Posted on Leave a comment

Plein air painting/meet up Ripley ohio

Greetings from the river village of Ripley, Ohio! There’s no rain, but today’s forecast is cloudy. Still lots of pretty scenes to choose from. Stay tuned!

I decided to paint some of the flowers in Roses memorial garden. Joined by Northern Ky and Ohio artists, Ivanka lempitskiy, Jackie Braden and Margie lakeberg
I really like the sign at the entrance to the garden. It got cropped from our group photo, but it really set the vibe for the day!
These flowers caught my eye…maybe they will be in today’s painting?
I also like the house with Pickett fence…
a rough sketch…still trying to decide: house, or nah?
The underpainting
laying down some colors…
my new painting buddy!!! Refuses to model unless I have tuna. I left my tuna at home–next time!
more color and details…
the finished painting!
a time lapse of the finished painting
Posted on Leave a comment

Plein air painting Augusta, ky 22 April 2021

Today I’m in Augusta, ky. A little river village very close to my heart. It’s been difficult picking a spot to paint, but I decided on this scene on 4th street.

I’m interested in the porch with rocking chair, flowering trees, hill in the distance while looking into the morning light.

There’s a lot here, and I’ll have to use my artist eye to edit the scene and put it all together into a painting. This will serve as a great example of how painting from life lets you do things a photo can’t

I have a rough rough sketch…this scene is going to be tricky, but I can do it!!! Let’s start painting!!!
I used a muddy mix of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and cadmium yellow to work out the composition and values. Now it’s time to start laying in the color. I’ll have to work fast, because as the sun rises, all the colors change.
I’ve laid some morning colors on the panel…time for details, and building up more colors
I got lost in painting, and forgot to give you all an update. Even with editing, there is so much in this scene…busy little 4th Street. Time to pull it all together and get some lunch!
This site was really close to my artist friends, Deb and Brad’s house. Lucky me, ran into them, and got to catch up, and got some tips on how to finish the painting.

It’s nice to see friends again…especially other artists. what a treat to get a nice photo of ME while at work on a painting?!!!!

photo by Brad Wooldridge
Here it is! Spring morning on 4th street – Augusta, KY
This was one of the trickiest paintings I have made. It was such a busy scene, and I had to make a lot of choices about what to keep and what to ignore. Unfortunately, the rocking chair on the porch (that initially made me want to paint this view) did not make it into the final scene.

Click above to see close up photo with more deatails- and more information about the painting!
Thanks for watching!

Posted on Leave a comment

Iris Plein Air Painting – 20 April 2021

you all will not believe what popped up in my garden today?!?! irises!!!! They are early for Northern Kentucky!They are in a funny spot, and it’s impossible to get a good photo with the distracting background. This session will be an example of how a painting filters and interprets a scene through the artist’s eye in a way the camera cannot.

after doing a little bit of pruning, and changing my perspective, i have a rough sketch (to work out my composition) now it’s time to paint!
I blocked out the basic shapes with a yellow ochre and burnt sienna…the warm yellows will make a nice contrast to the purple irises.
Color Time!!! Using my broadest brush (a #10 flat bristle) I laid out the basic shapes and colors…now time to push paint around until it looks right…
i Just cracked open one of my FAVORITE colors…a radiant turquoise…I’m trying to mix colors (not using ready mixed colors), but this one is so bright and saturated with color, right out of the tube. Warning: once i start painting with it, you’ll see this color in EVERYTHING i paint– until it gets out of hand and we have to have an intervention
I’m still using a pretty wide flat brush (#8 bristle). I had to step away because there is some BEAUTIFUL brushwork in the painting right now. I don’t want to lose it when i go down to the #4 flat and working on the details…I put the tube away, but might need a few more areas with radiant turquoise?
I’m so close to finished…just need to think about those last minute details.
Posted on Leave a comment

Overlook at devou park

I’m in the city today and thought I’d try to capture the view of the skyline from devou park.
I’m trying to squeeze a lot in here , but I think it is going to work. Here’s my sketch to work out the composition.
Some rough rough shapes worked out….now, time for the details
More details…time for color! I need to hurry, as the sun is rising and changing everything
Laying in the sky and river colors…trying to pay attention to the atmosphere
The light is so different from when I started this point, I’m ready to wrap it up and get those last minute details
I’m calling it finished!!!
Posted on Leave a comment

The log cabin print shop- Plein air painting 18 april 2021

I’m painting Plein air LIVE. Keep watching this post for updates as the work is in progress!

