My studio is in an interesting part of Cincinnati. It overlooks the business district and the historic neighborhood, Over-The-Rhine. If I ever need inspiration I just look out the window
There is so much in one view, i can’t fit it all into one sketch.
Here’s my sketch of downtown. I like the contrast between the old church in the foreground and the modern towers in the background.
Over-The-Rhine is unique because of the concentration of old buildings in an urban space. Recently, filmmakers have started coming to OTR to use as a set for New York City in the early 1900s.
The crown jewel of the neighborhood is the newly renovated, Music Hall: featured in the middle of this sketch.
I’ll probably use these sketches as a study for a woodcut(s). There is so much interesting geometry (and all the windows!!!) it would be awesome to print.
If you would like to visit my studio, it will be open to the public this Friday from 6-10pm. The 8 story warehouse is filled with over 200 art studios to explore. This opportunity only comes once a month. More info here: Pendleton Art Center-Cincinnati.
Organization is not easy for me. I’ll have a broad range of different thoughts at once. It can be a beautiful thing, but quickly tailspin into chaos and dysfunction. I don’t think this is a unique struggle. Since our adoption of so much technology into our daily lives, we have been immersed in an massive amount of information…Not to mention tech companies constantly competing for our attention. It’s becoming a norm for the people I meet to be overwhelmed, easily distracted and unorganized.
Two weeks ago, a friend gave me a quick glimpse at their Bullet Journal. It was filled with colorful drawings and doodles; enough to spark my interest and to want to learn more. You can do a quick web search to learn more about the Bullet Journal. I have been using one for the last two weeks, and here are some of my thoughts:
Paper Is A Refreshing Change
There have been studies that show a hand written note on paper is easier to remember than a note typed into a computer or cell phone.
Working in a paper notebook has less distractions. The apps on my phone have been designed to constantly try to get my attention. A notebook has no apps and getting away from the phone helps me to focus.
Its nice to be able to flip through my notebook. I’ll get a glimpse of an ongoing project, and it reminds me to think about it. Often, my digital notes disappear into a void; never to be seen again.
I Feel Like I Am Staying On Track
I keep my Bullet Journal open on my desk. The constant visual reminder helps me to stay focused on the day’s goals. Even when I don’t get something done, the unfinished goals follow me to the next day. Now that I have a place to store my random thoughts, I can see the different pieces come togething into something useful.
Less Frills == Better For Me
The colorful drawings and charts that are possible are what got me interested in Bullet Journaling. I have since learned that a minimal style notebook is a better fit for my personality (for now). I get to draw and use colors all day in my studio, I don’t need a journal for a creative outlet: I need to quickly store and retrieve information. The plain black pen works for me.
Two weeks might not be enough time to determine whether or not this will be a useful tool or not, but my first impressions are good. Certainly good enough to continue using this system. If you are looking for a system to keep yourself organized, you might consider the Bullet Journal.
*Fun Fact: I wrote this blog post on paper before typing it on the computer.
If you watch my newsletter, social media or website, you probably know that I have been working on a new series of woodcuts. I’m excited to announce that they are, now available in my website’s gallery!!!
Some are complex limited edition reduction prints (with 9-12 different colors).
Others: simple 2 block/2 color prints.
If you’d like me to send you one for your art collection, I’ll pay the shipping (as long as you live in the USA), just click any of the images for more details.
I make my frames from scratch, and it takes many days from start to finish. All the hard work is worth it, look how good my block prints look in my hand made frames. I’m so proud of them, I put. my signature on the frame.
I have been experimenting with a technique, where I paint watercolors over a linocut.
It’s a kind of hybrid work of art. It’s part an original painting, and part printmaking. After some research, i decided to limit the times I paint this particular print to 5. The ev after the number means the edition is variable. Even though the design comes from the same block, the colors are different each time.
If you’d like to see this in person, you can see me this Saturday at the Duveneck Art Show in Covington, KY. It’s in George Rogers Clark park (right across the river from downtown Cincinnati) from noon-5pm. hope to see you there!
save the date- May’s ArtZINE will be May31st in Mt. Sterling, Ky at the Montgomery County Public Library
The theme for May’s ArtZINE is: NEVER AGAIN
The idea for the ArtZine project is for artists (particularly those who live in small towns) to get to know each other by visiting each other’s communities, and making a self published magazine together. We are particularly excited to have the chance to visit Mt. Sterling, because it is a small town with an already thriving art and zine culture. The Gateway Regional Arts Center, located in Mt. Sterling, publishes the art/literary zine: uncommon Grackle.
To participate in ArtZINE, create your entry to the ‘zine before the meet up: Take a sheet of letter sized paper, and fold it in half. That is the size of our zine. You can put whatever you want inside. it can be a drawing, poem, short story, photograph, collage, crossword puzzle, anything– We’ll have computers and a scanner available to put it in the layout.
You can look at the artZINE’s photo albums to see examples of previous entries.
On the day of the event, we will meet each other in person at the library, and work together to create the ‘zine covers, print and assemble the ‘zine.
The activity is free and open to the public, all skill levels and types of art are welcome to join us. all participants get their own copy. Bring a lunch
If you are on facebook, you can follow this link for more information, and to RSVP:
Yesterday was Print Day In May. To celebrate, I invited friends to my home/studio for an afternoon of printmaking.
I made this woodcut of a sheep in the stars
It’s 4 1/2″x6″, printed on an 8×10″ paper-signed by Ken Swinson
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, and pottery. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
You can visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. He can also be found picnicking near his home in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.