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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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New painting- Ohio River in orange

One of my biggest challenges as a creative person is focus. In a world filled with infinite wonders, I easliy get overwhelmed trying to explore every possibile direction i can go with my creativity. In some ways, my desire to learn and explore EVERYTHING has been a strength. I have developed a unique set of skills, which help me stand out as an artist. The downside is the choas that ‘chasing squirrels’ has caused in my creative, professional and personal life. It had gotten so bad at times in my life; I considered talking to a doctor about taking medicine to help me focus. I like to avoid medicine whenever possible, so many years ago, I bought this book with good intentions:

I finally got around to reading it, and one of its big ideas that I want to share with you all is this:

 Before starting another new project, ask yourself if there is an old project you can finish instead.

This idea was revolutionary for me, which leads me to my latest painting. Do you all remember WAY back in June: when I started painting the Cincinnati skyline from the Ohio River?

well, I FINALLY finished it, and the book was right. instead of feeling bad and ashamed because of so many incomplete projects, I feel a lot better having finished something…and I am thrilled with the new painting. 

This is the first time I have shown it, so if you are interested in adding it to your art collection: it is a 16×20″ oil on canvas. It’s for sale at the EAT Gallery in Maysville, KY., where you can see it in person.

You could also support my work by buying a print. They come indifferent sizes and, if you live in the USA, I will ship for free. Click the painting, or follow this link for more details:

I am trying to read a little bit more of my book every day. I’m also trying to apply the book’s ideas to my studio. lists, calenders, planning, etc. Hopefully, I’ll have lots of FINISHED projects to show off soon!

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iPhone Sketching-at the Rabbit Hash General Store – VIDEO


I stopped by the Rabbit Hash General store while the The Star Devils were singing behind the stove. I used the app, procreate pocket, to do some quick sketches on my iphone during the performance. If you like the music (of course you like the music) visit the Star Devil’s website at: http://www.stardevils.com/


if you like this video, you might like to visit and subscribe to my youTube channel by following this link:
https://www.youtube.com/user/kswinsn