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Printmaking At The Log Cabin Print Shop 5-27-19

printmaker Arnold Pennington holding his portfolio
Arnold Pennington

Today at the print shop we had a surprise visit from, Hillsboro, Ohio printmaker, Arnold Pennington! We enjoyed looking through his portfolio, and showing him the studio. He’s busy without a lot of free time, but hopefully will be able to come back and print soon!

Today, we printed this linocut notecard of tomatoes in a mason jar

work in progress of a linocut depicting canned tomatoes

it was inspired by last week’s linocut: Yes We Can

Thanks everyone for coming to print and watch…See you next Saturday!

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Wallowing in mud

A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a book about transferring images into clay. As a printmaker, and ex potter, i was interested. Shortly after, they sent me ANOTHER book about printing on clay. Aat that point, i decided it was time to dust off my pottery equipment and make some things to try printing on.

clay studio with clay sculptures drying
The new mud room

I thought it would be fun to hand build some of the characters from my prints and paintings.

clay work in progress sculptures of a dove, lamb pig and chicken
Some of my clay critters

I have not thrown any pots, other than for the occasional empty bowls fundraiser, since 2007. And was curious if i remembered how to throw a pot on the wheel.

potters wheel with newly thrown pots around it
Future mugs

I did remember!!! Its like riding a bike!!!

freshly trimmed redware pots
Mugs with the bottoms up!
work in progress photo of redware mugs with handles
One thing leads to another…more pots!

Stay tuned! I hope to print and transfer some of my woodcuts onto these pots. Should be interesting!

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Checking in from us route 62 – Old Washington, KY to Niagara Falls, NY

Greetings from US Route 62! I’m trying to explore and get to know the entire highway. Yesterday, I was inspired to try to make it to the highways furthest east/north point: Niagara Falls.

I DID make it past Columbus (my previous furthest distance) and stopped at ye old mill in Utica, Ohio. It is the home of Velvet Ice Cream. Their headquarters is located in a historic old mill. I was tempted to make a painting, but wanted to cover more distance, so I settled on a few sketches

holding a sketch in front of ye olde mill in utica ohio
Ye Old Mill-Utica, Ohio

After driving through picture perfect Amish Country (I am going to stop on my way home) I arrived at lanterman’s mill in Youngstown, Ohio.

sketch held in front of lanternmans mill in youngstown ohio
lanterman’s mill in Youngstown ohio

Lanterman’s Mill is a beautifully restored mill, located by a waterfall in a beautiful gorge. (it’s gorgeous!)

I had a feeling my theme for the trip was going to be mills.

The next day, I arrived at Niagara Falls. I was prepared for a big and beautiful waterfall, but STILL was unprepared for the majesty of the falls…especially the iconic horseshoe falls.

I was too intimidated to try to capture the horseshoe falls. I don’t think a photo even get’s close to giving you an idea of what it is like.

photo of rainbow at niagara falls ny
horseshoe falls-niagara falls

It was also very busy, and i didn’t want to try to push through a crowd of people to try to setup my easel and paint.

Instead, I chose to paint the bridge between the USA and Canada. It is actually the very beginning of US 62, which I thought was appropriate. I also love the symbolism of bridges, because they bring people together!

plein air painting of the bridge and falls of the americas at niagara falls, new york
Falls of the Americas – Niagara Falls

The overlook where I stood has so much mist from the Niagara Falls, that the painting was covered with water from the falls. Good thing I was painting in oils!

Now that I have surveyed the entire East of Old Washington section of US Route 62, I am taking my time, stopping to study, or get to know places that got my interest on the way up. I won’t lie to you…it’s not always easy for me to travel. I’ve seen so much on this trip, i’m visually and creatively overwhelmed. I’m stopping to make sketches on my drive home, but I’m also feeling a little tired, and I miss my studio. I’d like to dive deeper and start some big studio paintings. Stay tuned, I’ll have more to share soon!

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Print day at the log cabin print shop 13 july 2019

Its saturday, which means, its print day at the log cabin print shop. The studio will be open to the public, with free tours and studio use from noon-5pm

linocut of pigs carved and ready to print
My goal is to print this linocut today: a family of pigs in mud. Because when im in the printshop, im as happy as a pig in mud (also about as messy too!) This print is bigger: 8×10″ .

