Expect the Unexpected

Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been so MIA. I’ve been feeling ill for the past few weeks but luckily managed to make it out to the Rittenhouse Fine Art Show last weekend.

If you ‘like’ my Facebook page, then you’re probably reading this to find out more details about this lovely photo:

Rittenhouse Fine Art ShowSo here’s the story!

It took A LOT of strength to go to Rittenhouse, but I knew I had to do whatever I could to feel better. The show felt like a homecoming sort of event for me. I’ve been on the road for so long that it was nice to be back home. Even with being sick, it was so comforting to be in Philly. The people are lovely out west and down south, but boy did I miss the city life and sarcasm of the east coast!

As people wandered the show, I could hear them talk about how hot it was that weekend. I guess being away, I’ve developed some kind of heightened warmth! (And hey, I’m not complaining.) I didn’t see one dog in a stroller or a Hawaiian-themed shirt. It’s a little weird being back home. I don’t think it really hits until I run into a familiar face. Then it just feels like I never left!

Rittenhouse Fine Art Show 2015So I’m minding my own business and I see a suspicious looking man. The security notices his behavior too and start following him when naturally, he starts running. Where else would this man run and get cornered but booth 25, the tent of yours truly! It took about half an hour for security to hold him down! I ran out of there immediately of course and watched carefully after my art work. Thank goodness I have a sturdy tent!

Rittenhouse Fine Art Show AlexandrinI learned that the man had been stealing cell phones from people walking on the street. His move was to run up to people and snatch their phones as their guards were down. You may tell others you know what you’re doing, but please take a second to actually think about your actions on these city streets people! Use your best judgement to stay safe and be alert. If something like this happens to you, the thief better not be pinned down in my booth again!

Anastasia Alexandrin Art at Rittenhouse 2015Anastasia Alexandrin Art at Rittenhouse 2015Anastasia Alexandrin Art at Rittenhouse 2015Anastasia Alexandrin Art at Rittenhouse 2015I’m glad he was caught and yes, everyone I am OK! My art is safe as well and I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback on my new work. Keep it coming and keep your eyes out for more drawings. I am currently on my way to Pittsburgh for the Three Rivers Arts Festival this weekend. Hope to see you there!

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Breaking Down, Pumping Up

Imagine your car has broken down and you’re on a deadline to get somewhere that’s almost 20 hours away. It’s a hot, dry day and you’re by yourself without any car knowledge. Do you break down and convince yourself you’ll never make it? Or do you pump yourself up because you know it’s just another challenge that will make you stronger?

If you follow me on Twitter or liked me on Facebook, you’ll know I was in this exact scenario. I chose the ‘pumping up’ route and decided to stay optimistic! I was so grateful that it happened a mile from where I was staying, in a city and rather than in the middle of the desert.

It happened on the day that I was to drive 16 hours from Phoenix, Arizona to Texas. I was supposed to arrive there on April 2 to set up for the Deep Ellum Arts Festival that Easter weekend. Set up was from noon until 6 p.m. that day and if a participating vendor doesn’t make it during those hours, the booth spot is up for grabs by last-call artists who might have applied late. As I drove out, I heard a rasping noise and it continued to get worse. I pulled over at a gas station and tried to figure it out, only to conclude that I am not a mechanic and will need to call AAA for help.

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It was a very hot day in Phoenix and after a few hours, Dale (the AAA guy) came to my rescue! He had a crass and sarcastic sense of humor that jived well with the whole scenario. I couldn’t help myself but have some fun! I watched him try to attach special contraptions to his vehicle to tow my little Scamp trailer. Another tow truck guy came and they worked pretty hard and I laughed to myself at the situation I was in.

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People stopped and asked about the trailer. They talked to me, offered to take me home, offered to buy the trailer with cash on the spot… I appreciated their generosity but I was on a mission and I couldn’t be stopped! The gas station attendant kept me company for a few hours as the AAA heroes worked on my car. It was an unexpected kind of day and I wondered if it was even possible to get to Texas in time. At this rate, I would make it just at 6 p.m. But worrying wasn’t going to get me there faster, so I towed my Scamp back to the RV Park then towed my car to the mechanic.

