Friday, 24 February 2017

Waiting For The Spring

Hi there Folks!
Karolina has outdone herself this month... Her new piece is simply a definition of "breathtaking"...
So much of mixed media goodness here - and there's a video too!
Isn't this girl crazy talented?! Enjoy!

Hello my Friends!
Today I'd like to share a new canvas piece of mine - I wanted to create a work that is very feminine and romantic. I wanted to create a melancholic, romantic atmosphere filled with longing.
While waiting for the spring awakening, I filled my canvas with pieces of lace, gauze, chipboards and the amazing Art Alchemy Acrylic Paints.
Combining them with Art Basics products like Heavy Body Gel or Light Paste you can create some really interesting effects.
All products from Art Basics line can be easily mixed with pigments, paints or mists - the creative possibilities are endless. Don't be afraid to experiment - the same product will behave differently with Art Basics gel mediums and pastes - just be brave and have fun! :)
In my project I used this beautiful Metallique Vintage Rose paint applied with Light Paste on a simply white background. With this combination, I received a subtly shiny color.
The same was done with Steampunk Copper paint and I just love the delicate result.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love white backgrounds?
Looking at a blank page or canvas always makes me think of how endless the possibilities are...
What freedom to create, what an immense joy in painting, splashing and smearing paints and all the other media and art supplies...
I also played with Art Alchemy paint mixed with Light Paste and applied through the beautiful 'Lace' stencil.
As I'm a huge lover of texture, I added Art Extravagance White Sand Texture Paste and the results were just amazing. This combination created a really great rough surfaces and added so much depth to my background.
I also used this Paste on my chipboard embellishments to make them match the whole look.
A pinch of Art Stones here and there, some freehand stamping, delicate paint splashes - these tiny final touches add so much interest to the whole project!
I recorded my whole creative process in this video so you can follow it step by step. Enjoy!

In my compositions I take into account the Gestalt theory of visual perception.
Similar objects similar are connected with each other in color, shape etc. That makes every artwork cohesive.
In my piece such elements are the colors I chose but also crystals, chipboards and the placement of stencil patterns.

Let me know if you have any questions and see you again soon.
Have a great creative weekend!

Products used:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Field Notes - a Few Words on Journaling on the Go...

Hi my friends!
This post was planned differently - in fact I had a collage scheduled for today, but as I've just got back from long and beautiful, soul-nourishing travel I decided to  follow that path and make a note for you about art journaling... when you are away from the comfort of your own studio or table.

For me this "art journalling on the lap" - on the train, in the hotel room, in the cafe or even on the plane is one of the most rewarding, natural and back-to-roots form of art. And I have to admit after a longer break I'm re-discovering it again. I used to do it before I moved, then the craze of my life took over... now, following the impulse I packed my "art journaling travel kit" with me and the magic happened. And you know what? I want more. And I promise myself to do more.

What was in my kit?
Not that much - especially if you keep in mind my love for texture, layers, found objects... I couldn't take my beloved rubbish boxes so I decided to focus on easy to pack and not too heavy paper scraps: old labels, book pages, images, receipts, tags - and I put in a set of my Ephemeras - Vintage Photos. Not only because they are inspirational, but they are meaningful to me too...
Then I made a basic tool set: scissors, pencil sharpener, glue stick, masking tape and some washi tapes, bunch of brushes and water brushes... and a set of pens (black and white) and pencils - I prefer soft, dark like 6B or 8B.
Art mediums and colour? I've decided to take Art Basics of course - in handy tubes: 3 kinds of gesso, Modeling Paste and Soft Gel were enough. Then for colour I picked 1 tin of Watercolor Confections (The Basics) and a basic set of watercolour pencils. As an act of extravagance I added selected colours of Water Soluble Oil Pastels from Prima, but I know I could easily work without them.
I was a bit missing black permanent inkpad and 2-3 stamps, but I survived without them and I was fine in the end.
In general it was a very refreshing, mind-stretching experience - as I keep telling my students: limiting your options is in fact very good for you from time to time!

