Schwebach Arts

Art That Opens Doors

No More Deaths Art Fundraiser

Lynn Schwebach

“Things We Carry” by Lynn S. Schwebach

“Things We Carry” by Lynn S. Schwebach

by Lynn S. Schwebach

The painting "Things We Carry" portrays a family at the U.S.-Mexico border, terrified their child will get taken and put into a cage. It tells the story of people fleeing violence only to face violence in a country they thought would help.

Fundraising for the humanitarian organization No More Deaths, I am donating all profits from the sale of "Things We Carry." I am also donating all profits from the giclee prints and framed prints of this painting. No More Deaths is a southern Arizona-based humanitarian organization. The group provides food, water and medical care for people walking the Arizona desert on foot. These desert walkers are escaping dangerous, life-threatening conditions in their own countries.

Read any article or website on what drives people to leave their own countries and walk a desert in over 100-degree weather, and the stories you find are chilling. Parents often relate how drug-related gangs threaten to kill their children if they don't give the gangs their money. Mothers tell of their very young boys getting recruited by these threats into these deadly gangs.

Why I am Fundraising

As I painted this summer, these horrific stories wound through my thoughts. Working as a journalist 12 years ago, I wrote about the immigration crisis. Why are we still unable to enact a humane and sensible immigration policy? And why does the current administration have to demonize migrants, turning this crisis into a catastrophe?

Based on this unending crisis, this painting developed. It's about a man, wife and child escaping the dangers of their own country only to get chased (the monster nipping at the woman's heels) and criminalized by the United States. Refugees thought America would come to their aid, but find themselves facing another kind of threat. And probably most horrible of all, the painting's woman must hide her child under her shirt in fear that border patrol will wrench the baby from her.

The American Civil Liberties Union states that from June 2018 to June 2019, the U.S. separated more than 900 children, including babies and toddlers, from their parents at the border. Most horrific, border patrol put these kids into cages. Some call these facilities concentration camps. That my government would take children from their parents and encage them is not something I believed could happen after the horrors of World War II.

When I started this artwork, I did not know how it could help migrants until I went to an artist's talk at a nearby gallery, Artworks Loveland. Many things in life seem to appear when we need them, and I believe a wind or spirit led me to this gallery talk. (For more on this inspiration wind, see my article on Sheila Dunn and Ruach.)

Artists Who Volunteer

In June 2019, Jennie Milner, who I follow on Facebook and whose artwork I have long admired, advertised an upcoming discussion. Her talk "Holding Space and Having Conversation about Immigration" would center on building connections through art and humanitarian aid.

Fundraising was not on my mind when I went to Milner's talk, but she along with another artist, Maria Singleton, shared how other artists contribute. Raising awareness of border policies and procedures became apparent.

In Milner's case, as a mural artist, she participated with the International Sonoran Desert Alliance to create and paint a colorful, eye-popping mural in Ajo, Arizona. On her blog, Milner says, "she decided to go to Ajo and paint a mural for the town to celebrate the effort to save lives."

A section of the mural  Jennie Milner  completed in Ajo, Arizona.

A section of the mural Jennie Milner completed in Ajo, Arizona.

Ajo, Arizona

Ajo is in the heart of the Sonoran desert and a town located 43 miles from the Mexico border—the deadliest stretch of the border for migrants to cross. This town is becoming an artist's haven, which drew Singleton and her husband to this community during the winters. However, Singleton described the emotional rollercoaster she went through when she found out about the migrants who die in the desert surrounding her new home.

The Sonoran Desert around Ajo, Arizona.

The Sonora Desert.

The Sonora Desert.

On average, the remains of one person is found every 3 days in this inhospitable desert. Over 150 bodies are found each year. Only days before this talk, Singleton described how an Arizona man had been in business in Phoenix for over 30 years. The U.S. deported him to Mexico. In trying to get back to his family in Phoenix, he attempted to walk this deadly desert, and he died. They had recently found his remains, Singleton said.

The Sonoran deaths motivated Singleton to action. She brings water and food to the desert for migrants as a volunteer. Singleton also has painted a mural and organized other art projects and hosts other art-related special events.

