Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Sketches: Exploring A New World In My Sketchbook

As I continue to move forward in my 2015 "surrender" journey (and through the inspiration of another beautiful, long-time bloggie friend, Susan) I've dedicated my creative soul to one other artistic project to keep me pursuing my monthly creative intentions.  This one is from the fabulous Lisa Congdon over at Creativebug and I'm having a great time thus far.  If you're looking for some daily sketchbook inspiration, you should definitely hop over and check her out.

In the meantime, enjoy my process above of the first watercolor and line drawing project completed earlier this evening.  This is definitely pushing me to explore my creative brain a bit more but it is so worth it!  This girl is going to soar to her dreams in 2015! Uh huh :)

Wishing everyone a wonderful and cozy Sunday Sketches! I'm looking forward to visiting everyone.

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.

This week's participants: Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to visit.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WOYWW: Surrendering my fears

Surrender  [suh-ren-der]
verb: to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, or emotion.
noun:  the act or instance of surrendering

This little painting was meant to be posted for the bi-weekly art co-op, Creative Tuesdays, but I didn't quite make it in time.  It was my reflection on what my word for 2015 meant to/for me.  The butterflies are a representation of my fears and how I'm choosing to release them and allow my creative soul to flourish this year.

Many of you have probably read about 'finding your word' and focusing your life and what you do around it for the year.  As you can see, it's taken me quite some time to determine what I felt was mine. After the terrible car accident I was in just barely 10 months ago, I didn't just want a word, I also wanted to be able to include it within my monthly artistic intentions. This year, instead of making resolutions that often go unmet (leaving me feeling like somewhat of a failure), I decided to create 1-2 creative intentions each month that I'd like to accomplish.  Having intent rather than resolutions is easier on the heart and soul if it's not checked off the list.  Feeling pressured to complete a particular task doesn't feed the creative soul, rather it robs from it.  I desire to feed mine so that it can flow forth with joy and hope to bless others around me. Thus, my word, surrender.

My creative heart will begin to surrender all fears within my work that tend to trip me up or hold me back.  It's time to let go and dive in to fulfill my dreams and grow within my work.  Each week I'll be sharing the ups and downs with you, regardless of what they are.  I'm allowing my creative soul to soar and fly to new heights in 2015!  Uh huh

Here's to a wonderful, creative and blessed new year for each of us in 2015!  Make sure to take a peek at all of the other creative desks and workplaces over at WOYWW.  ♥

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Sketches: Continuing to Grow

Hello and welcome to another fabulous week of sketching, painting and lots of creative inspiration.  Regardless of what medium, style or techniques - everyone is welcomed here. Uh huh

Above are two more watercolor paintings I completed for my ongoing daily watercolor journal book challenge for the month of January.  I'm really enjoying pushing myself to grow and blossom within my art.  In these two paintings, I incorporated white pastel pencil, using it for the white areas.  Before painting, I first apply the white pastel to the watercolor paper, then paint over it.  It's a fantastic technique discovered and works very well.

This week is Mr.Toast's birthday, so we have been doing mini celebrations since Friday.  (Yes, he's certainly loved and spoiled! Hee Hee)  The first painting is Earl's Court where he spent his teenage years growing up.  The second painting is Kensington Court, which is one of the many squares where he spent a lot of time as well.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!  I'm looking forward to visiting each of you with a cup of tea in hand.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WOYWW - Finding Balance

I'm continuing to push through the daily challenge of the Artist's Journal Workshop, although I am behind by a day or so now.  If you've missed some of my other illustration challenges you can view them here and here:)

There are a lot of projects on my desk and finding creative balance with all of the deadlines is important to not lose focus.  This week, I've been working almost full-time on wrapping up the illustrations for a children's book I'm illustrating for the lovely Karen Roberts called, "Peanut Butter & Pumpernickel".  It's been great fun, pushing me a little creatively as well.  It's expected to publish next month and when it does, I'll be sure to make the special announcement.  Until then, I'll post snippets here and there, along with my studio space.  I'm currently tidying it up and making more desk space for my work.

I'm off to grab another cup of tea so I can cozy up on the sofa to visit everyone in this week's WOYWW.  Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sunday Sketches: Growing little by little

I've been enjoying this brand new private Facebook Artist Journal Workshop I'm now a part of.  The daily themes have been challenging at times but good for me; pushing me outside of my comfort zone so I can grow in my watercolor/sketching skills.  The first painting was for today's theme/challenge - flowers.  I wanted to create a zen-like doodle on top of spattered watercolor and am pleased with it since it's probably the first time I've done any sort of thing such as this.