When we arrived to our beautiful house where we were staying for couple of nights I simply took them out and left on a small table, waiting for the right moment... and the second night I felt I had to create something! I started simply making some backgrounds using paper scraps, gel and gesso, then the following night some finish pages appeared...
Here are the examples - not too bad for a limited supply, away from comfort zone moment. I enjoyed it so much.
Don't get me wrong - I love taking my time working on the journal spreads - I mentioned that a week ago posting my latest page inspired by family stories - but there is something absolutely liberating, fresh and almost surreal in this moment of creativity that just happens against all the odds, just in this moment when you can connect with your heart and should and listen to yourself.
Journal is not about being perfect or eye-pleasing - it is about being REAL. And those moments of reality are very precious to me.

Just look below - would you believe I made these? I guess it is not something you would expect to see on my blog or Instagram, but it is still, me. Somehow, these pages happened, not planned, not forced - I just had a moment of "what if..." and gave myself a chance to try. Because I wanted, and it is MY journal only. No rules, no guidelines except one: do what you want to do at this very moment and put your heart in it. 
My first thought was not to show this journal to anyone, like I did in the past, to keep it just personal, but then, after a moment I had a thought it can be in fact helpful and encouraging to some of you to see this side of my personality too. And maybe push you to be a bit more bold and relaxed about your own creativity. Remember - you create for YOURSELF first. So please, please make sure you have fun and you are trying new things, new ideas and in fact - listen to your inner voice.
I wish you all a lot of creative, blissful moments - just like ones I had last week.

Here is the content of my "Art Journaling Travel Kit" - I had a different set of washi tapes and pencils, but it was very close to listed below. I only used Oil Pastels once - so I'd be fine without them too ;)

I hope that was useful and inspiring... what is in your Travel Kit?
or... what would be in the Travel Kit of your Dreams?
huge hugs!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Dirty Bronze

Hello my Friends!
Do I have a treat for you to start the week! :)
A special Guest Post by my Brand Ambassador Louise Nelson whose creative imagination never stops amazing me. I just adore how Louise is thinking - completely outside the box; her Art always makes my own creative cogs move a little bit faster. ;)

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I have to confess that the new release Art Alchemy Waxes were so not on my ‘must get’ list when I saw them...
In fact, I struggled to think how I could possibly use them with my creative style! I am a subtle texture and pretty much a monochromatic [shades of grey] type creative, so I was ‘head over heals’ for Finnabair’s Texture pastes; [and still am] LOL. :)

I need to share this with you so that you can appreciate how wonderfully surprised I was, when I started to create and experiment with the waxes.

THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!! I SO LOVE THEM!!! Oh and I so love how they smell too. :)

As I began to play and experiment with them I thought a lot about what I like to create and how I like to emulate vintage and aged metal patinas.
So with that in mind, I played around and came up with what I like to call the ‘Dirty Bronze’ look; and I love it!

I tend not to use a lot of products, I very much like to keep the creative process simple, and as a result I tend not to use a lot of products in combination to get ‘the look’ that I want. So with this project I used just one of the waxes - a beautiful Metallique Rose Gold. It completed the look I was going for Perfectly!!!

To show you how I created the dirty bronze look I would like to share with you my Mumma, Pappa, and Baby ‘Freaky Peep’ dolls; and no, they aren’t your typical dolls...

I first began by constructing my dolls using wooden twigs, ceramic skull beads, and Halloween skeleton decorations. To form the bodies I have used Mont Marte air-dry clay. These can take about 24-48 hours to dry completely [depending on the environmental temperature].
Once they are completely dry, I seal them with Art Basics Heavy White Gesso; it is applied just using a paint brush.
To get the desired interaction of mediums I found that I need to create a smooth surface that was somewhat fluid repellent, so I then sprayed them with spray gesso.
When the gesso was dry, I literally drenched the dolls with Vintage Coal Color Bloom spray mist; then dried it quickly using a heat tool.
The final step is the application of the Metallique wax. This can be a little fiddly and take a bit of time as it requires a visual appreciation of what dirty bronze looks like.
I literally played until it looked right and after I practiced for a bit, I eventually achieved the look I wanted.
With the creative experimenting that I have been doing I found that I prefer to use very stiff bristle brushes to apply the wax, plus or minus my finger and/or a wet wipe.
The image below shows my 2 ‘go to’ brushes for applying the waxes.
I started out applying only very small amounts of wax to prominent parts of the anatomy and keeping the recessed parts dark with the mist.
You may notice that the mumma and baby doll appear a little softer and less dark, and that is on purpose - to help create the gender and generation differences.

I do hope that you have enjoyed this process share and my 'Dirty Bronze' art experiment.

Cheers and happy creating,

Here are the products I used:

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