No More Deaths also advocates for migrants. The group runs a soup kitchen in Nogales, Mexico, and teaches English to asylum seekers.

The gallery became quiet as Singleton narrated her experiences, bringing water jugs to the desert, trails, sometimes finding a body. "Things We Carry," which I had just finished, entered my mind as a first step in volunteering. I left the talk knowing I would donate any money I could raise to this organization.

Fundraising and Volunteering for Change

I want to do more and will be looking for ways in the future to volunteer. But if you are looking for a way to volunteer "from afar" as the No More Death website states, donating is an important step.

Singleton and Milner explained that this is not a political issue. This is a humanitarian issue. In other words, these are people who need help irregardless of their legal status. What would you do if someone threatened to kill your kids? I know what I would do and a hot, 100-degree foodless desert would not deter me.

You can buy the original, alcohol ink painting "Things We Carry" (all proceeds go to No More Deaths), on my Etsy shop here.

To buy a giclee print of "Things We Carry" (all proceeds go to No More Deaths), go my Etsy shop here.

To buy a framed giclee print of "Things We Carry" (all proceeds go to No More Deaths), go to my Etsy shop here.

Visit my Etsy shop, go to Schwebach Arts on Etsy.

Visit my fine art website, go to Schwebach Arts.

A Hummingbird Commission

Lynn Schwebach
by Lynn S. Schwebach
"Eyes Delight" is a commissioned ruby throated hummingbird painting. 

"Eyes Delight" is a commissioned ruby throated hummingbird painting. 

We all know the travails of making money as an artist. Creating often seems to take a minor role as we try to market our art, apply for shows, set up websites and other selling vehicles, and commit to continuing education and learning. So when a commission comes along, we rejoice.

And then we weep. It feels like we are sticking a million pins into our brains as we try to deciper what the client wants—a weird form of mind reading. Artists that I discuss commissions with commiserate. It's fun and difficult at the same time. It's a challenge. It's a great compliment. It's often an aggravating exercise as we share our ideas with the client and we get silence, or a look of lost confusion. It's a huge bag of mixed emotions and trepidations all mixed into one overwrought steaming brain. 

One of the studies I did for the hummingbird commission turned into an original painting that was accepted into a juried show in Bedford, Mass. I sell prints on my  Etsy  site.

One of the studies I did for the hummingbird commission turned into an original painting that was accepted into a juried show in Bedford, Mass. I sell prints on my Etsy site.

In the end, each artist attacks a commission with his or her own process. I have a friend who asks questions, requests photos, and paints. Rarely does she do more than one reiteration and the client is happy. I am jealous. I know another artist who asks the client throughout the process if her interpretation matches the client's. The painting takes a bit longer to complete, but she delivers completed watercolor paintings to pleased patrons every time.

I, on the other hand, use the opportunity to experiment and complete a series of paintings—especially if it's a subject I have never before painted. In reality, I feel as if I need to show a client at least a few ideas and let them pick one. Then I tell myself that I am doing a "series." 

Perhaps because my natural style of painting is abstract realism, I seek confirmation for the more abstract aspects. I prefer to get very abstract, but usually a client that commissions a painting from me wants more "realism" than "abstraction." And I often have to experiment with an idea and do a few studies, a few versions, to feel confident that I am producing what the client desires. 

Usually in the end, I do complete a body of work, producing a few originals that I also sell and/or make prints of and sell. I know this doesn't work for every artist, and over time, my process could change. However, for now I am satisfied with my approach. 

A customer contacted me in October 2017 to work on a ruby throated hummingbird painting for her husband for a Christmas gift. I appreciate this thoughtful woman because she thought ahead, giving me plenty of time to work on the artwork and get it matted and framed. I asked her what "style" she wanted, and when she said "your style," my head again felt like it was getting hit with flying spears. However, when I showed her more abstract images of hummingbird studies, she said "nope." She wanted something that looked like the ruby throated species that visits their Midwestern bird feeder every year. Aha. Less pain and more light entered my creative brain space. 

