Friday, October 24, 2014

A Bit of Process

It"s hard coming up with something new to paint for the sketchbook
every day, Today for example I sketched quickly in pencil some animals
that I was thinking about. But it felt all wrong. And I don't like to spend
too much time on figuring out what to paint. I painted the whole page blue
and then when it dried I used bleed proof white to draw some flowers using
a botanical reference book for gardeners, It looked too flat so I added the dark
blue surrounding the flowers. I love when the solutions come quickly.







































Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Inspiration in Chelsea, NY

I spent Sunday Gallery hopping around Chelsea. I used to live there, on 21st street before it became an amazing busy, arty, gorgeous place. 
I was really inspired by the David Hockney show at Pace Gallery. He did charcoal drawings of the emerging spring season. They capture the feel of the sun and the cold of the snow. 

He also had fabulous prints of his iPad landscapes. Wow, the colors and way he captured it all on the small screen with his finger but I didn't take a photo of those.
Then at Mary Boone Gallery there was a show of Jacob Hashimoto. An installation of thousands of small patterned squares and circles like kites hanging at all lengths from the ceiling, on the floor. There were moving shadows on the walls. You were in a magical space.

And a few pieces of 3 dimensional wall art too.
Inspiring!!
Have a great day! Jennifer

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Sketchbook, How I do it.







































So, I'm in the 10th month of my sketchbook project. This project has become one
of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Really. I mean my husband and son
are really the lifelong part of me that is truly #1 but starting a sketchbook project has
made me a happier person and truer to my real self.
I've met so many wonderful people and have been told so many times that I'm
inspiring them, I feel so special and happy because of that.
Many, many people ask me all the time about how I do this and what supplies I use
and any trick that gets me going... So here it is.






































I use this very basic notebook from MUJI. It's approx 5.5x7.5"  It's only $4.50! The paper
quality is not that different from a moleskin notebook in weight but its a little bit smoother,
less of a tooth. It really isn't meant for detailed watercolor, the paper doesn't absorb it well,
and you won't get subtlety.






































I mainly use Windsor Newton gouache, but I'll add in Acryla Gouache or even just acrylic
paint. I'll use gel pens or sharpies sometimes. I try to do the 30 minute painting first thing
in the morning, I feel fresh and it helps motivate me for the day. I sometimes know just
what I want to paint.But many times I sit down and am completely flummoxed. I just sit
and think for a few minutes. I may pick up a vintage book of birds, old photos from my
collection. I may see something lying around and it just feels like the thing. I use flower
bouquets that I buy, or a new mug I may have gotten, I take lots of iphone pictures when
I'm out so that gives me ideas too.
I put in earphones, sometimes classical, other times current, maybe something that
makes me sing along. I'm pretty happy while I'm painting. I do a quick pencil sketch,
up to 5 minutes tops, very loosely, I decide the color palette and squeeze out the paint.
Then I put the timer on for 30 minutes
and go. I many times finish in 20 minutes or so but if the timer goes off, wherever I am,
I stop. I spray fixative on them when I'm done. I didn't the first 2 months or so and they
got very distressed looking, the paint rubbed off  the pages onto each other.













































































Sometimes the paint bleeds through to the other side. It doesn't bother me,
I just paint right over it the next day. I may paint the page a solid color and then
paint or use gel pens to draw over that but I'll also just use the colors that show in
the new painting. Most of it gets covered up anyway...
The whole idea for me is to experiment, have a good time and have a discipline.
The benefits are that I have gotten jobs from this, I have hundreds of pages of
personal reference material, I have tons of new friends, my
confidence has grown and I'm happier. I hope this helps answer some questions.
Please ask more in the comments and I'll answer them all!
you can follow all my daily paintings on instagram @augustwren and see them
on my website here.  Love, Jennifer

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Painting Migraines

I get migraines. They are really terrible and sometimes
it takes a few days for them to go away. This week I was sick
Sunday, Monday and part of Tuesday. But I was determined to
stick to my painting a day in my sketchbook even though most of
the time I had a pillow over my head and took way too much medicine.
I've always wanted to try to paint my migraines so that's what I did.
I didn't use the timer, that would have been too stressful but I think
they only took about 15 minutes each, (the first 2)






































I get them on one side of my head so its just split in half and then the
reverberations of everything around are awful.







































Sometimes my lower half doesn't feel all that bad but from my eyes up its
a horrible mess.






































And then it starts to lift and I know I'll feel like a truck hit me for a little while
but I know things are getting better. I found this quote by Dr Seuss that
just seemed perfect for the situation.
You know, I'm grateful I was able to do work the last few days and am
now totally pumped to get back to real life. Thanks everyone who sent
me good thoughts on instagram and FB. I truly appreciate it.
How do you try to cope with pain?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Me and Lisa Congdon

I was away on vacation when all of this awesomeness happened. I had limited
wifi access so I just couldn't share here like I wanted to.
I saw a few weeks ago on her blog that Lisa was giving a talk in Portland about
her sketchbook, at the end of her post she wrote that if anyone had a sketchbook of
interest maybe she would mention it in her talk. I figured why not? and I sent off an email.
Well, I got a response right away and I was floored, She knew who I was and was so
complimentary about my work. What a way to feel special, she is someone who
I've followed for years and just love her work, her projects and her openness.
The next thing I knew she asked to interview me for her blog in the section called
People I Admire!!
Here is the amazing, beautiful interview. I feel so honored and humbled by all of this.


























Then last night in NY she gave a talk about her work, her new book, her inspiration. It was
a great talk and very hopeful and warm.
Here we are after the talk.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Next Steps...





























I didn't make the final 6 for the global talent search. Of course I'm disappointed but it was really a long shot.
And I wasn't able to put my all into round 2 as I explained in my last post. I guess it was
a bit too ordinary. But I've learned that I grow and learn so much from each setback. I'm picking
myself up and moving on.
I did put my t shirt design into society 6, I needed to see how it would really look on a little T!






































It looks cute, huh?  If you want it or a print the link is here.
So, I have lots to look forward to, a secret I will be talking about soon, Finishing up the cookbook,
and a whole lot of designing. I'll be posting here again soon!
Thanks for all the support during the GTS.