I have 2 new linocuts to print, and 2 groups of artists are scheduled to print, so there will be lots of activity today!

linocut block with design with 2 rabbits and a carrot
4 1/2 x 6″ (notecard size) linocut of one of my favorite themes: sharing is caring.

12:10 Dustin Cecil just got back from a week long printmaking workshop at the John C. Campbell folk school.

artist dustin cecil showing prints in front of log cabin
Dustin showing new monotypes and drypoint etchings
gluing paper to clothespins
An experiment…gluing paper to our clothespin hangers
gluing paper to clothespin
This *should* keep us from denting our paper when hanging
linocut of two bunnies sharing a carrot inked and ready to print
The “sharing is caring” inked and ready to print
artist ken swinson printing with an old fashioned press
Ken using the little cast iron press
test proof of linocut of two bunnies with a carrot
Sharing is caring – bunnies 5×7″ notecard on acid free recycled card stock
artist dustin cecil printing with orange ink
Color 1 of Dustin’s reduction linocut
artist dustin cecil using the press at the log cabin print shop
Going through the press!
orange prints hanging in an improvised drying rack
The new hangers doing their thing!
hand inking a linocut print of pigs in mud
Inking the pig family blocks
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Playing in Clay

I like switching between different media from time to time. Each media has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the change in perspective keeps it interesting for me.

clay sculpture of a sheep
my first piece-a little sheep, of course!

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked in clay, so I thought I would try to create some painting/tile type characters in clay. My idea is to paint them once they are fired, so the finished piece will be a hybrid painting/sculpture.

greenware red clay bird and pig
followed by a bird and pig

One thing I love about clay is the textures…of my tools, my fingers, of the clay itself. It should be a really intersting surface to paint!

clay sculpture of a pig
another pig. i am working on a whole family!

It’s also fun to ‘build’ something, vs, draw/paint. I find myself using both hands when I work in clay.

clay sculpture of a chicken hen
chicken

If you are in a creative rut, maybe it’s time to try something different?!? Works for me every time!

clay sculpture of a sheep and dove
another sheep and bird. i’m starting a farm!

stay tuned for updates!

collection of clay animals pigs chicken birds sheep
2d/3d critters by Ken Swinson
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Guest artist at the Log Cabin Print Shop

I love it when new printmakers visit Old Washington and discover the Log Cabin Print Shop! Yesterday, Andrew Cohen (and family) came from Lexington, KY to print with us!

andrew cohen printmaking at the log cabin print shop

They came at a perfect time, because I was doing some repairs/maintenance on the press, and needed someone to test it out.

artist andrew cohen printing at the cabin
Testing the press – it worked!

After some adjustments, we got the press working, and printed an edition of Andrew’s linocut

artist holding linocut print
Success! Press is printing with no slipping!

Thanks again, Andrew, for printing at the Log Cabin Print Shop, and sharing your artwork! I hope you and your crew will be able to visit again soon.

linocut by andrew cohen
Linocut by Andrew Cohen 8″x15″

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A Special Delivery – M’s Canvashouse

My friend, Meredith owns a business in Lexington, KY, called M’s Canvashouse, which supplies hand painted canvas designs and anything else you could need for needlepoint.

She works with all kinds of artists; including Charlie Harper (one of my favorites!) and …..Ken Swinson!

in meredith willetts studio looking at new designs
M’s Canvashouse has a wonderful new space…a beautiful store and showroom (not pictured) and great workroom

She recently moved to a new building, and needed a painting for her new office! The walls in her office are pink. What better place for ” Here, Birdy birdy”!

I love it when I get to deliver a painting in person (especially big art). It’s very exciting to see my painting in it’s new home.

painting of cat hanging on office wall

Thank you Meredith, for supporting my art; bringing it into your home and workplace, collaborating with me, and inspiring me with the possibilities of builidng a successful creative business.

artists ken swinson and meredith willett
Ken and Meredith

Stitchers! if you haven’t already visited her new shop, pay her a visit the next time you are in Lexington.

m's canvas house storefront lexington ky
M’s Canvashouse new building!

