I finished this sketchbook today! I have one that I have a few pages left in that I will start again tomorrow and then onto a fresh book. I need a few days to decide which one I want to use!
I've been obsessed with painting houses this month.
Please visit my other blog here for content about the sketchbook and other updates!
This is a very special sketchbook page. I had dinner with the great Helen Dardik, Carolyn Gavin and Monika Forsberg and we each took turns drawing on this page when we were finished eating. We had a fabulous time and I think the drawing came out really well!
Filling in the last 4 weeks in clumps today!
The last month has been so hectic and am happy to have a wonderful new intern to help me get my images onto the website! Surtex was an amazing experience and I will write about that on my blog very soon.
I finished my last sketchbook and have started a new one. This one is a bit bigger and doesn't fit on my scanner as a spread so here it is page by page. It is a heavy watercolor paper too which is different for me. I've been playing with markers, ink and of course my staple gouache. Happy May!!
Yes, I'm finally up to date posting my sketchbook paintings. How can a month go so fast, i mean to do it every week! I'm gearing up for Surtex and working on a super secret fabulous project that I can't wait to talk about!
I've been enjoying working on specific, limited color palettes. I choose a few colors from my paints that feel right at the moment and just go with those. Its a great way to discover new combinations that work well together.
I've been playing around with lettering which is really fun. I need to do a lot of it to feel really confident so I'll be doing it often. The woman down on the bottom with the puff of dust over her head is me with a migraine. I'm working on this issue. I found a community acupuncture place that doesn't cost a fortune so I've been going regularly. It makes a difference.
I finally went back to the smaller sketchbook and can show the spreads again. I like to do it this way better. Although typically now I'm missing the bigger sketchbook. I plan to use that one too, just not for this project. I've been having fun adding borders into the art. I loved mixed patterns and love playing this way.
I spent up until this week working in a larger sketchbook. But it was a challenge for me to fit the paintings into my 30 minute designated time slot. I've learned from experience that if I take any longer than that I start to get stressed out and I can't move on with my day. It was hard for me to admit that I couldn't do it. I'm now back to using a 5x8" sketchbook and it all seems so much more manageable and I'm happier. I will be doing larger paintings but just not with a time constraint around them.
More collage, some pen and ink and a first a geometric! I feel like its so limitless what I can play around with, there needs to be more time in a day.
I've been anxious to try new techniques.. The bigger sketchbook is definitely a challenge to get a whole painting done in 30 minutes. I think some days are more successful than others. I started using some vintage paper in a few of these which is something I want to explore more.. As you can see every day I wake up and do something very different from the last.. I go with my mood.
It's midwinter, freezing cold but with the exception of my cat gazing out the window at the snow I am channeling spring. I've been on a daytime social media freeze and I'm SO much more productive in my full day. There is just more time to think and get things done. I have momentary withdrawal pains though....
I thought it was a week since I last posted and it turns out to be 9 days. In this sketchbook I'm only painting on one side of the paper so I don't have spreads the way I had before.. In a way its more like a daily painting rather than a sketchbook series, they just happen to be in a book. I had contemplated doing away with the book completely.. but it felt too open that way.. Just using the larger size has made a big difference.
Oh my... It certainly looks like I'm craving warm weather, looking back at the last week of paintings! I'm loving the bigger format of the paper.. I feel like I have room to breathe in a certain way.. One of these days I'll have to go back to the smaller book and see what happens. I love this type of play!
I'm starting anew for 2015! These paintings are still in a sketchbook but it is larger and for now I'm not painting on the back of each page so they are more like paintings unto themselves. I have kept the 30 minute time limit, I have spent a little extra time maybe up to 10 minutes sketching in pencil first. But I'm still trying to keep the immediacy of the paintings and not get hung up on perfection. I get my best work this way... This week with the exception of the gold/dk red on, the theme is my resolutions for 2015. To cook more, more self care, to get out and see the world, to keep up my interview blog for our local arts council. I still feel like I'm painting small on bigger paper so at some point I need to try to paint something at a larger scale within this size paper... I had a fun week with this!
I am looking at 2 sketchbooks with 365 paintings in them. Last January I set the goal of a 30 minute painting a day in these particular books. You can read about my process here.
Thank you so much to Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine who featured my sketchbook way back in Issue 21 in the spring, And Lisa Congdon. who encouraged me and gave me so much exposure on her blog, and Laura Tarrish who interviewed me for theDesign Observer blog. And so many others. (Now I sound like I'm accepting an Oscar) but I'm truly grateful!
