Home Art Tour, Round 1

A friend of mine recently posted a picture of a painting hanging in her home on Instagram. She explained that a number of people had commented on it during zoom meetings, so she thought she’d provide some background information. When someone then suggested “more home art tours,” I figured I’d run with the idea. As we’re all quarantined by the Coronavirus, I thought it was only fitting to dash off a quick post featuring some of the things I look at all day, every day.

The first painting, of Ben and Lucy in the kitchen, is hard to miss if you ever walk inside our front door. It was too large for me to capture all of it in the photo, so it’s cropped here a bit on the right and bottom. The artist was a star student of mine back when I taught high school. She got a BFA in art at Calvin College before going on to University of Michigan for a master’s degree in architecture. While at Calvin, she was Ben and Lucy’s nanny for a couple years. One day after she graduated, she stopped by our house with a couple paintings and asked if we wanted any of them before she threw them out. We, of course, took them both and get great joy from seeing them grace our walls.

Ben and Lucy in the Kitchen oil painting
by Ann Prins

Sara and I bought this next painting when we featured the artist in our coffeehouse, and it has been hanging in our living room for the past 20 years. I often stare at it and wonder what the young woman is thinking. I love the painting for its calming influence, the distorted perspectives, and the bird’s eye.

Girl and Bird oil painting
by Eric Nykamp

The third and final piece in this little tour was painted by my great-uncle, George Hamilton Green, a world-renowned xylophonist, as well as a cartoonist and artist. We found it, along with a stash of other paintings, a couple years ago in my mom’s attic. It reminds me of something I might see on a New Yorker magazine cover. It’s kind of weird that he signed it “GORGA.” I don’t recall anyone else referring to him as Gorga. In fact, the only nickname I heard family use for him was “Rigger,” a name he got because he sat so much in his old chair that it was as if rigor mortis had set in.

City Park watercolor painting
by Gorga (aka George Hamilton Green)

So that’s it — three paintings that hang on our walls. Depending on how this post is received, I might feature some more art later. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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5 Responses to Home Art Tour, Round 1

  1. Frank Padilla says:

    The stories of the artists. We often wonder what was going on when they sat in their studio and painted their dreams, or their emotions. Or when they tried to capture ours, and they got it! Thanks for sharing Karl.

  2. Shannon DeYoung says:

    Thank you for sharing your art and the story behind each piece. I love art and so do my kids, particularly my daughter Lily. Can’t wait to show her when she awakes from her beauty rest. More please

    • Karl Swedberg says:

      You’re welcome, Shannon! I hope Lily enjoys this. And I’ll definitely post more soon. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Darl J Leman says:

    Karl & Sara,

    Laura and I have always loved all of the art in your home. Thanks for sharing the backstory on these.



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