GUEST DOODLEWASH: Works in Progress

Hi! I’m Jennifer Stout (aka J.A.R. Stout) and I currently live in San Marcos, CA (a suburb of San Diego) – follow me on Instagram and visit my website!

Doodlewash by Jennifer Stout

I have done art my entire life, however I am a relative newcomer to on location sketching and at the moment, it makes up most of my work. As a busy mom of two, getting out once or twice a week to sketch has been a great way to unwind and reset. Where I go on my own depends on how much of a break I have on that particular day (I’ll venture further if I have more time), but I definitely prefer sketching outdoors. At least once a month, I go sketch with the San Diego Urban Sketchers Meetup group. They are a really supportive group of people and I find it inspiring to share with others.

When choosing a subject, I try to challenge myself by looking for elements that I feel I need to improve on. For example, I’ll choose a crowded area if I think that I need to work on people. If I need to loosen up, I’ll look at something with a lot of foliage or decoration going on so I can break it down and simplify it. I still find boats and live animals very challenging because they move around a lot. If I’m running errands (like getting my oil changed), then I’ll just sketch whatever is nearby.

I particularly enjoy painting tile-roofed buildings surrounded by foliage because the orange and the green create such a nice contrast on the page. Fortunately, there is no shortage of tile-roofed buildings here in Southern California!

Doodlewash by Jennifer Stout

To save time and improve the way I see, I usually draw directly with pen. Time permitting, I’ll go over it in watercolor. I usually do my work in a 5 ¼” X 8 ¼” Hand Book Travelogue Sketchbook or Watercolor Sketchbook (I also carry a 3 ½” X 5 ½” version in my purse). I currently use ZIG Millenium pens in black. The paints are Winsor & Newton travel set, used with Kuretake water brushes. I do like to experiment with different materials, so I anticipate that at some point my kit will change (lately I’ve been really inspired by what people are doing with gouache). But for now these are what work best for me on the go.

Doodlewash by Jennifer Stout

My work is rough, imperfect, and I’m totally okay with it. My whole breadth is a work in progress, much like life itself. I wish that I had adopted this mindset sooner, because I might have had some awesome drawings from my travels throughout the years! Though I majored in Art as an undergraduate, for years I was plagued with self-doubt and believed that I should be doing something “more responsible” (this crazy notion that if I wasn’t miserable, I wasn’t working hard enough!). I still took art classes here and there, but pursued other things, including a short and stressful career in museums. After suffering a near-fatal medical emergency in 2014, I came to the realization that life is too short to stress over perfection.

A few months after my recovery, I started taking classes through UCSD extension. In the process of strengthening my foundational art skills, I was fortunate enough to recognize that this is where my talent and passion intersect. I am even more fortunate that I have a partner that fully supports what I do (Adam is awesome!).

It has been liberating to finally allow myself to create work and share it freely with others. My self and my work is ever-evolving and I am enjoying the imperfect process!

Jennifer Stout

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Dear Jennifer, thank you for sharing your amazing art and story. Welcome to the Doodlewash community. Thank you Charlie.

  2. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    I’m so relieved that Jennifer came through her medical emergency! How scary it must have been to be life-changing. May you always find joy in life and your work, Jennifer!

  3. kirkistan 7 years ago

    Jennifer, i love your sketches and your attitude!

  4. Wonderful! You will shoot straight to the top with that attitude. I’m glad you’re still here and wow, what a lesson to learn. Great work. Thanks, Charlie!

  5. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Great sketches, love the positive life attitude and perspective, thank you for sharing the story and the approach to urban sketching. Very inspiring and motivating. Thank you Charlie for a lovely feature post.

  6. jotsfromasmallapt 7 years ago

    We “artists” seem to all share the want to improve our skills. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your wonderful creativity. Inspiring. Thank you, Charlie!

  7. memadtwo 7 years ago

    I love all the detail in the café. Very appealing. You definitely have the right attitude about your work, too. (K)

  8. anna warren portfolio 7 years ago

    Another fabulous guest Charlie! I love Jennifer’s positive attitude, and these are lovely, loose drawings, very immediate.

  9. […] out the wonderful works of Doodlewashers using Cotman paints- Jennifer Stout, Adelyn Siew, and Sara […]

  10. […] out the wonderful works of Doodlewashers using Cotman paints- Jennifer Stout, Adelyn Siew, and Sara […]

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