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


An Apple a Day...

This past week has been blog-less on my end because I came down with the flu in a very bad way. Just starting to feel normal again and up for a quick little warm-up painting:
5"x5" acrylic paint on 1.5" depth stretched canvas

(Forgive me for the always-bad photography. It is on my list to get a digital SLR, a tripod and take my photos mid-day for better lighting...until then though it will be poor photography for awhile longer.)


First Painting of 2011

Time to get back into the swing of painting. I've been doing some thinking about 2010 and how much setting the goal to do 52 paintings pushed me. After last year -painting more than ever before, garnering inspiration from other blogging artists, for the first time being commissioned several times and even selling some pieces on Etsy- I feel some courage coming on.
SO...In 2011 when people ask me what I do, I am not going to respond by explaining my current employment situation but instead say that I am a painter. Painting describes me so much better than what I do for a living.

Weird place to find inspiration but, I saw Bette Midler being interviewed prior to her televised stage show which rang in 2011. She was asked how she had stayed in the business so long -continuing to be successful decade after decade. And Bette said something like (and I'm not quoting directly) "Stubbornness. Persistence. I knew what I wanted to do and wouldn't shut up until they let me do it." I want to approach painting that way moving forward. Remembering that it is what I want to do and not letting self consciousness or other people's measures of success stop me.


Revenge Complete

Well, I'm done with this series & will be back to posting paintings very soon. After having some fun with this project, however, I will definitely be sharing sketches more often as I aspire to maintain a more regular sketching habit.
 Can you guess who the above ladies are?
Ever notice the similarity between Captain Hook (above) & Inigo Montoya (below)? ...Both have big hair, big noses, distinctive mustaches, are out for revenge & are adept swordsmen. Hmm...perhaps long lost brothers?

Above, the sketchbook finally got fed-up with the pen marring its pages & taped the lid shut. The crisp, white page sighed with relief. Revenge was sweet.


Revenge 13 & 14

As you may have noticed, I ran out of clever ideas about half way through my sketchbook & so started doing  drawings on famous films centering around revenge. There are a surprising amount of them. Didn't realize it was such a popular movie theme before this sketchbook.
 Russell Crowe in Gladiator
Revenge of the Nerds

I'm racking my brain but can't really think of a time when I plotted & succeeded in taking revenge on someone. Then again, I've never really been sorely wronged like Russell Crowe was in Gladiator. Does anyone have any personal revenge stories to share? 


Revenge 10, 11 & 12

Inglorious Bastards is another really good revenge film. It does a great job conveying the consequences of seeking revenge. The actress that plays the heroine (of sorts), Melanie Laurent is gorgeous in such a unique way.
 The above doesn't really look like the villain much but ah well; can't win 'em all.
I had to do the quick sketch above because I felt totally tormented by the Trix commercials when I was a kid. Did anyone else just want the rabbit to have some Trix at least once?!


Revenge 9

I'm really enjoying getting back into spending more time drawing. For quite some time I was someone who had my sketchbook with me at all times but I have allowed that habit to dwindle over the past few years.
Just a few reasons why keeping a sketchbook is so important for an artist:
1) It keeps you inspired/focused
2) It is a reminder not to take yourself too seriously
3) It is also a reminder of why we do art in the first place -because it is what we love.

I keep returning to that last point especially since I am not what would be termed by society as a successful artist. It is hard not to let that cloud my thoughts or influence my work. I am constantly reminding myself that I am successful as long as I am still doing it and enjoying it. 


Revenge, the Cover

Here is the cover of my sketchbook on revenge:
Thinking about doing a bunch of tiny sketches of sweet treats for the back cover. -That is, if I don't run out of time. Really glad that the post mark date was moved out to 1/18 so that I can have this weekend & Monday to finish up.


Artists vs. Hobbyists

I try not to be too wordy w/ my posts but would really like to have a conversation about this blog post by blogger Ambera Wellmann. A quote that sums the idea up:  "During today’s meeting in a discussion around the difference between artists and hobbyists, someone was quoted as having said 'art making is like a sexual practice: in the case of hobby painting, it’s masturbatory, whereas art that creates a dialogue is like having sex with another person.'"