Some clients get particular about mats and frames but she left that up to me and my framer, who I have worked with for 15 years, and knows my preferences. And he has great taste, so I pretty much left the framing up to him, and as you can see above, the violet mat professionally complimented the purple I used in the bird's body ( my nod to a bit of abstraction). 

I made prints  of the original, and sell them on my Etsy site. I also sell prints of the other hummingbird paintings I completed. One painting that developed employed acetate and watercolors, creating a mixed media piece sold here (and seen below). 

A mixed media piece of watercolors and inks, acetate and watercolor paper. I painted the hummingbird using alcohol inks on a clear acetate and overlaid it on top of a floral watercolor and India ink painting. 

A mixed media piece of watercolors and inks, acetate and watercolor paper. I painted the hummingbird using alcohol inks on a clear acetate and overlaid it on top of a floral watercolor and India ink painting. 


In the end, I came to love hummingbirds. In Colorado we don't get the ruby throated hummingbirds so prevalent in the Midwest, so it was especially enjoyable to read about these beautiful birds and pore through images of them. They became my daily messengers to sit back and enjoy the moment, because in a flash it's over. They reminded me of nature's ineffable truth.

In the end, I am once again grateful for commissions. They usually come at a time when I need them the most, and not for the money. 

Happy New Year! 





Tom Petty Continues to Inspire

Lynn Schwebach

by Lynn S. Schwebach

Like most Tom Petty fans, I went into shock on October 2, when I heard of his sudden death. My painting of Tom Petty amidst wildflowers was hanging in a restaurant in Fort Collins, Colorado at the time, and at the particular moment I heard of his passing, I stood in front of it. I had brought my cousin who was visiting from Chicago to the restaurant to see this and my other paintings on display. As I was telling her how and why I painted this Tom Petty portrait, my phone started dinging with text messages from friends and family telling me the sad news. Both of us stood staring into those blue eyes, feeling the irony of looking at someone's picture as we heard the news of his death.

Tom Petty "You Belong Among the Wildflowers." Framed and matted, you can find the original painting here on  Schwebach Arts .  For the month of December, this painting is on sale! (save $100.00 and get free shipping!)

Tom Petty "You Belong Among the Wildflowers." Framed and matted, you can find the original painting here on Schwebach Arts . For the month of December, this painting is on sale! (save $100.00 and get free shipping!)

After recovering from this bizarre experience, and still feeling despair over losing someone whose music I listen to daily, I decided to create a few products using my images. Mugs, t-shirts and luggage tags are the result, and I am humbled that many have sold this year as fans want to keep the impact that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had on their lives front and center. I get personal notes of how Tom Petty affected lives, and how devastated my customers were to hear of his death. These notes especially mean a lot to me as I feel that fans of anyone they admire bond together in unique and "creative" ways.

Late last year, I heard Tom Petty's announcement that he and the Heartbreakers would tour for the band's 40th anniversary in 2017. I sat down around Christmas and painted an image of Tom Petty in black ink. I was stoked. He and the Heartbreakers would be performing at Red Rocks in late May, and that was a concert I didn't want to miss.

I drew a funky black and white of Tom Petty because of his out-of-the-box, unique way of living life as independent artist. You can buy this print, or this print matted and framed on my Etsy shop. 

I drew a funky black and white of Tom Petty because of his out-of-the-box, unique way of living life as independent artist. You can buy this print, or this print matted and framed on my Etsy shop. 

At the beginning of May, I found myself housebound and off my feet with a kidney stone, and so I started doodling to pass the time. I was worried I would miss the concert, so I did some positive imaging to get myself better. These doodles became another Tom Petty portrait— in this case using alcohol inks and the title of "You Belong Among the Wildflowers." I eagerly anticipated the concert over Memorial Day weekend, because I had last seen the Heartbreakers in 1980 during the "Damn the Torpedoes" tour. Many years later, I was an even bigger fan, because I loved Tom Petty's independence and funky, free-spirited attitude he maintained for 40 years. He was legendary in my book of creative greats. His piano player, Benmont Tench, is also one of my favorite musicians.

