“Starálfur” 60x48 (photos courtesy Emmy Swenson)

Emmy Swenson is an acrylic painter who prefers large canvases.

She is also hair-stylist extraordinaire and owner of Sage Studio in Boulder. Her partner, Mathieu Shields, is a custom jeweler at Todd Reed and they have two wonderful sons.

Emmy Swenson at the debut of her ART Movement Colorado show, with sons Xavi (left) and Francis (right). (photos courtesy Emmy Swenson)

H+G: What is your favorite thing about creating art?
Swenson: It is a time when I can 100 percent check out while completely checking in. No distractions.

H+G: What is your greatest challenge about creating art? 
Swenson: Cleaning my brushes.

H+G: What inspires you? 
Swenson: Music and flow. There are a few musicians that bring me to the place I need to be—it lands me at the most desirable place imaginable, without having to catch a flight or deal with jet lag.

H+G: What terrifies you? 
Swenson: The goings-on in America.

H+G: Why did you choose abstract art?
Swenson: Because it is collections of what I relate to. I may enjoy the vibe or the texture of something, but never feel inspired to pull from it exactly. My essence is built up from bits and pieces of so many things I capture along the way, but if I wore all of that as it was, I’d be a simple open book. Abstract is mysterious. It creates and invokes whatever a person wants to feel from it. I get to narrate and perform an entire range of experience or feeling via my process into canvas, and then release it into the universe. What’s left is what a person draws from it. I think that’s a beautiful thing.

H+G: What artists do you admire?
Swenson: There are too many mediums to narrow that question down! There is so much I appreciate from so many versions.

“Veil” 60×48 (photos courtesy Emmy Swenson)

H+G: What is your favorite pastime? 
Swenson: Outside of hair, makeup artistry and painting, that would be spending time with my family. Lots of cooking. Growing our food or buying from local people who do. Interior design, lately, taking my kids to ride horses and always adventuring—a lot of adventuring.

H+G: What do you want your art to say?
Swenson: Well, I can tell you that I know the feeling when it’s finished. It’s the feeling I feel that I want you to feel. It’s a feeling of wholeness and calm. No chaos, just allowing you to go to a place where there isn’t a something everywhere. Just a place you get to go that brings you to wherever you want to be.


Emmy Swenson currently shows her work at ART Movement Colorado, 2490 Junction Place, and Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery, 1301 Spruce St. The Guest House Shop in Denver (guesthouseshop.com) also displays her work in homes that the company stages.