Jenna Steely is a designer/maker in the Bay Area working toward a more progressive future.
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Sketchbook

A sketchbook is a lot of things. A place to take notes, to dump ideas, to iterate, to doodle. It's my place for words and pictures.  

Planets

I've been painting planets for the past few months. You might have noticed them strung up on my wall in this post, but maybe not. 

The first planet I painted was a bit of an accident—I had the intention of simply painting a circle, with watercolors, but when I observed the final product, I realized it was a planet. 

It was a fun and low pressure way to play with watercolors, so I decided I would do more of them. In fact, I would paint a hundred of them. I'm on #35 presently. I'd like to document them all eventually, but figured it'll take me time and energy to do that, so we'll see what a slow roll of that feels like. 

Often I start with a wet circle and load pigments on my brush to watch them bleed together organically as it dries. Sometimes I experiment with metallics, or salt. They don't all turn out well. 

I had some friends over and we all painted planets together. It was a very accessible way to make art together and share an experience—it's not a very high barrier for entry, and the magic is in the exploration. 

I was having dinner with my friend Heather the other night. She is a fairly well-known abstract painter, and she asked me how I felt about other people sort of... doing my thing. I understand why she would feel protective about people copying artists, but I think there's a fundamental difference between what she does and what I'm doing. Hers is fine art—her life's work and exploration has gotten her to the work that she produces, and I deeply respect that. I don't think that someone can sit down and make her art on a lazy Tuesday evening. Whereas I'm happy to share my little planet exercise with whoever wants to play with me.