Not sure that I entirely agree w/ this statement but it does make me wonder: Am I an artist or a hobbyist? Am I just producing work to have a meaningless conversation w/ myself (and is that always wrong or is it sometimes good)? Or does my work open doors to thought & conversation with others? If I'm honest with myself, there are times when I have done a work in the spirit of art & other times when I have done a work in the spirit of a hobbyist. Examples:
The above sill life was strictly an exercise -done w/out any idea of starting a dialog, therefore, it was completed in the spirit of a hobbyist. 
The above portrait was painted to be purposefully emotive -to capture the mood & perhaps make you wonder about the thoughts of the subject, therefore, it was completed in the spirit of an artist.

Again, while I may not entirely agree w/ the sentiment quoted, I do see it as a challenge to try to keep my work meaningful & relevant to others...Hopefully this post won't turn out to be a one-sided (aka hobbyist) conversation. I would love to hear other people's thoughts!


Revenge 6, 7 & 8

Okay, the sketches in this post are ridiculous at best & horribly executed but I'm getting down to the wire on this sketchbook project. It needs to be postmarked 1/15 (ack)!
 The banana above gave it's life for a taste of revenge.
One of the best revenge movies of all time is (in my opinion) Kill Bill. And seriously: Uma has some ugly feet. Look- even she appears to be grossed out by them.


Revenge 5, aka Revenge of the Nuts

 I like the idea of inanimate objects exacting revenge. What would it be like if we lived in a world where that could happen? The sidewalks would peel up & smack us in the face, fender benders would turn into car warfare, silverware would dip themselves in hot sauce before dinner and who knows what else?!
Good thing that it is entirely implausible because it would be mayhem.
Okay, so the pile of nuts turned out looking a big like a big pile of steaming poo...but you get the gist.


Revenge 4

Went to see True Grit this past weekend. I'm not going to give any details away but it is a story largely about revenge so I thought a portrait of the young lady in the film would be a good contribution to the revenge sketchbook:


Revenge 3

See if you can guess where I'm going w/ this one...

Please bear w/ me on these sketches as I'm treating this sketchbook project as just that- a place for very rough/unfinished work.


Revenge 2

You'all are going to have to put up w/ this silliness for awhile...Here is my second take on the topic of revenge.
 Personally, I'm not big on revenge. It tends to lead to bad places. But just because I don't typically partake, doesn't mean that I don't sometimes enjoy seeing the little guys get theirs.
What comes to mind when you think of revenge? Are there certain stories or someone in particular on whom you'd like to take some revenge? (I'm not condoning, just asking...)


Coworker Sketches

I finally cleaned my cubicle this week at work. It needed it badly -was like the surface of the moon (if the surface of the moon had piles of papers & samples on it before the dust build-up began). While cleaning, I found a bunch of sketches that I did of some of my coworkers awhile back. I think I'll give them each to the appropriate person but thought it could be fun to share them here before they leave my possession.

This work definitely harkens back to my summers doing caricatures during the college years...Those were some fun times spent with a lot of really talented people from whom I learned so much.


Revenge 1

I will be taking a hiatus from painting in order to complete my sketchbook for the sketchbook project. My sketchbook's theme is revenge. Since the theme lends itself to darker subjects, my aim is to bring some humor to it.

Does this make sense to anyone else?! (Think about a pencil stewing for years because the eraser keeps destroying its work...Then one fateful day the pencil finds itself on the kitchen counter next to a very useful tool...)


Painting 52

My mother in law tells stories about her & my father in law's trip to Mexico in their first years of marriage. Some really amazing photos came out of that trip...I most enjoy the story about riding a donkey for hours through the wilderness.

approx. 7.5"x5" graphite & watercolor on cold press watercolor paper
based on photography provided by my father in law


Painting 51

Many times I feel like I haven't done a photo justice. Still, this blog is to show both the good paintings & bad. Even the pieces that don't turn out so hot are learning experiences.

approx. 7.5"x5" graphite, watercolor & colored pencil on cold press watercolor paper
based on photography provided by my father in law


Painting 50

approx. 5"x7.5" graphite, watercolor & colored pencil on cold press watercolor paper
based on photography provided by my father in law


New Year, New Resolutions

My goals for this year are:
1) work out 3 times a week
2) enter at least 4 paintings in competitions/shows
Yesterday I had the second half of the day off work and so had a little painting marathon in order to complete my 2010 goal. -I did four quick watercolor paintings in order to have 52 for the year. Here is the first one:
In the sketch stage -above.
approx. 5"x7.5" graphite & watercolor on cold press watercolor paper
based on photography provided by my father in law