Happy 2019!

Happy 2019! I hope it brings you new adventures and experiences that you find interesting and make you grow. 2018 marked the first complete year of having my own business, Anya Toomre Art & Illustration. I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work for me. It’s a continual process and there will likely never be a “done” state. What remains true is that this is a lifetime business. It’s only more public than I’ve done before. I like the people I’ve been meeting with this change. Another big addition this year was expanding my product range to include textile art. I’ve opened up an etsy shop, AnyaToomreStudios where I have been adding my fabric and art-quilt coasters. Esty is an easier site to have lots of hand-made items than I know how to do on this site right now.

One of the long-term goals I have with my business is to give back. So at the end of December 2018, I tallied up my sales and was able to donate a percentage of total sales to the following three organizations:

From my pet portraits, I give to the Seattle Humane Society. I love cats and dogs and all three of my cats were adopted from the Seattle Humane Society.

From my card and print sales, I chose to give to the Hispanic Federation in support of rebuilding Puerto Rico. I was in Cuba in 2017 during Hurricane Irma. I had never been in a hurricane before, nor on an island with such high waters. There was a lot of damage and disruption in Cuba but it only got battered by the edges of the storm. Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico shortly thereafter and it was a full force hit on the island which was devastated. I can’t imagine the chaos and destruction. I was only 700 hundred miles on a more lightly hit island 2 weeks earlier.

With adding my quilted textiles to my line of available products, I wanted to do something in support of women and kids and home, so I chose to give a percentage of my textile sales to Mary’s Place in Seattle.

Thank you to everyone who supported me last year and helped me to contribute to these three organizations that are doing good work in their areas. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to give more. All the best for the new year!

Artist's Reception at the Redmond Senior Center Gallery

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Prints of my work will be up on display at the Redmond Senior Center Gallery until November 30, 2018. There will be an artist’s reception on Monday, October 15. I am looking forward to seeing my work all up and framed! I normally work in sketchbooks so my work doesn’t get so spread out. I have ink and watercolor drawings from my trips to Cuba in 2017 and fall leaves on display. If you can’t make it to the reception, please stop by and take a look.

Everyday items in Cuba

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I like to do travel journaling in my sketchbooks. This is a page from one of my Cuba sketchbooks that I completed recently with some of the bits and pieces brought home from my trips. I have fun with trying to make the items are realistic as I can within the ink and watercolor format. The coins, bills and card in this sketchbook spread (11"x8.5"/28cm x 21.6cm) are real size. I like to record the memorabilia of receipts, tickets, pamphlets, maps and odds and ends in my sketchbooks. I will usually mix them in with sketches related to the event. What do you like to record?

Fancy carved wooden door in Habana Vieja, Cuba

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This was an amazingly detailed and carved wooden door that I came across on the main shopping street, Calle Obispo, in Habana Vieja, Cuba. Part of the attraction aside from the ornateness, was how tall and incredibly narrow it was. No grand pianos or sofas are going through that!

A Drawing for Inktober

Here's the horse that graciously allowed me to ride her on an excursion to see a waterfall near Trinidad, Cuba. This is a drawing for Inktober, a challenge to draw an ink picture everyday in October and then post online to share. Adding other media is okay. There are daily prompts to follow or not. I chose to work from travel pictures. Right now I'm working from my Cuba photos.

Here's the horse that graciously allowed me to ride her on an excursion to see a waterfall near Trinidad, Cuba. This is a drawing for Inktober, a challenge to draw an ink picture everyday in October and then post online to share. Adding other media is okay. There are daily prompts to follow or not. I chose to work from travel pictures. Right now I'm working from my Cuba photos.