Or visit online: www.mscanvashouse.com

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Reduction Printmaking With John Painter

My friend John came to visit. We are both artists, and spent most of the visit making prints. We made reduction linocuts: a technique where we use the same block for more than one color. We start with the lightest color, print it, then cut the block to design the second color. If all goes well, and we line the blocks correct, we have a beautiful 2 color design. These are particularly unique because; once we switch colors, it’s impossible to print that color’s design ever again. Limited edition!

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Upcoming printmaking exhibit at Appalshop

kentucky artists ken swinson and lacy hale at appalshop in whitesburg ky

Printmaker, painter and muralist, Lacy Hale invited me to ehibit some of my printmaking work and artZines at the Appalshop gallery in Whitesburg, KY. I have been a fan of her work ever since meeting her online. Not only is her art beautiful and magical, it also has social conscious, and is closely tied to her community. She recently finished a mural for the 2nd Mountain Mural fest in Harlan, KY.

still from lacy hale interview in corbin kentucky

She is interviewed as part of the news coverage of the event, and the story tells is a great example of why it’s so important to have art and artists in rural spaces. You can watch the MYMT segment here

Appalachian building with colorful mural
mural in Whitesburg, KY

As a rural artist, I’m interested in how we can help make a positive impact on our small towns. Whitesburg is an inspiring example of what is possible when creative people stay and make a positive change in their small towns.

panoramic photo of whitesburg kentucky
Whitesburg has a record store and multiple live music venues
photo of main street in whitesburg kentucky
busy downtown Whitesburg

For a small mountain town with only 2000 people, there’s a lot of creative type businesses, music venues, cafes and public art.

photo of public art on building beside creek in whitesburg kentucky
public art beside creek

Most of the main street buildings were occupied, and my first impression was that it has a good energy, and is the kind of place I would want to visit again.

appalshop in whitesburg kentucky

I had never visited Appalshop, but over my last 19 years as a Kentuckian, their documentaries have helped shape my understanding of our region.

antique video editing machine at appalshop
analog film editing machine at Appalshop

I consider Appalshop to be a national treasure. For 50 years, they have used the power of arts and culture to create meaningful social and economic change in our region. It was a thrill to see their studio and to meet some of the people who make it happen.

photo of appalshop building beside creek in whitesburg kentucky
Appalshop

Not only does Appalshop create documentaries — they also create filmmakers.

Across the street from their studio is another one of their programs: The Appalachian Media Institute (AMI).

exterior photo of the appalachian media institute in whitesburg kentucky
Appalachian Media Institute

AMI is a community-based arts and education center offering training and resources for young creatives and filmmakers.

the green room at the Appalachian media institute in whitesburg kentucky
One of AMI’s editing rooms

The program has been helping young artists and filmmakers for over 30 years. The current program coordinator, Willa Johnson is an alumni of the program.

portrait of wendell berry by misty skaggs
an artist/activist who i admire (Wendell Berry) painted by another artist/activist i admire (Misty Skaggs) hangs between 2 of AMI’s editing rooms

My printmaking exhibit will be at the Appalshop gallery from July 9 until August 22nd. I’m excited to announce that, at the closing of the exhibit (August 22), we are going to kick off our next artZine season by making one at AMI!

collaborative space for artists at the Appalachian Media Institute in whitesburg kentucky
A great space to work and collaborate at AMI

This will be an opportunity for YOU to visit Whitesburg, and get to know some of it’s people–while making art together!

Our theme for Summer’s ArtZine is:


Art Makes the World Better by…


so go ahead and start working on your entries! See you in Whitesburg!

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Goddard Bridge – Plein Air Painting

It’s a hot sunny day, but I still can’t help stopping at the picture perfect Goddard Covered bridge in Fleming County, Ky.

panoramic photo of the  historic goddard bridge in goddard kentucky

It’s been awhile since i’ve made a plein air painting. This is a perfect opportunity!

pen sketch of the historic goddard covered bridge in goddard kentucky
ive got my sktech done…let’s start painting!
plein air underpainting of the goddard bridge in goddard kentucky
underpanting…now time for color!
plein air oil painting of the goddard bridge with actual bridge in the background of the photo
Goddard Bridge – oil on panel
4 1/2″x6″