as individual as you are

Members: LOG IN

Jackie Griswold

Subscribe to this blog
This painting and several others are included in my current exhibit "Alchemy" at the River Valley Market Cafe in Northampton, MA. The exhibit continues through the end of February. On Friday, February 12, there is a "Meet the Artist" gathering from 5-8 p.m… Continue reading… 3 comments

This summer I took a painting class at the community college where I teach in the human services program. In class we did a lot of still life paintings, and I learned a lot. However, I often felt very constrained by the assignments in class, so I knew my final project would move away from the order and structure of class. This is the final project for my painting class. It__™s a 42″ square, as yet untitled. My inspiration was the dried paint on palette paper___it seemed wasteful to just throw it away, and sometimes the dried paint was really lovely in design. So I began saving my own palette papers, and rescuing the palette papers that other students had thrown away. Then I decided to soak the layers of dried paint off the wooden palettes in the painting studio… Continue reading… 3 comments

Vocanic Eruption

by swiftriverarts , April 11, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, collage, mixed media

This piece was accepted into the Monson Arts Council "GAIA" Spring Show. It's is mixed media on mat board… Continue reading… 0 comments


by swiftriverarts , April 10, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, Portsmouth Arts Guild, collage

This paper collage was recently accepted into the Portsmouth Artists Guild's "Works on Paper" Exhibit. It is 5 _ 7 matted to 8 _ 10… Continue reading… 0 comments

This paper and watercolor collage has also been accepted into the Portsmouth Artists Guild's "Works on Paper" Exhibit… Continue reading… 0 comments

This painting is part of an exhibit at the Portsmouth Arts Guild in Portsmouth, RI. A couple of weeks ago I was gallery sitting and a mother and her son, who was perhaps 8 or 9, came in. Most of the other art on display was identifiable as "something." When the boy got to my painting he said to his mom "What is that?" She gave a wonderful explanation of abstract art and how it was often an expression of the artist's mood or emotions when they were painting. She then asked him what he thought the artist was thinking when it was being painted… Continue reading… 0 comments

Work in progress

by swiftriverarts , February 15, 2009—05:40 PM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, collage, mixed media

Lately I've been working with little 6" _ 6" or 4" _ 4" canvases. Yesterday I began working on a 4' x 4' piece of masonite. My husband built a frame for it to provide stability. I began by gluing sheets of paper, canvas and bit of fabric in a patchwork fashion onto the masonite. Now I'm adding paint, and other embellishments to this collage painting - this photo is the work in progress. I'll post more as I go along - who knows what it will look like when I finish… Continue reading… 1 comment

Three Leaves

by swiftriverarts , January 11, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, mixed, mixed media

This highly textured mixed media painting has layers of paper, paint and metallic paint. Lately I'm drawn to the deep rich color of copper paint, along with silver and gold paint… Continue reading… 0 comments

The healing nature of art continues to be a theme in my painting. This painting, one of several in the "Storm" series was done early in the academic year, right after a full time faculty member had resigned with very little notice. As I scrambled to find part time faculty to teach his classes, with less than a week go go before the semester began I was feeling stressed/anxious/a little angry/a little abandoned/ and very sad to have lost a very good friend and colleague. As I often do when I'm feeling stressed/anxious/etc. I started painting, and kept painting for quite a while. I was working with acrylics and mixed media on 6 _ 6 canvases and the energy just seemed to flow out of me… Continue reading… 4 comments

Teal blue, lime green, and red jump out from the black background in this abstract painting. Lately I've been adding a variety of ingredients to thicken the acrylic paint - in this one I used regular window caulk and a little gloss Modge Podge. I've also been using palette knives to create a completely different look than what I get with brushes. There's a depth and texture that you can't see in the photo. I'm having fun playing with color and seeing what happens. This painting is in my gallery "abstract paintings #4… Continue reading… 0 comments

