Gwen Diehn Shares 10,000 Things

Gwen Diehn
Gwen Diehn drew this series of chickens as part of her quest toward completing 10,000 drawings. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In 2013, Asheville artist and educator Gwen Diehn decided to draw 10,000 things in an exercise of artistic growth — in June 2017, she wrote the number 10,000 next to a sketch of a hen scratching in the dust. On Monday, February 26, at 6pm, Diehn brings her original sketchbooks from the project to Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café for a discussion of what she learned along the way.

Throughout her four years of drawing, Diehn consistently found inspiration in the everyday sights of society and nature. From the faces of her growing grandchildren to the elegance of seeds, from daylilies to the orange and white tail of a fleeing fox, she embraced the connectedness and fascination of common happenings.

“I’ll be talking about my experience of keeping up a drawing practice for four years, the challenges and the high points,” says Diehn. “I’ll also talk about the results in terms of my post-10,000 Drawing, and I will have on hand all of the 50 or so sketchbooks for audience members to peruse.”

Even after a sketchbook containing over 100 drawings was stolen during a trip to Barcelona, Diehn continued in the rhythm of producing seven to ten drawings a day, allowing the practice to weave into her daily life. The entire sequence is documented online at her blog,, with notes on the inspiration behind each drawing.

Gwen Diehn’s talk takes place at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, on Monday, February 26, at 6pm. Call 828-254-6734 or visit for more info.

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