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Later that night I was told it had something to do with the fans. Of course I don’t know any specifics, but it was dying and I know I wouldn’t have made it through the desert without it. So a few hundred dollars and a day later I was back on the road!

Hours and hours later, I pulled up to the Deep Ellum registration. I took a look at my clock and was relieved to find out I made it ten minutes before the cut off time! Whew!

The adventure wasn’t over yet. I still had to set up my booth! The wind was super gusty and I thought my tent was going to fly away before I got the weights hung. But somehow, I made it. Fatigued and in a daze, I made it.

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At Deep Ellum, I had the best artist neighbors. One man, Billy Sunday, made instruments and played them in his booth. The music attracted amazingly talented people to his tent and I had the privilege to watch them perform.

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Another artist made elaborate puzzles with intricate designs out of wood. There was also an artist who made jewelry out of stones he found. The company was great! The weather was fickle. The crowds were wanting. I saw a parade of dogs and animals in costumes, people dressed up for Easter and I saw an old friend from my college years in San Francisco. 12 years passed since we met and it was great seeing a familiar face! Plus I got to eat some amazing Thai food!

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If I would’ve chosen to break down with my car, I might not have been able to meet all of these wonderful artists. I learned so much from them that weekend and I am forever grateful for that experience. Artists are incredible beings. I am truly lucky to be surrounded by them.

Fast forwarding to today, I just wrapped up the weekend at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival and it was another pleasurable experience. With all of the recent events of my car and traveling a long distance in a short period of time, I would like to apologetically announce that I will not be attending the Fiesta Arts Fair next weekend in Texas.  It’ll be a lot easier for me to drive to the Inman Park Festival from Atlanta. This traveling artist needs a break!

Until next time, please enjoy this photo sent in by a fan of his newly purchased “Girl in a Hat” series. If you’ve purchased some of my work, please take a photo and email it to me at aalexandrin@me.com to be featured on my social media accounts! And don’t forget to tweet with me on my road trip at @aalexandrin with the #GoAnastasiaGO hashtag.

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Move Along

Last weekend I was in Scottsdale, Arizona for an art festival and I’m ready for the next! Next up is the Tempe Festival of the Arts and I have a really good feeling it’s going to be the best event I participate in this month. Right after Tempe, I’m heading straight to Texas for the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. It’s going to be a busy next few weeks!

Scottsdale Arts Festival

Scottsdale Arts Festival

Scottsdale Arts Festival

I’m not sure of what insight I can give this week. Each art festival I attend teaches me something new and I like to reflect back on my experiences to help me grow. The good experiences are great, but realistically not every fair is going to be an amazing turn out. I think what I can share with you is to not give up even when you think you’ve hit rock bottom. People are there to support you and a new day is just ahead of you.

So in the meantime, work to what you want to become and stick up for what you believe in. Give the meaning your life deserves and remember there will always be someone there to catch you when you fall.

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Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@aalexandrin) and cheer me on with the hashtag #GoAnastasiaGO! I’ve also joined Pinterest! Follow me here: https://www.pinterest.com/aalexandrin.

 

What Inspires You?

As an artist, the question of what inspires us is asked often. What inspires us to create? What is the reason behind drawing this over that? What motivates us to continue being an artist?

Looking out into the wondrous mountains, Arizona shares a lot of what I’m looking for as inspiration. It’s hard to find the words to describe just how beautiful the nature is out here. Sometimes the thing you’re searching for will appear when you least expect it to. I’m a black and white artist. I use color minimally and never intended to do so otherwise. I was never in search for colors that would leave me in awe like the ones here did. I didn’t even know the feeling existed, but these colors in the mountains became engrained in me. I felt like the world stopped and the colors were soaring around me endlessly. Blues that were so blue and pinks that were so pink… it made me want to paint again.

Sedona, AZ

Sedona, AZ

Sedona, AZ

Nature is often inspiration for artists as it is for me. People are another source of inspiration for my artwork. Everyone I’ve met so far in Arizona is so nice and courteous. A simple smile as you walk by a stranger will turn into a full conversation and next thing you know, you’ve made a friend. They tell stories that show how much history the state is built on. I’m not sure if being called a Sun Child is a compliment, but I’ve been getting it a lot here. I’m sure it is and it’s amazing that everyone keeps the Native American traditions so closely to their hearts.

