Sketchbook Project

Excuse my mess…

Last year I participated in the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. It was an elevating experience. I stretched my creative muscles, met the deadline, and grew as an artist. The book is a narrative based on the women’s studies, the momentum of the the Me Too movement, my experience working with high school age students, and figures/natural forms. You can view the 2017 sketchbook here .

This year I signed up to complete a sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library again. When I began conceptualizing the book I settled on the idea of disconnection. I began formulating sketches and ideas about living in a digital world fully connected to via social media while highlighting the analogous disconnection associated with the natural world.

In brainstorming sessions about disconnection The imagery that come to mind felt depressed and alone. My painting work is more focused on stillness and calm felling. I just could not create a book all about disconnection without feeling sad. When I abandoned the idea of disconnection, my thought process changed and I decided to tell a visual story using only abstraction. Because I have primary concentrated on realism and illustration in the past, this year’s sketchbook challenge is a delightful and terrifying experience.

Please enjoy some of the previews of the pages.

Below is an example of how I normally paint. Notice a difference?

Pin Cushion

This iconic pin cushion represents femininity to me. One popular design—a tomato with a strawberry attached—was possibly introduced during the Victorian Era. According to folklore, placing a tomato on the mantel of a new house guaranteed prosperity and repelled evil spirits. If tomatoes were out of season, families improvised by using a round ball of red fabric filled with sand or sawdust. The good-luck symbol also served a practical purpose—a place to store pins. The strawberry contains sand to clean and sharpen needles. It is a universal symbol of womanhood.


My best,
Emily Warren

Published by Art Belongs to Everyone

Remember Reflect Reform In this work, I have been exploring phenomena of memory augmentation. I experimented with reflections and cinematic images by juxtaposing photographs, paint, wood, and mylar. The direction of the work includes painting intimate, reflective, observations of augmented memories.  I began by building a cabinet of curiosities as a way to form a tableau painting and experiment with different media. Inspired by the relief paintings by artist Sally Han, I built a model of a Victorian cabinet using tenets of Darwin's theory of evolution. I painted on a variety of surfaces including wood, photographs, and adding raw lumber to the pieces. In this process, I disassembled the cabinet to give autonomy to each piece. Although I diverted from the original idea of a final installation, there was an impulse to paint larger. Adding mylar was yet another way to accentuate reflection as a part of the critical dialogue with the work. The final result offers an opportunity to remember, reflect, and reform.

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