What I mean is.. I feel a bit out of control and confused, sort of in between... I don't have much work now which I was very happy about. I wanted to take this time during the holidays to figure out some things. What form will my sketchbook take for 2016? How can I find more harmony and balance in my life? How can I incorporate the goals I have, art and otherwise and make them into habits I will accomplish. I spent the last few days floundering. It's easier for me to be swamped with work and just get my head into it and go. I realized just now that I need to be more intentional from now until January 1 so I can see the bigger picture, before busy life starts up again. Green creates equilibrium between the brain and thoughts and the heart and feelings. Thats what I need.. balance.
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'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!!)
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.
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.
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.
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.