NEW! "Niyaha" by Anastasia Alexandrin

NEW! “Niyaha” by Anastasia Alexandrin

The people of Arizona are free spirits. They’re relaxed and they go with the flow of things to land wherever it is they may land. I like to pretend I fit in as my art does the same. It takes me to new lands and introduces me to new faces. Whatever the world has in store for me, I follow my art wherever it goes.

It’s a different environment, but it’s been helpful for me to relax and draw. I’ve created new drawings of “Owls” and finished them more quickly than I thought I would. Can you help me think of individual names? Make sure to comment below with your ideas!

Owl1 by Anastasia Alexandrin

Owl2 by Anastasia Alexandrin

Owl3 by Anastasia Alexandrin

Maybe Arizona is onto something with its way of living.

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Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@aalexandrin) and cheer me on with the hashtag #GoAnastasiaGO! I’ve also recently joined Pinterest! Follow me here: https://www.pinterest.com/aalexandrin.

Less than 24 Hours Remaining!

We’re in the last stretch of my Kickstarter campaign! Thank you so much to those who have pledged and shared my fundraiser. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend you do! There are lots of drawings available EXCLUSIVE to this campaign.

I recently finished a new tryptic titled, “Magpie.” With less than 24 hours left, I decided to add a print as a reward! The piece represents the Australian magpie bird and how it is one of the few animal species that can recognize itself in its own reflection. The drawing takes a step back to analyze how we look at ourselves and learn who we really are or we see ourselves as.

Magpie (2015) Charcoal by Anastasia AlexandrinFind out more information here and stay tuned for updates on my journey! You, my followers, are truly special to me. I write my most in depth descriptions of my journeys across the country here and I can’t thank you enough for your continued support.

Hibernation

There’s something about the chill in the air that reminds me of the wild. Creatures prepare for hibernation in the forests just as the pre-holiday rush engulfs our own domain. It is our last attempt to collect both our necessities and luxuries before the long lull between seasons. Yet, I seem to find myself most captivated by the ideas drifting through my mind. My task is to understand and structure these thoughts, and as I express them to others through images, I feel a tranquility that would rival the deepest sleep. I hope to spend the next few weeks doing exactly that.
Life, whether it is chaos or calm, is meant to be lived with purpose – but I believe that purpose is of our own design. With the steady flow of sales and festival circuits beginning to slow, I am remembering that art is not simply my career. Drawing is the key to my sanity. It is my lifeblood and my purpose. I am eager to continue down this path and so lucky to have all of you with me.

Spontaneity

It’s strange to think how much can change in just a month, but even stranger to think how much stays the same. Since June I’ve embarked on several journeys both inside and outside of my studio. Three weeks ago I returned to Florida on a whim. Although unexpected, it was a renewal of inspiration as I was reminded how liberating spontaneity can be. While we cannot always peer through the veil into the future, we can either excite or horrify ourselves with the thought of what lies behind it. I choose not to fear, but to relish all of the possibilities.

After visiting Florida, Adam surprised me with a trip to Utah. If you ‘Liked’ my page on Facebook, you probably stopped trying to figure out where in the world I am. Seems I can’t stay put in one state for too long. We also traveled through Idaho, missing the opportunity to walk through the Idaho Potato Museum which was sadly closed yet still managed to provide us with some wonderful photo ops.

The Drive to WyomingThe Drive 3The View - WyomingAdam and Me - IdahoMe - Idaho Potato MuseumThe roads and landscapes of Wyoming seemed endless, yet somehow simple – as if they were shaped specifically for Adam and me, resembling love in their intricacies, contradictions, imperfections, and overall beauty. What’s most remarkable, to me, is how peaceful such a profound feeling can be. With the weight and worry of tomorrow gone we only had each other and our life together to enjoy.

Me and Nikita

Thanks to Nikita Clothing (nikitaclothing.com) for making me look this good randomly standing on top of a car!

The Drive 2And as we celebrate life, I’m reminded of my grandmother, whose incredible strength rewarded her with a 90th birthday. She is yet another source of light and inspiration to me as she endures along with her unconditional love and support.

