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Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend Karine Swenson. I met Karine about 8 years ago when I lived in Salida, Colorado, and was fortunate to show my artwork in her gallery for several years before she closed up shop and moved to Joshua Tree, CA.

(All images are shown here with permission from Karine’s Blog.)

Karine is a wonderful painter and person, and she’s great at everything — figurative work, abstraction, animals…. Since moving to the desert, she has started a series of wild animals — and in particular, rabbits — that I just LOVE.

Regarding her animal work, she wrote recently:

Why are we so infatuated with animals? I suppose we see ourselves in them, in a way. We project onto them our own emotions. Sometimes, their struggles become our own. I often ask myself why I like painting animals so much. The answer is fleeting, at best. I know that I am much more interested in painting wild animals than I am in painting domestic animals or pets. I think it’s because our encounters with wild animals are so much more fleeting. I want to capture that moment and preserve it. Remember it. How special it seemed. As though, just for one moment, God was looking right at me and saying, “here is a gift.” Whatever it is that keeps me painting the creatures of the desert, I know I am not done yet.

And just look at these quick sketches she made recently with ink and a feather!

One of Karine’s jackrabbit paintings is featured in “Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals” (not one of the above, I want to preserve the surprise!), and I’m so glad she agreed to be in the book.

Book Giveaway!
Today Karine has a book to give away over at Karine’s blog, so head on over and leave a comment (at HER blog) for a chance to win! Update: Karine’s winner was Claudia K.


This post is part of a Two-Week Book Release Celebration for my new book, “Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim.” For the schedule, which includes book and art giveaways, contributing artists features, tutorials, and assignments, click here.