Monday, August 24, 2015

Sketchbook Tips, How to Choose What to Paint

This week I was asked how do I come up with subject matter everyday?
It is by far the most difficult part of the project bar none.
In 2013 I did a month of only food.






































It was great and got me interested in a daily painting habit. This would be a good
way to structure yourself. Choose a theme every month and stick to it, you could even
map out the month before hand so when you are ready to go you aren't struggling with that.
Personally I enjoy the randomness of it. I like to do what feels important to me each day.




























For instance, this was last summer. The nasturtiums are from the farmers market and since we
were on vacation I was inspired by people on the beach. This way the sketchbook becomes a visual
diary. I can look at these paintings and remember my days on Cape Cod.







































Here it was Frida Kahlo's Birthday and it felt right to paint her that day.




























This spread was a cold rainy spring weekend in April. Some of them turn out to be messes.
I don't always like what I create but it's a notation of a day in my life. It just doesn't matter
if they all aren't perfect, I learn something about painting, color, design every day, even if it
turns out to be something I don't ever want to do again. Failures are learning opportunities.







































A good  solution if you are feeling tired or busy is to just not deal with color.
I often just paint the paper black and draw some flowers  or some words stating my frustration.
It's meditative and helps me move on.







































It's great to have a staple list of things you know you love to paint or draw. Like
flowers, people, self portraits, animals, lettering, anything. You can always fall back
on that list. But there still will be days when you just sit  there completely flummoxed..
Just put some lines down. Pick 2 colors and just go, the next day might work out better.
And have fun!!

27 comments:

Julia Thomas said...

Ah, I love this! Thanks for all the tips and it's so cool to see someone elses life through their art journal <3

Marcela Sierzega said...

As an artist I often struggle with subject matter when painting and recently this has been the best advice I read on feeling creatively blocked... To just keep going and make mistakes and make something you don't like because tomorrow is another day. Thanks!!!

iHanna said...

Great ideas, Thanks. Love your sketchbook because it is always so varied. There are a lot if prompt lists online (read pinterest) too if you need help.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Jennifer. Just went to a fantastic Van Gogh exhibit at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown Mass. Not sure if you have been to it but you would love it. There until sometime in Sept. Keep up the beautiful work. Enjoy looking in.

FRIZZ said...

I'm trying hard to get into a daily habit and your advice is stellar! Thanks so much for sharing!!

ddferg said...

Thank you. your comments and demonstrations encourage this late bloomer.

Judy Hartman said...

Excellent advice! Thanks so much Jennifer! Love your work!! This will definitely help me with my daily sketchbook!

Mad Won said...

Thank you Jennifer - on a prior post you mentioned inexpensive Sketchbooks...currently I just have various papers strewn everywhere! Some sketch paper, watercolor paper, note paper, ect...just whatever I grab for my 'idea'. In looking at getting an actual sketch book - what do you recommend that will hold up to sketches plus watercolors?

Thank you!

Maria Luisa Naval said...

Una idea genial..así que voy a intentarlo!

Daniela Glassop said...

Always lovely to see your work Jennifer. I'm starting to move back to gouache due to your inspiration.😊

BusyB said...

I loved the article about you in Flow Magazine which arrived in my mailbox today.

jennifer said...

Ooohhhh, I haven't seen it yet , can't wait, thanks for letting me know it's out!! I did the interview so long ago. Thank you!

CHRIS MURRAY said...

Superb post-thanks for taking the time to do this. So inspiring.

Renu Bhagwat said...

I am totally in love with your work...Its soo inspiring...I am trying to use it as meditation part...love to connect with you even more.

jennifer said...

Thanks Julia!!!

jennifer said...

So true Marcela! Good luck on your journey!

jennifer said...

That's true, lots of lists all over the place! Thanks Hanna!

jennifer said...

I saw it! Beautiful show and gorgeous museum! Thanks for the heads up!!

jennifer said...

I see you are doing a group 365 day project!! Great idea for motivation!

jennifer said...

It's never too late, I'm on a second career.

jennifer said...

Thanks Judy! Have fun mostly with your sketchbook!!

jennifer said...

I will talk about materials next week!!

jennifer said...

I hope you love it as much as I do!! Thanks Daniella!

jennifer said...

Your welcome! I enjoy it!!!

jennifer said...

Thanks so much Renu! I love the idea of it as meditation! Enjoy.

jennifer said...

Thanks Maria!

janet trouville said...

- Thank you for sharing pages of your lovely journal- i love your attitude and approach.!