Joanne Swanson, Inupiaq Eskimo

Christmas Decorating


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While touring some galleries on Sanibel Island in Florida I was deeply impressed by a semi-abstract painting by Brian Height of Canada. The subject was a heron. Height is known for his beautiful forest abstracts. Just earlier that day Chip, my husband, had taken a picture of Ana in her fur-trimmed parka as she was playfully running after a heron at the edge of the water. The wind was so cold but the experience was so fun!

I began this semi-abstract painting with a desire to do an abstract. I love mixing complementary colors wet-in-wet. I often will spend whole painting sessions just mixing colors.

Initially this painting was more fun than a challenge. Part of the challenge was in developing the composition once I had the background complete. At an art show in Anchorage, Alaska a lady bought a print because as she said, "'s fun, messy, it looks like a child with artistic freedom painted it." I thought, YES, I made my point.

For the background I set the paper on the floor and dropped masking fluid somewhat randomly. Then I spattered, gold gessoed, salted, waxed, scraped and tilted the paint on the paper. After all that dried I turned the paper on its sides, up-side-down and "found" a right side up.

Eventually I saw a lady wearing a beautiful parka doing something. That something was untangling Christmas lights oblivious to everything else around her. Using my daughter as inspiration a carefully added a little girl in a matching parka waiting impatiently to put up the star. The next wonderful challenge was when to quit. As always, hopefully, this is my favorite painting so far..

Joanne Swanson


Title: Christmas Decorating
Type: Watercolor Giclée
Order No.: N-JS006

Edition: Limited 100

Signed Print - $125
Print Size: 22 1/4 Inches x 17 1/4 Inches
Image Size: 20 1/4 Inches x 15 1/8 Inches

Order From:

Joanne Swanson
P.O. Box 338
Unalakleet, Alaska 99684

Shipping $10 per Order.
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