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off the grid in south central Wyoming

Good morning everyone! Greetings from off the grid, Wyoming! I love the way the sunrise gives shape to these buttes(?) Let’s paint it!
Here’s my sketch! Time to paint!
I got so excited about the sky, i forgot to take a photo of the underpainting…here’s the underpainting with some blue sky!
nice thing about being off the grid (no cell service) i can just tune everything out and paint. I REALLY enjoyed this one!
Hello! Wish you were here painting with me!
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Clear Creek Canyon – Golden, CO 3 June 2021

photo of Clear Creek Canyon in Golden Colorado
I’m at Clear Creek Canyon outside Golden, Colorado.
Going to start an oil painting!
sketch of clear creek canyon near golden colorado
got my sketch. now lets paint!
oil painting clear creek canyon golden colorado
Here is my underpainting — now it’s time for color!
i have some colors laid out. this is a tricky view, because i am looking into the sun and the canyon is backlit. makes it hard to see the painting in the photo too, but hope you get the idea
almost finished…this is a wild little painting of the wild west. because ive been looking into the sun all this time, i wont know what it really looks like until i bring the painting indoors
ok, its done!! im roasted…stick a fork in me and call me done too! on a good day i can get 2 paintings. today has been good. i am happy to be here! ill have to take another picture when its not in the shade…the colors are a lot of fun!
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i don’t know where i am…colorado somewhere near Denver

photo of peak to peak from bloomfield colorado
should i paint this view or nah?
sketch of mountains from bloomfield colorado
ive got my sketch! im in a fancy pantsy semi gated community, so i had better work fast before the hoa realizes im here and runs me off!
oil painting underpainting bloomfield colorado
hard to photo the background in my work in progress photos, im facing this way so the sun n isnt on my painting.
mountain view from overlook bloomfield colordado
first colors oil painting bloomfield colorado overlook
im not used to atmosphere like this….i am trying to copy what i see. i have the base colors down
oil painting work in progress bloomfield colorado overlook
im not used to atmosphere like this….i am trying to copy what i see. i have the base colors down
oil painting of bloomfield colorado overlook
ok, this one is a wrap! its special because its my first time painting the atmosphere of the western mountains. ive wanted to do this for a long time. im so happy to be here.

i joked earlier about the community running artists off. everyone has been extremely nice…but i still want to hurry to my car, hope i dont get towed! lol
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Stone City, Iowa 1 June 2021

photo of stone city iowa
Greetings from Stone City, Iowa.
Almost 100 years ago, Grant Wood made some famous paintings in this tiny town. It hasn’t changed much, I’m going to try and make a “soon to be famous” Ken Swinson painting of the same view. Stay tuned!
sketch of stone city iowa
Here is my sketch. I love the way the lines in the grass show off the contour of the land…and the road that goes up the hill. Lets start painting!
oil painting underpainting of stone city iowa
Here’s my underpainting! There’s a lot happening in this scene. Let’s hope I am able to hold it all together. Time for color!
oil painting first colors of stone city iowa
I have a little bit of color started. I hope you all like the color green, because this scene is 50 shades of GREEN!
oil painting of stone city iowa by ken swinson
was so into figuring the painting out, i didnt take any inbetween step photos. ill admit, it was a little bit intimidating to paint a view that was painted by a world famous artist. i know better than to compare my work to anyone else…im on my journey. here is the finished painting from that trip.
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grant wood studio, cedar rapids, iowa 1 june 2021

photo of grant wood's studio in cedar rapids iowa
greetings from cedar rapids iowa. im at the studio of one of my favorite artists, Grant Wood!! even though its a foggy morning, im going to try and pay tribute by painting the studio.
sketch of grant wood's studio in cedar rapids iowa
this is a tricky subject, so i did a few sketches. t think the vertical format will make the better painting…lets get setup!
oil painting underpainting of grant wood' studio in cedar rapids iowa
the underpainting. my first impression of cedar rapids…some of the friendly and nicest people i have ever met.
work in progress oil painting of grant woods studio in cedar rapids iowa
im at the stage of the painting where i add color,but theres a challenge, its a foggy overcast day (no sun) and the building is mostly grey and white. ive learned with plein air painting that i have to take whatever the day gives me. today its grey, lol
artist palette with different shades of grey
look at all the “colors” on my palette so far…i might have to title this painting, 50 shades of grey.
oil painting of grant woods studio in cedar rapids iowa
building up more and more “colors” and details…
oil painting of grant woods studio in Cedar Rapids Iowa
ok, im done painting, so now the sun can come out! hahahahahahaha!!!!!
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Lewis County Plein Air 30 May 2021