That's a wrap for 2014! Happy New Year!!
This is my 2nd to last post of this year. I've been reflecting on this journey, I'm thinking about what the meaning of it is for me and for you. Its something I need a little time to "see" properly. But next week I will attempt to make a stab at it. Have a great New Years week. Jen
I've been bogged down with some administrative work.. Not my cup of tea and it really adds stress. I wish it could be just painting all day. This project has saved me from having days where I do nothing creatively all day. I'm grateful I started. And now there is only less than 2 weeks to go and I have 365 paintings. In my last post of the year I will talk about some of the challenges and rewards. Its been an incredible journey that I will be continuing. (Maybe with New Years Day OFF!!)
And four days of December. Only 27 paintings to go and I've fullfilled my project. i'm continuing but I will change it up a bit. I need to decide what to do.
Wow, I got SO behind.. This is the 2nd half of November.. I can manage to paint in my sketchbook everyday, I TRY to exercise, I do my work, I instagram and FB but this blogging is just one step more than I can manage. How do you find time for this? I want to write thoughts about everything but I'm just too swamped and tired to do it. Maybe a New Years Resolution?
So this week I finished my first sketchbook. It's FULL! Every last page is painted. It feels amazing to have accomplished this as well as great to be starting in a fresh book that isn't so thick and curvy. It got hard to paint in towards the end.. This week I also had a situation with ruining one of my pages. I spray fixative on each page so that the paint doesn't rub off on one another. It did in the beginning of the book and the pages look a bit distressed. I painted the apple as you see from the bottom photo that I showed on instagram. The next day I started doing my drawing in ball point pen (a first) I decided I didn't like it and painted over the page in orange acrylic and painted that cat. All was great. But when I sprayed the fixative onto the apple page all the ink bled through. Oh Well... It's just one of those things that happens. It's not worth getting to upset over it, and now it has a story. And I do have the pic!
Cats, Veggies, Sunflowers, Migraines and Candy! Just things that are on my mind... Happy November.
These are the last weeks of October but my actual Halloween Painting is on a spread with November 1 so it's going into the November post. I've been feeling tired lately and sometimes its a struggle to do this.. The top right portrait of me is me at 4AM up, not sleeping, not too happy.. But it's all cyclical.. can't be perfect every day.
Well, I got the dates all mixed up, but it's still a painting a day so I'm not going to spend time fixing it all up... I'll talk about being creative everyday in the sketchbook. Its hard. I had many days this week when I really had no idea what to paint. I got frustrated and tired. My fingers felt like they couldn't even hold a paintbrush. But I find its really helpful to just put on the timer go. I don't always love it, or even like it, but I did it. I guess its just about showing up. Some of my best ones have come out on a morning like that. You just never know.
Welcome Autumn and the cooler weather. So far this week I've been inspired by fashion on the street, crowds of people flowers and my selfie.
Whoa, I got way out of control with posting my sketchbook. But I've been doing it everyday still.. The 3 faces at the top of this post are the 3 days of migraine. I really like how on the red/black one the paper tore and it looks like I'm crying. I don't usually cry during a migraine, its just something I've learned to live through but its not unreal that that could happen.. Otherwise this month is about farmers markets and flowers and stylizing faces and animals which is something I'm interested in exploring more.
I went on a 2 week vacation with my Mom at the beginning of September. It was a cruise, not my personal choice of vacation travel but I was with my Mom and we went to beautiful places, so I just went with the flow. I don't like getting off a boat and seeing a place for a few hours with hundreds of other tourists.. but I found those were some of my favorite paintings.. All the different faces and bodies and expressions. I could have painted everyone. I got to see the Dalmation Coast where I've never been before so I can decide if I want to go back for an extended stay. I think I still need to wind down from this before I can make any real decisions on that. I used a new sketchbook, as I didn't want to take the other one in case something happened to it. I made a few mistakes here, leaving a page blank here and there.. It's always a bit odd to be out of the regular routine.
I'm leaving on vacation in 1/2 an hour but I wanted to get these in before I go. These are photos from my iphone of the book rather than scans so I'm interested to see how they look on the website. Next batch of work should be coming from inspiration in Italy, the Dalmation Coast and Greece. I'm, going with stacks of sketchbooks, paint and pens. I'll be posting on Instagram @augustwren if you'd like to follow along!
