Team Dylan Defeat DIPG

On August 8th, the sister of my sister in law (I know, just say family) found out that her four year old daughter was diagnosed with DIPG, which is an acronym for Diffuse pontine glioma. 
“DIPG is an aggressive tumor found in the area of the brainstem that interferes with all bodily functions, depriving a child of the ability to move, to communicate, and even to eat and drink.
DIPG primarily affects children, with most diagnoses occurring between 5 and 7 years of age. DIPG makes up 10-15% of all brain tumors in children, with about 150-300 new diagnoses per year in the United States. Unlike many other pediatric cancers, there has been little progress in improving treatments and cure rates for DIPG over the last few decades. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of children with DIPG survive two years from diagnosis.”  (Source:

I cannot even fathom what this family is going through. Dylan is 6 months younger than my daughter and her big brother Mason is a year younger than my son. As a mom and a teacher, this hit me particularly hard. I thought about what I could do without getting in the way, I could just make a donation to the Go Fund Me account or I could use whatever resources I could muster and figure out how to give a little more. Money and objects mean nothing when you’re praying for the health of a child, but at least money can help with expenses, ease some worry and help pay for experimental therapy. 

In the words of my five-year-old daughter, “Dylan is my cousin’s cousin, so she’s in my family, and I love her”. The Swain family sends love and prayers and good vibes and all the things. And the money: 100% percent of all sales of 8” x 10” “Dylan’s Unicorn” art prints and limited editions of the sloth, deer and peacock prints will be donated to the Harrell Family. Please join us on Team Dylan Defeat DIPG and purchase a print today.  

To purchase: follow this link:  

1. specify in your note which print you would like, add your Facebook name for a shoutout  

2. Donate 30$ or more per print.  

3. Add your address, PayPal will ask for this.

4. Wait for your print and good karma.  

choices:  specify unicorn, sloth, deer or peacock.  

Note: the flier below says 28$ but 30$ covers shipping!



Chalkboard Mural

I finally finished this chalkboard mural I've been working on my art studio for the last month! This was done on chalkboard wall paint with chalk pastels. You can see from the time-lapse video there were a few interruptions along the way, but I had fun creating it! My kids are always in and out of my art space, making things on their own or joining me. See if you can spot the crying tantrum in the middle (not me, the three-year-old). It's amazing how much art can transform your space- this is just a simple dark wall and some chalk. Now maybe I'll leave it up for a few weeks before I erase and start over.  I forgot how much I like chalk and pastels. I also was reminded of how much I love to work BIG!

Here is the finished art: 

Chalkboard by Jordan Swain

Chalkboard by Jordan Swain

Damascus Rose

Just watercolor doodling at 11 pm. #ishouldbeasleep but it's one time I don't have a constant little helper and it's so quiet. Tonight I could hear an owl hooting outside my studio window. This little time lapse was made with just my iPhone. I used Sennelier French Artists' watercolor and Dr. PH Martin's  liquid watercolors and ink. 

Please share!  

Good night owl. And night owls!  

Fun Projects

I get to make so many fun projects while I am teaching!  These were made during demonstrations with my class. We are doing a watercolor workshop now.  I do love teaching watercolor painting- it teaches patience, as you have to wait for layers to dry if you don't want your colors to bleed together; it teaches spontaneity as sometimes you have to literally go with the flow, and it teaches that sometimes mistakes can turn out to be good things.  My grandma Lois, who is a spectacular professional artist and my biggest artistic influence, used to play with watercolors and inks with me when I was little. We would throw down some paint, squish it by folding the paper, and look to see what it was, and then make it into an animal or creature.  This is a great activity for kids and adults to increase creative thinking and vision. 

I wish I was closer than four hours so my grandma and I could paint together more often!  Please visit her website here:

I made this cute platter and sent it home with my sweet sis-in-law who was visiting us from Italy.  I get to play with clay sometimes, and I love it, but I'm not as talented with clay as my colleague, Steve. 



I  just finished this surprise work of art for my cousin's kids and I'm off to the post office to mail it.  Camping foxes!

Welcome to the world, baby website!

Well, my old site got hacked, I got fed up with Ipage (seriously, don't ever use them to host your site) and I'm starting over with a brand new site!  How exciting!  So far, I am loving Squarespace.  My plan is to start an art blog that shows what I'm working on, art-wise, but also shares my favorite art finds and artists.  I'm an art teacher, too and I have this thing in my class called "inspiration Monday" where I show my students something I love in the art world.  I'm going to do it here and see if anyone else cares.  If not, at least my students have to care.  For the grade.  You know who you are...

Happy Fall!

fall notebook.jpg