Annie Swarm Guldberg

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

  • Art › painting

Expressionist oil painter working from beautiful Iowa. Working graphic designer, mother, and big hearted human that loves art.

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Review and thoughts from the film Loving Vincent

January 20, 2018, 12:04 pm

I had the ((long awaited)) pleasure of watching this incredible film last night. And yes, I’m saying film instead of movie-- it deserves it, trust me! The film is an experience to say the least, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. For anyone who is an artist, dabbles in art at all, loves art or knows and artist, or loves the work of Vincent Van Gogh, this is a must see. I’m going to break it down into a few key points as to why you should carve out 95 mins of you life to learn and experience VVG’s art and life as never before, and it couldn’t be a more interesting ((and true!)) story.


As an artist: I’ve always deeply loved Vincent Van Gogh’s work, and it is definitely one of the main points of inspiration that lead me to becoming an artist myself. Having started creating work at age 28, and dying at age 37, Van Gogh was intensely prolific but only sold 1 painting during his lifetime. The burden of his fervent, creative mind as well as a dysfunctional childhood and young-adulthood were the cornerstones to his tragic story. He is now hailed as a founding father of modern art, and it pains me that he never saw his art make the impact that it made and is still making. After watching this film, which is animated using hand painted oil paintings, my mind was burning with inspiration, and everywhere I looked I saw the potential of a scene to paint. I can only imagine this is what it was like to walk around as Vincent on a daily basis, nearly consumed by vision, and constantly trying to not be incapacitated by it.


As an art lover/supporter of artists: The film is beautifully animated, and each second is a treat for your eyes. They incorporate 120 of VVG’s actual paintings, and the characters in the film are subjects from his work. The story is woven together from his actual letters to friends and family to tell the story of his life and death. You will gain a deeper appreciation for art, painting, and  that screw loose that most artists have-- and must have-- in order to be driven to create. The people around him who saw his potential supported and loved him for who he was, which he desperately needed.


As a parent: It is heartbreaking to learn about the disappointment VVG felt he was to his family. As he passed through failure after failure career wise, the depiction of the need he had for pleasing his parents nearly had me in tears. It was the support of his brother that even enabled him to create art (and get mental help) but in the end the guilt of the burden he was to his brother was too much to bear. This strikes me very much- that the feeling of “my parents don’t like me” can be so deeply damaging to a child and carry through into every aspect of life. This will make me hug my children more, encourage them in their interests and talents, and love (and like) them for the people they are, not the people I think they should be.


As a person with a fervent mind: I experience what I call “fervent mind”- in which the creative ideas and passions are coming easily and quickly, and i’m very driven to be in my studio creating. During these times, regular life is a bit difficult to keep up with, but i’m lucky enough to be able to go back and forth between my responsibilities and my artwork without becoming incapacitated. I can only imagine what it is like to have your fervent mind running at all times- and you can see in the film what difficulty VVG had making connections with people and having relationships. It’s a reminder to me to take care of myself and my mind, and to seek help through counseling or more when the cracks in my mind become chasms that I can’t cross on my own. I wonder what he would have been able to accomplish had he been able to receive modern treatment for depression or bi-polar disorder. Also a reminder that those that deal with mental illness on any level still have plenty to offer our world, and they may be a genius struggling under the weight of their gifts.


I think that’s my complete thoughts, though this film will continue to swirl in my thoughts and in my eyes for a long time to come. My final tip is to watch the film at a time of day when you are wide awake- you won’t want to doze off during this one or you’ll miss details in the conversations and dialog that will leave you confused. Pick a time when you’re free from distraction and have the energy to stay awake and watch!


Most of all, enjoy the beauty of the work in the film and the interesting and true story of an amazing and inspirational artist.

Wow! What an amazing film. We watched it last night in awe. The movie’s site at says the artists painted 65,000 frames for the 853 shots in the film. Mind boggling! And did you see that you can buy some of the original paintings from the filmmakers? And prints, too. Thanks for the great, in-depth review.
Posted By: carl
142 days 20 hrs 45 mins 35 secs ago
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It's All Related- Chromatic Obsession

January 19, 2018, 11:27 am
My son's play food
Crochet time is a great time to think about painting
More of this to come. For sure.
That sky!
My little helper stole this to be a blankie for his bear.
Learning a new stitch pattern
my pens i love to stare at
Dark Side of the Moon

I've been fairly obsessed with the chromatic spectrum lately.  I don't know exactly when it started, but it's taken on a full fledged mental obsession- I even see these colors and images when I close my eyes at night.  When this is happening to me, it is usually a great time of creativity and growth.  I absolutely love the new ideas this brings on, however the fervent mind it brings can be a bit much for me and my family ha ha!  Things tend to get a little disorganized and things like cooking dinner and other adulting tasks must take a ((way)) back seat to my strong creative urges.  The times like this are to be cherished though- as it cannot usually be brought on "manually", rather, I must keep practicing, painting, experimenting and exploring until- BING POP WOW- fervent, obsessive creative mind is here for a visit- however long it may last. It's also good that it doesn't last forever, or I might not be a very good mother, spouse, employee etc.  Ha ha!  My husband can see it coming a mile a way, and just says, "Shine on you crazy diamond" and sends me out to the studio to work. (And yes I know that's a Pink Floyd song- speaking of rainbows and spectrums... yes yes I know, wrong album)  In my art journey, i've seen time and time again that one idea leads to another, to another to another.  It's all related!


Please enjoy these images that have contributed to this current chromatic obsession.  

