Jennifer Orkin Lewis
A deep love of color, pattern and nature are the foundation of Jennifer's work as an artist, illustrator, author, and teacher. Her joyful gouache paintings of flowers, random objects, people and occasional meditative abstract musings open a colorful and enticing window onto a detail of the day one might ordinarily overlook.
In addition to designing the artwork for our limited-edition Apple Pie à la Mode truffle bar, Jennifer's work has been featured worldwide on many products and brands. Her books include two sketchbook journals (Abrams) that encourage and inspire people to develop their own daily drawing practice, and “All Hail the Queen” (Chronicle), which empowers girls and women through informative and wonky illustrations of powerful woman monarchs throughout history.
Jennifer studied at Rhode Island School of Design and spent the first half of her career as a textile designer and stylist in NYC. She is now happily painting in a beautiful, soaring, backyard garage studio. Learn more at augustwren.com.
“There’s something about apple pie that brings up memories for so many people, and I love how Jennifer’s painting stirs those up – from walking through an apple orchard to slicing, mixing, and baking the sweet apples into a pie. Her style brings a reverence and celebration to the simple things in life, from fruit to flowers to birds, and that fits so well into how we feel about chocolate – making small moments sweeter.”
- Charity Hestead, director of marketing communication
Q&A with Jennifer
What inspired you to create the apple illustration?
It was apple season and I had a big bowl of freshly picked apples. I was inspired to paint them as an exercise in creating the essence of the apples rather than a realistic depiction. I get the most joy from moving around paint and have it tell a story.
Your latest book is the Sketchbook Idea Generator. Talk about the process of writing it.
One of the challenges that artists have is the conundrum of what to paint or draw on any given day. This book gives the reader over 100,000 combinations of themes, colors, and mediums to kickstart the process. It is unique in that the pages are split in 3 strips so you can easily flip to another choice. This project was real lesson in organization for me. There are so many moving parts I needed to keep track of!
You often work with gouache. What do you love most about this medium?
Gouache has been my favorite medium for as long as I can remember, I love the rich colors and the opaqueness of the paint. I can layer light colors over dark and dark colors over light and build up my paintings until I achieve what I’m after. I love the depth and movement that the layering creates.
Anything else you’d like readers to know about your design?
I hope the design evokes the feeling of an abundant fall season and crisp, sweet apples.