Kate Pugsley (2/4)

American artist Kate Pugsley has collaborated with us on several things, such as creating the cover of our Mindfulness Workbook and issue 15, as well as contributing to the Flow Book for Paper Lovers 4. In a series of four blogs, Kate tells us a little about herself and the way she works. Here’s part two:

Keeping a sketchbook is an important part of my work. I always have a couple sketchbooks of different sizes in progress, and use them for ideas, lists, travel sketching and experimenting. I like to take them with me to document trips, and see them as a record of my life. Sketching also helps to calm me and relieve stress while traveling. Here is an example of a kit I might take with me on a trip, which includes a sketchbook, small altoid tin filled with gouache, mixing palette, pencils, eraser, brushes and a paint rag.


I draw and paint people I see on a regular basis. Sometimes a person will stand out to me on the street and I just like to paint a simple study as a way to remember them. A woman waiting for a bus in winter, or a girl carrying lotus pods on her head in Cambodia. I like to document people I see in my neighborhood, and people at Lake Michigan near my house. It is a challenge and I still have trouble sketching people in the wild, because I don’t want to make them uncomfortable. I also dislike when strangers look over my shoulder while I’m drawing, but I’m trying not to care.

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On a trip to the UK once, I wanted to document every building that I saw – the architecture in different cities is always fascinating to me. I often look back through my books to draw from the experiences I’ve had and build on ideas. Keeping a sketchbook is my way of making the world my own.




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