i needed a change of scenery, so i drove a few miles east to our neighbor, lewis county. this scene (especially the garden ready to be planted) would make a great plein air painting.
here is my sketch. lets start painting!
the underpainting took a little bit of squeezing to fit everything, but i think im ready for color!
i have some colors laid down,but there are some challenges. see the pretty blue peeking out at the top of the mountain? that wasn’t there when i started! lol. painting from life (no cameras) if nothing else, makes a painting dynamic
the light has changed again since taking this picture!!! its a wild day for painting!! would be so much easier to just work from a photo, but the painting is alive when i work like this. going to try and wrap it up in the next session. stay tuned!
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Poppies plein Air – 11 May 2021

hello everybody!
these poppies are popping in my yard. lets paint them!
here’s my sketch. today, im going to paint a big one (12×24”).
lets start painting!
here is the underpainting. i love this composition…now for the fun part…color!
oh, wow! these colors are wild!! its a mess right now, but i’ll keep building colors and details, hopefully settle on some kind of color harmony.
its starting to come together….some more details, and ill be finished!!
These poppies are finished!!! This color combination is NOT what I set out to do, but I love it, and how it highlights the poppies.

This original oil painting is AVAILABLE to purchase. Click below for a better look, and more information on how to order for your art collection.

Thanks for painting with me today!!

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Dottie’s Irises – Plein air 11 May 2021

My neighbor, Dottie, has the prettiest irises right now. I thought they would make a good model for today’s painting…
Here is the rough sketch… after making the sketch, i realized i was out of panels with that proportion. I’m going to paint it on an 8×10 instead…stay tuned!
i was getting so excited with the underpainting, i almost got started on the color, without sharing the step before that.
…ok, now it’s COLOR TIME!!!
I have the panel covered with color…now time to refine the colors, and develop the details
almost finished…just a few more details.
Dottie’s Irises
Oil on panel 8×10″

thank you Dottie, for letting my paint your pretty flowers…and supporting my work, by giving this painting a home!!!

Thanks all for painting with me today!
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Plein Air in Old Washington 8 May 2021

I’ve been trying to paint without sharing, so I can have a collection to show you all at once. But I can’t resist showing off, and it’s a rainy Mother’s day here in Kentucky, so I thought I’d share some good weather plein air sunshine with you!

I’m working on a series of iris paintings, and thought these pretty purple irises would make a good painting. Here’s my sketch…stay tuned to see how it works out!
Here’s the messy underpainting. I have the darks and lights worked out…and composition. Now time for the colors!!!
I’m not sure this one is going to work out…Everything has been in shadow, and these colors are a mess…thinking about calling it a loss, and wiping the board clean.
Never easy, but sometimes an artist has to ‘kill their darlings’ I went ahead and wiped all the paint from the board. I’m going to try to use the rest of the day to paint the church (in light) contrast with the flowers (in shadow)
ok, let’s try again…here’s my sketch, lets paint!
Here’s the second try underpainting for today’s painting.
I am already in LOVE with this painting. It has good light/dark contrast and should work! Can’t wait to start adding COLOR!!!
I have the base colors down. The sun hitting the church and green grass are so warm, I almost need sunglasses. Now it’s time to build up the details and colors…stay tuned!
I think i’m done!!! it’s funny how sometimes the best paintings come right after a failure. I’ve joked before how: yo have to push through the breakdown if you want to have the breakthrough!!! This was one of those days!!! I’m thrilled with it, AND this painting already has a home!! Thank you so much for experiencing this with me!
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Plein air old washinton- the barn on old main street 6 may 2021

The wildflowers in front of this barn would make an interesting painting.

Here’s my preliminary sketch…time to paint!!!
I think this wants to be horizontal instead of vertical.
The underpainting
Laying in some colors…I’m getting nervous because they are cutting grass all around the building. I don’t want to delay work, but hopefully they hold off until I paint the wildflowers
Im at the stage of painting where I am calling it a “hot mess”. The sun played some tricks on me(went behind clouds) , and i really don’t know where I’m going with it…I’ve learned to just push through…sometimes these messes transform into masterpieces. Other times they become lessons.
i was able to pull it all together…whew!!! The wildflowers were what attracted me to the scene, and they make the painting!
Thanks everyone for joining me on this afternoon of painting!