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SOS HUMAN RIGHTS-Cincinnati/Oaxaca woodcut

Earlier this year, i was invited to participate in a printmaking/cultural exchange by SOS ART that asked artists from Cincinnati and Oaxaca, Mexico to create a woodcuts addressing 12 different human rights. I was honored to have been asked to carve the cover page.This project was important to me, not only because I believe in human rights, but Cincinnati and Oaxaca are both special places that have become part of my identity as an artist. There are differences between the people of the USA and Mexico (like the language difference) that make it hard to realize our shared humanity. One of the magical things about the arts is they transcend spoken language and give us an opportunity to better know one another.Being part of this project was a wonderful experience, I hope you will look at the whole collection, and support SOS ART if you are able. Follow this link to see the whole collection:

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Plein Air At the Baker Hunt Art and Culture Center – 15 june 2021

photo of the baker hunt art and culture center in covington kentucky
todays painting is at the Baker Hunt Art And Culture center in covington.
sketch of baker hunt art and culture center in covington ky
Here is my sketch…let’s start painting!!!
plein air underpainting of te baker hunt art and culture center in Covington ky
heres my underpainting…time for color. this scene is backlit (the sun is behind the subject) so ill have to think about how i want to tackle all these shadows
i have a strategy for my colors…..lots of cools, because everything is in shadow. it feels a little bonkers at this stage, but im going to try and pull it all together into a beautiful impressionist painting…stay tuned!
first colors of plein air oil painting of the baker hurt art and culture center in covington kentucky
getting closer…going to catch those last details, then call it a wrap!
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Devil’s Tower, WY plein air 9 June 2021

In this short time, I have fallen in LOVE with Wyoming…my new favorite state (after Kentucky, of course). It’s time for me to head back home, but not before I visit and make a painting of the iconic, Devil’s Tower. The temperature today is in the high 90’s…probably comfortable weather for the devil…but hotter than I am used to.
Here’s my sketch…let’s start painting!
my underpainting…next let’s add color!
The stone formation is an interesting color…i interpreted it as a purple and yellow orange.
The finished painting!!!!! I’m sad to leave Wyoming today, but happy to have this painting experience to have forever….And I will be back soon! Thanks everyone for cheering me on during my paint trip out west!
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Kepler Cascades – Yellowstone National Park 7 June 2021

I’m back in Kentucky after a wonderful and inspiring painting trip out west! Internet was hit or miss, so I didn’t get to share everything as it happened. Here’s the view of Kepler Cascades in Yellowstone National park–Let’s make an oil painting to capture the beauty…
…my sketch of the falls…time for color
i’m working out the colors of the painting…it’s not visible from my photos, but this is an EXTREMELY busy spot, there is a constant flow of people asking me what I’m doing–and giving compliments/encouragement. Most of my trip has been in wilderness–being around people again takes some getting used to.
The finished painting!!! I hope to show this (and the other paintings from my trip) this fall at the re opening of my studio at the pendleton art center. stay tuned for more details!
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Painting the Flaming Gorge canyon – Wyoming 5 june 2021

this is the east view of the flaming gorge canyon in South West Wyoming…it’s hard to photograph this incredible and wide view. thank goodness i’m a painter, and can squeeze it all into one scene.

here is my sketch.
my underpainting…really tricky to squeeze it all into one view.
starting to lay in colors…i’m still getting used to the atmosphere and colors of the west. This canyon is green on the left, then red and white rocks on the right.
almost done…just needs a few more details
here it is! The Flaming Gorge view from the east. Oil on hardboard 12″ x 24″
forgot to include my photo of the artist at work…so you have proof it was really me out there 🙂
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East of Eden, Wyoming wilderness near the continental divide

