Monday, 15 January 2018

Finders Keepers

Happy Monday, Dear Readers!
Get ready for another week filled with wonderful mixed media inspirations and today it's our wonderful Teamie Bipasha's turn!
She is giving the best advice and proves - ever so beautifully - that abstract art doesn't have to be intimidating, quite opposite in fact!
Please, enjoy this fabulous project and feel inspired to create your own canvas. We'd love to hear from you what your favorite "finders keepers" are! :)

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Today, I am going to share a canvas art inspiration with loads of tips and techniques.
Abstract art requires you to have an open, inquiring mind; you must enter the painting and see where it takes you. Abstract art gives you the freedom to explore the artwork and assign your own meaning to the piece - enriching a viewer's experience of your artwork.

I'd also wish to inspire you with one of my addictions, - collecting found objects!
I have a special relation with the phrase "finders keepers" and I intended to use only those collectables from my stash as focal points in my creation, which define my style as an artist.
Collecting can become so addictive, especially for an artist.
My found objects and things are the inspiration and starting point for most of my artwork and ideas. When I see something, it can trigger off an instant idea and give me a vision to work with.

Something else I love about these found objects? They're secret-keepers. :)
Only I know what they represent, and to be honest, not many people will inquire further. Hence, the title for my creation is "Finders Keepers".
I started with a double white gessoed 10x12" canvas, and at the very outset, I divided the canvas in a 1:3 ratio widthwise with a masking tape to obtain a straight separating guideline for applying two contrasting colours.

I created the abstract painting with Art Alchemy Impasto Paints in Jade, Poppy Red, Cobalt blue and Dark Chocolate using a brayer and a palette knife.
I also added some White Gesso with dry brushing technique to add some highlights and brown Impasto Paint to create some shadows on the edges of the canvas, using a wet wipe.


I occasionally added some Patina Effect Pastes in Mint Green to add some grainy vintage textures and interest on the otherwise flat surface of the canvas.
It really is quite interesting to see how all of these mediums of different consistencies react with one another to produce a really beautiful, professional looking abstract painting.

I glued down some tangled black threads, masking tape with old book pages, washi tapes and paper strips (from my stash) with 3D Gel.
I also added some stamped scripts with the 'Read To Me' stamp, some doodling and faux stitching to produce the illusion of stitches with the real & doodled threads. So, no real stitching is involved in this canvas! :)

Note: I coated the paintbrush with Black Gesso to give it a chalky appearance and also to prep the base for the splatters and embellishing.

Finally, I adhered a paint brush and Mechanicals embellishments using 3D Gel medium and added watered down White Gesso splatters to complete the look.
For me, the elements that is relatable to my "finders keepers" stash are : ephemera, stamps, tangled threads, stitched paper/cloth remnants, found embellishments.
I tried to ensemble these to create an abstract symphony that is unique and personal to me and open to various interpretations by the viewers.

When it comes to abstract art, it really can be as easy as taking a paintbrush to canvas and going to town. But if you'd like a little more guidance, I have created a video tutorial on the making of this art piece with easy-to-tackle techniques for creating your own masterpieces.



Creating an abstract composition, just allow yourself to be taken in by the painting.
See what emotions, sensations or memories emerge.
Let your eyes relax and travel around the piece without expectation.
Examine the colors, forms, materials, surface, and how they interact with each other.
Take your time. Let the painting "speak" to you and trust me, you will end up creating a magical abstract art canvas.



I remember a famous quote by Arshile Gorky:

"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes...
Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite.
It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into the unknown areas".

Happy painting!
Warm hugs,




Products used:

Friday, 12 January 2018

Marshmallowy Inspiration

Hi everyone!
Super talented Olya is here today to inspire you all with her stunning new artwork.
Her canvas will totally melt your hearts - a palette of whites and pastel tones (so elegant and soft...) + a lot of girlie charm - I'm more than certain you'll feel tempted to follow Olya's tutorial!

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Hello Dear Friends!
Today I want to give you some tenderness captured on a mixed media canvas. :)
I was very inspired by the vintage images from Finnabair's Melange Ephemera collection and I chose a sweet little girl for my piece.
I feel there are many emotions in this picture - the little one looks beautiful and tender, but she also seems cute and a little cheeky. :)
I wanted to create a canvas that was very gentle and light, just like a marshmallow. :)
To create an interesting and textured background, I used a super cool Art Extravagance Texture Paste in Black Sand. It creates a truly impressive look. I applied the paste through different stencils but you can also simply use a palette knife for a less precise effect.

Then I added a thin layer of White Crackle Paste here and there and also covered my Texture Paste with it to make it all white. But I only did it gently on top of the paste not wanting to ruin the beautiful patterns.
When everything was well dried, I created a composition of chipboards, mould shapes and flowers.
The chipboard elements were also covered with the White Crackle Paste and a bit more White Gesso.
When I was happy with the composition, it was time for my most beloved stage - to create color!
I felt I needed delicate and sweet shades of pink and purple and I chose several shades of Impasto Acrylic Paints - you will find them all in the product list below.

