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The Age Of Asparagus Comes To An End

I am trying to eat locally grown food while it is in season.  It’s food at it’s best, and it supports our local farmers.

In my neck of the woods, May is the month of Asparagus!  I eat the stuff almost every day (often twice a day!)   Sadly, those days are coming to an end.  Farmers stop picking in June.  I want to eat the delicious green vegetable later in the year (and stay local), so I’ll pickle the asparagus.

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Local farmer, Jennifer Gleason stopped by to give me a crash course in pickling.

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Aren’t they beautiful?

If you need pickled asparagus, visit Jennifer’s farm, Sunflower Sundries, where she sells her incredible pickled asparagus.

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I joined artist, Betsy Adams for an afternoon of Asparagus painting.  We meet every first Wednesday of the month.  We are thinking of using a different local fruit/vegetable as the model each month.

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She worked in pastel.

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I worked in monotype. (sorry folks, this one instantly found a home)

If you are in the Northern Kentucky area, and need a piece for your collection, don’t forget…

Augusta’s Art In The Garden is this Saturday from 10-5pm.  I’ll have work on display at Riverside drive with some new, never before seen originals.

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New Gallery Feature

For the past few months, my website has undergone major changes.  This coincides with changes taking place in my studio and personal life.

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The new gallery features my latest work in monotype. 
Please visit by following this link:

http://www.kenswinson.com/gallery.html

Thank you for any feedback.

While speaking of monotypes…The monotype for the Museum Center’s auction went well.  You can read about it (and see the finished piece) on my blog by following this link:

http://www.kenswinson.com/wordpress/?p=1068

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Monotype for the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

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The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center has been a good supporter of the arts in our area, so I wanted to donate something really special for their annual fundraising auction.

I’m bringing my beloved press to the auction where I’ll print a monotype just seconds before it is auctioned…still wet. 

Today, I went downtown to sketch the museum and get an idea for the monotype. 

I spent the rest of the day working on the monotype.  It’s almost finished, and looks incredible!  It was a challenge working in ‘reverse’ on the plate, but I have a feeling the final piece is going to be amazing. 

028The monotype process is unique, because ink is REMOVED to create the image. (instead of added)  You can see a short movie example of how to create a monotype by clicking here.

I’m nervous, because I don’t like groups of people, and there is a possibility the monotype will not come out as expected. 

Please come to the auction tomorrow, March 5th, to see it created (and possibly win my latest/greatest work of art)…and most important, support the museum.  It’s a great cause.

Here’s the Museum Center’s website for more details:  www.kygmc.org

Update–

Auctioneer extraordinaire, Mike Thomas, did a great job of setting the stage to explain what was happening.  The print came out better than I expected.  See for yourself:

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I didn’t stay to watch the bidding on my print (it makes me uncomfortable) but it quickly went over $100 before the print even went through the press.  After breathing fresh air for a few minutes, I learned that the print sold for close to $500 to Claudia Moose. 

The print could not have a better home.  Claudia and her husband Jim have been great patrons of the arts and museum in Maysville…we are lucky to have them.

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Still Life Painting In Old Washington, KY

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A fun bunch of artists met in Old Washington for a day of still life painting.  The theme was musical instruments.  We had a banjo, mandolin and guitar as models.
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Betsy Adams working in pastel.


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Philip Saunders sketching with oil pastel.

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Mary-Louise Dean working in oil.
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Ruvonna Bevard painting in acrylic.

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I worked on a monotype of each instrument.  You can see a short video of the prints going through the press below:

if you don’t see the video above, follow this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbQVUSMFOwQ

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For All You Love Birds

Here’s my latest block print, “Loving”.

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These reduction woodcuts are a very special limited edition of 6.  The block is destroyed during the process, making it impossible to recreate the image.  The prints are designed to be the perfect Valentine’s Day card for  the one-of-a-kind sweetheart.  It folds to allow a personalized message, and includes a hand-made envelope for $60.

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Here is a short video of the final cutting and printing of the block.

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Monotype Madness!!!

I had a meet up with my friends to play with the press.  I only gave  4 days notice, and expected 5-6 people to show up.  We had a full house…i don’t know how many people came, but everyone had a lot of fun…especially me! 

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During the meet up, I got to put a few antique etchings through the press.  The ink is permanent.  These are my hands after much scrubbing with acetone and soap and water!  I am eager to try etching…it’s a beautiful process.

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These are my latest monotypes…loosely based on friends of mine.  I am interested in making pictures with people.  Instead of using models, I’m going to use my friends whenever I get a chance.

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I posted more photos of the monotype meet up on facebook.  You can see them by following this link:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=178673&id=678537291&l=c2d6e489ef

You don’t have to be on facebook to see the pictures, but if you are…add me as a friend (if you haven’t already!)

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Monotype Meet Up – Jan 13

I finally have my printing press up-and-running!  I am still learning how to use it, but would like to share the experience with my artist friends…so this Wednesday, (Jan 13) you are invited to join me for an afternoon of creating monotypes.  I’ll have everything you need to make a monotype, but you might want to bring your favorite brush and an idea or photo to work from…and don’t dress in your  Sunday best…it might be messy!Untitled-5

We’ll either meet at my downtown studio or the Art Guild’s Building  in Old Washington (depending on the number of participants) 

Let me know if you are interested so I can plan accordingly. 

I haven’t been able to hang out with my friends during the holidays, and this will be a fun way to catch up.  Untitled-1

Here’s a few pictures of my latest monotypes to give you an idea of the process.

Here’s a link to a great series of videos by the Smithsonian Institution demonstrating the process:

http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/monotypes/video.html

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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.

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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.

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The Smithsonian Institution offers a great series of videos about monotype you can watch at the link below:  http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/monotypes/video.html

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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