There is a big range of subject matter the last 2 weeks. I have to say I feel I'm slumping as far as inspiration. I need to get out for some different visual stimulus to make this feel exciting. I've been busy with a big illustration job and Lilla Roger's global talent search. I'm feeling super tired right now. Will write more later.. 🙂
I finished Month 7! It's becoming a habit now. I still have days where it's really hard. I sit down and my mind is a complete blank. But I push through and something happens. I may not like it but I've done it. But more times than not I surprise myself and in that push I discover something new and I get excited. There are also days where the painting just flows out but it can't be perfect every day.
More than 1/2 the month has gone by so quickly. I was on Cape Cod for a week which was so glorious. Beautiful weather, cool breezes, good food, the beach and relaxation. Every morning I set up my paints on the screened in porch and painted . I could be happy doing that more often! This month my sketchbook was featured in Uppercase Magazine! What a thrill. I'm so happy and grateful that my project this year has turned into something so special that resonates for many. I hope I've inspired others to start this practice, It's a life changer in so many ways. The most basic being that I can see that I can create something every day in such a short time. It has built alot of confidence. I recommend this for everyone.
This week is the 6 month mark of my daily paintings. I've learned so much from doing this project already. I learned that I can be disciplined (I wasn't so sure about that), I can come up with an idea every day, which has been a problem for me in the past. For the most part I feel I have found who I am as a painter..This quirky, whimsical, painterly realism, with a decorative touch. The book has been amazing for finding reference for other projects, playing around with color combinations, paint techniques,. I've painted from life, from my imagination, from reference on the internet, they all have something great to offer me. Best of all I've made so many virtual connections through this. The support has been outstanding. Thank you all very much.
12 days go by so quickly. In another 12 I'll be at the beach for a week which I'm really looking forward to. I spend alot of time in my studio. Just to be in a different place and be able to breathe deeply. (Please follow me on instagram @augustwren if you are interested in seeing my daily progress. I also have prints of some of my pages in my Etsy shop, link to both in left column.)
I was sad when the pages for the nautical's got stuck together.. and they ripped when I pulled them apart. Oh well. It's all in the plan not to obsess over it too much. In the meantime I've painted a few similar ones on canvas and paper to keep up the flow. I still find the hardest part to be what to paint.. There are either too many ideas or I get completely stuck. So I just choose something and go for it.
I've been juggling themes in the past few weeks in the sketchbook. Spring flowers and hats, Fruit and veggies, and ending the month with 30 minute Old Masters. That was a lot of fun and I will be continuing painting those occasionally when the mood strikes. I find more and more the page on the left informs the next day's painting on the right. The color choices, the mood. It doesn't always work but I'm thinking about that more and more. June is the beginning of month 6, I'm feeling accomplished/a little overwhelmed. The hardest part is still hardest to deciding what to paint each day.
We are painting dolls for the mini assignment in Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells class. I was at the local church sale the other day and found this old Japanese doll. She was dirty and a bit straggly but had an elegant look I wanted to paint. And here is my Mom. My Dad died last year and she is really strong and doing so well now. I'm very happy about that.
More doll faces for Make Art that Sells. The Magnolias were actually a display at my friends Hat Shop, hanging all over the ceiling. So pretty and asking to be painted! @thehatshopnyc
This little girl is a beautiful old photo of my Mom in 1939 or so. She was standing on a patio but but I surrounded her with a garden instead. For my Make Art That sells class we are drawing vintage dolls and faces this week. I am completely in love with this project. So many to choose from, I may be painting dolls for a few days now!
Well. I was completely wrong on this one, the birds were chirping, the sun was shining so I thought spring had finally arrived. But when i opened the door a blast of cold air came in.. Oh well, NY has had NO spring. My sister as a little girl, She was (and still is) so pale and adorable, completely opposite of me.
Friends in stripes!
This is a milk glass vase I own and I just needed this burst of Zinnia color today, and the lady is a 5th grade teacher that I have an old photo of. She was actually digging up something at a marsh where we went on a field trip. I love painting from old black and white photos because I can imagine it as I wish.
Trying out a negative portrait and me looking pissed off at something. Can't remember anymore!
I got so busy that I didn't realize I forgot to upload my daily paintings for almost 2 weeks. You can follow along daily on instagram @augustwren. Here are a few thoughts about what I was painting each day. I really love painting faces, these people are from some old photographs of my family. I used a watered down acrylic black paint for the portraits. I used some old sketch reference I did for the flower vases. I'm finding more and more that the painting on the left side definitely informs what i do the next day on the right side. Especially with color.
