Artist illustrator Harry Swanson has brought his love of nature and the universe to homes and businesses throughout the country and abroad with his watercolor, acrylic and oil landscape, seascape, marine and universe paintings.
Harry Swanson seeks to preserve nature in his work, while encouraging others to protect it. "The beauty in nature remains irreplaceable," he says. "A sense of responsibility. enhances my interest in painting the beauty of nature. I have had this ethic since my youth, when I marveled at the paintings of Turner, Winslow Homer, John Clymer, Ogden Plieshner and many others."
The convincing strength of his seascapes and landscapes comes from hours of studying the outdoors. Many of his fine arts paintings feature figures: clammers digging on restful, quiet flats; strollers on the beach; or skiers on steep mountain slopes.
"This primeval and captivating power inspires my need to paint it. Never disappointing, this joy moves me into the outdoors seeking nature's sanctuaries of calming quiet... depicting the four seasons and revealing its changing atmosphere and people's kinship with nature."
Harry Swanson also paints sports and the universe. A former basketball and semi-professional baseball player, his sports paintings are dynamic. His universe paintings are a followup to his years as an illustrator at Itek Corporation, where he produced concept art for NASA's 1976 Viking-Mars Lander Mission and other projects.
Education and Awards
Born in Hartford, Conn., Harry Swanson studied under illustrator Alan Tompkins and fine arts painter Paul Zimmerman at the Hartford Art School, Connecticut, before moving to Massachusetts, where he studied watercolor techniques with MacIvor Reddie at the School of Practical Arts in Boston.
He developed his design drawing and technical illustration skills at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, M.I.T.'s Electronics Laboratory, Purnell Company, and Itek Corporation, before branching out on his own to illustrate book covers, produce architectural renderings and open his fine arts galleries in Newbury, Mass., and Lincolnville Beach, Maine, where he lives and paints today.
Harry Swanson has received many awards and won national competitions, including "Best of Show" at the National Competition at Ellsworth Gallery in Simsbury, Conn. He has been selected for inclusion in Who's Who in the East, and has exhibited his paintings at the Art Center of Ogunquit, Maine, Copley Society, Boston, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts-- Hartford, North Shore Art Association, Newburyport Art Association, Missal Gallery-Scottsdale, and Camden National Bank, Camden, Maine. His paintings are in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad.
Inspired by the Old Masters and the Golden Years of Illustration, Harry Swanson's landscape and seascape paintings combine realism with impressionism and different lighting techniques. He doesn't just reproduce nature, he creates fine arts paintings by shifting tone, coloring and emphasis and by combining images from different scenes. His universe paintings draw on images obtained by the Hubble telescope and other sources, but mix them with images from his imagination.
In addition to traditional watercolors, Harry Swanson uses acrylic on smooth illustration board. Unlike traditional watercolors on paper, illustration board allows him the versatility of combining palette knife opaques with brush washes. The hard surface sustains the pressure and action of the palette knife as it leaves undulating detailed shapes. Softer blended shapes are washed in with a brush, at times with many layers of glazes.
In oils, he applies the same approaches, working thick and thin, wet in wet on canvas. His portraits and paintings with figures are done with the softer blendings in oil.
Last updated: 17-Nov-2011 (3)
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