Karine Swenson, written by Bonnie Kopp
|Karine with Pono and Brody|
|Swenson. Balancing Act. Oil on Canvas, 24 x 18 inches.|
After her marriage to a commercial pilot, Karine found herself moving around the country, from Evergreen, Colorado to Maui, Hawaii and then to Salida, Colorado where she owned a successful art gallery called Cool Mountain Art. They loved Salida, a small town full of artists and surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks. But when her husband took a job with Cathay Pacific which flies out of Los Angeles, they made the move to California. Originally they had hoped to buy and restore a Palm Springs mid-century home, but they were house-hunting at the top of the market and asked their realtor to show them something more affordable. He took them to the high desert, and after her first glimpse of Joshua trees, Karine was hooked.
For this year’s Art Tours, Karine was determined not to put restraints on her creativity, so the resulting body of work on view is incredibly diverse. There are figurative desert paintings in all media, including some exquisite pastels. She has also continued her exploration of abstraction by painting to music and attempting to portray what a painting would look like if it was a song. The result is both dynamic and calligraphic. Her more familiar abstracts focus on the relationship between shapes.
|Swenson. Cleopatra's Realm, Oil on Canvas. 40 x 30 inches.|
Karine’s work is currently on display at JTAG, the cooperative gallery in Joshua Tree. She also exhibited at the True World Gallery in 2008. She has exhibited her work in galleries in Colorado and Hawaii before moving to California, and has had her work collected by people all over the United States, Canada and Europe.
|A View of Swenson's studio in its natural state of controlled chaos.|
Visitors to Karine’s studio will have their pick of watercolors, pastels, oils, drawings, monotypes and other prints, T-shirts and hand sewn journals featuring her artwork.
Marjorie Franklin written by Karine Swenson
|Marjorie Franklin with a studio assistant.|
One of the first things Marjorie said to me was that she has lived a peripatetic life. Her wandering ways are exhibited not only in the fascinating life she has led, but also in her art. She is one of those artists who has not forced her creativity into one corner, but allowed it the same wandering freedom she herself has enjoyed. She worked for many years as a computer programmer. Her love of math and music was transferred to art in a gradual way. When her son was born, she loved the way he looked, and drew a picture of him. That was her first drawing. At the time, she was a computer programmer for UCLA. She bought a camera when she met her husband Alex, which was another significant moment in her life as an artist. She developed an interest in making independent films, and created films on the side, while continuing to work as a computer programmer. One film she made was accepted into "Movies 'round Midnight" and was shown all over the country.
|Works in progress in Franklin's studio.|
|Franklin. The Fall, acrylic on watercolor paper.|
|Franklin, Untitled. Acrylic on Watercolor paper.|
John Lauretig written by Karine Swenson
|John Lauretig, modelling one of his HaMBAM crochet hats.|
|Karine, in one of John's hats.|
While living on Maui, John worked in ceramics. It was there, at the Hui no'eau, a center for visual arts located on Maui, that John had his first adventure throwing ceramic pots on a wheel. Lauretig had work in several juried shows on Maui. One ceramic bowl, an "offering" bowl, had his hand prints in glaze was especially memorable. It was also while living on Maui that John and Nora met and were married. As gifts for the wedding guests, John gave ceramic bowls that he had made. Lauretig also explored sculpture on Maui. He created a found object sculpture called "Under Siege" about Man's destruction of Nature.
|John in another crochet creation.|
Life pulled John away from art after they moved to the desert. It was his wife Nora who re-centered him by introducing him to crochet on a trip to Florida last year. He has been crocheting ever since. Lauretig has crocheted over 100 hats, mostly in wool. Many of John's wool hats are felted, which is a process where the wool hat is washed in hot water to shrink the wool fiber and make it more dense. You will also see hats in acrylic, nylon and even ribbon in this collection. John has created many custom hats, and will be taking orders for custom hats during the Art Tours. These "HaMBAM" (Hand made by a Man) hats are warm and stylish.
|Karine, in another HaMBAM.|