Color and Structure: Susie Englestad and C. J. Swanson

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

Featured artists for August and September at Art House Designs are painters Susie Englestad and C. J. Swanson. Both artists present work that is colorful and abstract but derived from nature.

Englestad, the owner of Art House Designs, paints with flat squiggles and organic shapes that dance across the surface of the canvas in all-over patterns of shallow layers. Swanson, former co-owner of AOC Gallery in Tacoma with her husband, painter David Noah Giles, is showing works that depict images from nature in precise, geometric patterns like honeycombs and little boxes. Other works have patterns like jigsaw puzzles in bright, pastel colors or little squares that appear to dance slightly above the surface.

“Starting out with a connection to my preceding works, I work using intuition and improvisation to develop a painting,” Swanson says. “I am endeavoring to capture ideas that are pictured in my mind. Painting daily to stay visually fit, my concepts work themselves through. My ideas are informed by structures, organic life and elements of design in daily environment. Forms move and bend in my imagery, creating my way of seeing. My concern is about discovery of the visual and to paint my personal, artistic influences as they transform. I paint overlapping and sometimes colliding structural forms. I tether cells of color that relate to the borders around them. Sometimes they are floating in a net that supports individual colors. I see an organic and floating entity of alternating hues. As a painter, I gravitate toward (the) non-figurative and non-representation with indications of actual forms and objects.”

There are two large gallery spaces in Art House Designs, and they feature works by many artists in a variety of styles in addition to these highlighted artists.

What: paintings by Susie Englestad and C. J. Swanson

Where: Art House Designs,
420 Franklin St. SE, Olympia

When: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesdays – Fridays through September

How much: free admission, artwork for sale

Learn more: email | Art House Designs

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