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Warmly Welcomed and Settled In

November 27, 2017, 11:24 pm
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Painting Explanation: Powers of Recall

February 22, 2017, 9:06 am
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My Toddler Could Make that!

January 31, 2017, 3:01 pm
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Flooded: Painting Explanation/ Meaning

December 29, 2016, 8:55 am
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New studio- finally!!!

October 25, 2016, 10:35 am
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It Takes a Village to Raise an Artist

September 4, 2016, 12:04 pm
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Let's share a VENTI size cup of ART!

May 6, 2016, 11:25 am

Welcome to my Scratchbang support site! Scratchbang is a ultra cool site that helps connect artists of all kinds to awesome supporters.  When you sign up to support an artist, it goes through your Paypal account- so it's easy, and secure. Then your support comes straight to me to use for rent, supplies, or applying for art shows. 


I am **4** supporters away from reaching my goal of 10!  Supporters at ANY amount (even $1 a month!) get to choose  a FREE PAINTING from this fabulous list!  In addition to that nice warm feeling you will get inside your heart from supporting an artist, you will also receive access to my subscriber only posts.  These are sort of secretive posts- as I've started posting painting explenations.  I've only recently been brave enough to share this background information with the public!  Also, first looks at sales, and even some giveaways!  And you get your name in lights at the top of my Facebook page!


To give you an idea of what your support means to me, here is a few way that even small amounts add up to great support:

$1/month= $12/year= 3 new paint brushes!

$1/month from 10 people= $120/year= a month's rent for my studio!

$2/month= $24/year= a nice roomy and blank canvas to create a new painting on!

$5/month= $60/year= 3 or 4 tubes of yummy delicious oil paints!

All of this great support- and all for less than your Starbucks habit- yes I know about it!


So- wouldn't it be fun to enjoy a cup of coffee together?  I would love that- because I love people and I love to talk- but guess what?  I don't drink coffee!  Not ever!  Not even one sip!  (It's one of my life-stances.  It's ridiculous, i know, but we can discuss that later.)  So instead of coffee, let's share a cup of art together!  


Small amounts add up to big support for this artist!  And it is SO appreciated.  


Your grateful friend,

Oil Painter Annie 






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Painting explanation: House of Mystery and Hope

May 1, 2016, 10:00 pm
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Beautiful Abandon

February 24, 2016, 11:10 am
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Preparing for my first solo show!

February 13, 2016, 11:29 am
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Past, Present, Future

January 3, 2016, 10:11 am
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Dream job (???) here I come!

January 3, 2016, 10:20 am
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6 more supporters- help me reach my goal!

October 4, 2015, 11:13 am

I have been amazed at all the ways supporters are out there.  From people who visit me at my studio, likes/comments/shares on social media, painting purchases, and even the guy at work who brings me rocks for free for my Rock Monsters!  There are so many people out there helping me to make my art and studio possible! 

My goal with Scratchbang is to get 10 supporters- and I need 6 more to reach my goal!  I am giving away a free painting (!!!!!) to my first 10 supporters, so it is a great time to sign up.  Once I reach my goal, I will be doing a giveaway for supporters only!  If you are a supporter, please share with all your friends.  Post a picture with your free art!  If you're not a supporter yet- today is the day!  Oh, and to peruse the selection of free paintings you can choose from- click here!


Support of any and all types is so sincerely appreciated!!!!!!!!


~ Oil Painter Annie ~

This is such a generous offer! Thanks for showing us around your studio during Art Crawl night... What a great space!
Posted By: carl
993 days 12 hrs 23 mins 35 secs ago
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Rock Monster Giveaway!!!!!

August 22, 2015, 9:33 am

Hello all!  Lots of good art ideas kicking around today as I head to the studio.  Sometimes I am so filled with ideas I can barely see straight!  It's a good problem to have- except maybe when i'm at work and need to focus.  So grateful for my Saturdays at my studio.  If I didn't have that each week- the ideas would either completely eat my brain- or die and go away forever! 

This week I will be working on more Rock Monsters.  These are really fun to create- I look at each rock and let the face become formed by the shape of the rock- so each one is different.  I will also attempt a new time lapse video of the process- just because I think those videos are just so much fun.

More fun news- once I meet my goal of 10 supporters here on Scratch Bang, I will give away a Rock Monster to a lucky supporter!  So, if you are already a supporter, share this page to help me reach my goal!  If you are not already a supporter, sign up!  You get a FREE PAINTING if you are one of my first 10 supporters!  Support at any level is greatly appreciated!

Thanks, as always, for your support!


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New video!

July 25, 2015, 11:44 pm

I am experimenting with making time lapses of my paintings in progress- here is my first one.  I learned a lot- will do more in the future!

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Free painting for my first 10 subscribers!!

July 23, 2015, 9:39 pm

In order to celebrate my new and exciting opportunity to be a part of Scratchbang, and to really get this party started right- I am offering my first 10 subscribers on Scratchbang a FREE PAINTING!!!! Wow!!!! Support at any amount will get you your pick from this fine list of paintings. (Or, if you don't see one that trips your trigger right away, you can have a $30 voucher off any of my paintings that are currently available!)


Besides a free painting now- what other benefits will be in store for supporters?  Well, i'm so glad you asked!  I am going to be posting monthly Scratchbang exclusive content (it will only be here!!!) featuring a monthly deal on art- a sale...a giveaway...a free painting!  Trust me- if you are a fan, you are going to want to stick around!


Your support at any amount means so much to me!  Thank you in advance.  Let's get this party started!