Right now most of my painting seems Abstract Expressionist in style. The energy and emotion that is coming out is fascinating to me and the work is pouring out of me. Lately there doesn't seem to be enough paint, canvas, or time for letting out all of the emotions fighting to get out. This color study is deep red and orange - the additives in the paint create a depth and texture that is difficult to see in the photograph. Thank you for reading my blog. More paintings can be seen at Enjoy the snow.. 0 comments

Black Rain

by swiftriverarts , December 8, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, abstract art, expressionism

Black Rain - anger, depression, sadness? What do you see/feel? This is a 6 _ 6 canvas - I've been doing a lot of small works lately, and finding new challenges to create a painting in such a small space… Continue reading… 0 comments

I needed to work with color after the last 2 paintings I posted. This painting has a bright orange background with scraps of paint "skins" for color and texture. Several of my paintings are now on display at the library at Holyoke Community College, where I teach in the Human Services Program. It is a bit scary to be so public with my work in a place where I know so many people. I'm fine with exhibiting in other venues where I don't know anyone, but this puts me out in front of many friends and colleagues. I'm an introvert by nature, although at work I seem very extroverted, so this is going outside my comfort zone. Thanks for looking at my blog… Continue reading… 0 comments

I am working a lot in mixed media using acrylic paint, various gels and other things (think spackle and caulk!) to add depth and texture, paper, dried paint "skins" and metallic paint. I'm using palette knives, rather than brushes, which lends a certain texture. It's impossible to see all of the detail in this mixed media painting. One thing I'm finding in doing mixed media work is that I have to practice patience as I allow layers to dry before adding more. This painting took several days to finish, painting, drying, reflecting on the process, adding a scrap of paper or a multicolored paint skin, more waiting for things to dry..I find myself absorbed in the process and not really thinking about the outcome. Or perhaps the process IS the outcome..… Continue reading… 0 comments

Autumn Fields

by swiftriverarts , November 19, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, art therapy

It's been a while since I've posted anything up here. I've been busy painting, too busy to take photos and post them here. There will be more photos in the next few days. This is a mixed media painting - the colors and depth reminded me of autumn fields. I'm pretty focused on abstract expressionism right now, and find it to be very catharic and healing. This weekend I'm going to be at a new business in Northampton - "Valley Hands: Watch Art Develop Gallery" to do some painting. This unique new venue, housed in a storefront, combines a gallery with a space for artists to work in full view of the public. The idea is to increase exposure to the arts, and give artists a place to display their work on a rotating basis. They are open on weekends - Friday 2-8 p.m… Continue reading… 0 comments

Mixed media collage

by swiftriverarts , August 22, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, mixed media

I'm not sure that you'll be able to see the detail in this collage, but I thought I'd post it anyway. It's done on an 8 _ 10 piece of mat board. I painted the entire surface with purple acrylic paint, then randomly swirled embroidery thread onto the paint, and let it dry. The paint served as a glue for the thread. I then brushed on gold acrylic paint. The vertical rectangles are pieces of scrapbooking paper with images of people printed in gold. The horizontal rectangles are words like love, friend, community, joy, and so on. Finally I coated the entire surface with 2 coats of Modge Podge to seal it. I'm really enjoying working on mixed media pieces because I can bring in so many other elements and textures into play in the design of the work. Thanks for looking at my blog… Continue reading… 1 comment

This one was a lot of fun! I used layers upon layers of paint. Some of the circles are scratched into the layers using the other end of the paintbrush, and then more circles are painted on top of the layers. I later learned that this technique of scratching into layers of paint is called scrafito - literally scratching through layers of paint. I ended up doing a whole series of scrafito paintings - I'll get them photographed and up here soon. Thanks for looking. You can see other paintings, photography, and jewelry designs at http://artid 0 comments

