“Mental Meanderings” by Karine Swenson. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches.

Karine_PortraitOver the next few months I want to introduce you to our wonderful teaching artists in a bit more depth! And, since Karine Swenson is teaching the next class on finding your voice through the “Elements” of painting, I thought I’d begin with her today!

(Then when you receive instruction and feedback in a class, you can know who you are learning from! For details about Karine’s upcoming class, which begins May 12, click HERE!)

Karine lives in the desert of Joshua Tree, and the desert environment is a big influence on both her subjects and her appreciation for color.3022190_orig
“Sunlit Jack.” Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches.

Let’s hop right in!

6 Questions about Artistic Process

1. What was your first artistic medium? (As a child or an adult)
I think my first artistic medium was crayons, as a kid. But that was so long ago! Am I supposed to remember that? 😉 As an adult, my first medium was clay.

I really thought I was going to be a sculptor. . . I still might!

2. What are your favorite art tools/supplies?
My favorite tools are probably brushes. Maybe charcoal. Maybe pencil. Or ball point pen. I love pastel, too.

My favorite paint is oil. And watercolor, and gouache. I love whatever I have to work with. But not acrylic for some reason!

3. What is the greatest challenge of being an artist?
The greatest challenge of being an artist is balancing the business with the creative side; making sure that I devote enough time to art-making without letting the business lapse. I also find it important and not always easy to keep the business thoughts outside of the studio.

Never wonder, “Will this sell?” when making art.

4. What is your favorite color?
My favorite colors are probably purple and green. And orange. And red, yellow, cerulean, raw sienna and ultramarine. But all time favorites are purple and green. I like all colors.

“Little Elephant” Journal page

5. What is the title of your life in one sentence?
Oh that’s a tough one. It’s not over yet!

Maybe “Work in Progress”

“Nothing in Common.” Oil on Canvas, 16 x 20 inches.

6. How do you use your personal art journal?

Working in my journal has been really good for my art practice. It gives me a format for experimentation and play. Some of my journal pages led directly to a whole new series of paintings.

I can “say” things I wouldn’t say if I knew people were looking at it or reading it.

Since I actively show and sell my work, it’s good for me to have a private place to make art that’s just for me.

“Quail” Journal page.

And here is a short video interview with Karine!

Meet Artist Karine Swenson from Silly U on Vimeo.


Thanks, Karine!