August Newsletter - Illustrating Childrens Books, Time with Family, and Up North Adventures

The final summer month, for a teacher at least. Next month I am back in the classroom and I'll likely be forced to slow down on the artist front. Before that slow down happens I still have a few big projects in the works!

This month I got to celebrate the publishing of my first children's book illustration project with author Kathryn Egly. It was a fun project and a challenge since you probably know I don't really paint people. Well, not only was it a fun project but it has led to another project!

I am now in the final stages of another book illustration project for a different author. This author, Adam Porter, is a lover of gravel biking and has many children's books planned around the subject. I've drawn the many page spreads and now it's come time to add the watercolor.

Outside of illustrating children's books I've completed a few commissions, planned some new greeting cards, and had LOTS of family time. My brother's family who lives in Maryland came to Minnesota for a whole week of fun activities including Nickelodeon Universe, Science Museum, Minnesota Zoo, and the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark. So many fun memories made with my nephews!

When they flew back to Maryland, I joined my parents in also flying back and spending another few days at their home helping them settle in and decorate. In a previous life I wanted to be an interior decorator, so having practically free reign to shop, thrift, and decorate was a blast!

I was easily distracted by this adorable fluffy Theo, so I couldn't resist a few pets even when screwing sawtooth frame hangers into frames. 😂

Finally, I said goodbye to all that quality family time and I returned for a bachelorette party with a dear friend, and then a three day trip up north with my husband and his sister who came to visit before college resumed this fall.

Our up north trip provided a lot of inspiration so I hope to get more painting done after being immersed in the beautiful nature. I already have paintings for some of the places we went such as Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche State Park, the Duluth Lift Bridge and Lighthouse. Many of those are also available as stickers!

To finish off this month I'm attending Arts in the Park happening in Eden Prairie Saturday August 19th from 10-5 pm in Purgatory Creek Park. So come shop in person if you're around!

While I didn't get any new tutorials up on my Youtube Channel this month, I've been busy working on a skillshare class I'm excited to release soon. I did last month publish two process videos for those interested in seeing the beginning to end process when I'm not stopping to instruct or explain. In one I try out some new supplies and paint a rusty pick up truck. In the other video I paint one of my favorite paintings, a ski lift at sunset. I originally painted it hoping to make it into a tutorial but it became a fun exploration that would have been hard to simplify at the time. I may still go back and do a similar painting as a tutorial, but that sits on a shelf along many other future ideas...

Lastly, I am looking forward to my next two in-person painting classes! I will be teaching another round of my "Exploring Watercolors" Class but this time in NorthEast Minneapolis. That will be on September 29th, check out more details and ticket information. The next class I'll host in my home studio will be November 14th and it will be fall themed with a beautiful lanscape and pumpkin greeting card. Check out more about that event here.

Thanks for following along on my art adventures,

Stay creative!

-Alyssa

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