Posted on Leave a comment

Plein Air Painting at the Stone House in May’s Lick, KY – 19 September 2020

The weather is cooling down, so I have the outdoor painting bug!

I decided to visit my friends, Mike Averdick and John Gerwe. Two friends that live nearby, who have been restoring an old stone house from the 1700’s.

Photo of historic stone house in May's Lick Kentucky from the late 1700s

Most of the trees still have their leaves, which makes it a little tricky to get certain views of architecture. Behind the house are some apple trees, and a clear view of the house, so I decided to paint there.

Here’s a 1 1/2 hour long LIVE video with a walk around the house, and the first hour of painting

Hey everybody! It's a beautiful day for plein air painting. I'm visiting my friends Mike Averdick and John Gerwe, in May's Lick, my, who have restored a beAutiful stone house from the 1700s. It's not the right light to paint the front of the house, but I'm going to paint the view from the back, and try to squeeze in the apple trees too!

Posted by Ken Tucky Swinson on Saturday, September 19, 2020
Artist painting the stone house in May's Lick Kentucky
here I am getting started on the underpainting
close up of artist painting stone house in May's Lick, Kentucky
a close up–working on the colors in the painting
plein air oil painting with stone house in the background
the painting…almost finished-with the stone house in the background
photo of the stone house in May's Lick, Kentucky oil paint
…just needs a few finishing touches!

Thanks Mike and John for the hospitality! I had a great time painting at the house! I want to come back later, when the leaves aren’t in front of the house 🙂

Posted on 5 Comments

Plein Air Wednesday – 16 September 2020 – Aberdeen, Ohio

The weather is finally cooling down. That means it’s time to get the paints out and do some plein air painting!

Some artist friends and I (8 of us) decided to meet at the river park in Aberdeen, Ohio, to paint from life. Since we’ve had a sudden drop in temperature, the cool air hitting the warm river water caused a lot of fog.

foggy river view of Maysville Kentucky from Aberdeen park in Ohio
photo of fog lifting–after an hour of painting!

I’m used to using the directional light from the sun to make colors and shapes look good in a painting. Fog diffuses all that light, and mutes the colors of the landscape…making painting from life a bigger challenge for me.

photo of artist painting landscape from the ohio river

Every now and then, I have been broadcasting LIVE videos on facebook, while i make art. With this scene being such a challenge, i thought i’d try to tackle it with an audience watching the struggle. If you are interested, you can see a replay of the video here:

Good morning! Plein air painting at the river today. Some friends who are beginning artists and have never painted plein air before are joining me today. I want this to be a safe space so they feel free to ask questions or make mistakes, so I'm not going to broadcast all the painting, but we can hang out while I setup, and Ill talk a little about plein air painting. I'll also share some process videos in instagram and Facebook stories. It's a pretty day to paint outdoors!!

Posted by Ken Tucky Swinson on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

During the live demo, I decided to challenge myself, and use a limited palette. A palette that does not include the color BLUE. My goal was to demonstrate that the color choices aren’t as important as values (dark and light). To my eye, a foggy morning scene has LOTS of blue in nature, so painting from life without using blue would be tricky…but if i am careful about my values, it should still look ‘right’

palette with titanium white, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, quinacridone magenta, quinacridone violet, viridian and grey
palette with titanium white, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, quinacridone magenta, quinacridone violet, viridian and grey – no blue

Another challenge of painting ‘plein air’ (from life) is that the sun moves, and the scene is always changing. Towards the end of the painting, all the beautiful fog has disappeared!

plein air painting of maysville kentucky by the ohio river from aberdeen park ohio

In addition to the challenges of the limited palette, fog, and a changing landscape; it was the first time I had ever seen many of my artist friends in person since the pandemic started in March…so there was some long overdue socializing as well.

plein air oil painting on canvas of maysville kentucky in the fog
Maysville, KY in fog – oil on canvas 8″x18″

In spite of all that, i’m happy with the finished painting. I learned a lot about fog and color theory…and captured a memory of a really fun day!

3 happy artists holding their paintings and waving

We had so much fun, we are going to try to meet (weather permitting) again in 2 weeks (september 30, 2020). If you live close to the Maysville area and want to join us, send me a message for more details.

Posted on Leave a comment

I have been painting – 24 July 2020

So far, this has been the summer of porcelain, but I am still making paintings.

I just finished this group of charming little 6″x4 1/2″ oil paintings (below) . My originals have been popular, but sometimes tricky for collectors to get…especially online. Since they are one-of-a-kind, i struggled to figure out how to display them on the website and keep everything up-to-date.

UPDATE: All paintings have been sold. Signed reproductions on watercolor paper are available for $20

The pandemic is forcing me to try new ways of doing things. I prefer to show originals in person, but I’m trying something different; my website’s gallery has a new “originals for sale” category. Click here to visit.

Hope you enjoy, and this holds you over until we get to see each other (and our art) in person again!

Posted on Leave a comment

Plein Air Painting – Ripley, Ohio 16 June 2020

It’s been awhile since I have been Plein air painting. All my recenty projects have been in the studio. When an artist friend invited me to meet up somewhere to paint outside, I said ‘sure! Where do you want to go? ‘ It didn’t matter to her, so I got to pick.

