carroll swenson-roberts: at home in this world
February 17 - March 30, 2024
Ro2 Art is very excited to present At Home in this World, an exhibition of new paintings by Dallas-based artist Carroll Swenson-Roberts. The exhibition will open February 24, 2024 and remain on view through March 30, 2024, at Ro2 Art Gallery, located at 2606 Bataan St., Dallas, TX, with an opening reception to be held February 24 from 7-10pm.
Carroll Swenson-Roberts creates lush, verdant worlds populated by women and woodland creatures in complex, highly-detailed paintings and drawings for her exhibition At Home in this World. Walking plays a central role in Swenson-Roberts’ painting and drawing practice, as both inspiration for her depictions of natural landscapes and through the physical application of watercolor over large stretches of paper. In her process, she creates richly saturated color environments with watercolor that are then slowly built up to reveal landscapes and interiors. Details are worked with paint and drawing materials to conjure woods, grasslands, and hills filled with delicate leaves, branches, and grass blades. Serene, contented characters, including lounging women and drowsy cats, exist within the abundant, flourishing environments. In the midst of their quotidian actions, Carroll Swenson-Roberts reveals that there is striking beauty, mystery, and fantasy in the quiet moments of the everyday.
About the Artist
As a child my family went to Catholic church every Sunday.The only thing I liked about church was the art. The art told stories in a direct but mysterious way. I thought it was a wonderful way of communicating. The stories in artworks are not linear. The whole story is there to be seen in the order the viewer wishes to see it. The art I’m drawn to the most are the pieces that change or reveal new and different readings when seen over time.
The subject of the stories I tell are narrative memories and thoughts of family ,friends ,walks, travels, marriage, motherhood ,childhood, pets, meals, music, dance, gardens. The focus of my art is the surprise and joy of an ordinary life.
Memories are not a passive recording of everyday events. We construct our own memories to help us understand our lives. We continually use these constructed memories to tell our own story to ourselves and to others. Memories are a way of reconstructing ordinary moments and making them into a personal narrative. My art continues this transformation into the visual world.
I start most pieces with an underpainting .I use very wet paints and ink and occasionally throw in some salt, then let the piece dry so the paint puddles and the salt soaks up color which provides a surface with random areas of light and shadow. Then I make a quick sketch of a remembered and imagined space . I paint with small brushes and draw with pencils, ink, charcoal . The small brush strokes and marks and collage pieces make the development of the piece slow. This provides me time to consider every inch of the surface and all the aspects of the story.
This work comes from the idea that there is never nothing. The beauty and mystery in the world as I see it comes from the variety, lushness, and diversity of life as individuals brush against, moving past and clint to one another.
My work tries to express that totality, variety, and lushness based on my experience and emotions.
I start most work with an abstract, loose, and textured under-painting. That varied surface gives me the start of an idea for the subject and the place of the work I build in the picture frame. The artmaking tells the story as the marks move across the paper. I use small brushes and pencils to make intentional and unintentional patterns that weave the story in the painting together.
The worlds that I make with color, shapes, marks, and brush strokes are the places I like to inhabit during the process of drawing and painting.