Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tapping In To My Childlike Heart


Today was spent entirely in the studio, finishing up two custom orders and then weaving in some online class time. I'm currently studying two individuals and their personal tips for children's illustrators - Lynn Chapman's, Expressive Picture Book Characters and Doreen Mulryan's, People In Picture Books: Developing Your Main Character. After my first few lessons, I practiced illustrating, focusing on technique and perspective a little more than what I typically do and came up with this darling little girl.

While sketching, I reached deep inside, taking hold of my childlike heart, and the 'little girl' inside started pouring out on paper. I don't know about you but after finishing her, I didn't want to do anything else but play! Despite the temptation to put my brushes down, my work continued on into the late afternoon.

I'm quite excited and look forward to what other treasures my pencils and brushes will discover along the way. Who knows what characters will be appearing here. Off to explore!...


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Humpy Dumpty's Adventures & More


Humpty Dumpty - we all know of him and his sad plight. Oh dear, Mr. Humpty...well, at least in the old English version where your King's horses and men couldn't put you back together again. Sigh. Mine, of course, has quickly learned to be cautious, exploring and settling in to his new home. From visiting bunnies, catching the afternoon sunlight in the kitchen window, to having his first hot cuppa, he's one spectacular egg!

The recent Creative Tuesday's theme is Easter Eggs, so Michael came up with this brilliant idea to hand paint eggs for the kids this year. It was perfect and we created something unique and personal for each of them. Between the two of us, we painted more than a dozen eggs both for the kids and for some of our close friends. In fact, it was quite enjoyable seeing the smiles on everyone's faces when peering into their individual Easter mugs. Especially my dear friend Gayla, when she discovered her very own (requested) hand-painted Humpty Dumpty. Priceless!

Below are a few more of the eggs which I completed. We worked on both white and brown hard boiled eggs, using watercolor paints, sharpies, and white gel pens. Such fun, let me tell you!

To view more of the eggs I illustrated, check out my Twitter page here. You'll certainly get a kick out of the other darling characters. I'm off to take a peek at the work of the other contributors over on the Creative Tuesdays home page. Enjoy your week!
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Sketches: Bunny Trouble


With Springtime finally here and Easter weekend upon us, how fitting to illustrate a group of bunnies getting into a bit of trouble?  The idea came to me when wrapping up a painting for our dear friend L of the potted plants sitting in a window sill of her dining room.

Once deciding to combine a row of terra cotta pots with bunnies playing in them, it was then determining what they were doing. After watching our darling Scottie romp around on the living floor room yesterday with his favorite stuffed toy and tennis ball, the idea came to me of having them searching and tossing around eggs within each clay pot. Who could resist?

If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Live Mindfully


Life is utterly precious. We're not promised tomorrow or the next day...nor the next. This week, my heart has been inundated with various friends, family members, and people in our lives who are faced with difficult, challenging times. Our friend, L, was diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks before Christmas and has been going through some intense chemo. Another friend's niece is about to go through major brain surgery to remove a tumor, leaving the family to create a schedule to help care for her little children. Add to that, the recent terrorist attack in Brussels. The list goes on and on. My heart is completely heavy this morning and brings to mind two simple yet powerful words we all should take hold of and never let go:

Live Mindfully

In a world where sickness and chaos are rampant, what do we choose to fill our hearts and minds with? Whatever attitude we embrace impacts us emotionally and physically, both individually, as well as those around us. This world needs more hearts filled with compassion and forgiveness, rather than anger, selfishness and blame. Life is too short to hold grudges, throw tantrums along the way or make those we care about feel anything but loved. With one snap of the finger, our lives can all change instantly. (Just ask those affected in Brussels today.) How or what would we do then? Nothing, as it would be too late...

This week, I'd like to challenge each of us to fill our hearts with a compassion and love so that our own decisions in life can have the best and most positive impact on those around us. Make no room for selfishness or even rudeness. Bad things are like a magnet — if you allow room in your heart for just one, everything else is then tainted.  Live your life to the fullest. Live your life mindfully!

(Another peek at a song I'm singing and have dedicated to those suffering in Brussels.)

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Sketches: Egg-cellent Doodling


If you're not already a follower or participant of the Creative Tuesdays art co-op...you should be! Not just because I'm partial to my dear hubby, but because he's cheerful, witty and brings to the table the most incredibly fun themes for everyone to illustrate/paint. Uh-huh.

His recent theme for C.T. has had my mind bouncing around on creative clouds for a few days now. This afternoon, I put my brush and pen to paper, coming up with this illustration. It was a lot of fun and I'm quite pleased, if I say so myself! Some eggs were inspired by photos spotted on Pinterest, while others were from just playing around with ideas that actually quite surprised me when completing them.

