C.J. Swanson was born in Tacoma, Washington. She always knew that being an artist was part of who she was and who she would become. She was from a working class background where being an artist came as somewhat of a surprise to her mother. Even so she was encouraged and brought joy to her family with her natural drawing abilities. She studied painting and drawing as well as theater and drama and earned a 2-year degree. She was advised after she moved to Seattle to pursue more serious avenues as an artist so she took classes in life painting and life drawing at The Factory School of Art, which was taught by Susan Gofstein from Chicago. Wanting to pursue a more practical side of art, she went back to school to study graphic arts and then interior design, but painting was what she liked the most. That led her to begin painting on her own. Her guidance toward fulfilling a life as an artist came when she met her mentor, who was teaching a Still Life painting class in 1991. This was the beginning of her life as a true practicing artist. C.J. has made art for public projects and commercial murals. With her husband, they operated an art gallery where they offered art classes and gave monthly exhibitions to artists from around the Puget Sound. She has shown her work in many different venues and has sold several paintings. Her work is in Microsoft and Pierce County collections, as well as many private collections. She currently lives and paints in Tumwater near Olympia, Washington.


Two Artists-One Site

Artist's Statement

Starting out with a connection to my preceding works I compose using intuition and improvisation to develop a painting. I am endeavoring to capture ideas that are pictured in my mind. My work usually is organic and biomorphic, with rhythm and harmony in line and color choices. Sketching and drawing daily to stay visually fit. The concept works itself out eventually as long as I follow the idea to find it’s core strength. Allowing pieces to float in a net that supports the individual colors I see is an organic and floating entity of alternating hue.
I work from a place of well-established creativity and apply my own interpretations.