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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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