I have been studying Jackson Pollock's work and love the freedom and fluidity he created. For this painting, I poured and squirted paint directly on the canvas board from bottles after I'd painted the background. This particular canvas has been painted over at least twice after I painted something and didn't like it, so there is additional texture just from the build up of previous layers of paint. I'm having a great deal of fun painting and experimenting with different techniques. Thanks for looking… Continue reading… 0 comments

I've posted this painting on my blog before, but I'm mentioning it again because it is the third of three paintings I've submitted to the Gallery 137 Members Juried Show. The other two paintings I submitted, which are shown in previous blog postings, are very abstract expressionist in style, and I wanted to submit at least one painting that shows that I can paint something recogizable as well! Please visit Gallery 137 at and visit to see some of my other work. Thank you for reading my blog 0 comments

This is the second of the three paintings I've submitted to Gallery 137 in Indian Orchard, MA for the First Annual Members Juried Show. The opening reception for the show is Saturday, July 26, 2008 from 1-3 p.m. The photo doesn't really do it justice. The colors are various reds, deep garnet, and pinks and fits in with the Abstract Expressionist style work I've been doing. It's another mixed media acrylic painting, with a underlayer of tissue paper. This one also has tiny seed beads scattered in little groupings on the surface, which pulls in the bead work I've been doing for nearly 20 years. I also added some glitter glue in several areas to add highlights, and there are even a few pieces of string glued on for a little more texture. Please visit www.gallery137… Continue reading… 0 comments

Recently I became a Member Artist at Gallery 137 in Indian Orchard, MA. It's a lovely gallery that is part of the Indian Orchard Main Street Partnership. One reason I joined is so that I could participate in the First Annual Members Juried Show that begins at the Dane Gallery at the Indian Orchard Mills on Saturday, July 26, 2008. There is an opening reception at the Dane from 1-3 p.m. on July 26, and an Awards Reception at Gallery 137 on August 2, 2008 from 3-5 p.m. This is the first time I've exhibited any of my paintings. "The Garden," pictured above is one of the three paintings I dropped off at the Dane Gallery this afternoon. I am very excited, and would truly welcome comments/criticisms/praise about the work I'm doing… Continue reading… 0 comments

By professional training, I am a teacher, and I teach psychology and human services at the college level. Quite often the angst of my student's lives (not to mention my own angst) are reflected in my painting. This painting surfaced not long after a student let me know how angry she was at me, after I, playing devil's advocate as I so often do, challenged her assumptions, and asked her to reflect on her own emotions. I'm not quite sure if this painting reflects my emotions, or hers, or most likely, a bit of both. The Abstract Expressionists have it right, in my mind, with their idea that mood can be relected in art. Deep reds, red-orange, and a hint of yellow - anger, fear, anxiety, energy? What is your impression? Please visit http://artidContinue reading… 0 comments

I am very excited about the color studies I've been doing. I read on another blog that an artist should define his/her "style" and create a body of work in that style. The article went on to say the artist should never stray from that style. I don't know that I agree with that, but I am having a wonderful time right now, trying new painting and mixed media techniques to create very colorful work. I have taken pictures of several other pieces I've done lately, and will be getting them up on my site at http://artid 0 comments

I'm experimenting with mixed media and other painting techniques as I work on a "series" of color studies. This painting is done on a big piece of matboard. I glued random strips of matboard and crumpled pieces of tissue paper onto the board to add a little depth and texture. Broad strokes of color give a sense of energy and excitement. Thank you for looking… Continue reading… 0 comments

I'm having fun experimenting and playing with color, and trying new painting techniques. This one is painted on acrylic paint paper. The burst of color in the middle has some sparkles in it from using a little glitter glue mixed into the paint. I wish you could see the subtle shimmer that the deep blue has. To me, it evokes a sense of calm energy, if there is such a thing...when I'm painting I feel a calming energy coming over me as I get lost in the colors. It is a lovely form of art therapy… Continue reading… 1 comment

