Swanson is a painter’s painter, his images so detailed and so abstracted in areas of the paintings that the images feel tightly controlled while some areas paint is being allowed to pool and coalesce into curious shapes, colors, and textures. There is an element of chance in the works but also a strict architectural grid that is more apparent in some paintings and only hinted at in others.
Kenneth Baker described the work best in a 2014, when he reviewed Swanson’s first solo show with EHG. Baker wrote: “bits of yellow, and orange, white and gray near the center suggest breakup in a digital image transmission, perhaps hinting that even the output of the painter’s mind has acquired the syntax of digital media.” Baker continues, “Swanson has a wonderful way with fine details that, once noticed, can remake our reading of an entire picture, looking suddenly like distant features of land or architecture or simply hovering in scale-less abstraction.”
In Swanson’s new work in Florascape, his focus is around scenes with multiple views and vantage points. For example in Material Bloom, industrial infrastructure looms in the distance behind a foreground of a blooming meadow brush. The painting suggests hopeful and ever resilient plants growing under a knitted sky of omnipresent digital connections. They are in the fore, providing the spikes and delights of color, despite a hovering, dark sky.