Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stillwater Art Studio

Drawing on Rich Cultural Traditions for Inspired Illustration.
Specialized in Proverbs Perfectly Paired with Zodiac Animals.

Images by Stillwater Art Studio
Artist: Diane Swanson Kleinke
Expertise: Illustration
Additional Talents: Graphic Design, Painting, Paper Goods
Materials: Paper, Ink, Textiles
Style: Vibrantly Colorful, Folk Illustration Inspired
Inspiration: Mix of Chinese & Scandinavian cultural heritage
Subject Matter: Animals of the Chinese Calendar
Common Creations: Prints, Cards, Calendars, Tea Towels, Pillows
Online Shop: [Etsy]
Social Media: [Pinterest]
Home Base: Stillwater, MN
Spotted: Online

We are all shaped by our experiences as well as the cultural backgrounds we come from, but some artists are especially adept at taking this inspiration and developing their own style. For Diane Swanson Kleinke of Stillwater Art Studio, it seemed only natural to mix both her Scandinavian heritage with that of her Chinese daughters in her art. If you had such rich traditions to draw from, why wouldn’t you celebrate them? Both Diane's subject matter and style have basis in the folklore she remembers from her childhood and that she now explores with her children. As an illustrator and Graphic Designer, Diane is very skilled in her sketching and composition. While she accepts custom requests, her main focus has been on the animals of the Chinese New Year. Did you know that 2015 is the Year of the Goat? The animals she draws in her characteristic style are full of color and personality. Reminiscent of woodcuts, her work features blocks of her favorite hues with contrastingly colored outlines. It is easy to see where her inspiration comes into play. The designer in her shines through how well laid out each piece is. She has come up with many different ways to feature her animals. Depending on the canvas, she may create a pattern out of her characters, place two side by side or pair them with proverbs for greater depth of meaning. Choose from note cards to wish someone well, table clothes and pillows to highlight an animals representative of a special year and much more. Diane's work is a beautiful example of how we as artists have the chance to make our culture our own.

Images by Stillwater Art Studio