If you were to paint an egg, what would you paint? Would also you be interested in a short video tutorial on how to paint watercolor eggs such as these?

 
If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Little bakeshop of love

Just a quick pop in to say hello and wish everyone a lovely Friday. Yesterday, we started our morning at our favorite bakeshop, having a cambric tea and coffee, along with one of my favorites - a scrumptious cheese biscuit. Nothing feels more like home to us than this cozy spot, tucked inside an old brick building with the smell of homemade baked goodies filling the air...and of course, the friendships we've built here along the way.

Today will be a 'nestled up on the sofa with a hot water bottle and cup of tea' kind of day, as we watch the snow continue to gently tumbling down. We've certainly been spoiled with all of the wonderful warm, Spring temperatures recently and were surprised to discover it was actually snowing when climbing out of bed. Nevertheless, the puppy certainly had fun romping around in it early this morning!


Here's to a lovely Friday and weekend for everyone. I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you over the next few days and have missed the daily, joyful connection that brings.
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making a list of 'JOYS'


The sun is almost tucked away for the night here in our little town. The puppy is fast asleep at our feet as the mister and I are nestled up on the sofa, each with a hot water bottle at hand. It's one of the most comforting things on a windy and chilly evening, let me tell you. After enjoying a week or so of lovely, warm weather, cooler temperatures are squeezing their way back in this week.

It's been a long 24+ hours for me, once again. Lately, it seems the physical pain and headaches have been (almost) a constant battle for me. It can quite discouraging losing precious time with the two children's books I'm currently working on, plus other custom projects needing my attention. Despite the setbacks, I look for those little things in life that bring joy, pushing me forward as able. Let me share with you today's JOY list...

tea painting my hubby our doggie hot water bottles cosy socks sanpellegrino popcorn doodling fresh flowers cheese biscuits walking homemade soup bubble baths my bloggie friends candles


With that said, it's been a fairly mellow day resting on the sofa under quilts, enjoying earl grey tea. puppy kisses and the occasional doodle. I'm looking forward to crawling under the covers tonight for some good rest. There are a lot of projects to tick off the "to do" list this week, so I'm hoping to dive back in tomorrow.
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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Sketches: Wings of Courage


"When the whole world is silent, even one voice of courage is powerful."

Life is filled with ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns; taking us to places that sometimes, requires courage. It's not always easy finding the strength to be courageous. But doing so in the most difficult and challenging times can bring the greatest strength ever imagined. Never be afraid to stand up and spread your wings to SOAR - even when the world feels utterly silent around you.

I'm looking forward to visiting everyone and getting back into a routine. Thank you for being so understanding last weekend. Each of you make this bloggie world that much more precious to me.

If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you!

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Honoring Women Around the World


This week, women around the world are being honored for International Women's Day. Here's my contribution to honoring those I do not know who've taken a stand to help others and make a difference everywhere.

I'd also like to send off a special thank you to every woman in my life who has played a part in helping me grow, overcome and be who I am today. Who would you like to "honor" this week?
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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ushering in Spring and New Adventures

Spring is certainly ushering in here where we live. Uh huh From the (somewhat stifling*) warmer and windy days lately to the tiny, green leaves pushing their way up out of the ground, we're seeing the signs everywhere. So, why not doodle some flowers the Lisa Congdon way? Besides the current projects on my studio desk, I'm trying to work in little warm-ups here and there to expand my skill-set and learn new artsy things along the way.

Of course, any day isn't complete without the perfect cup of tea in hand. Most days, my preference is PG Tips. On occasion, we pull out the Yorkshire Gold or Scottish Blend. Usually, those blends are saved for winter days or cooler, rainy days throughout the Spring and Summer.

There are many new projects and upcoming changes both myself and the mister are looking forward to sharing with you. One of them is resurrecting our joint blog, Paper Chains & Bunting, about our life and journey along the way. Won't you come 'follow' us? We'd love to have you visit and share our adventures!

* Michael's not a fan of the warmer weather and is already saying over and over, "It's stifling out!"
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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Creative Tuesdays: Meet the Artist...err...Puppy


Well, well....you all remember my personal meet the artist I illustrated a month or so ago? Since Mr. Toast is ushering in a theme similar to this for Creative Tuesdays, I thought it fitting to extend that illustration and make one of my studio buddy - our cuddly, lovable, furry guy who snuzzles up on the sofa every night with us - Brendel Joseph. (Yes, he has a middle name..haha)

While you enjoy this little guy, we'll look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments about the best Scottish Terrier in the world...at least we think so.  :)
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