I have been exploring color, and working with mixed media and other painting techniques. Painting is so therapeutic. This painting was done on mat board. My inner child is having a wonderful time breaking rules and coloring outside the lines in a series of color studies. I first glued wrinkled tissue paper in dark green, lime green, and teal on the board, let it dry a bit, and then began painting over the tissue paper. There is a wonderful texture and depth in the painting that is harder to see in the photo. The big patch of yellow in the middle just seemed to need the dark green, almost black, stripe to complete the mood. I got my camera back from the repair shop, so I have a lot of new paintings to post on my site at Thanks for looking 0 comments

I've talked about my niece Avery Rose, so I have to give equal time to her brother, Jack Michael. Again, I can't take credit for the photo, which was taken by my talented nephew Matt ( While Jack is more interested in pirates, baseball (at 4 he's already an avid Red Sox fan), and running wild, Jack is also a budding artist. He thinks it's really cool to paint on the cedar shingles we have hanging around the house, left over from a recent house siding project. His hand prints are on Avery's big project (see earlier posting). I'd say he's a painter in the Abstract Expressionism style. He is currently working on a series of paintings he calls "mud". They are, well, very brown 0 comments

I recently took my niece Avery (see previous blog entry) to visit the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts. I had my camera with me because I wanted to take some photos of the architecture of the buildings in the Quadrangle where the museum sits. She wanted to take photos of various paintings, and it was fascinating to observe her as she was deciding which paintings to photograph. She took photos of paintings that had sailboats in them for Uncle Art, my husband, who loves sailing. She took photos of a few abstract paintings because she knows I like abstract art. She even took a photo of a nude woman because she was so surprised that there would be a painting of a nude woman in a museum… Continue reading… 0 comments

Wheat Field

by swiftriverarts , June 28, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Abstract Expressionism, abstract art, acrylic

I was thinking wheat field when I painted this... My 6 year old niece, Avery, picked it up, turned it around, and saw a body of water, with the beach and trees on the opposite shore...she is convinced I have it up-side-down..… Continue reading… 0 comments

This abstract painting has an apple green background. The black rectangle has touches of brown and orange. One of the fun things about abstract art is that you can hang it in whatever direction seems right to you. And you can see whatever it is that you see... As with many of my paintings, this started out to be something completely different. However, I'd read the blog posted by "mize" about the 10 foot rule, stepped back from the painting, and knew this one was done. Thank you, "mize" for contributing to my art education… Continue reading… 1 comment

This was a collaborative effort - I'd done the grey/black/white (while admittedly in a somewhat dark mood), my 6 year old budding artist niece thought it could use a little yellow, and her father, an artist in his own right, suggested the hit of red in the middle. In some way my paintings always reflect the mood I was in while I was painting, although it's not always as evident as it is in this one. After completing the painting, it took me a while to decide what the orientation of the red spiral should be. It sat around my house for several days in different positions, as I tried to "name" it. This is where it ended up. Thank you for reading my blog, and taking the time to look at my work… Continue reading… 2 comments

My mother-in-law used to take me and my young sons to the Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I used to buy note cards of famous painting to take home and frame. Little did I know that it was Abstract Expressionism that I was drawn to. I discovered this years later when I was on a search committee for an art history faculty member at the college where I teach. Their teaching demo was on the topic "Abstract Expressionism." So here's my take on Abstract Expressionist art in bright blues, turquoise and purples - use your imagination - it could be the night sky, the ocean...whatever you see in it. Thank you for taking a look at my art and my blog. I'd love to hear your feedback… Continue reading… 1 comment

I don't know what I'd call the style of my paintings - sometimes they are inspired by Impressionism, or Expressionism, or Abstract Expressionism, or my own eclectic melding of different styles. What I do know is that painting is enormously fun and rewarding for me. I could spend hours in my 'studio' lost in the paints, escaping to the world of my inner 5 year old. I usually paint on canvas board, and sell most of the paintings unframed. They can be hung unframed, or placed in the frame of your choosing… Continue reading… 0 comments