Today’s Plein air painting will b at the log cabin print shop. This location has a special meaning to me, because it is our community printmaking studio!
My sketch for the painting.
I’ve worked out the composition and values in an orange brown color.
Color time! I’m trying something different today…more toned down colors. Im a little freaked out at this point. I don’t mix colors this way, but will see what happens!
I’m unhappy with where this is going…going to wipe the panel and try something different.
A clean slate…let’s try again!

Posted on Leave a comment

Tulip Plein Air Painting – 10 April 2021

I’m going to try to paint these beautiful pink tulips that popped up in my yard.
I have toned the panel and worked out the composition with a muddy color
working out the values (dark and light) some more details
time to start adding color!!!
blocking in the color…need to add some details
almost finished!
Its been awhile! I forgot how much i LOVE painting directly from life–outside!

the original painting has sold, but you can order archival reproductions on cotton rag by clicking above.

thank you

Posted on Leave a comment

plein air crocus flowers – 3-9-21

kentucky artist ken swinson smiling by car trunk filled with art supplies
car loaded with art supplies…let’s go paint!
photo of purple and yellow crocus flowers
these crocus flowers are such a welcome burst of life and color after a long winter. I’m going to use them as a model for a painting!

sketch of crocus flowers
I used my sketchbook to work out the composition, now it’s time to setup and paint!
a blank plein air canvas in front of a bed of crocus flowers
I was not a good scout, and showed up unprepared. I forgot to pack my tripod mount, so my paint box will just rest on the floor. Good thing I picked a subject so low to the ground! Time to get to work!
plein air artist working in downtown maysville ky near the bridge over the ohio river
artist, Betsy Adams is here from Ripley, Ohio painting in pastel
concord ky artist, sue ellen gorman painting in downtown maysville
Concord, Kentucky artist, Sue Ellen Gorman joined us-painting in acrylics
plein air underpainting of spring crocus flowers
underpainting for the crocus flower painting
work in progress plein air oil painting by kentucky artist ken swinson
starting to add color to the painting!
plein air oil painting of purple crocus flowers by kentucky artist ken swinson
the finished painting! Spring Crocus flowers 8×10″ oil on hardboard – SOLD!
Posted on 4 Comments

Plein Air Painting – downtown Maysville, Kentucky 31 October 2020

An old warehouse in Maysville, Ky was recently demolished, giving us a new view of downtown.

plein air easel setup in front of panoramic view of downtown maysville kentucky

October 31st weather was sunny and cool, so I loaded my paints in my car, to try to capture the view. 

It is a big, wide view, and I wanted to capture it all!  I used 2 9×12 panels to create a diptych of the panoramic view. 

plein air underpainting by ken swinson of downtown maysville

The closer we get to the winter months, we don’t have nearly as much light in the sky, so I had to race against the setting sun to capture the view.  I am inspired by the impressionist tradition of painting directly from life, without the aid of photography.  It forces me to use loose brush strokes to capture the essence of the moment. 

kentucky artist, Ken swinson, plein air painting view of downtown maysville and the ohio river

Another one of my favorite things about working from life, is being outdoors, and a visible part of my community. It can get lonely when I spend a lot of time alone in my studio. My friend, the photographer, Lorraine Marcella stopped by to chat while I worked, and I had her take this snapshot with my camera to document the painting.

work in progress plein air painting by kentucky artist, ken swinson subject maysvile kentucky

This view is so new and interesting, I could paint at least 10 more paintings from this spot. Hopefully, they don’t start building soon.

The church steeple on the right was just a little too big, so when I got back to the studio, I fixed it!

Posted on Leave a comment

Plein Air Painting – Goldenrod and Ironweed

Going to try something different today…I’m WALKING to a location to paint. Since I’m carrying all the video and painting gear, it’s forced me to get down to basics. Will try to live stream, provided I didn’t forget my cellphone or brushes.

Going to try something different today…I’m WALKING to a location to paint. Since I’m carrying all the video and painting gear, it’s forced me to get down to basics. I really want to paint this goldenrod (kentucky’s state flower) and ironweed…but not sure how close I want to get to the ticks?!

the finished painting!