Much of my work exists where tradition meets the personal. Painting affords me the opportunity to converse with a culture lost to me through time and distance. As I create, I’m reminded that there is a long familial tradition of women who came before me. Creating out of necessity, warmth, and sustenance, these Slavic women were not thinking of art or galleries or showings but of practical pride in a solid fund of craft. From the whispers of my foremothers, I find the very foundations of my art.
Whether I’m working with fabric, paint, or mixed media, I tend to follow a routine: adding materials and color, subtracting, reworking, taking away, back and forth until the overall effect looks effortless, not contrived or forced. I like my pieces to feel casual and immediate, regardless of how many hours I may labor over them. I like the colors to melt together overall with dancing bits of contrasting color and texture—a raw edge meets smooth silk, soft neutrals offset with shots of cobalt or orange.
After years of still life paintings and non-objective subjects based on pattern, color, and texture, I began painting pieces with more personal meaning, directly inspired by the pond where I make my home.
Producing exceptional fine art inspired by craft, Aiken, SC painter Staci Swider’s work reinterprets the patterns and textures found in function-driven objects such as quilts and baskets as dreamscape imagery that straddles the line between figurative and abstract.
Swider’s visual history includes stints as both a corporate and freelance textile designer, professional painter and author. Her work has been exhibited at Morris Museum of Art as well as several galleries across the Southeast. She is currently working on a painting book planned for a Fall 2016 publication date.