Originally from the small town of Willits in Northern California, I moved to New Orleans from the Bay Area in 2013. I've always loved to draw and grew up taking art classes--everything from ceramics to modern dance--but it wasn't until my sophomore year in college that I took my first painting course. It was love at first sight and I've been fascinated with the medium ever since. New Orleans has given me the time, inspiration, and community support to paint and I couldn't be more grateful.
Artist + Saegan Swanson
~Describe your art in three words.~ Intimate, nostalgic interpretations.
~Describe yourself in one word.~ Bonhomie.
~What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?~ I believe Mac Rebennack A.K.A. Dr. John said it best: “In New Orleans…..You can’t separate nothing from nothing. Everything mingles each into the other…until nothing is purely itself but becomes part of one funky gumbo.”
You are a part of something greater here. You are yourself here.
~Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?~ I'm usually wearing pajamas. And an apron. Comfort is key.
~Where do you draw inspiration?~ The human figure. People are endlessly beautiful and interesting.
~Who are your artistic influences or gurus?~ Everyone. Including you.
~In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?~ For whatever reason, the song "Carey" by Joni Mitchell comes to mind:
"Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine And we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down Let's have a round for these freaks and these soldiers A round for these friends of mine Let's have another round for the bright red devil Who keeps me in this tourist town"
~Where can we find you when you are not creating art?~ Working on my house or hanging with my dogs. I'm also a part-time bookkeeper.
~What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?~ Meal times, days that end in 'y' and any month that doesn't drop below 50 or bring a hurricane.
~What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.~ Family lore has it that my great great grand uncle was accused of attempting to assassinate the prince of Sweden when he forgot to remove his ramrod from his gun during a salute and impaled the prince's leg. It wasn't really a misunderstanding he could explain away, so the entire family ended up fleeing the country.
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
Message me for a studio visit - I would love to show you around!
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