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New Paintings-Children’s Theater Of Cincinnati

Earlier this year, I was invited to exhibit some of my work at the Children’s Theater Of Cincinnati. Most of my experience with theater has been from the audience. While visiting their facility, I discovered just how many different creative disciplines work as a team to make the theater happen. Rather than just exhibit work that I have already created, I was inspired to start a new series of oil paintings which celebrate the different people ‘behind the scenes’ in theater.  This weekend, they unveiled the first two paintings of the project during their spring fundraising gala.  These depict the cosutme designers and the set designers.  

Ken Swinson pictured with Kim Deaton and Roderick Justice of The Children’s Theater Of Cincinnati.

I’m interested in celebrating all forms of creative expression, and theater is unique because it combines so many into one work. I’m grateful to the Children’s Theater Of Cincinnati for the opportunity, and also the Maysville Players – Mike Thomas and Mark Funk, in particular…who are an encyclopedia of knowledge about theater, and have been a great resource for my research. They manage Maysville’s Theater -an AMAZING program, especially considering the size of our rural community.

I’m thrilled with how the series of paintings are developing – (choreography, music and makeup are next), but I’m even more excited how the project gave me a chance to learn about the local theater in my community. I love what they are doing, and want to encourage you all to support your local theater the next time they have a performance…not only is it entertaining, but it’s supporting a wide range of arts.

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learning is a long road, whether looking forward or back

I have been learning 3D modelling for a few years now, and the more I learn, the less I realize I know. Recently, I was frustrated because I was having a hard time understanding some new concepts in the program, Blender 3D.

He ido aprendido como hacer arte durante unos años , y el mas aprendo, di cuenta que supe muy poco. Recientamente, estuve frustrado porque tuve un reto comprendido algo conceptos nuevos de 3D

I was looking through some of my old work, comparing old models to newer, and it reminded me that (even though I don’t realize it) I am making progress.
For example. Here is a paddle boat that I made a year ago:

Estuve mirando entre algo de mis obras viejas, comparando viejas a nuevas, recuerde que (aunque no di cuenta) estoy hecho progreso.

I remember that this boat took a long time to model, and in spite of it’s many flaws, I was happy with the end results.

Recuerdo que este barco me tomo mucho tiempo para construir, no obstante, con sus mucho errores, estuve feliz con los resultos ultimos.

Now look at this model I made today:
Ya mires a este obro he hecho hoy:

Even though it feels like I’m not making any progress, and it feels like an impossible thing to learn. I can look back, and remind myself that I am getting better…and if I continue to practice, I will keep improving.

Aunque lo parece que no estoy hecho progresso, y lo siente como un cosa imposible para aprender: puedo mirar atras y recuerdo que estoy mejarando…y si continuo practicar, voy a mejorar

Here is another example of an animation project. 3 years ago:
Aqui, hay otro ejemplo de animacion. hace 3 años:

and more recently:
y mas recien:

I recently (3 years ago) started learning Spanish, and it could be one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do…it is constantly frustrating, and I wonder if I am wasting my time. I continue with with the hope, that, like my 3D modelling, I am getting better, even though I don’t realize it.
Recientamente, comenze aprender español, es posible unos de mis retos mas dificil…constantamente dificil, y me pregunto si es un gasto de mi tiempo. Continuo con esperanza que (como mis proyectos de 3D) estoy mejorando, aunque no lo doy cuenta.

I know these models still have a lot of flaws, and I have a long way to go, but hopefully these examples give you all some inspiration, if you are struggling to learn something new.

Yo se que estes modelos todavia tienen muchos errores y necesito mejorar mucho, pero espero que estes ejemplos te dan algo inspiracion, si estas luchando aprender algo nuevo.

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Papermaking at Margaret Rhein’s Terrapin Paper Mill

I have a growing interest in handmade paper. I have always loved the quality of Twinrocker paper (hand made in Indiana).

During my artist residency in Oaxaca, Mexico, I was introduced to a community of papermakers, and I used their paper for my artwork. Recently, a friend introduced me to Dard Hunter III, who lives nearby in Chillocothe, OH. His grandfather is considered one of the world’s authorities on the art of making paper…he LITERALLY wrote the book about papermaking (thanks again, Linda, for the introduction!)

In my studio, I use 100% cotton rag to frame my artwork, and I throw a lot of it away as part of the process. I thought it would be great to recycle the cotton into paper. I shared this idea with my friend, Margaret Rhein, at the Tiger Lily Press’ recent print sale. I was excited when she invited me to visit her studio to see some of her process.

Born In The USA by Margaret Rhein

Margaret Rhein is is an encyclopedia of papermaking knowledge. She has studied and made handmade paper at Cincinnati’s Terrapin Paper Mill for 40 years. I’m drawn to her work for the way she combines art and craft to make expressive images using paper.

Visit her website for more examples of her work, and resume of accomplishments.
Most of my attention was spent trying to soak up all the information she was sharing with me, but I did get a chance to take a few photos.
She taught me a technique for preparing pulp using inexpensive tools (like a household blender),

blending paper into pulp

…and then how to make sheets of paper from the pulp.

And also how to include objects into the paper for texture and decoration.

Thanks again, Margaret for giving me the peek into your studio, and getting me started with papermaking. With your help, I’ll have some new handmade paper to show off soon.