Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself!

Our friend Roger is always expressing himself!

He walked behind my mother and my husband while they were conversing at a New years Eve party just as I snapped the shutter. Out of the corner of his eye he caught me framing the next shot and decided to jump back into the picture with a flourish.

The second shot not only shows him sailing back into the frame, but also highlights the awesome t-shirt he’s wearing, printed with his own illustration of one his horseshoe crab masks.

Horseshoe Crab Mask by Roger Swezey.
Horseshoe Crab Mask by Roger Swezey.
T-shirt by Roger Swezey.

Roger has expressed himself with his artwork for decades, giving up architecture and becoming known as the “Vulture Sculpture” man exhibiting at several Renaissance Fairs for many years. His sculpture is made from gathered bits of flotsam and jetsam; shells, crab claws, horseshoe crabs, drift wood, coconuts, pine cones, tree roots and the like, salvaged from the water’s edge or the woodland floor.

Framed sculpture by Roger Swezey. Vulture in Moonlit Woods.
Framed sculpture. Vulture in Moonlit Woods by Roger Swezey.

More recently he developed his “Pixel Pointillism” designs and “Feral Coot” illustrations. Both descriptive phrases, he coined himself.

Pixel pointillism Bumblebee by Roger Swezey.
Pixel pointillism Bumblebee by Roger Swezey.
Can't We Just Get Along? Feral coot illustration by Roger Swezey.
Can’t We Just Get Along? Feral coot illustration by Roger Swezey.
The Hep Coots, a band of feralgenarians by Roger Swezey.
The Hep Coots, a band of feralgenarians by Roger Swezey.

Roger calls himself a “feralgenerian,” another word that he invented, and lives up to this resourceful, free-spirited description. After losing his home and just about everything else, in Hurricane Sandy, including most all of the supplies and materials which he gathered from beaches and woodlands over decades, he collected himself and began anew in the Hudson Valley. He accomplished all this starting-over while in his seventies! He had the help of a few wonderful and supportive friends, but even so, many other people in the same circumstances would have despaired and given up. Roger rallied his inner, stubborn curmudgeon and marched on!

Although he probably doesn’t know it, Roger has been an inspiration to me over the years. He’s an awesome example of someone walking to the beat of their own drummer; a perfect example of self expression! …

Roger Swezey, 1956.
Roger Swezey, 1956.
roger_swezey fashion-1965-one wm
More traditional work by Roger Swezey.

… I’m so grateful to have the pleasure to count him as one (or two!) of my friends!


You can find Roger and his work in person at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

You can also find his work online at either of his two Fine Art America shops here or here, at Zazzle, at O Art Tee, and on facebook.

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Express Yourself.”

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19 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself!

    1. Thank you! Your comment is encouraging! I feel more comfortable taking photos than writing, although I would like to do more writing to become better at it. I attempted a little more narrative than I usually do with this post.
      The photos aren’t all mine. I added Roger’s name as a wtermark to the ones that he took and included a direct link to his online store with each image. I did take the shots of Roger, my mom, and my husband, and the one of Roger and his double, and I set up the camera and had someone else click the shutter for the pictures of Roger, his double and me… so the photos in this post were a group effort – I can’t take all the credit 🙂

      Like

  1. He definitely sounds like someone who has no difficulty expressing himself 🙂
    I was very intrigued about his art using bits and bobs collected from nature. I really enjoyed browsing through his website and his feralgenarians made me laugh. I hope to someday be one too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly does not! 🙂
      The feralgenarians are great… they always make me chuckle, too!
      … And it’s fascinating to see how Roger uses found objects in his sculpture. The vultures have mussel shell wings and crab claw faces. The rat bodies are made from baby coconuts. Their tails are bits of pine tree branches. Their ears are pine cone apophysis (Not sure if that’s the right word. I mean the little bits that flair out from the center of the pine cone.) The bats have mussel shell wings and, I think, baby coconut heads.
      His pixel pointillism is also made from bits and bobs – of the digital variety! If I’m not mistaken, Roger started doing these after he lost most of his supplies in hurricane Sandy.
      All of his work is expressive, imaginative and creatively constructed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You did a beautiful job here showing people what an old ‘coot’ can do! I know Roger through Fine Art America and he is one of a kind, the kind part may even refer to his big heart. He is witty, quirky (in a good way), intelligent, helpful and very talented. Thank you for such a well written tribute to the old coot.

    Mary Ellen Mueller Legault

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome! It is my great pleasure to be a friend of Roger’s 🙂 He certainly is one of a kind and that does include his big heart!
      Thanks for taking the time to visit, read and comment 🙂

      Like

  3. Thank you so much for liking my poem Colorful Questions. I appreciate it and accept it as a blessing. I will see if I can send you a photo for your photo challenge.

    Brent Kincaid, WordMusic.

    Like

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome! Roger and his work are wonderfully one-of-a-kind!
      I look forward to reading your post detailing more about the copper craftsmen of Santa Clara del Cobre. It seems I’m not the only one that was inspired by this photo challenge to plan a larger post! 🙂

      Like

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