Hi! I'm Aubrey.

Hi! I'm Aubrey.
I am an artist based in LA (but from the good 'ol Midwest). This blog is a record of my life as a painter/artist. It is here to help me keep my place and motivation, ground me to learning and be a connection to other artists.

If you are interested in purchasing existing work, please visit my etsy site here. If you are interested in commissioning an original artwork, e-mail me at aubrey.studebaker@gmail.com


Coming Soon

My brother (far left) wants me to do a painting of him & his roommates for their house...I'm going to play this up & make it a caricature...also definitely putting them into some kind of scene & thinking about adding some goofy props/outfits.
Jester hats, crowns, furry capes, swords & scepters come to mind but maybe that is all too obvious? -Any ideas for additions that will make this an over the top goofy painting ('cause that's what I'm going for)?


Everyone Take a Nap

The day after Christmas seems like it should be filled w/ naps & the watching of old movies. This painting is now available on etsy:
8.5"x5.5" watercolor & colored pencil on cold press watercolor paper


Merry Christmas

I hope everyone's Christmas is going splendidly. This painting is now for sale on etsy:
 24"x36" acrylic on stretched, 1.5" depth canvas


Painting 47 & 48

Going home for the holidays today! It is going to be splendid to be in a house full of children, dogs, babies, food, presents, a rat, a lizard & a partridge in a pear tree. (Okay, maybe that very last part is a lie...)

3.5"x4" watercolor, colored pencil & ink on cold press watercolor paper

...And here's what all of these small portraits look like together (as they're being gifted):
(I know I need to start taking better photographs. -Hey, maybe that can be one of the new year's goals, eh?)


Paintings 45 & 46

It seems that there are two major types of artists. Type 1 is extremely meticulous & detailed. Type 2 is half-hazard & acts mainly on instinct. When it comes to art (but not really to any other part of my life), I am definitely type 2 but I greatly admire those people who have the patience & desire to go that extra mile when it comes to detail.

3.5"x4" watercolor, colored pencil & ink on cold press watercolor paper

At the same time, I do really love something when it looks a little rough/sketchy. There's that little rebel in my head that says (in a snotty voice) "If you want it to be photographic, just take a picture." Rather close minded, I agree, but it still talks me out of spending the headache on a lace detail or the subtle texture of someone's clothing many a time.


Paintings 43 & 44

As we're nearing the new year once again & it's looking like I'll actually meet my goal of 52 paintings in 2010 (!), I'm beginning to think about what kind of new goals I'd like to set for 2011. Saying a goal out loud or writing it down seems to increase the chance of reaching said goal. 
 What kind of goals are you aiming for in 2011? 
both are 3.5"x4" watercolor, colored pencil & ink on cold press watercolor paper

I know I'm not going to set the same goal this year, and I know that I want my goal to be unrealistic since I want to push myself. Have a few things in mind but not going to say until I have absolutely decided...


Paintings 41 & 42

It has been a bit of a hiatus for me these past few weeks. Glad to say I'm back. These next 8 paintings (I'll be posting 2 per day for 4 days) are all part of a commissioned work to be given to a grandmother as a Christmas present. Nice present, I think.

both are 3.5"x4" watercolor, ink & colored pencil on cold press watercolor paper


Painting 40: Star Trek is for Babies

Another nephew (Luke) is on the way today and we're driving to meet him after work tonight. I can't wait. Babies are wonderful, no?  Here is the gift that I'm bringing him (side note, this side of the family is a tad obsessed w/ Star Trek Next Gen):
I screen printed these using the paint mask posted awhile back.

Speaking of babies...here is a pic of my new baby, picked him up on Saturday:
Little Marvin is the reason that my blogging has been so lax this past week as we are in full-on crate training mode. Isn't he sweet?


Anniversary Day

Josh & I were married the day after Thanksgiving two years ago today.  I'm so thankful to be spending my life w/ my best friend...He makes me breakfast every morning. Sorry no paintings today. Will be going to a fancy dinner after work. (o;
I just received another commission which will be a painting of 8 grandkids for a friend to gift to the grandmother. Can I count that as 8 paintings even though they'll all be on the same watercolor sheet? Yes (I'll answer myself)!