I have been to Japan a few times, my brother used to live in Tokyo so I would go to visit when I could. I collected lots of cups, papers, magazines, so here I used some of that stuff for these pages.
A small still life from my kitchen the other day, and a page of Dahlias.
It was Easter and I really love the beautiful painted eggs , the girl took my ticket at the movies the other night. I love her hair.
Some of my paint.
An old man and the barrista at a coffee shop in NYC.
Yoga and me as a little girl in a shirt that I like. All in gouache.
I'm swamped. It's interesting to upload a week at a time and see what I was thinking each day. I remember being moodier than what this shows. It's a good sign!
I got so inspired by this little green bouquet that I picked up at Whole Foods the other day, It completely came together in this little vintage vase I have. The grid on the black one came about because there was an imprint on the paper from the day before when I scratched into the paint. So I just built it up from there.
I was looking through the Audubon bird book. These really reflect my mood.. The day I painted the little grey guy I was feeling very out of it. He looked all scrunchy and concerned, perfect fit.
The pink one is inspired by lace and the greens are algae.
The flower vase is a combo of gouache and oil pastel, I like the markings on this duck.
This week I was away in Florida helping out my Mom who had a small eye surgery. She has lots of art supplies so I basically just brought a few pens with me and decided I would work with whatever I could find in her closet. I used pastels, oil pastels, poster paint, pens.. It was a challenge and lots of fun to explore what I could do with them. I felt for the soft pastels I would prefer a much bigger piece of paper, otherwise Im going to continue with some of these now that I'm home.
Plants and birds I saw on my walk to the beach as a pattern. The guy is back to my people reference from the NY armory show.
This lady was a hostess at a restaurant we went to. She was weighed down with so much jewelry... She was pretty awesome! The birds are from my walk.
I did the pattern on the plane, some kids in the seat next t me were very fascinated. The portrait is my Mom after her surgery, She only had to wear the eye patch for a day.
I was away from home alot this week. I've discovered that if I paint a background and bring some pens I can create these fun patterns. I just put on the timer, start at the bottom of the paper and work my up.. Im using uniball Signo pen white and gold, on black paint. The best surface is acrylagouache because its so smooth and easy to draw on. For #makeartthatsells class we got an exercise to play with neutrals. I combined my tasks and used neutrals for 2 days. Its a nice alternative to brighter colors sometimes. I like muddyish colors, they are very soothing.
Flowers and people. Seems to be the theme for me for this sketchbook. That's me in the olive green down jacket on a very cold day, in the house. The other people were from a day of art and people watching at the Armory show in NYC last weekend. All flowers are from my imagination,
I look outside and still see tons of snow. I'm so done. I'm thinking of warm weather and flowers.
This guy was sitting in front of me at a performance the other night. He had a perfect shaped head.
I finished 2 months of my sketchbook project today! It's been mainly a great experience so far, I wanted to get up and do this everyday. The downside is that even though it's only 30 minutes a day, it feels like much more. I spend some time thinking about what I am going to paint each day which can be overwhelming . But I've learned that I can always get something down, no matter how I feel. I've had days when I wish I was doing all this work on nice paper and not the sketchbook so I would be building up a nice group of finished work. But that would defeat the purpose of making these less precious. 10 more months to go.
I was shopping at Trader Joe's and this woman caught my eye and the next day I painted one of my groceries. I'm surprising myself as to what I can accomplish in 30 minutes these days. Even though it's just 1/2 hour a day, this project feels big and seems to take up alot more time than it does. Could be that I am thinking about it alot.
My husband and I were out for dinner with friends. I hadn't done my drawing yet so I just drew them all sitting around the table.
I did these with pen on a painted ground. Black, white and gold gel pens. I started at the bottom and just worked my way up. I keep the timer on and at 30 minutes I stop wherever I am. I have a good sense of what I can get done though so I usually finish.
This winter has been ridiculous, cold and snowy every day. It seems that its the only topic of conversation. I really am looking forward to spring.
For some reason I dreamed about my childhood parakeet and canary. They were named Susie (yellow) and Clancy (green) They lived for a long time about 8 years.
The day I painted the blue paint tube was a big snowstorm.. I was feeling so much blue and white that day. Just had to go for those colors. And then it was valentines day. Sending Love!
Some friends my my bookclub the other night and some random dried flowers from my garden last summer.
