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Hi everybody! It’s been awhile since I’ve.made a live video, so I thought I’d dust my oil pastels off, and see what I can make with them. This process can go quick, especially when I work small, so maybe you’ll get to see the whole process from start to finish. I don’t know what will happen…especially with art! My energy is usually spent by the end of the day, but The a live audience adds a little pressure, so maybe ill make something amazing. Lets see!?

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Block printed goodies from my sewing friends!

Remember a few weeks ago, when I started printing on fabric?

photo of kentucky artist ken swinson, wearing a block printed mask with a bear holding a heart.

how awesome is this?!?! a mask with my Woodcut on the fabric?!?! thank you Polly and Toni! I love it!!! it’s really comfortable too!

beautiful blue pillow featuring block print on fabric by kentucky artist ken swinson

One of my favorite things about printmaking on fabric, is getting to see my friends use my designs to make something new and unique. It’s even more exciting when these handmade masterpieces arrive in my mailbox as a gift!!! Thank you so much Beth Akins!!!!! I love it!!!!!

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I’m trying a few new things

I’m trying to find the perfect social media/life balance. For the month of September, I’m trying something new- I’m limiting my social media: only posting on facebook on Mondays, Instagram on Wednesdays and twitter on Fridays. My goal is to stop spending too much time on social media, while continuing to share and stay in touch on a regular basis.

So far, the experience has been good. I’ve been a lot more productive. For Monday’s facebook post, I made a LIVE video, where I showed off a series of new linocuts.

You can watch a replay of the video here:

I also talk about the changes I have been making to my website. I’m making some big drastic changes that will make the site more up to date with modern technology. It’s going to take awhile, so please be patient while working on it.

If you are interested in supporting my work, and adding some of the linocut cards to you collection, below are some links to help you do it. Thanks again for your support and patience during this move.

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HANDPRINTEd NOTECARD UPDATE:

linocut notecard depicting bird carrying mail with message that says 'you've got mail' on traditional printmaking press

I’m not very smart. I shared my last post with only 10 notecards in my “inventory” . Your response has been overwhelming! I’m thrilled that so many of you love our USPS and want to send hand printed cards to your friends and family! I have heard that buying stamps is one of the best ways we can support the USPS (and your local artist!) I am in the cabin making cards right now. They will take a few days to cure, but I will ship them “hot off the press” by the end of this week. Thanks again everyone! You truly keep me going and give me purpose.

linocut block print on fabric depicting a bird carrying a letter with the words: you've got mail

Houston, we have a problem. I discovered a box full of fabric scraps, and got distracted printing on fabric. Any sewers/quilters with ideas of what I can do with these?!? This ink is machine washable!

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Thank You USPS

greeting card in mailbox

I’m an artist in a rural town. Even though my town is very supportive of the arts, there just aren’t enough people in the region to support a full time artist. A majority of my sales are through my website, and shipped from my local post office. During the pandemic, when all my in-person sales opportunities vanished overnight, my online sales and USPS have been my saving grace. I’ve been able to work from home and keep my head above water during this difficult time. Thanks to my wonderful patrons and the US Postal Service

While spending time in Mexico, i fell in love with the land, people and culture. I seriously considered moving there. The big reason I decided not to was; they did not have a postal infrastructure anything like ours in the United States. My business would not have the access to the rest of the world it does right now with the USPS.

Now that things are being slowed down, and the service is being scaled back to save money (or whatever), i’m starting to look at private delivery services. Since this is a small town, they don’t have an incentive to serve this community. The UPS store is open only 5 days a week; from 11-2pm — that is only a 3 hour window of time. There is always a wait, and the price is about twice as much as the USPS.

The disruption in postal service is adding stress to an already difficult time for my business. I know I’m not alone. I don’t like getting on a soapbox on this website, i’m not trying to make some politicial statement, or start any arguements (thats not why I’m here—i’m not in a political party—don’t want to be in one–please don’t go waving your policital party flag in my comments… i will delete them. I just want to share my support and appreciation for a non-political service of the US Government. Thank you postal workers for everything you do!

if you like this notecard, and want to support your favorite artist AND the USPS, by having it shipped…and again by mailing it to a friend(win-win-win), you can order it from the Printmaking section of my gallery, there is a selection of notecards, order some hand printed woodcut and linocut cards, then go to the USPS and get some stamps!
thank you for coming to my TED talk

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kiln opening – 7/28/2020

I recently had a kiln opening, with new porcelain! you can see a photo gallery with all of them by clicking the link here: http://www.kenswinson.com/art/index.php?/category/22 or click the photo below

photos of porcelain sgraffito pottery

I believe that pots need to be seen in person, so I don’t sell them online. They are on my front porch, if you live nearby, or want to take a scenic drive in the country, come visit my house in historic Old Washington, where you can pick them up and hold them.

Here’s another idea, maybe it’s too crazy, or too much work, but i’ll just put it out there:

I’m serious about the safety of myself, my community, and my friends and neighbors during the pandemic. I have not been showing in big groups or indoors. I AM comfortable with showing artwork outside (like on my front porch), to small groups, on a porch, driveway, park or garden, with a mask, hand sanitizer, etc. I am thinking about taking my pots on the road. if there is enough interest, you live relatively closeby, and can commit to buying a few pots, I will come to you (kind of like the old fashioned door to door salesmen).

What do you think? Is that crazy? maybe it’s easier to just visit old washington and come to my front porch? Anyway, hope you like the new pots! I

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Squirrel Butter dish – 26 July 2020

I don’t always show work in progress, because I don’t want to get people excited, only to be disappointed if it doesn’t make it through the kiln firing.

porcelain butter dish with squirrel oak leaf and acorn design

But this squirrel themed butter dish is too stinking cute to keep to myself!

Keep your fingers crossed that this makes it through the firing. I’m excited about it because i don’t do a lot of handbuilding. Most of my functional pots are thrown on a wheel. This dish was made by a different technique. More like sculpting than throwing. Stay tuned to see how it comes out!

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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!