The second painting is my version of Claude Monet's 19th century painting titled, "The Costoms House Morning Effect". It was quite intimidating at the beginning but I'm glad I pushed through because the end results were more than I could have ever hoped for!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!  Happy SS! I look forward to catching up with everyone.

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.

This week's participants: Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to visit.


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

WOYWW: New Creative Intentions

This week I joined a private Facebook Group page called, Artist's Journal Workshop, and so far, I'm loving it!  I had already made the decision last week that I wanted to take on another small daily project that would challenge me to push myself outside of my comfort zone so I can improve my watercolor skills/techniques.  (This would be in addition to my normal illustration work on the table!)

The first few daily themes (shown above) have been fairly workable, however, today's challenge is to paint our own interpretation of a 19th century painting!  Oh dear me!  ha-ha  I've chosen to do Claude Monet, so wish me luck and I'll post it when completed!  Until then, enjoy a little peek at part of my studio (part of Julia's WOYWW) and my recent illustrations.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Creative Courage: Finding Yours in 2015

Last year, after the terrible car accident I was in, I felt this little nudge in my heart to take my story of courage developed through some of life’s most challenging times for me and write an e-course to help inspire others to do the same.  I certainly had plenty of time on my hands, considering I had lost so much, including my job and being forced to drop out of school.  While recovering and spending many hours alone at home on the sofa each day, I desired to do more than just sit there, staring at the wall, while time and life passed me by! Despite the pain I was suffering, this girl wanted more.  Uh huh.

About 4 months into my recovery (and at a place where I could sit up once again and write), I began to capture my thoughts and ideas on paper.  In less than a month, it all transitioned it into my very own e-course called, Hello, Courage: Finding Your Creative Joy During Life's Challenges.  Through-out this course I not only share pieces on overcoming the challenges of my car accident but my story of surviving child abuse and domestic violence.  Situations like this require courage and hope to overcome such life-altering moments - moments where I had to choose to overcome or be defeated by the things that happened to me.

After Hello, Courage went "live", I was totally blown away not only by the enrollment in my course but the overwhelming engagement and success of it.  The feedback and comments on how this course had transformed women’s lives was so humbling, filling my heart with joy!  Here's what one lady said:

"This class was just what I needed. I have always loved art but was not sure about my direction and have always lacked confidence in my work. I have so enjoyed learning from Alexandra - her tips, techniques and support have taught me so much. I also really needed to be given permission to let go of being perfect and paint what inspires me and it has changed the way I feel about my art. Thank you Alexandra xoxo"
~ Jane

With that said, Hello, Courage will available again in March of this year along with two more brand new e-courses to help inspire and encourage you in your art and creative life - and for ONLY $45.00 each! Whoever you are, these classes are sure to lift your spirits and bring you to a place of joy and renewal, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, teacher, artist, photographer, etc.

Here's what you'll get when you register:
  • FREE video tutorials
  • FREE downloadable lessons to always have on hand
  • FREE templates/patterns
  • PRIVATE access to a group Facebook page to engage with myself and others
  • GUEST BLOGGERS like Tracey Fletcher King, Shirley Ng-Benitez, Lisa Wright, Kristin Dudish, & more!
  • You can take these courses at your own pace - any day/time that fits your schedule!
Go ahead! Take a spin through the e-courses listed below and take a brand new adventure with me this year.  I promise you – you’re creative heart will be rejuvenated!


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Sunday Sketches: Take time for love

It's been a wonderful holiday break and have been quite spoiled having my darling hubby at home with me for the past week or so.  We've been enjoying several things together, such as morning teatime, blogging, reading creative articles and strolling the streets of downtown picking up our favorite tea and cakes.  Alas, he'll be returning to work on Monday and I'll be making my way back upstairs to illustrate away in the studio.  Life can be so incredibly busy anymore so it has meant a lot having the extra time over the break to be with Mr. Toast as well as some good quality time with the kids.

With that said, let me share with you a final peek at the hand-painted mini tea-themed custom calendars that are already on their way to my lovely customers.  I enjoyed designing these and am considering offering digital ones in my shop. (Like I don't have enough work to do already!  hee hee)

Wishing everyone a fabulous New Year.  May all of your creative dreams come true!  Happy SS!

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.

This week's participants: Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to visit.
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