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

The work is inspired by an engagement with play and making peace with uncertainty. I work experimentally, using a digital video to explore painting. I use sound and moving images in non-traditional ways to reverse expectations of horror and comedy. I am drawn to the whimsical nature of self-discovery. I construct repeating narratives, often depicting varying scenarios of serenity, silliness, and reflection.

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