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Plein Air Painting in Maysville, KY 3 April 2019

I love plein air painting for a number of reasons: The fresh air, challenge of working from life, exploring the world around me… But my favorite part is that it takes art making process out into the public (vs toiling alone in my studio) i never know who i will run into… For example, Brenda R Williams, a longtime friend. We were neighbors back when i lived in minerva!!! So good to see her (and i learned a little more history about the church and school in minerva)

ken swinson painting with friend, brenda williams admiring the painting in maysville kentucky
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March 2019 sneak peek studio walkthrough

I’m embarrassed that this presentation falls short of my original idea, but I’m trying to accept the idea that sharing my work with you all is more important than getting crippled by perfectionism.

Even though i fell short of my goal (displaying all my paintings from Oaxaca together) I am proud of the 4 that ARE ready to show.

This video was made in a rush with my phone, and it has some problems… BuT i hope its good enough for those of you who cant make it to the pendleton art center tonight dont feel like you missed out.

Thanks everyone!

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MY DIY panel carrier

I have noticed similarities between kentucky and mexicos cultures. We both have a talent for using the materials available to create a solution for a problem. We call it appalachian engineering. They call it technologia mexicana.

I recently made this oil panel holder; using scrap wood from printmaking/woodcut projects, nails, glue, and of course, duct tape!!

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Plein Air Paintinting in Augusta, KY – March 2019

Augusta, KY will always have a special place in my heart. During my formative years as an artist (my 20s), I met many amazing people, who nurtured, encouraged and supported me…their friendship and kindness played a major role in the artist I have become. Looking back, it was a magic time and place for me.

Time has passed…and we have lost too many of those wonderful people. I haven’t been visiting Augusta like I should, and today, I decided to fix that. I paid a visit and set my paints up to make a little oil painting of the heart of Augusta — it’s library.

Afer painting the library, i also visited Augusta Ky’s namesake church “st. augustine” and painted it too…the sky was so blue today…almost surreal. I love how the white steeple contrasted with the blue sky.

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Barns, Bridges and buds

Im trying to paint outside more often. Its a great way to challenge myself and grow as an artist. I *almost* didnt paint today, because its a cloudy, grey day. Then i realized that grey is one of my favorite colors…it looks great with everything! Hope you are having a great, grey day!

sketch of suspension bridge in aberdeen ohio by artist ken swinson
sketch and view for today’s painting #2
plein air painting of suspension bridge across the ohio river by artist ken swinson
Bridge over the ohio 6″x4 1/2
plein air underpainting of yellow house in old washington kentucky by artist ken swinson
the buds on this tree are just about ready to POP!
plein air painting of a yellow house in old washington kentucky
Old Washington, KY

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Plein air painting in Aberdeen and Ripley, Ohio- March 18th

I have been struggling with some of my studio work, and these little pleinairexcursions have been a great exercise in capturing a moment, color, light…and knowing when to stop…plus an added bonus of fresh air, and making art in public.

sketch of st michaels church in ripley ohio
photo of artist ken swinson with friends ron and betsy in Ripley ohio

 i love visiting ripley. Such a friendly little river village. Ripley artists Betsy Adams and Ron Ralston stopped by to see what i was working on (st michaels church)
plein air painting of ripley ohio by artist ken swinson
The finished painting- St. Michaels Church-Ripley, Ohio
photo of artist ken swinson painting from the rankin house in ripley ohio
Painting at the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio
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Sketching With The Ipad – on Old US ROUTE 62 -Old Washington, KY

sketch of old washington, kentucky

Everyone has their own artmaking technique. Before I start a project, I draw with whatever tool I have available:

  • I like pencils and paper, for it’s tactile quality, the ablility to shade, and correct mistakes.
  • pens and markers for their lines, and no erasing keeps me from fiddling around
  • the ipad for the flexibility of digital…easy changes, video timelapse of workflow

One tool i try to avoid is the camera. Regardless of what I am using, I want to draw from life. Years ago, I read a study about using a camera to look at art which suggested that we don’t fully experience a moment when we photograph it.Regardless of what I am using, I want to draw from life whenever possible. Years ago, I read a study about using a camera to look at art which suggested that we don’t fully experience a moment when we photograph it. I read another study that found drawing something helps us remember.

For this drawing, I used an app, called procreate: THE best ipad app for drawing. It has a bonus feature of recording a step by step video…giving us a peek into my thought process while drawing.

The finished artwork is going to be a woodcut–for my series about US Route 62.

I love living in Old Washington. If I ever need inspiration, all I have to do is walk a few blocks from home. This row of buildings sit on the ORIGINAL US Route 62.

The finished artwork is going to be a woodcut–for my series about US Route 62.