I’m in the high desert of Wyoming, painting the snow peaked mountains of the Continental Divide.
A challenge I have with plein air painting is to work FAST and capture the light (which is ever changing) I wanted to try something I have always been intimidated to do…paint during a sunset. The colors of a landscape are most brilliant during a sunset, BUT everything changes REALLY fast. Within 5 minutes, the scene can be completely different….ok, lets do it!!!
here is my sketch. I am interested in the mountains in the distance, contrasting with the desert landscape in the foreground
I have to work fast, this underpainting leaves a lot to be desired. When painting during a sunset, I can’t spend much time in details…i just mix and throw paint around, trying to capture the essence of the moment.
My first layers of color are down on the panel…I have never painted this fast before…I’m trying to capture the rapidly changing light of sunset
Here is the finished painting!!! I’m proud of myself. Sunset has always been intimidating because the light changes so fast. I want to work from life – and not use cameras…it IS possible!!!
If you think the mountains turning blue during the sunset was pretty, look at what was happening behind me while painting!!!
I forgot to mention, this location is the first place where I saw wild antelope. The first one i saw, i thought to myself, “well, that’s a funny looking deer!”
I forgot to mention, this location is the first place where I saw wild antelope. The first one i saw, i thought to myself, “well, that’s a funny looking deer!”
I forgot to mention, this location is the first place where I saw wild antelope. The first one i saw, i thought to myself, “well, that’s a funny looking deer!”
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off the grid in south central Wyoming

Good morning everyone! Greetings from off the grid, Wyoming! I love the way the sunrise gives shape to these buttes(?) Let’s paint it!
Here’s my sketch! Time to paint!
I got so excited about the sky, i forgot to take a photo of the underpainting…here’s the underpainting with some blue sky!
nice thing about being off the grid (no cell service) i can just tune everything out and paint. I REALLY enjoyed this one!
Hello! Wish you were here painting with me!
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Clear Creek Canyon – Golden, CO 3 June 2021

photo of Clear Creek Canyon in Golden Colorado
I’m at Clear Creek Canyon outside Golden, Colorado.
Going to start an oil painting!
sketch of clear creek canyon near golden colorado
got my sketch. now lets paint!
oil painting clear creek canyon golden colorado
Here is my underpainting — now it’s time for color!
i have some colors laid out. this is a tricky view, because i am looking into the sun and the canyon is backlit. makes it hard to see the painting in the photo too, but hope you get the idea
almost finished…this is a wild little painting of the wild west. because ive been looking into the sun all this time, i wont know what it really looks like until i bring the painting indoors
ok, its done!! im roasted…stick a fork in me and call me done too! on a good day i can get 2 paintings. today has been good. i am happy to be here! ill have to take another picture when its not in the shade…the colors are a lot of fun!
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i don’t know where i am…colorado somewhere near Denver

photo of peak to peak from bloomfield colorado
should i paint this view or nah?
sketch of mountains from bloomfield colorado
ive got my sketch! im in a fancy pantsy semi gated community, so i had better work fast before the hoa realizes im here and runs me off!
oil painting underpainting bloomfield colorado
hard to photo the background in my work in progress photos, im facing this way so the sun n isnt on my painting.
mountain view from overlook bloomfield colordado
first colors oil painting bloomfield colorado overlook
im not used to atmosphere like this….i am trying to copy what i see. i have the base colors down
oil painting work in progress bloomfield colorado overlook
im not used to atmosphere like this….i am trying to copy what i see. i have the base colors down
oil painting of bloomfield colorado overlook
ok, this one is a wrap! its special because its my first time painting the atmosphere of the western mountains. ive wanted to do this for a long time. im so happy to be here.

i joked earlier about the community running artists off. everyone has been extremely nice…but i still want to hurry to my car, hope i dont get towed! lol
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Stone City, Iowa 1 June 2021

photo of stone city iowa
Greetings from Stone City, Iowa.
Almost 100 years ago, Grant Wood made some famous paintings in this tiny town. It hasn’t changed much, I’m going to try and make a “soon to be famous” Ken Swinson painting of the same view. Stay tuned!
sketch of stone city iowa
Here is my sketch. I love the way the lines in the grass show off the contour of the land…and the road that goes up the hill. Lets start painting!
oil painting underpainting of stone city iowa
Here’s my underpainting! There’s a lot happening in this scene. Let’s hope I am able to hold it all together. Time for color!
oil painting first colors of stone city iowa
I have a little bit of color started. I hope you all like the color green, because this scene is 50 shades of GREEN!
oil painting of stone city iowa by ken swinson
was so into figuring the painting out, i didnt take any inbetween step photos. ill admit, it was a little bit intimidating to paint a view that was painted by a world famous artist. i know better than to compare my work to anyone else…im on my journey. here is the finished painting from that trip.