Collection Title

Art 399 Portfolio

Author/Artist Name

Olivia SwaidnerFollow



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Download Negative Scan (2.8 MB)

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Download Charcoal drawings (5.7 MB)

Download Oil on Canvas (427 KB)

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Download Digital Photo (600 KB)

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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Spring 5-9-2022

Artist Statement

Olivia Swaidner

Artist Statement

Most of my inspiration for my art comes from one of two things: Impression of nature or personal struggles. Biology isn’t something that particularly shows up in my work in an obvious way, but my fascination and impression with science and nature inspires what I create. The mediums that I typically work in the most are painting and photography. My more recent series of film photographs featured multiple images of twisted, exposed roots on the bank of a creek bed. The intention of many of my photographs is to show hidden aspects of nature that I find most impressive and wild. One reason why photography is one of my mediums of choice is because it allows me to go out into the world and find the unique and under appreciated aspects of nature that I feel need to be shared. Another recent piece was a painting of mountains done in palette knife with slightly skewed pastel colors. My intention was to show the viewers a landscape that isn’t your normal mountain scene with colors just different enough to show the image in a new way. One artist that inspires me goes by the name Materium. He is a German illustrator who creates surreal digital images of dreamy landscapes. I like to consider the ways he alters reality by taking common landscapes and rearranging things in unnatural ways to create something new and extraordinary that hasn’t been seen before.

Another commonly recurring theme in my work is any mental struggle I may be dealing with. My most recent painting was of a small pink balloon in the midst of a dark empty room. This was representing my hardly successful attempt at celebrating small positive things in the midst of deep struggles. I have made a couple of other pieces about feeling small, low, and unable to get any higher up. While this is a theme that has shown up in my work from time to time, the majority of my work is still centered around my impression of nature. Margrieta Jeltema is a photographer that inspires my photography work. She photographs beautiful images of delicate flowers that capitalize on their loss of relevance over time but their unending timeless beauty. Her use of a commonly seen flower photographed in a way that offers another perspective is very inspiring for my ideas in my work because my ultimate goal in my work is to offer the viewers a new perspective on nature that makes them feel the same awe that I feel when I see it.


T Michael Martin


  1. Palette knife mountains, Oil on canvas, 8x10, Jan 19, 2022,

  2. “Extraordinary”, Oil on canvas, 18x20, Feb 3,2022,

  3. Dog portrait, Oil on canvas, 18x20, Oct 5, 2020,

  4. Sunset valley & water, Oil on canvas, 18x20, Jan 4, 2022,

  5. ”Celebrate”, Oil on canvas, 8x10, March 2, 2022,

  6. Dog portrait, Oil on Canvas, 8x10, December 19, 2020,

  7. “Twisted”, Film negative scan, March 18, 2022,

  8. “wild”, film negative scan, March 18, 2022,

  9. leaves, digital photo, 5x7, February 5, 2021,

  10. Cat portrait, digital photo, 5x7, April 2, 2021,

  11. Leaf hand, digital photo, 5x7, March 11, 2021,

  12. Portrait, digital photo, 5x7, September 22, 2021,

  13. Flowers, digital photo, 5x7, April 3, 2022,

  14. Sunset 1, digital photo, 5x7, April 2, 2021,

  15. Sunset 2, digital photo, 5x7, April 2, 2021,

  16. Stars, digital photo, 5x7, June 7, 2021,

Art 399 Portfolio



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