“…I would wander around Omaha’s Old Market and the surrounding areas, taking pictures of interesting corners and shop fronts. I’d then take my pictures and do realistic paintings of them. I did several series of them, including a series of night paintings.
In November of 2016 I had a significant stroke. I was 46 years old at the time and recovered relatively quickly but the stroke had affected the right side of my body. I had to relearn how to paint. It was devastating to go up to my studio and not be able to work on my painting. By January 2017 I was recovered enough to paint for short periods but I tired easily.
When I had the stroke, the doctors had no explanation for the cause. In late January 2017, I went in for my annual mammogram. I had stage 2 breast cancer. The cancerous tumor was the likely cause for my stroke. I spent 2017 going through several surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. I tried to paint through the process but the chemotherapy effects your eyes and I was exhausted most of the time.
Although it was a rough few years it allowed me to think about the direction I wanted to go with my art. I’m currently working on retro and vintage things. I want to paint fun things that bring back great memories of my childhood. I love the process of painting detail, texture, light and color. I bounce around from painting to painting. It satisfies my need to make things!
I’m currently working on a series of paintings of candy, bicycles, gumball and toy machines. You can check out the series on my Instagram page.” – Katrina Swanson