I started with rich and vivid colors of Impasto Paints in Heather, Crimson and Aubergine. They can be easily diluted with water so you can make them into light and soft tones and create pastel colors.
As you will see in the video below, I only used a little bit of paint, sprayed it with water and used a  water brush to distribute it wherever I wanted.
Then I reached for the Metallique line of Finnabair's acrylic paints. To make some shades more delicate, I mixed them with Metallique in White Pearl and I got a stunning effect of wonderful shine and shimmer!
I added the colors gradually, in some places they blended nicely, in some others they remained pure.
I wanted to highlight the textures and the edges of my canvas. For this I chose lovely Art Alchemy Waxes - White Gold and Vintage Silk. I also added just a touch of the Waxes to all the embellishments to tie the whole composition.

And of course in the end I added my favorites - Art Stones in different sizes. I do not even know how we ever used to make projects without them! ;)
For me, it's the easiest to add the Art Stones to the canvas with the help of 3D Matte Gel. It always adds some nice extra volume.
I created a detailed video tutorial so that you can see the magic of these beautiful colors.
I hope you will fall in love with these products just like I did! :) Enjoy!






It is very difficult to properly photograph all the tones, transitions and the unique shine and shimmer of the paints and waxes on this canvas, but believe me, it looks very beautiful!

I encourage you with all my heart to simply sit down at your table, choose your favorite Finnabair paints and start creating! :)

I hope that I was able to inspire you and convey this charming tenderness of a little child.

Let your day be filled with new ideas and inspirations.
With love, Olya





Products used:


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Just Breathe...

Hi, my dear ones, good to be here again!
Let me share this story with you today.
As you probably suspect, I'm a workaholic. This is partly because I'm blessed to be able to do what I love for my living - and partly because I was raised in the belief you have to respect your work, and it is a bad thing to say "no".
I love my job - I'm a full-time artist, designer and teacher - and this career is very time and energy consuming of course. I keep hearing from people they would love to do what I'm doing for living - and when we start discussion they quickly learn the price you have to pay for this kind of lifestyle is quite high: separation from your loved ones, a lot of travelling, stress caused by clients' expectations... not every person is ready to organise whole life around the job - and it is completely understandable and OK. I was trying for a long time to do so - and sometimes I'm doing better, sometimes not really... but what I noticed, with the big help of my friends and family, I forgot how to rest and relax and it started to take its toll on me. I was getting exhausted and hadn't much control over it.
My best friend, who noticed the problem earlier than I did, decided to help and one day I started finding little notes all around my house - reminding me to rest, let go, enjoy the moment or simply - breathe. That was the sweetest, nicest idea and I kept them in their places until now... I keep looking at them every day, smiling. Sometimes I wish I had more of them really!
This project below I made thinking of her. It is personal on many levels, and I will explain why in a moment.
After the surgery, when I got good enough to go back home problem of stopping, letting go and relaxing came back and hit me hard. My friends and my husband, Andrew, were making sure I remembered about taking things easier than before: reminding me constantly about resting, distracting me when I was trying too hard, talking me into activities which I almost forgot I like so much... There was Christmas and New Year too, which I guess helped me to feel less guilty I wasn't focused on my projects and designs that much.
When I finally could start creating I couldn't do anything - my hands and head turned rusty, nothing was coming together and I felt helpless... until I realised I'm trying too hard, again. Instead of taking my time to think, listen to myself and make something that will make me happy. I decided to take baby steps and do everything in slower pace - and here you can see the result.
This project was a challenge for me on so many levels: taking it easier, slower was one of them. Next was brushing off the pressure of expectations - like using the new product (yes, it is the TIME for the new release!) or making something which you can turn into a class. Then next one - using a colourful image, which is not usual for me... and playing with the experimental palette of colours too!
I had moments of doubt of course - for example picking the photo, which is, in fact, a postcard I got as an add-on to one of my favourite magazines, Flow. My first thought was: I didn't take this picture myself... Then everything just clicked into place - the colours and beautiful Nothern Lights paper collection from 7 Dots Studio paired with my Mechanicals and Art alchemy Paints, the fact it is something I got with the magazine I loved and of course - these are TEAcups, where tea is a synonym of calmness and relaxation for me. This crazy soft, dreamy palette I'd never expect to see on my table. And I got it - it was all about giving me a life lesson again. Breathe. Let go. Rely on others more. Find a way.
This just had to happen, right?

(OK, in the end I smuggled some new product on this project too, but not intentionally, really ;))

For your information - here is a list of products I used while creating it - all linked to our Mixed Media Place Store: 


I hope you enjoyed looking at it - and maybe my story is ringing a bell here and there.
See you again soon - and huge hugs


P.S. You could see it already - but here is the first official sneak peek on the new release coming to the stores this winter! Stay tuned to my IG and FB Page to be updated and see more of the details - believe me, they are fab! I can't wait to share more with you - but for now, my lips are sealed...
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