January Sketchbook Cover

White ink on black paper, 8×6″ (Larger…but why?)

(above) I was so inspired by seeing Nina Johansson‘s easy-to-make 16-page sketchbook so I made one for myself. Above is the cover drawing, inspired by a dream that I was losing my hair. That was the same dream about dating Jack Nicholson; I realized it wouldn’t work out because he probably wouldn’t be interested in dating a woman with thinning hair (let alone one over 20!).

To make the sketchbook I used one sheet of 140 pound hot-pressed paper cut into 4 strips and then folded (see Nina’s page for how it’s made; it’s very cool!) . I’m going to try 90 pound paper next time since 140 pound is pretty stiff. I punched a hole an inch from the bottom and another an inch from the top and tied the bundle together with twine.

Debate Doodles

Ink and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico hot press paper, 8×6″ (Larger)

(above) This was drawn (doodled) while watching the Republican debate last night (which I found depressing; they all seemed to be competing to show they were less caring about humanity and more militaristic than the next).

Honeydew in bowl

Ink and watercolor, on Fabriano Artistico hot press paper 8×6″(Larger)

(above) Having spent the past two days preparing a spare computer and printer to give to my neighbors, installing it at their house, setting up their internet (using the signal coming from my wireless network), going with them to Best Buy to buy a monitor and on and on, I was desperate to just have some fun in the studio. This was fun. Next I’ll do it in oils.

The art I like the most is quirky, odd, handmade rather than photographically perfect, whimsical, full of personality, nutty, imaginative. Yet I’ve always felt that I should make perfectly drawn and painted work and fought against my natural inclination to make quirky, lopsided, imperfect, nutty, playful pictures. It dawned on me this week that I don’t need to do that anymore and can be as Jana as I want (and am)! Yipppeee!

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Category:
Animals, Art theory, Drawing, Glass, Other Art Blogs I Read, Painting, People, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life, Watercolor
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Join the conversation! 22 Comments

  1. yay for the quirk, looking forward to more!

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  2. Thanks so much Cin! It was your comments and email pointing me to Henrik Drescher and Ludwig Bemelman that led me to this important (to me) realization about my work. THANK YOU!

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  3. Me too, I applause the quirk! I love the Jana that you want to be, like the fun watercolour above! And I so desperetaly want to make my own sketchbook, but i have an appointment today with someone to see if she can make them for me, without me having to bankrupt myself, otherwise, I’ll just have to follow Nina too! So your sketchbook is about 8×6″?
    Great dreamsketches again and of course the watercolour is wonderfully artistic and free and creative…continue!
    Ronell

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  4. You go girl!!!
    These are so fresh and full of life.

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  5. Great sketches – I really love the melon. It sounds like your sketchbook-making technique is a lot simpler than mine. I’m going to have to check out Nina’s post.

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  6. A new sketchbook – how exciting! And, here’s to quirky. Your loose and spontaneous sketches are so fun. Good for you, recognizing and following your muse!

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  7. The art I like the most is quirky, odd, handmade rather than photographically perfect, whimsical, full of personality, nutty, imaginative. Yet I’ve always felt that I should make perfectly drawn and painted work and fought against my natural inclination to make quirky, lopsided, imperfect, nutty, playful pictures.

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who makes this error, attempting photo-perfection when I should let my zaniness have rein. I recently noticed that when I tried to draw people they turned out like cartoons, so one evening while watching TV, I just went with that, and practiced drawing cartoon-like people. What fun.

    I love your sketches here, especially that sea life one.

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  8. Yes, I, too, love the quirky. And I love what might be a Democrat Donkey in that doodle!

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  9. Your quik rocks! Jack ain’t so bad either.

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  10. Oops! I meant “quirk”. Got you on our Sacramento plein air email list.

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  11. Oops! A miss spelled word on my previous post, but I’m sure you know what I meant. Got you on our Sacramento plein air email list.

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  12. You ARE quirky in the most wonderful way and your art has been showing your inner quirk a lot lately–it is fabulous, vibrant, electric—and I love it! You sound so liberated and happy, dear Jana—I cannot wait to see what will develop with this new turn of events!

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  13. great stuff! i was drawing while watching the same republican debate, they really were trying to outdo each other in lack of humanity (except that ron paul guy, who looked a bit like magneto).

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  14. These are perfect displays of quirkiness and so much fun! I struggle so much with the same dilemma.

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  15. Love the watercolors. Lovely blog!

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  16. I vote for you being quirky Jana any time! And what a great way to deal with politics – doodle funny creatures (or are they candidates?) The mermaid looks like you.

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  17. Love the beautiful transparency of the colorful washes. What brand of watercolors, might I ask?

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  18. Nancy, I was using an ancient 12-color mini-kit of Schmincke watercolors in which I’d replaced a few colors over the years with Winsor Newton (inspired to drag them out by Laurelines recent touting of the Schminkes). They are nice.

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  19. What a gorgeous quirk of a watercolor … I think the swimming bunny has to be my favorite!

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  20. I’m lovin’ the quirky you, Jana!! These sketches are so playful and I can’t wait to see more.

    I’ve been busy the past week or so setting up three computers and my eyes are paying the price. How very sweet of you to give your neighbours the spare computer and also share your wireless internet connection. I’m sure they appreciate your kindness.

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  21. Hey, nice going! I´m glad you put that sketchbook how-to into use! And as always, your drawings are SO great. I love those glowing colours and flowing lines… beautiful!

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  22. WHITE PEN on dark paper? What is it? Where did you get it? I’ve been looking and looking! I know they exist, because people write in black photo album pages — but I can’t find one for my dark blue journal pages (I found this WONDERFUL colored pages one). help!

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