Alexis Marie named Artist in Residence at Harcourt House Artist Run Center



I am thrilled to announce that I have been named as the 2012/2013 Artist in Residence at the fabulous Harcourt House in Edmonton, AB, Canada. What an honour! My official start date is November 1st and I can hardly wait. I am already planning which furniture to outfit my studio space and literally dreaming about the body of artwork that I plan to develop over the year.


What exactly is an artist in residence? Thanks for asking. That is a great question!


The role of the Artist in Residence is twofold:


First, Harcourt House is supporting my artistic career for a whole year by providing a studio space where I will create new artwork. At the end of my term they will mount a solo exhibition of my creations in their gallery.


The second component of the residency is the opportunity for me to interact with the art community and Edmonton as a whole. I will be doing this through teaching art classes, opening my studio for visits and writing about my artistic journey here on my blog, Artist Reborn.


My plan for my residency includes developing a body of artwork that focuses on healing and rebuilding a person’s life through and after struggle. I will be painting, creating mixed media artwork and wooden sculpture (like “Quiet Rebuild”). Poetry and creative writing will also accompany my visual art.


About two years ago my son passed away in my arms. This was a pivotal event in my life which has dramatically changed me as an artist, mother and overall human being. Through mourning my son, I have found my voice as an artist and my subject matter of healing and rebirth. I am a new person and I believe art was one of the major factors that illuminated my way and gave me incite for personal evolution. I am sure this work will be an inspiration and touch many viewers as we all face challenges in our lives that require strength to overcome.


For those who are interested in learning more about my journey and how you too can use artwork in your healing process, I plan to teach a class on this subject during my residency. I will post again when dates have been set. Attendees will gain artistic tools including poetry writing and collage that will aid in individual restoration. Please get in touch if you are interested in attending this class (or if you have other ideas of subjects you would like to learn about).


I am elated to be Harcourt House’s 2012/2013 Artist in Residence and will keep everyone updated on my progress. If you would like to receive email updates on my residency, info on the classes I will be teaching and other fine art and creative writing posts, please enter your email address in the box on the right (“Subscribe to Blog via Email”).


Check out the Harcourt House website:

They even offer yoga in the gallery! Find out more at Art & Mind:

My 3 Day Novel Contest Experience


It is now one week from the time I began tying my 3 Day Novel Contest story. I do have to say, I really miss my characters. I want to give them a call, ask how they are doing, see if they want to hang out and catch up. It’s as though their lives have continued on and I am missing out on the action.

Coffee became a staple for this non-coffee drinker. My husband made sure I had a warm cup at all times. 

Besides actually writing my story, which was a fabulous rush, an exciting push; I loved every minute of chatting on Twitter with my new writing buddies. I had not anticipated this wonderful dialogue of encouragement, page and word counts, and silly late night writing frustration. It was beyond a highlight for me and I hope to continue the conversation with these awesome people.


I had pages and pages of my story outline, written by hand, to focus me through the process. It was the best decision I made to prepare before the clock started ticking.


A few reflections on writing the 3-Day Novel Challenge:


  • My outline was my best friend. I could not have pressed through in the tough moments, the times when my brain was so tired that I nearly lost my plot’s direction, if it was not for the guiding hand of my outline. It said to me, late at night, “Now where do you think you are going?” in its gentle but caring manner, “Get back over here and refocus. You’ve got a job to do. Get your characters moving.”
  •  Time pressure = less writers block. I had written about writers block the week leading up to the 3-Day Novel Contest and I do believe this mental preparation made a world of difference, especially the positive affirmations and tips for combating the block, but really, the rush of the weekend meant I had no time to even get caught in a jam…
  • But when I did get caught, some wise tweeters encouraged: keep the plot moving, introduce action. I found this advice a life saver. Introduce action. Action moves the story forward, gives your characters something to do, something to talk about.  It was revolutionary for my story where my protagonist tended to get a little lost in her head.
  • My twitter buddies, many who have done this contest many, many times before constantly posted page and number counts. This was both a distraction and an encouragement for me. When others surged ahead I cursed my poky finger’s pace and got worried that my word count wouldn’t count for much. At the same time, I felt camaraderie with other writers who were on the same page, so to speak. It also helped me realize that I was not alone (a lot of us were on par). These updates were a double edged sword, but apart from their distracting and motivating properties, they were simply a lot of fun.


I found a new treat! The flavour didn’t last long but it was a sweet reminder of my childhood self.


This last week has been spent recovering with sleep and family time but I have very wonderful memories of my first 3-Day Novel Contest. I am excited to develop my story.

The shortlist and winners will be announced in January 2013. The grand prize is book publishing – the dream of every serious writer. If my novel is not the winner, I will still be sending it out into the world and I will keep you posted.


These are the happily kicking feet of my two month old co-writer who insisted I have regular breaks throughout the weekend.


My co-writer made sure I took the crap out of my story.


Each day I stuck a post it note on my computer with a page number goal. This was helpful motivation despite the fact that I didn’t reach my ultimate goal of 100 pages (but I was not far off).


I encourage anyone to try the #3DNC for the experience alone. It was an amazing journey and I am very thankful to my family for helping with my kids, not bugging me too much but also providing food (THANKS MOM!) so I could be a part of something so special.