2014 & 2015: Despondency Carnival

Artist Statement: Much like when I began my Ancient God & Contemporary Circumstances(2013) and Seven Social Sins(2010) bodies of work, this series hit me like a compulsion.  I just kept painting.  However, the similarities end there. Unlike those mixed media works that have an external focus on relevant contemporary social issues, this series as created intuitively with an internal focus.  This body of work is also my first working solely within a limited painted medium (acrylic paint and alcohol inks).  In a vein similar to my other 2014 series, Better Left Unsaid, these layered works were the result of focusing on the genuine process of making art, not the end result. I used music as my initial inspiration for each piece.  Choosing an artist, and letting my mind wander through their lyrics as my hands were essentially left to their own devices.  As I have previously mentioned, music is often influential on my artistic process and state of mind.

The finished imagery often has unintentional elements of surrealism.  This is the result of abstract layering of paint, listening to music, and using colors, textures, and brushstrokes that simply felt right.  As the pieces developed, I began to intuitively fill in the imagery.  This whole process felt rather unreal.  Painting without a real objective or identifiable concept of success–an ideal for the finished piece is daunting, yet utterly freeing.  When I completed many of my first works, I was struck with sense of awe.  It felt bizarre that these works had come out of me, with minimal conscious effort.



About the consequences, 18in x 18in, acrylic on canvas, 2014
About the consequences • 18in x 18in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
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I only wanted you to promise… • 18in x 18in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2017
title, size, acrylic on canvas, 2015
A Flood Wrecked this Heart • 36in x 24in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015
couldnt_stop_the_night
I couldn’t stop the night • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 24in x 36in • 2015
Unfolded & Unfolding, 24in x 24in acrylic on canvas, 2015
Unfolded & Unfolding • 24in x 24in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015
Too old to be so shy, 32in x 24in, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Too old to be so shy • 30in x 24in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
If you close your eyes, acrylic on canvas, 2014
If you close your eyes • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
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I am see through • 30in x 30in • Carly Swenson • 2015
My Quiet Rage, 36 in x 36in, acrylic on canvas, 2014
My Quiet Rage • 30in x 30in • Carly Swenson • 2014
title, size, 2014
Any scraps you can give • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
Some days I don't trust myself, 36in x 18in, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Some days I don’t trust myself • 36in x 18in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
Over and Over, 36 in x 36 in, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Over and Over • 30 in x 30 in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
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Waiting for the Tide • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 24in x 36in • 2015
Between Reasons to Live, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Between Reasons to Live • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
...they never need know. Acrylic on canvas, 30in x 30in, 2015
…they never need know • 30in x 30in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015
Defend Yourself with Apathy, 24in x 34in, acrylic on canvas 2014
Defend Yourself with Apathy • 24in x 34in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
Nothing Left to Wish Upon, 30in x 30in, acrylic on canvas 2015
Nothing Left to Wish Upon • 30in x 30in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015
title, size, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Layers of Hope and Doubt • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
I used to belong, acrylic on canvas, 30in x 30in, 2015
I used to belong • 30in x 30in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015
title, size, 2014
It won’t get better… • 36in x 18in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
I thought you might..., acrylic on canvas, 2014
I thought you might…, • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2014
What Death Will Leave Behind..., 24in x 36in, acrylic on canvas, 2015
What Death Will Leave Behind… • 24in x 36in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015

6 thoughts on “2014 & 2015: Despondency Carnival

Add yours

    1. Thank you so much. It is clearly a new sort of direction for me, but I am liking it. It is fun exploring something new. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my work and your kind words.

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