Thursday, July 25, 2019

A few little pet rocks...

I've been exploring some new ideas in between work deadlines. Like these sweet little "pet rocks". Aren't they the cutest? Kids are loving them. Well, adults, too! Let me tell you, these will be oober popular at this weekend's farmer's market. I'm pretty excited as it's out first here in Folsom and am looking forward to meeting new people here in the community.

These little rocks were painted with my set of "Select" Princeton brushes using my new set of Winsor & Newton acrylics. I've never used acrylics by Winsor & Newton before so it was a new challenge for prepping and mixing colors. But hey, they turned out darn cute? Don't you think?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Say Something Special

Exciting news! I’m joining the Manuscript Pen Company once again this year for the 2019 World Calligraphy Day and the "Say Something Special" campaign for the children at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital

I'm hosting a very special giveaway for this wonderful occasion. Won't you JOIN ME for your chance to WIN your very own set of their Aqua Water Brushes and a Traditional Calligraphy Pen Set.

• Sketch any animal of your choice with a dip pen
• Add a special message for the children
• Post to your blog and tag/message me
• Contest is open to national & international
• Deadline is August 14th

Got questions? Leave a comment below. Let's bring some cheer to the children of the Birmingham hospital!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Exploring the Creative World

Up until we moved 2 weeks ago, I started painting again. Like, actual hand-painted pictures and objects rather than digital as I've done for a better part of this past year. Let me tell you how good it has felt. Doing so has allowed me to explore both new brushes and paints, (watercolor and acrylic).

I've never really branched out to try out new paints (or brushes) until recently. Mainly, because I didn't need them and was content with what I was currently using. After diving back into hand-painting once again, it just felt like it was time to try something new.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel once again for the Manuscript Pen Company located in the UK to the annual NAMTA convention. It's a fabulous show and has provided me with the opportunity to meet not just other wonderful artists across the world but art suppliers as well. This past February, I had the amazing opportunity to meet the founder of the Princeton Brush Company - Howard Kaufman. I felt honored to meet such an incredible man, who was kind, compassionate and so giving of his time. He impressed the socks off of me and kindly invited me to try out his brushes.

A few months ago, my sample of Princeton brushes arrived and I couldn't be happier. Currently my favorite is the Velvetouch and the Aqua Elite for using watercolors. They feel great when holding and paint flawlessly. I can't imagine using any other brushes and am looking forward to trying out more and sharing those with you. So, keep an eye out for some mini tutorials in the works.

Prima Watercolor Confections were always on my list to one day try. I have been so comfortable with another brand I never felt the need to try them. However, every day they would continue to pop up in my Instagram news-feed by other artists, so I thought...What the heck!  I now own 5 different sets (Note: all sets are twelve colors and come in a nice metal paint tin with a useful numbered swatch card).  These are great and affordable for beginning artists. And honestly, they bring me pure joy. The colors are rich in color and easy to use.

Daniel Smith Watercolors was another set of higher quality watercolors I've been wanting to check out but have never been in my budget. Thankfully, while at the NAMTA convention mentioned above, I met with a representative who presented me with 2 small sets to try and I love them!  All of the colors are perfect to mix all the shades. Their colors are so nice and vibrant and mix well and blend wonderfully.

How about you? Are you playing around with some new paints, brushes, etc? I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Stunning View

We've been in our new location for almost a week. One of the first things I did after arriving was picking up these beautiful peonies. This is the first time they’ve graced our home and I simply LOVE them. In fact, I think I'm in love with them.

Countless photos have appeared in my Instagram news-feed for ages, leaving me to admire them from afar. Why have I waited so long? They're beyond stunning and I love seeing them sitting in the window every morning when strolling in to make that first hot cuppa to start my day. For me, they signify a fresh start....a new beginning for M and I here in California. I'm looking forward to what this life brings us.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

NEW journey & NEW life!

Well, it's been wayyyyyyyy too long since I've been out here. A long 7 months, in fact! I think the last time I was out here posting my illustration work, we had just moved to Kentucky a few short months prior. And now, we're in California! Yes, you head that right. C.A.L.I.F.O.R.N.I.A.

Our move to Kentucky was filled with a lot of joyful things, such as helping out my mom and step-dad, some pretty cool freelance work and me getting the opportunity to work for an amazing clothing boutique....but it was also filled with some pretty deep heartache. Several other things we had moved there for never came to fruition. Including, never having our own home. As I sit here and write this, my heart aches deeply as we've not had a place to call our own in 11 months! Talk about feeling uprooted for far too long. It changed us. Overall, for the good of things. Some smaller things...those will take time for the heart to heal.

We are now relocated to California, just a wee bit northeast of Sacramento and close to M's family now. It's certainly a big change emotionally and culturally, moving from Kentucky to California. Many things are different at the moment for us. We went from a fairly social coffee life to having none at the moment. It's a bit scary picking up and moving again in less than a year. For me, it's the idea of having to make friends - all over again! We still don't have our own place so nowhere to truly set up my studio to work on the projects currently on my plate. With that comes emotional and physical exhaustion. I've been struggling big time in getting back on my feet emotionally but am hopeful after a few more weeks, we'll have adjusted to the 3-hour time change, weather and more.

To answer your other burning questions.... "What have you been doing these past few months?!"  I'm still doing children's book illustrations but have cut back on that area a little so as to allow time to dive into other areas of the design and illustration world. Our stay in Kentucky has allowed me the opportunity to work on designing clothing, editorial illustrations, posters and more. Plus, Michael and I launched our own business, Londonberrie! It's been a work-in-progress but is starting to grow and we're excited!

To close things for now, here is a peek at some of the new work I've been doing. And of course, you can always find me out on social media - specifically Instagram.

Got any other questions about our move, work, etc? Leave me a comment and I'll reply as quickly as I can. :)

~ Alex
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