Artist Categories: Contemporary Kansas & Regional Artists

Katrina  Swanson

“…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