I made it to Red Rocks, and the concert went beyond what I could have imagined. It is the only time I ever sat in the front row for any concert, and it was well worth it.  It is now seared into my mind's "greatest experiences ever" database. And then the news came in October of his death. But I still listen to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers every day in my studio, in my car, and as I cook dinner. He will always inspire me.

Thanks for reading my blog, and thanks for all your support in 2017. And thanks to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for 40 years of songs that inspire me every day and through every era of my life.

Check out Tom Petty prints and products available on my Etsy shop. For all Tom Petty fans out there, these are great remembrances of a rock hero whose music became the soundtrack to our lives.

Also to view the original Tom Petty Wildflowers painting custom matted and framed, visit Schwebach Arts.



Thames and Hudson's "Cockatoo" Hits Bookstores

Lynn Schwebach


As artists, we enter everything. We try to get into juried shows. We try to get into galleries. We try to sell our artwork online. We try it all in an attempt to get our art and our message out into the world. 

So when someone contacts YOU, someone tells you that the painting she found on your blog/website is what they need for their upcoming book, you get excited. Okay you get up and dance around the room while your dog looks at you as if you've popped, and you scream so loud that your eyes water—and pop right out of your head.

That's what happened when Thames and Hudson, Australia e-mailed me one day about including my quirky "cockatoo" ink painting in their upcoming publication titled, "Cockatoo." 

Along with 80 other outstanding illustrations/painting, my cockatoo painting "On the Shoulder" appears. I am honored. 

Check out the book "Cockatoo" on the publisher's website

I am selling the original painting, matted and framed, on Check it out here. 

I am also selling prints on my Etsy site. 

As with most of everything that happens to me these days, I cannot find the words to express how I feel about getting included in this art book. WOW doesn't quite do it, but it's all I have at this moment. WOW! 


Saying Goodbye to a Painting

Lynn Schwebach


When you sell a painting, an initial surge of adrenaline reminds you that your heart is actually a pump, a motor, and it revs into high gear. After all, we create in order to share our passion with others. And the goal of every painting I create is to add a story to the many rooms of someone's existence, both external and internal. I want people to open doors with my art, to imagine new worlds, to walk into new spaces of light, joy, and sometimes even pain—because we often stuff our hurt into corners and we need to uncover it in order to grow. Selling is standing on stage and having people love the song you are singing.  

But selling also brings about a sense of letting go—a meditative goal. Sometimes a little melancholy sets in as we say goodbye to our creations.

So often two competing emotions arise—joy and sadness.  It's a state of being I find impossible to describe with words, but come closer to with my art. Which is why I paint, Which is why I sell. Which is why we must say goodbye in order to grow as an artist.  Which is why we simply say thank you to our buyers, to the mystery of letting go, to the ethereal world of making art.

I said goodbye to "Spirit of Delight" this week. As I wrapped it, I said a blessing over it asking that the owners sense hope, peace , and renewal through its existence in their home. I said I was grateful. I said goodbye. 



"Art Inc." Explains the Business of Art

Lynn Schwebach

by Lynn S. Schwebach


I love the internet, but sometimes I get lost clicking several links as I read, getting off topic and into areas that aren’t relevant. This happens a lot when I am seeking business advice on selling art, because I tend to find artists’ works I admire and then I am totally off subject. So sometimes I end up in bookstores—the old-school way—searching for a book that compiles important information in one sequential place.

Lisa Congdon’s “Art Inc.” provides exactly this type of nonfiction, focused brilliance. This beautiful book measures only 5.5” by 8” so it fits in my purse. I always have it handy to read and reread passages from it when standing in line at the grocery store, post office, or traveling by car or plane. As all books should be, this one just feels good to hold and page through. The publishers, Chronicle Books,used paper stock that is delicious to touch.

But what is more delicious is what this small powerhouse of a book contains on its pages. In only 7 chapters, Congdon addresses almost all art business questions I had and touches on topics I hadn’t yet discovered as an entrepreneur. But I love the first chapter the most, because it dispels the inner critic most artists listen to  as they begin their careers—the idea that promoting and selling your art is somehow not the true artist’s way.

