in which andrea joins a book club, and also instagram

So, I finally have my new site up and running. I'm so happy with the changes – my shop is now incorporated into my site, I have a new events page, and I have finally updated my portfolio with work from the past couple of months (and years). 

Other news:

I joined instagram recently. After years of resisting the advances of technology, I finally surrendered and got a smart phone (in my defence, it was free, and it is several years old). And I love it more than I thought I would! If you're interested in vanity shots progress photos of my work, this is my instagram handle: @andrea.armstrong.


The next couple of months are looking good! I'll be in the Crawl for my 4th year, and I feel so honoured to participate as an artist living and working in East Van.

I also recently joined a book-club-slash-arts-collective, the aptly named Open Book Arts Collective. We have been reading and responding to Lars Gustafsson's The Death of a Beekeeper. It's about death. And other stuff. Come to our show on October 5th to see our art!

eastside culture crawl, again


My brother Joel notified me today that I am featured on the Globe and Mail BC! It is an article about this weekend's Eastside Culture Crawl. To be honest, nowhere in the article am I mentioned at all, but they did use one of my paintings as the image. So that's kind of fun, hey?

And while we are on the subject of the Culture Crawl, oh yeah, it starts tomorrow! I am in the middle of hanging paintings, new ones and old ones. Here is a glimpse at a couple of the new faces you will see if you come and visit.


Hamilton Bank Building #4, 1895 Powell Street

Friday 5–10 Saturday 11–6 Sunday 11–6

Update: Found the printed version of the newspaper, and there I was again!

And yes. I know. Nothing says 'amateur' like getting so excited about seeing oneself in the newspaper.


he sees the glass as half empty


Last month I finished this painting for a client: a portrait of her boyfriend and his cat as a surprise birthday gift.

She sent me this charming story of how the surprise went down:

So on Saturday I left his place for my own birthday party, which he was going to miss because he was flying in at the same time from Toronto. I had hung his portrait on a suitable wall, put a big red bow on the corner of the frame, tucked the card in behind it on the other side, and gave kitty firm instructions not to swat the bow from atop the fridge.

At 8:30pm we were getting our meals, and I got a text from Justin saying his flight was early and he was on his way home. I did however get into a panic- would he like it? Would the surprise work? Did kitty pull the bow down? I had told everyone at dinner about it, and they were all waiting with baited breath.

Anyway when the text came through around 45 mins later, I was in the bathroom, and when I came back to our table everyone was silent and staring at me and a friend was holding out my phone urging me to check it.

The text read “Well played Haqqani, well played“.

He told me later it was the most romantic present he’s ever had (I’ll never understand boys’ perception of romance, but there you go)...

I am so thrilled the gift was a success. I love my job.



Another recent commission, this was a gift to Nicolas and James' parents. Nice gift idea huh?

I have a few portraits on the go right now, and am looking for another two or three for the next few months. If anyone would happen to want to commission a painting in time for Christmas, now is the time to contact me!

See some other commissioned portraits I have done here and here. Oh and here too.

And here again:


oh blog

Well it has been a busy few months, full of things like moving, cleaning, preparing for this wedding, gardening, hosting family, painting... And, most importantly, avoiding this blog.

Some serious catch-up is needed. A few really fun projects have been recently completed, which I am excited to share. Here is one:


My friend Ryan sent me this snapshot last week, asking if the illustration was mine. What a compliment to be recognized by one's illustration style! I had just finished a series of images for Presentation House Theatre's 2012–2013 season. This is the season image:


music and art


There is this band, Steel Audrey. They just released this album of six really great tracks. Trust me, they're good.

Also, the album art is kind of wonderful, if I may say so myself.


Steel Audrey's songs have bold, narrative lyrics. Our character-driven approach to the artwork has a rough-around-the-edges kind of feel, and I think well reflects the spirit of their songs. Give them a listen and let me know what you think.