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Jackie Griswold

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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

The theme of the upcoming show at the Portsmouth Artists Guild in Portsmouth, RI is "Imagine Yellow." This is one of 3 works I'm submitting. It's a mixed media collage with acrylic and watercolor paint, fabric, paper, ribbon, fake flowers, glitter glue, and the word "imagine" in several different typefaces scattered across the surface. It's 24 _ 24 _ 3. The support is a recycled store display. My sister works in a women's retail clothing store and when they switch floor layouts they just throw these things away. She rescues them for me! It's really heavy cardboard with a surface that is canvas-like. I first painted it with Kilz to cover up the picture that was on it, then covered it with tissue paper for a textured foundation… 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

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

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

Girl at the Beach

by swiftriverarts , July 12, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: acrylic, painting techniques, photography

Recently I was near the ocean, and saw a little girl standing on the grass looking out over the water. It was such a sweet, innocent scene, so I snapped a photo. While I was working on the painting, my beautiful niece, Avery Rose saw it, and decided I was painting a picture of her at the beach. How could I tell her it wasn't her? So "Girl at the Beach" will be going into the private collection of Miss Avery Rose. Avery has an eye for detail. I had layered on drops of paint to simulate the texture of curly hair, and she immediately figured out how I'd done it. I'm trying out new painting techniques and loving the flexibility of acrylic paint… Continue reading… 0 comments

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

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

Pink Sunrise

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

Topics: acrylic, impressionism

I was experimenting with color and different brush strokes when I did this painting highlighting the pinks and grays of the sunrise viewed from across a river. The softened lines remind me of the work of the Impressionists. I think it evokes a calm, centered mood, a feeling of peacefulness at the beginning of the day… Continue reading… 0 comments

Belted Galloways at the Barn

by swiftriverarts , June 20, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: acrylic

I love Belted Galloway cattle because they are so strikingly beautiful. In this primitive painting, they stand out on the landscape against the bright red barn, green grass and blue sky. I grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts, and moved to a farm when I was about 10. We didn't work our farm, but there were two working dairy farms, one on each side of our home. I loved going to the cow barns at milking time, and thought cows to be such wonderful animals. Years later, when I went away to college at the University of Maine at Orono, I'd often go over to the agricultural area and visit the cow barns. There was a certain comfort in the smell of the hay, and the steaminess of a cow barn on a cold winter day… Continue reading… 0 comments

Lavender Hydrangeas

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

Topics: abstract art, acrylic, impressionism

So, after finishing another painting, I had leftover pinks, red, and purples...I began by layering the pinks and reds on the canvas as a background, having no idea where I'd go next. The vase came next, and then the lavender hydrangeas appeared. I was all set to add green stems and leaves, because, after all, flowers don't just float above the vase, stemless. Then I realized that in this painting, lavender hydrangeas did, in fact, float stemless above the purple vase, and that the painting was as it should be. Thanks for reading my blog… Continue reading… 0 comments

I first named this painting "Lemon Tree" but my sister-in-law thought it should be called "Olive Tree" because it looks like the olives one puts in martinis. I defer to her wisdom. I used several 'techniques' on this painting. The yellow/green background is watered down acrylic paint to create the look of watercolors. I then used a round sponge for the green on the tree, applied the browns of the trunk with a thick brush, layering the paint on thickly. I wasn't sure if I was done or not, so I put it aside for a bit. When I came back to it, I squirted drops of yellow directly from a bottle of acrylic paint, the took a brush to add the orange dots. To be honest, I started out with something else in mind, which is what often happens… Continue reading… 0 comments