If a custom portrait painting sounds like a gift you'd like to give, just e-mail me. I'm quite reasonably priced.


Painting 39

7"x5" watercolor & colored pencil on coldpress watercolor paper

It's wonderful that we have a holiday dedicated solely to being thankful. In our consumer based culture it is so easy to focus on material things that we don't have. I for one am aiming to be more thankful year round -to focus more on the blessings that I do have. A huge list could be made but I can siphon it down to: God & His amazing grace, a loving family, a husband who supports me unconditionally & ice cream (had to sneak that one in there -tee hee). 


Painting 38

One of the sister-in-laws was kind enough to sit for another 15 minute watercolor portrait. Unlike yesterday's painting, I am satisfied w/ the likeness in this one but thinking that I could be a little more creative w/ the composition of these quick portraits that I've been doing.

approx. 5"x7" watercolor & colored pencil on coldpress watercolor paper

Planning to do a few more before the weekend is up. I am now 14 paintings away from reaching my goal for the year but only have around 4 weeks left which means I need to get cracking!! Wish me luck...


Painting 37

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm not entirely thrilled w/ this painting. (Background individual's arm looks strangely long...perhaps related to Stretch Armstrong?)

I'm in a bit of a food coma right now so will have to wax about things that I'm thankful for tomorrow...


Painting 36

I actually used the same reference photo for a large acrylic piece completed earlier this year but I really like the setting so thought I'd try it w/ watercolors. Just feels warm & familiar.

8"x5" watercolor & colored pencil on coldpress watercolor paper
This painting is for sale here.

These small watercolor paintings are really helping me to catch up w/ the goal. Looking forward to the holiday weekend & maybe some willing models to help me catch up further?


Painting 35

Another 15 minute portrait. This time of little 'sis Natalie. She sits much better. (o:

5"x7" watercolor & colored pencil


Painting 34

15 minute portrait of younger 'sis Cassie. (She proved to be an impatient model...had to chide her to sit still quite a bit.)

approx 5"x7" watercolor & colored pencil


The Kindness of Strangers

Someone left a very nice anonymous post-it-note on my office cubicle desk which I received last Friday morning. 

Now, I'm just going to be very forthright & say that Friday was should have been a horrible day. Found out that one of our cars may very well be a very sour lemon, had an extremely hectic workweek, trying to do too many things & feeling unlimited strings dangling, untied...But then there was this note.

And this note made me feel, despite the bad news & chaos, wonderful. It occurred to me that part of what was so great about the note was that it was anonymous. Someone wanted to say something nice w/out any recognition. They just wanted me to know. And that feeling has carried with me throughout the past several days.

It has made me think about paying it forward. I know it is not a new idea, but think about it: To whom could you send an anonymous note of encouragement? Consider it a challenge. Write someone a note. Today.



I became an aunt for the second time on Saturday the 6th of November. My sis named him Harper after Harper Lee (I know the author is a girl but eh...) SO, you'll have to excuse my extra-long break from painting, but I've been working on this:

I've been a big sister many times (11 to be precise), but being an aunt is different...I feel more the urge to spoil & less the urge to harangue. Can't wait to visit little Harper again this coming weekend. (o;



Some ink drawings from awhile ago which I thought would be good to revive:

I don't do caricatures as much as I'd like to anymore (sigh...like so many other things). Going to go try to get some painting in right now so hopefully I can have something more to share tomorrow.


New Etsy Listings

Back from vacation (possibly more on that later although simply put it involved a lot of rain). I've finally added a few more paintings to my Etsy site...Have yet to make a sale, but here's hoping.
The above is listed on Etsy as a reserved item for a friend from work...Too bad, so sad, only Jen gets this one.

The above is one of my favorite pieces from this year. Funny thing is, I absolutely hated it until about a month after completed. It currently resides in the bedroom above the bureau & I would be sad to part with it...but if it were to go I supposed that would serve as a challenge to paint a new favorite. 
There is a little mini study of the above piece which I will probably list on Etsy a bit later...
Throwing darts beside the trailer in springtime...aahh the life!