As Congdon states early in the book, “being an artist is a viable career choice.” But you first have to wipe out the starving artist mind-set—that making money on what you create somehow degrades your profession.

And what I especially love about this book are the artist profile interviews in each chapter. The book’s designer set off these interviews from the other text by putting them  on orange pages and using white text. Each interview touches on the specific business topic that Congdon discusses in that particular section, and she includes a range of visual artists working in a diverse range of media. Inspiration abounds in the wise words of these working artists.

Here are some invaluable tips from this art business guidebook:

  • Which mind-set do you possess: that of a starving artist or a thriving artist? (pg. 15)
  • Most artists keep journals with both written and visual thoughts, helping work through creative blocks. (pg. 21)
  • Make a vision map of where you want your career to be in 3 to 5 years. (pg. 35)
  • Develop small actionable tasks to help you achieve your vision map. (pg. 38)
  • To protect yourself against copyright infringement, register your artworks with the U.S. Copyright Office. (pg. 45)
  • Send out and hand out postcards of your artwork. Galleries often keep files of these cards. (pg. 70)
  • Prepare a press kit, and promote yourself to blogs, magazines, and newspapers. (pg. 76)
  • Understand the pros and cons of sending your work to a commercial printer or investing in a high-end printer and making your own prints. (pg. 92)
  • To build your resume, apply to juried shows by following certain guidelines. (pg. 112)
  • How to introduce yourself to a gallery. (pg. 121)
  • The ins and outs of illustration and licensing contracts. (all of chaper 6).
  • Take time off to prevent burnout. (pg. 176)

This book was published 3 years ago in 2014. In the techie world, 3 years is a lifetime and for that reason, I felt the social media information in chapter 3, “Promoting Your Work,” to be a bit light. The opportunities for using social media to promote art has exploded, especially using Instagram. See my article,“Six Marketing Tips for Using Instagram,” and my Twitter articles:“Twitter is for Creatives—6 Easy Steps,” and “Tweet Your Way to a Personal Brand.” 

All artists are entrepreneurs. We must accept this fact and get on with the concept of marketing our artworks. if you are at any stage of your art career, and want to go old school and have an invaluable reference book, I suggest “Art Inc.”

For art business advice, I also recommend the online magazine Handmade Seller. 

To see my fine art paintings, visit or 

Finding the Story in the Process: Memories in the Making

Lynn Schwebach
My mom painting in a Memories in the Making Class. 

My mom painting in a Memories in the Making Class. 

As an artist, I thought a painting class with Alzheimer’s patients an appropriate way to apply my skills as a volunteer while spending time with my mom who suffers with dementia, but I quickly discovered that a Memories in the Making class entails much more than simply painting colorful pictures.

Unlike traditional art classes, the Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making (MIM) class does not stress the finished product but the experience the artists have as they create, and the memories that their painted images unlock and bring to the surface.

Sometimes No Words

The underlying reason for MIM, however, does parallel what drives most visual artists: self-expression. Those who suffer with dementia lose the ability to find and use words, so the painting process employed in MIM helps release emotions, frustrations, and memories trapped within dementia patients.

By sitting down once a week with memory care or nursing home residents, those trained in MIM are able to help patients communicate with colors, lines, and symbols. The class does not emphasize traditional drawing skills but emphasizes images—most abstract— as a means for telling others who they were and who they still are. Unlike arts and crafts activities, each MIM painting is unique—an expression of the individual artist.

“Even after people with dementia have lost the ability to use words, they are able to create paintings that reflect their thoughts, emotions, and memories in a manner that is expressive and beautiful,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association. “Art can become their voice.”

Over the past 7 months, I have heard participants in MIM classes suddenly talk of their children when they were young, of countries of origin, of barns and tractors that they and family members drove, and the experience of marching in the army during World War II. Because my mom lives with these individuals and I observe them almost daily, I know that these communications are not the norm.

