In the Studio with Toni Swarthout

We couldn’t be more excited to share this brand new, bold, beautiful collection from Toni Swarthout with you! Toni has been hard at work in the studio on these paintings, and we wanted to share a little about her process and inspiration with you.

Toni with her newest paintings

Toni’s typical mediums are acrylic paints, acrylic gels and acrylic pencils. A typical workday starts with a morning of reflection and contemplation. Toni is very disciplined and goes the studio everyday. She says she makes a LOT of work. She begins her painting session by playing music and warming up physically – to loosen up for the painting process.

“I put myself on a deadline every week to finish at least 3 paintings.  It’s only by going through a lot of work that I can close the gap between that great idea in my head and actually getting it to show up on canvas.  So, my typical day consists of painting, painting, and more painting.”

It’s also very important for her to take breaks, to take a breather and let go of any judgment or control that she might be trying to interject into a piece. There is a greenway behind her studio, which is a great place to clear her mind while she walks her dog, Bilbo. She says Bilbo shows her how to let go and enjoy the process everyday, on that greenway.  So, when someone asks her to describe her process, she tells them it’s about showing up everyday.

“When I hesitate, my art hesitates.  When I judge, my art recedes to the dark corner and hides.  But when I commit and step out of the way, my work comes on like blazes.”

Toni makes an intention to just step out of her own way and have a dialogue with her paintings. She initiates the conversation with a bold line and then stays in the process without any perceived expectations.  If her eye moves to a certain color on the palette, she chooses it without hesitation.

“I’m not the one that is going to make a great new piece.  I’m just the conduit for the piece to thrive and grow.  My pieces come to me when I allow it to happen.”