Painting 33_finished

Just added a little bit of colored pencil to finish 'er up. Didn't want to spend too much time tweaking since it is more of a sketch than anything.
I used a Primsacolor neon pink pencil on the back of Ben's ears. If anyone hasn't tried the Primsacolor neons for sketching (I have green, yellow, orange & pink), I strongly recommend them. They are bright and fun to play around with.


Sometimes I Forget Gestalt

The principles of Gestalt (simplified, the whole exists independent of its component parts) really helpful when it comes to painting. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to use them...One of those times being yesterday.
 Here is a link to a good article regarding Gestalt as it applies to design.
I started a painting from the condo balcony today & was wondering why it seems to be such a struggle/failure. I have concluded that it is largely because I have not applied any of the Gestalt principles.
The most helpful part of the Gestalt theory to me has been the part about grouping. Things that one can group to form a successful piece are: colors, shapes, values, textures, temperature & there are probably more. The whole piece overall should group to form a visually appealing design. (Here I would also apply the rule of 3rds. -ie: entire painting should not be cool but instead try 2/3 cool, 1/3 warm or vice versa.)

So here is a reminder to myself. Today I will do better. I will think about Gestalt as it applies to design & design my painting to be easily understood visually as a whole before delving into small details or a scattered/unfocused work.


Painting 33

Vacation! I really meant to do an open air painting on the beach yesterday but was too engrossed just laying in the sun reading a good book. This is silly but I got the book called On The Beach to read while on the beach (bud-um-bum-ch!). Turns out it is about human life coming to an end after a nuclear war. Did not allow it to depress me, however. Only to inspire some deep thought before a quick dip in the ocean. (o:
Instead of the good 'ol open air painting, I did this really quick (it still counts) sketchy-painting of the boys playing Monopoly late last night. I will be going into it w/ some colored pencils to add a few details (including the Monopoly board) & will repost w/ finished touches later.


Sketchbook & Nephew Updates

After some deliberating, I have decided to focus on silly revenge sketches for my Sketchbook Project sketchbook. Here are the first few pages which I have been using to brainstorm/organize my thoughts:

I like the idea of inanimate objects taking revenge on one another. Makes me chuckle to think about all the years the pencils have been brewing w/ rage at the erasers for destroying their work. Hehe.
This painting is still in a very rough stage but it has progress since I last posted it, so thought I'd share. It will be good to be able to look through all of the progress shots once the painting has completed.
 ...And a little more fall/still life inspiration just for kicks, above. (That's a photo. I'm not an amazing realist painter but, would like to paint a still life w/ the above elements- probably w/ more of the mirror showing.)


The Times Are Changing

I stumbled upon some really cool photos this week, which can be found here:

These pictures are captivating. They were taken when color photography was still quite rare.
Color America
The images really draw you into that place in time. Think about the things that have changed and the things that are still very much the same.
Color America
Photos can be great documentation -at times much better than the written word.
Color America
I'd like to paint something akin to these photos. -Something that is a documentation of the current times, which encapsulates current events, current dress & social situations. Here are a few ideas that I've come up with (all have to do w/ people in lines, haha):
1) for a concert at the Newport
2) at the unemployment office
3) for street food outside a bar at night
4) for doors opening at Walmart on Black Friday

Anyone have any other ideas/opinions/votes?


Painting 32

I think this is complete. Acrylic paints have become a tad frustrating lately...SO rubbery (maybe my paints are just old)! Considered momentarily switching back to oils but recalled the turpentine stench & the drying time.
I understand why some people prefer oils but in my positives/negatives list, acrylic wins. -Mainly because I like to work fast, I think.
Using orange as the base color for this painting worked out well. It gave the piece a different color tone than the usual.
The painting world has seemed both inspiring & intimidating to me this week. I have been doing a lot of internet cruising. Garnishing inspiration, tips & art world news has made me feel a little out of my element. BUT, I'm trying to keep two things in mind. One) Set unrealistic goals. That's the way to really accomplish something. Two"If [painters] Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas had known when they were doing their work the level of recognition that they were going to have, they would not have done them the same. You have to enjoy doing the art and not think 'will I win?'" (I don't know who said this but I found the quote on this blog.) In other words, it is not about measures of success at all. Concentrating too much on selling or the approval of others will take away from what is being done.