08_16_14 GrandmaIn the time I’ve been home I’ve begun many new pieces. Bold, romantic, and heavily influenced by my thoughts and adventures over the past month.

IMG_1315 Anastasia AlexandrinIMG_13152 Anastasia AlexandrinIMG954410 Anastasia AlexandrinThis coming weekend, I’ll be traveling to Pittsburgh once again for the 17th Annual Shadyside Arts Festival on Walnut. Two of my newest pieces will be displayed. I’m excited for you to see them!

June Bug

Mother Nature can be fickle. While the final weekend of the Three Rivers Arts Festival endured hours of wind and rain, Sunday was thankfully gorgeous. The sun allowed the festival to recover from the previous storms, welcoming plenty of guests.

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Woodpecker, Chipping Away and Fast Train were all sold. It’s always a rather bittersweet moment. As you delve into your work, like any other bond, it becomes a part of you. Yet knowing that you’ve created something that speaks to another person—to have the chance to connect with someone on such a level, is thrilling.

Three Rivers - Chipping Away

This past weekend was the 25th annual Manayunk Arts Festival. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to put on display since I’ve been selling so many originals lately, but I managed to figure it out. At the event, Ohitika was recognized and received an honorable mention. My booth also managed to gain attention from The Philadelphia Inquirer. Check out the article with a photo of my booth here!

Manayunk - Ohitika

Photo Credit: Philly Inquirer

Photo Credit: Philly Inquirer

At this point, I’ll be taking a break from the festival circuit for a while. I’m hoping inspiration will strike so I can fully dedicate myself to creating some new pieces to share with all of you. I’ve been getting a lot more time to organize everything and, to more importantly, draw!

Hello Again Philly!

So Adam came to pick me up and we headed on the road back to Philly! I was so excited to see the city again and relax for a few days. “Relax” just sounds like a foreign word to me at this point in life. I’m always on the go and constantly preparing for art fairs and applying for shows. The artist life isn’t an easy one to live, but it’s one that’s worth it in the end. I know it!

Road Trip

Don’t quite remember where the picture above was taken… I know it was somewhere in Florida still! The tree just called out to me. I guess trees have a way of standing out to me on road trips. Remember that dancing tree from before?

As I left Philly to head down to Florida back in the end of January, early February, it was snowing and hectic and a wintery mess! I’m going to miss the warm weather of Florida and the sunny days of wearing shorts, but I’m glad to be back in the city where a city girl like me belongs!

When I got back, I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to relax unfortunately. I was a participant of the A-RTS Rockville Festival (http://a-rts.org/) in Rockville, MD. Adam came with me and helped me throughout the day. I always enjoy having someone else with me in my booth at shows. It’s great to have someone explore a new area with me and share the experiences of meeting different supporters (and non-supporters) of my work.

Rockville

After Rockville last weekend, I was FINALLY able to step back into the studio! Can you tell which piece I’m doing a second version of?

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Summer2 in Progress

Summer2 in Progress

If you guessed “Summer,” you’re right! To see the original “Summer” click here. So this piece will be “Summer 2” and I’m really excited about the recreation. It’s less time consuming for me to draw original pieces of images I’ve done before, though of course if I had time to do a BRAND NEW piece I would love the opportunity to do so. Getting the resources and materials to do new projects is something many people don’t think about. It’s the artist’s job to finance their work through selling other pieces and it’s a constant cycle of working on a piece, getting your name out there, meeting people and trying to have them love the piece as much as you do.

So “Summer 2” is complete and as always, my followers get the first peek! For those of you just checking in, don’t forget to follow my blog! All you have to do is type in your email and my posts will get sent straight to you. I post a few times monthly, so it won’t be anything that will fill up your inbox too much hehe!

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Well, now I’m off and about to start my day at Penn’s Landing! I’m at the Art Star Craft Bazaar from 11-6 today and tomorrow (5/11), so make sure to come check out my work. This is the first Philly fair I’m participating in since I’ve been away. It’s going to be a great day. Hello again Philly! Let’s see what you’ve got for me!

For more details of the Art Star Craft Bazaar, please visit www.artstarcraftbazaar.com.