want to learn. Also, I have been surprised to learn how long it takes my computer to render the final artwork.

example of rendering time with blender

For example, this picture is less than half way finished rendering. It has taken over 30 minutes for the computer to make all the calculations about lights relationship to the shapes and colors. Until now, I thought my computer could handle just about anything.  My art is only one frame, and I can only imagine how many computers and time it must take to render a full-length HD movie.

If you are interested in 3D modelling, I am using a free, open-source program called, Blender. This program is one of the best examples of what is possible through open source software, you can download a copy for yourself and learn more at their website here:

Please leave your feedback and constructive criticism. I am in the baby stage of learning, so i appreciate any encouragement and help.


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Song For A New Year

For the last couple of months, I have been learning how to make music. I was suprised to discover that the creative process of writing music feels very similar to painting, or other kinds of visual art.  In my studies, it’s been fascinating to learn how sounds have different frequencies that travel in waves. I believe that color is similar…it’s a reflection of light that also travels in waves at particular frequencies, which makes me think it all come down to energy, and the act of making a painting or music is a way of creating some sort of beautiful energy?  No wonder the process makes me feel so good!

So here is a little song I wrote yesterday for New Year’s Day, it’s titled, “Song For A New Year”

I realize that this song has flaws, and there is a good chance that it is derivative of a song that already exists, but it’s been a fun to make, and I am learning a lot by making music.

If you are interested in my music, you might be interested to see my music video, “Teased By A Squirrel” by clicking the button below:

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A portrait by Robbie Mueller

Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to share a wonderful New Year gift that I just received from one of my favorite Kentucky folk artists, Robbie Mueller

Painting by Robbie Mueller- of Ken Swinson delivering art to the EAT gallery in Maysville KY

Click the painting to see a larger version.

I am used to making art, and it’s been a lot of fun being the subject for someone else’s artwork. I am on facebook, and for the last couple of years, I try to take a ‘selfie’ every day, and use it as my profile picture. It’s a fun exercise to try and express myself, and journal life events. I am friends with Robbie on facebook, and he likes to paint small townscapes. He thought my profile picture would make a painting. I agree! It has so many of my favorite things! I love Robbie’s work, bicycles, Maysville, and especially the EAT Gallery and Eleanor Miller (the awesome gallery manager also in the painting). I really love delivering artwork with a bicycle. I wish I could do that more often.

Thanks Robbie for such a wonderful gift!

Visit Robbie’s website at:

The next time you are in Maysville, visit the EAT gallery and see the artwork that I delivered in the painting: