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


A Watercolor Portrait

This is not a new painting (does not count as one of the 52 for this year), but I was cleaning out the closet & ran across an old binder full of watercolor portraits that I completed while I was a senior in college.

During that year, I had one of the best artistic experiences of my life. I painted once a week w/ a group of senior citizens. They were a blast. It was great to listen to music with them, converse about everything from squirrel soup to modern painting techniques and to (I know this is a platitude but nonetheless true) learn from the people that I was supposed to be teaching
The above is watercolor & colored pencil on coldpress watercolor paper. 

One week one of the ladies brought a book in to teach me a lesson about the myriad of uses for black in painting & color mixing. I had forbidden them to use black (a teaching method used to encourage learning color mixing & discourage letting black take over a piece). She made some good points...That week I started using black in my paintings (albeit sparingly). The broader lesson learned was that, being a person who likes rules & lists & organization, sometimes I need to challenge myself to break the rules in order to push my art forward. 

-And you'all thought young people were the biggest proponents for breaking rules!


Paintings 24 & 25

These paintings should have delivered (Kori shipped last week) & now I can post them. (o: Hopefully Chrissy & her man enjoy the anniversary gift.
 These are both combination watercolor, acrylic & colored pencil on coldpress watercolor paper.
Josh & I went w/ my sis (Rachel), her husband & a group of friends to West VA this past weekend. We rafted both the upper & lower Gauley River. It was amazing. There are very few things which are fun & scary & beautiful all at once like that. We ordered pics as a group so I'll post some for fun once they come my way. -There is an esp. good pic of Josh tipping out of the raft in a giant rapid. His foot is sticking straight up into the air & it is quite funny.

...Anyways, all that to say West VA is so very beautiful (even when cold & rainy like it was this past weekend). I'm hoping we got some good stills on our video camera of the scenery which I can use as reference for some more catch-up paintings.


Still Life Painting: Some Practical Steps

I used to be involved in a painting group that met every Monday at Wild Goose Creative's space here in town. The group met for a little over two years & then I had to stop because my life was running on too many commitments. These photos are from a still life instructional demonstration I gave at the beginning of one of the meetings. Thought I'd share-
Step 1: Set up your still life objects & make sure you've got some dramatic lighting going on. I cannot stress enough how important lighting is to the mood & form of a piece.
Step 2: Make a little viewfinder with a piece of paper by cutting a hole at the same proportion as your canvas.
Step 3: Move the view finder around to do a few compositional sketches/crops.
Step 4: Choose a composition & get the drawing down. (My husband was kind enough to point out to me that I'm a mouth breather when I concentrate. The above picture is evidence of this horrid habit. Does anyones else suffer from this affliction? I have tried to stop but sometimes when I'm in the moment I don't even know I'm doing it...)
Step 5: How detailed the drawing gets is up to the artist. I like to just block in simple shapes & then do the rest w/ paint.
Step 6: Paint away! I start w/ my largest brush & end w/ my smallest, meaning block in big shapes first, work to keep the entire canvas at the same level of completion and don't get into details until the very end.


Painting #30 (Rainy Countryside 4)

Painting #30 (Rainy Countryside 4)
This is the last of the "Rainy Countryside" pieces. Now these are finally finished, I would like to do a few more urban landscapes similar to this one completed awhile back. Watch out Columbus -esp. back alleyways & dingy looking streets- I'll be stalking you for some reference photos this week!


The Sketchbook Project

My friend Brandon turned me on to this:

It is a touring exhibit of sketchbooks w/ varying themes. You can be a part of the exhibit by purchasing a sketchbook & choosing a theme. I signed up because not only do I love to draw but my art professor in college was fond of repeating "The basis of a good painting is usually a good drawing." And I think he was right. (What do you think?) I chose the theme "revenge" because it seemed a little daring & out of my comfort zone.

Signing up to be a part of The Sketchbook Project made me take a journey down memory lane by browsing two of my old sketchbooks. Here are several excerpts:

I have never themed any of my sketchbooks in the past but I think that instead of the theme being limiting, it will be a catalyst for ideas. IE: giving myself the assignment to draw "whatever" strikes far fewer ideas than "revenge," which immediately brings images (mainly sinister...haha) & sub-themes to mind.

Is anyone else going to participate in the project? If so, e-mail me or comment on this post & we can keep each other motivated!


Painting #29 (Rainy Countryside 3)
I hope that this is successfully conveying the weather. The reference photos that I have been using were taken on a drive through Ohio farm country during the light rain spatter just before a thunder storm. The lighting & the weather were making for some really saturated/beautiful coloring.

...Some people may not understand the appeal of these country landscapes, but I grew up in the middle of farm land and pieces like this make me nostalgic for the smell and the space and the quiet.
Painting #28 (Because this counts, too)
Sooo...my husband bought a giant, flat-screen TV. It is very nice but as soon as we moved it into the living room, it became the focal point (big, shiny & black). I had to do something about it because having a TV as the focal point miffs me. Here is what I did:
I base coated w/ the lighter blue & then cut a stencil for the darker blue pattern. I went w/ a more geometric shape to avoid making the room look girly.
Overall I think it does the job. The TV is no longer the largest thing in the room. (o:


Just how behind am I? Well...at the end of this week, if I were running on schedule, I would be completing painting #36. Ack. Luckily I am feeling motivated to paint like FIEND!

Here is painting #27, "Rainy Countryside 2"

SUB-RESOLUTION to the whole "52 paintings/year" resolution:
If you check my Etsy site currently, you would find that there are NO paintings listed for sale. I resolve to list all paintings still in my possession by early-mid November so that people (you) can start Christmas shopping.

Also keep in mind that I quite enjoy doing commissioned work of all sorts (portraits, landscapes, old childhood photos-turned-works-of-art, etc...) so just e-mail me with your requests at aubrey.studebaker@gmail.com
(Painting #'s 24 & 25 are complete but were commissioned as a surprise anniversary gift & therefore I will withhold from posting until the gift has been given, juuuuust incase the receiver decides to take a peek on this humble blog.)

Here is Painting #26, "Rainy Countryside 1"
After much plotting and little action, this first of the "Rainy Coutryside" paintings has been completed. Anybody up for a drive in the country?