Artist-Grade Supplies

Also during my first months of volunteering, I noticed the impressive quality of the art supplies the MIM facilitator used. This included 140-pound acid-free, cold-press watercolor paper, artist’s watercolor brushes, pencils, and markers and high-quality pan watercolors such as Pelikan, Talons, and Lyra.

After going through training by the Alzheimer’s Association, I learned that MIM care communities only use quality watercolor products because these products give artists the best outcome—often a treasured painting that families or organizations want to save.

The trainer talked of a painting done in the early years (early 1990s) of MIM in Orange County, California, where an artist in a MIM group surprised everyone with a colorful painting in memory of her family’s journey west in a covered wagon when she was 3 years old. She drew her brother and herself under the wagon along with detailed directional signs and symbols. It was a painting they wanted to keep, yet because they used cheap newsprint and construction paper, the artwork faded and yellowed. From that point forward, MIM classes only use artist-quality materials.

Me and my mom enjoying a Memories in the Making Class. 

Me and my mom enjoying a Memories in the Making Class. 

Stories Form Identities

One of my favorite aspects of each class involves hearing stories like the covered wagon journey.  Hearing the stories reminds me why I’m an artist. Stories comprise each of us and our humanity. They inform each of my paintings.

Somewhere toward the middle or end of the painting, I begin asking the MIM artist to share with me what his or her painting means. Sometimes this takes some prodding and creative questions to get responses. It might start with a the simple question of “what should we name the painting?”

If the artist has a story to tell, we write it in pencil on the back of the painting in pencil. In addition, we write his or name, the date, facility where completed and the facilitator’s name, and a directional arrow indicating the top of the painting.

But even if a specific memory isn’t brought to the surface by the painting, MIM initiates so many other benefits, including giving dementia patients an opportunity to socialize, and stimulation that improves mental alertness, visual memory, concentration, and imagination.

Activities like MIM are central to addressing the symptoms of a disease that hasn’t a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association states that Alzheimer’s “is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal brain disease.”

In the U.S. alone, 5.3 million people live with its debilitating effects. According to the Association, someone develops Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds. It predicts that by 2050, up to 16 million Americans will have the disease.

Most of us will ehave a family member, friend or acquaintance suffer with Alzheimer’s. MIM does not teach but provides a tool for communication for families and professional caregivers to learn more about family members and patients, and how best to treat those suffering with this disease.

It is one of the most rewarding art classes I have taught. And like most volunteer positions, the experience has given me much more than I can possibly offer. It has provided me with education on this disease, which affects my family and which I knew so little about. It affirms my belief that creativity is important to everyone and that its benefits go well beyond completing the perfect piece of art. And it adds to my story, one where connection and listening go hand in hand with a meaningful existence.

To see my paintings, all of which have a story, visit Schwebach Arts. 

Or take a stroll through my Etsy shop.

I took the Memories in the Making training class sponsored by the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. To find a chapter near you, click here.

The Alzheimer Association’s 24-help line is: 1.800.272.3900





The Voice Urging Me to Create

Lynn Schwebach

My grandfather Ferdinand F. Vermier painting at his easel in his 80s. 

Some people never leave us—they inspire us even after they have left our reality.

My grandfather passed away when I was 9 years old, yet every time I enter my art studio, he enters with me. I knew my grandfather Ferdinand, or Frenchy as many called him, during the last stretch of his life when he spent every day painting or making frames.

My grandfather had many artistic friends and although no one in our family remembered "John Torgo," we are thankful to him for this pencil rendering of our middle-aged grandpa.

He was in his last stretch while I was in my first, and the significance of his influence becomes more apparent to me as I now try to devote most of my days to art making. So when I don’t feel like picking up a brush and “working,” I think of my grandfather’s retirement as a full-time painter. He felt inspired until his last day, and never squandered a moment of this cherished time.

Ferdinand F. Vermier began his life as an artist in Belgium, but an older brother, also an artist, squashed his dreams. The competition between these two tempermental siblings was tough, and there are stories of flying paintbrushes. My grandfather was told by his father to find another profession.

