Art supplies and tea on right, ink & watercolor, 4x6"
Art supplies and tea on right, ink & watercolor, 4x6"

Art supplies and tea on right side of table & sketchbook, ink & watercolor, 4x6"

These are some of my special drawing table items: my cigar box supply holder, my watercolor brushes and pens, and a coaster under my cup sent to me by illustrator Mick Wiggins in response to a fan letter I sent him about the series of posters he designed for BART, our subway system.

Lamp and squash on right side of table & sketchbook, ink & watercolor, 4x6"

Lamp and squash on right side of table & sketchbook, ink & watercolor, 4x6"

And here’s the left side of the same drawing table with my funky little table lamp for lighting still lifes, the wall grid for hanging supplies with paper towel holder, and the base of two combo lamps at the back — and some squash for sketching that are still (a month later) awaiting cooking.

Table still life, full spread in sketchbook, 4x12"

Table still life, full spread in sketchbook, 4x12"

Here’s the full spread as it appears in the sketchbook. I drew the cup twice because I wanted to practice ellipses. I feel a little sad looking at the pictures because that much loved studio is no more. It’s under construction to become a studio apartment instead.

My new studio is wonderful and almost done. Just need to move in my flat files and painting/canvas storage rack, which hopefully will get done this weekend. Then just a little more work on house, apartment and studio and I’ll be able to get back to my happy rut of living to draw and paint instead of living in topsy-turvy world

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Category:
Ink and watercolor wash, Painting, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life, Studio
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Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. Great post, Jana; love the peeks and the sketches and can’t wait to see some of and/or from the new studio. I hope the chaos subsides soon!

    I would also love to know what sketchbook you’re using here (when you have time to reply
    :)). It looks like the same one that Cathy McAuliffe uses for the SF Urban Sketchers and I’ve been trying to figure out what it is. I’m having such trouble finding one I like….

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    • Right you are Sarah. Our whole Urban Sketchers group is using these for group projects. Cathy bought them and designed labels for them for our “Every day in January” project and now we’re using them for “Monochrome March.” They are great little sketchbooks: Strathmore 400 Drawingin size 4×6. They hold a light wash and hardly buckle at all. The 4×6 size fits easy in a purse and is heavy enough you can draw on both sides of a sheet. And they only cost $2 each. I used to use the larger size of this as my regular sketchbook and had no complaints but experimented with Moleskines, Aquabee Super Deluxe, and others, and then started binding my own. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been binding, and just using commercial ones.

      Glad you asked! Jana

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      • Thank you, Jana, for the sketchbook info. This may be the ONE!!

        And your lovely, lively sketch of your desk inspired me to try one, too. Thanks!

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        • Great! Let me know if you try it out and how you like it. Another nice thing about them is that they only have 24 pages so you can go through them fairly quickly and it’s nice to see them lined up on the shelf full of sketches. Jana

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  2. sounds good…know you’ll be happy to be settled again! great sketches!

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  3. That is very cool looking – the panoramic type shape is so interesting and the way you didn’t let the spiral binding interfere makes the whole thing look so good. I recently painted a giant Sequoia on a 6×18″ canvas, and it is just a neato shape.

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    • I just looked at your website and blog but didn’t see the panoramic Sequoias–but the ones I did see are amazing! Gorgeous painting! I got really excited about reading your posts on drawing since that’s something I’m working on right now (or would be if I wasn’t still moving, sorting, etc.). I’ve kept the page open and will get back over there to read it once this guy comes tonight to buy the big old subwoofer a friend gave me a long time ago that I don’t have room for anymore. I love Craigslist. I imagine out in 3 Rivers you probably still have a bulletin board at the local feed store (just kidding). Jana

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      • Thank you, Jana! I haven’t posted the panoramic Sequoia (just one so far) because my site was hacked and it is still whacked. (Definitely less of a problem with the “w’ in front!)
        A subwoofer!? That’s one of those speaker things that rattles the windows, right? Nice!
        We do have bulletin boards in 3R, but some use Craigslist. Problem is, folks have to drive 40 miles to come get the stuff! Yard sales and the local thrift shop continue to be the simplest solutions to unloading (and acquiring) stuff around here. (And wouldn’t I just die if I found one of my paintings there!)

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        • Sorry to hear about your site being hacked. What a drag! I’ve been filling my car and driving to donate stuff too, but the things that are too heavy, like that crazy huge subwoofer (a gift from an audiophile friend) was too heavy to lift. The stuff that’s too heavy I’ve posted for free or for $ if it has any value worth dealing with shoppers. I decided to put the bad paintings in the trash. As I put them in the bin I gave them each one more quick glance and ended up saving four. J

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  4. You are an inspiration. Anxious for your to teach classes again. Jana Cortez

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    • Thanks Jana, I’m looking forward to teaching again too! Progress is going really well right now. The apartment is almost done (except for some minor repairs and a paint job) and tomorrow my wonderful neighbors are helping me move the last of the big stuff to the new studio. Then it’s just a matter of finding a renter and getting all my stuff set up in the new studio. By the time that’s done I’ll be close to leaving my job and ready to teach again. Thanks for your patience! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on. Jana

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  5. Can’t wait to see sketches of your new place!!! I’ll bet once you’re in you won’t look back!

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    • Even better, can’t wait to post photos of the new place with a before and after. The before is so awful it’s funny–dark, dirty, and only suitable for a greasy gearhead. Everyone who has seen it can’t believe it’s the same place, including my son who spent years working on cars in there. Jana

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  6. These are very special sketches and will be wonderful reminders in the future. Enjoy your new space. I know you will appreciate it!

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  7. Love. Love. Love. You have such a deft and concise, assured hand with your sketch lines, Jana. And to do so much in such a small page- Brava!! I am looking forward to breaking in my Fabriano book, but I want to practice on something “lesser” first. This strathmore might be just right. I love your blog!

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    • Thanks. I think the trick is to think of all sketchbooks as “lesser” — they’re just silly paper stuck in a cover of some sort. A buck or two of paper and a little binding. I try to maintain a mindset of “journal abuse” to try to take away that preciousness. The first thing I did with the moleskine I’m working in right now is break the spine so I can bend the covers back together. It’s also helpful to just go for it and make an intentionally bad drawing on the first page, like maybe a blind contour drawing where you only look at the subject, not the paper. Then it’s broken in and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s just a tool, like a pencil, or a pen. Put it to work! Enjoy! Jana

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      • I LOVE the “Journal Abuse” thought! You know, I try to take such meticulous care of everything. You may have noticed I even have the tray on my easel covered with contac paper! I am going to really loosen up and get wild(er)! 🙂 Hopefully will have something to show you by weeks end. Thanks so much for your insights and suggestions. I love your journal!

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        • Thanks Olivia. Maybe I’ll be painting and posting again soon too. I’m determined that today is the final day of the big digout and dump. I’m going to work until it’s done and am down to the nitty gritty now. Jana

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  8. Whilst this was a lovely studio space, I’m sure the new one will be far, far better.

    Great sketch, I thought the 2 cups were because of your tea addiction 🙂

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