I picked the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio. It’s a historic site that was once the home of John Rankin, an abolitionist who helped many people escape slavery. Perched on a hill, overlooking the village and ohio river, the rankins were able to give signals from their home to Kentucky.

Not only is the rankin house an important part of the underground railroad, it offers artists a magnificant view!

I wasn’t fully prepared to capture the view. I *should* have brought a panoramic canvas to capture everything. To improvise, I used 2 8×10″ wood panels, and set them beside each other to make a dyptich.

plein air painting of the Rankin house in ripley ohio

I have been experimenting with live videos and I tried live streaming the entire painting. It put a little bit of pressure on me…having a live live audience brought out some of the best of my talent, and I am happy with the finished painting!

Ins addition to my ‘virtual’ audience online, some friends (1 a fellow artist) came up the hill to watch me work.

artist standing outside painting with friends at the John Rankin house in Ripley Ohio

Thanks again for a great day!

Here is the full length stream of the painting…originally live streamed on Facebook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The John P Parker House – Painting

Remember 2 weeks ago, when I made a block print of the John P. Parker house in Ripley, Ohio?

Well, i thought it was such a great scene (and important historic landmark) that I made an acrylic painting of the scene!

If you are a fan of John Parker (like me) you also might like this painting I made a few years ago

Posted on 1 Comment

Church Paintings Update 1-16-2020

Awhile ago I started 3 paintings. They were different interpretations of the same scene. Since then, I’ve made some progress

3 paintings in a row of the church in Vicco, Kentucky
work in progress

also, since then, I have been gifted with an old drafting/artist table. It belonged to one of my best friends, also an artist, Lucciano Moral. He was making room in his house, and thought I would like it. He was RIGHT!!! It’s perfect! Thank you!

desk covered with art supplies and paintings
can you even see the desk under all my art stuff??!!
Posted on Leave a comment

Painting studies of church at Vicco, KY

I want to start the year doing more painting.
Over the summer, while in Vicco, KY, I sketched a scene of a little church beside a creek. Using the original sketch as reference, i drew these three compositions, using a sharpie marker.

3 sketch studies of a church in vicco kentucky

I like all 3 for different reasons, so I’m going to make 3 different paintings

the first step in painting 3 churches in Vicco Kentucky
the 3 paintings — work in progress

the one on the left has it’s base colors…now time to color the other 2

3 paintings of church in vicco kentucky work in progress

UPDATE: 7pm a little more color, will do some more painting tomorrow

CLICK HERE FOR PAINTING UPDATES

Posted on Leave a comment

New paintings -indoor safari + geese

I’ve been back in the paint studio, and am super excited about my new acrylic paintings.

8×10” framed acrylic painting.

our little birdie is on a safari adventure inside the people house. Such interesting plants and wildlife!

And a portrait of the Canada geese, who winter here in Old Washington

Click either of the links for a better look, and information on how to support my work by buying a fine art reproduction.

Posted on Leave a comment

Checking in from us route 62 – Old Washington, KY to Niagara Falls, NY

Greetings from US Route 62! I’m trying to explore and get to know the entire highway. Yesterday, I was inspired to try to make it to the highways furthest east/north point: Niagara Falls.

I DID make it past Columbus (my previous furthest distance) and stopped at ye old mill in Utica, Ohio. It is the home of Velvet Ice Cream. Their headquarters is located in a historic old mill. I was tempted to make a painting, but wanted to cover more distance, so I settled on a few sketches

holding a sketch in front of ye olde mill in utica ohio
Ye Old Mill-Utica, Ohio

After driving through picture perfect Amish Country (I am going to stop on my way home) I arrived at lanterman’s mill in Youngstown, Ohio.

sketch held in front of lanternmans mill in youngstown ohio
lanterman’s mill in Youngstown ohio

Lanterman’s Mill is a beautifully restored mill, located by a waterfall in a beautiful gorge. (it’s gorgeous!)

I had a feeling my theme for the trip was going to be mills.

The next day, I arrived at Niagara Falls. I was prepared for a big and beautiful waterfall, but STILL was unprepared for the majesty of the falls…especially the iconic horseshoe falls.

I was too intimidated to try to capture the horseshoe falls. I don’t think a photo even get’s close to giving you an idea of what it is like.

photo of rainbow at niagara falls ny
horseshoe falls-niagara falls

It was also very busy, and i didn’t want to try to push through a crowd of people to try to setup my easel and paint.

Instead, I chose to paint the bridge between the USA and Canada. It is actually the very beginning of US 62, which I thought was appropriate. I also love the symbolism of bridges, because they bring people together!

plein air painting of the bridge and falls of the americas at niagara falls, new york
Falls of the Americas – Niagara Falls

The overlook where I stood has so much mist from the Niagara Falls, that the painting was covered with water from the falls. Good thing I was painting in oils!

Now that I have surveyed the entire East of Old Washington section of US Route 62, I am taking my time, stopping to study, or get to know places that got my interest on the way up. I won’t lie to you…it’s not always easy for me to travel. I’ve seen so much on this trip, i’m visually and creatively overwhelmed. I’m stopping to make sketches on my drive home, but I’m also feeling a little tired, and I miss my studio. I’d like to dive deeper and start some big studio paintings. Stay tuned, I’ll have more to share soon!