From time to time, I also heard stories of another brother who became a sculptor. A newspaper story I have about my grandfather and his art, dated July 3, 1966, tells me my grandfather was one of 11 children. But my mom and her sister were born in the U.S., and they never knew or met any of their aunts and uncles. He abandoned his artistic goals at the age of 19, and entered college to become an engineer.

He left Belgium somewhere around 1903 (family history is sketchy) for Africa to help design and build a railroad in what was then the Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He traveled throughout Africa, and often told us dramatic stories of large snakes, tigers, and a pet monkey from his beloved time on this continent. He sailed for America in 1906 and wrote his wife, Henrietta, in Ghent, Belgium, to follow him. My mom claimed her mother didn’t come for 2 years, but the newspaper article reports 6 years. There are many conflicting stories about my grandfather and the family’s history, and only intense genealogy (some day) will straighten these discrepancies out.

Yet the exact details of my grandfather’s life aren’t integral to my story. It’s the fact that in the last 11 years of his life, after he had retired from his technical jobs, he took up his paintbrush and he painted. He worked every day. He created art. Many of these artworks now hang in my home, framed in his signature gold wooden frames.

I remember walking into his kitchen where pieces of framing supplies covered the table, and sawdust blew across the floor. Passing through this first room, I would enter the living room (art studio) to find him, standing at his easel.

He would pull me close, and wrap an arm around me—a paintbrush still in his other hand. I would stand transfixed at the images starting to take shape on the canvas before him.

I wasn’t a child that spent all my days and nights drawing, but I lived a lot in my head, and I imagined things—stories, scenes and images. He somehow intuited my passion for storytelling and art, and his encouraging words stuck. Even when I was working at jobs not cut out for me, jobs not suited to my creative impulses and passions, I heard his voice and his admonition to pursue a creative life. I remembered how he also worked jobs to pay the bills and raise his family.

And I remember that he lived his last days pursuing his calling to create because a calling cannot be ignored. His spirit is my lodestone, and it keeps me working even on days when forcing myself to sit and put colors to a page seems inconsequential, or nearly impossible. He refuses to let me give in to self pity. He reminds me that beauty is in the process. I tell him it is, and I thank him.

See my paintings here.

Welcome to Schwebach Arts

Lynn Schwebach
This is a photo I took in Australia available on the Shop Photos" page. All photos are copyrighted. 

This is a photo I took in Australia available on the Shop Photos" page. All photos are copyrighted. 

Art That Opens Doors

Through art, I strive to describe emotions that words cannot approach. I believe that some emotional states have yet to be named, because they are too powerful for words. And what about the space between opposing emotions? I often find myself in this abstract, nebulous place. Through my paintings and photography, I create a walkway into a transcendent place where easily defined emotions don't apply. 

Doors that open through my art were either closed, or impossible to open in other ways, or even doors that I did not know existed. Some doors were shut a long time ago and are slowly being reopened.

I often use organic images of the natural world as a way to open and get through these doors. Or I use vibrating colors or abstraction to perceive of a reality that differs from what our finite senses tell us. My paintings often combine realism and abstraction.

New doors often arrive through the viewfinder of my camera. I might be far from my home, sitting in a coffee shop among foreigners, pondering life over coffee, and I connect with something in someone's gaze. Or I could be home in Colorado capturing the beauty of a lighted mountaintop at daybreak. Or perhaps I'm back on Chicago's South Side, trying to understand the complex, diverse, and often dangerous neighborhoods where I grew up. 

Sometimes I reproduce images as a photograph. Sometimes I print the image and paint it. Sometimes I do both. Sometimes I combine photographs and paintings. Creating for me always translates into finding and opening new doors, trying something new, searching for ways to break new ground. I value the freedom to experiment and to find novel ways of expression. Experimenting with expression is what brings me the greatest joy as an artist—although I don't think joy is the most accurate symbol for this feeling—it's simply the word that most closely approximates the intense emotion one senses while creating. 

Perhaps "contemplative" is the best word, for now, to describe my paintings and photographs. I thank you for looking and reading. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding my art. 

I also run at Etsy shop at