Here I am. I found the close up portrait caused me a bit of stress, that's why it looks so serious! I'll need to revisit this and have more fun with it.
1.7&8 I got the new bag from Bookhou I can't wait to start using it. And a Mies chair that we got in out living room.
I had a bad run with a migraine but I made it up to paint this. I'm tracking the life of this plant. This about day 4 of having it home. 2.4&5
Sometimes I just want to paint an imaginative floral. And I just love that shot at the opening of Downton Abbey, the colors get me every time. 2.3&4
This is my Dad. He died last year on February 1st. I'm remembering him sadly (and happily today). I just brought this plant home. A pretty Hyacinth. 2.1&2
I finished my first month of Daily Sketchbook paintings. Some days felt great and others I was definitely "off". But I am determined to do it every day regardless of how I feel. Sometimes just choosing what I want to paint seems like a huge task, others I just sit down and go. For example this happened just yesterday and today. Yesterday I was getting a migraine, I just couldn't focus, so I put down the stripes and then just decided to draw with a pen over it.. It looks dark and sad to me... Today is better and I just painted. I guess I could just put a big dot down on a bad day..
Succulents and Terrarium flowers. Now I want to start one for real.
The left is a portrait of my Grandfather. He wasn't grouchy but his mouth was that shape...I only knew him when he was old though. The page of faces are from my imagination.
I went from the really cold to the very lovely this week. I had 3 days in Miami and 3 days in Naples, Florida visiting my Mom. Now I'm back to the cold. It was a nice getaway and I am happy I was able to stick to the discipline of the painting sketchbook. I had watercolors with me and just 2 tubes of gouache so the quality of the paintings are a little different. The hardest part is deciding what to paint each day. It feels very important but I'm working on not being too precious about it..
1.15 and 16. I had a terrible Migraine on the 15th. I've always been thinking about how to paint that.. I get pain on one side..I know I'll have other opportunities to figure this out. I felt much better on the 16th, That's how good it feels to not have a headache!
1-12&13. I am posting these daily on instagram. http://instagram.com/augustwren
I'm doing double duty here.. My 30 minute daily painting in my sketchbook and Search for Illustration Friday. I'm constantly losing things in my bag.. Such a waste of time.
It's so cold here today.. I went out 2 times so far, it took a while to wrap up.
January 4&5. Both of my Grandmothers when they were young from some beautiful old photo's. I messed up the face on the second one. I'm keeping my timing to 30 minutes or so for each sketchbook page so it stays manageable. So in the spirit of posting them all here she is..
For 2014 I'll be adding a painting to my sketchbook daily. The top one is my first from this year and the rest I did in December. I love painting faces so there may be many portraits but I'm not limiting myself, I want to be intuitive to my feelings for the day. I'm not trying to be neat or perfect, just glopping on the paint and getting something done. My challenge will be the days I'm not home. I'm curious to see where I go with that.. More to come.
Rather than emotional tension, I drew tension as straining oneself.
This is a teeny little painting..
The hot sauce is from my paintings a day over at my other blog. It's a great challenge to paint liquid. This made me think I want to try to paint a spill. Next project!
I usually put my Illustration Friday posts on my older/other blog but I thought I should start to revive this one which is attached to my website. I really just went for this one, it's a bit crazy, odd, it was what came to mind on short notice.
I'm running out of time since I need to finish this and ship it by next Tuesday and I have a ton of work in my schedule. So they will just get looser and quicker.. It's a good demand to have put on me anyway..! The top one took about 1 1/2 hours and the bottom was maybe 45 minutes.
I told someone I was doing this last night and she just said whooo?
Does It make you laugh or just say wow... that is really weird. Both I guess. What it's doing for me is letting me be completely silly and I'm not worrying about the final image. That's a good thing.
This is my friend Chip in the fez...... He just made a cd with his band, I love the cover shot of him in the fez so I just sort of glommed it off there... Here is the link to the music cdbaby.com/cd/thekwerks Enjoy!
Day 2 of Why does the Owl make everyone laugh? I haven't answered the question yet.....
I'm finally getting to my Sketchbook Project Limited Edition. It's due in 15 days...I chose the theme Why did the owl make everyone laugh? Well why not? I'll post my progress daily here.
I went to the Met on the final day of the Portrait exhibit they had,
"The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini" I was particularly
taken with the profiles of many of the subjects. I loved breaking it down
to the expression and shape of nose, chin and brow..