Saturday, 2 May 2015

Sharing, Teaching, Oversizing and Collage Addiction

Hi again lovely people!
Today is (Inter)National Scrapbooking Day in the US and I've got a pleasure to be part of the blogpost on official Prima Marketing Blog. Check out all the amazing projects shown - and prizes to win!

But it is also a great chance to talk a bit more about challenges and pleasures of teaching, sharing and working with people. With YOU.

Among all the projects I make collage and assemblage has always this "special" place in my heart. I can't compare this creative freedom, joy of creating and feeling of being challenged to any other artistic adventure. Is it because of the almost limitless choice of elements I can use? Is it because of the size, which allows me to sink in it for longer and go deeper than in any other piece? Happiness of having my fingers dirty in paints and mediums? Or because I can communicate through collage so easily with others? I wouldn't dare to pick just one answer. The truth is - it's a bit of all the reasons above, and that's why it is so great!
Not so long ago I was looking for a way to share my passion  - and that's why I started teaching classes which seems to be very successful and made me travel all around the world to meet wonderful people. This is a crazy ride, but hey - I love it! There is no better way to encourage people, push them a bit out of the comfort zones, remind them how relaxing, empowering and simply important for staying sane creativity is... and although classes I'm teaching are amazing chance to do it all there is always this question - what else can i do to make the experience better?
There is a couple of things on my "to do" list - including opening a studio in my home, starting online classes... coming with inspirational project I have ready in my had since 2013... and more!

This idea appeared almost a year ago, during long discussion I had with Donna Downey, just after I finished teaching my classes in her Studio in July 2014. We had the most amazing and talented group of students there and the best time ever, sharing laughs and creative joy. That evening she mentioned some of the students would love (and certainly they are ready for it!) to take full day, open plan classes - more like "art retreat" formula, with bigger canvas to play, more time to work on it and more freedom to make it "their way". More "guided collage" and playing with options, trying the techniques on the OVERSIZED project which would be great for full day of teaching. And you know what? I think she was right.
I was enthusiastic about his idea from the beginning - more time, more freedom, bigger canvas - what can be better? In fact I was really tempted to come and teach without ACTUAL sample of  what we should be doing - just having a couple of examples and ideas instead. My biggest fear was - will people accept it, will they have enough confidence in the teacher's skills and will be happy to create a big project based just on a rough sketch and hope I know what I am doing?

It took me almost a year to check this new formula - thanks to Kay from Indigoblu who decided to give me free hand with choice of the classes and projects ideas for 2 days of freestyle collage creating - and I have to say it was a huge success!
Try to imagine 20 + women working all day on a oversized triptych collage similar to this one below - which happens to be my actual sample I've made during this event last weekend.

The size of the final piece is 30x75 cm  - please click on it for bigger image.

We've tried a range of techniques and ideas based on my line of art mediums - you can find a wide selection of products used on it - starting with Art Basics Heavy White Gesso, Soft Gel and Modeling Paste and finishing on Art Extravagance White Sand Paste.

We've been playing building the layer using tapes, stencils, fabric and embellishments. There was a chance to try my Art Ingredients too - Glass Beads and Mica Powders add amazing texture and color!

Stressed and shaky in the beginning of the class after first 30 minutes I forgot all my fears and simply enjoyed every minute. The formula worked perfectly and I'm really happy I've tried!

Here is the proof - a line of happy faces on the photo!

Well, and here is the big news!
If you'd like to be a part of similar experience, 
full-day collage painting
on even bigger canvases, with loads of fun, creative freedom and tons of art supplies to use - you have a chance!

We've decided with Donna and Bill to open bookings from one and only event of this kind - during my USA and Canada Tour this summer.
It is a full weekend on 18-19th July at Donna Downey Studios, Huntersville, NC 
and we will create 2 big size projects based on techniques used in "the ARTifact" and "Time Capsule" classes... and more!
Expect wider selection of mediums, more options, techniques, ideas... Let's create together and see what amazing stuff we can do.
Simply - it is DEEPER. It's MORE. Check it out!

What do you think about this idea of the class? Would you like more of the similar events in the future? Please let me know!
sending warmest hugs


Cathy Potosky said...

So amazing!! You are so talented Anna!! The day I am able to take a class from you will be a dream come true!! <3

Linda M. Cain said...


NYScrapMom said...

I wish I could go to NC! Great job Anna! Love the triptych format! You've inspired me, as always! I'm so proud of you!

Pascale B. said...

Oh I just love this idea!!!

SerenePolly said...

And it was a joy and a privilege to be part of the group who were so inspired by you!

Jane said...

How amazing Anna, such lucky ladies to have been at your class. I would love to be a part of a class if you come down near Surrey x

Ars DeGà said...

It would be fantastic!!! I hope to take part in your class again. In the post below I wrote about my first meeting with you:

Nancy D. said...

I would love to attend this class❗️Hoping you bring it to SoCalif in the near future❗️

finnabair said...

Thank you so much - I'll do my best to meet your expectations!

smokeysmom said...

Sounds like a fabulous class...I wish you would offer on-line classes. I am disabled, so would gladly pay for on-line classes offered by you. You could do videos with printed instructions and a few pictures. Please consider.

LucianaW said...

My dream to participe! Congrats for this idea!!

Helfy said...

I was so lucky to be one of your student at VS!
I can't go to usa or canada but i will do some kilometers (about 7h driving) just to have this luck one time more...on June!
Let me tell you once again: you are amazing!

Joi at RR said...

LOVED seeing this photo of the finished projects. I can only imagine how proud they are of their projects.... and of course - YOU are proud of them too! Wonderful wonderful. j.

Gigi Black said...

I think that class is a wonderful idea. It looks like everyone did a great job. I really do want to take a class from you, but it would have to be in the Pacific Northwest USA. Maybe some time you can arrange to be out my way. What a blast it would be!!!

Brenda Morgan said...

what a brilliant idea. Any of us who desire to come to your classes would not mind a full days class I'm sure. I'm looking forward to you coming down to New Zealand later this year did I read??

mamablitger said...

What an awesome project you shared with us today. And to see all the students and their finished work is also amazing. And oh yes.. A lot more of this class in the future. How about considering what Smokeymum said above : to make it also as a on-line class. Many of us cant travel that far. It can be because of money, time,vhealth issues. With an on-line class you could give those of us not being able to attend another chance to join in the fun... Please ????
I do admire your work so much . Would love to learn a lot from you.
Hugs from Monica.... Spain

Gail said...

I was one of the lucky people who attended your three days of wonderful craftiness & had the most amazing time & learnt to be more relaxed in what I made and their was no such thing as a mistake!! Thank you Finn you were a wonderful teacher and a pleasure to spend time with xx GailT xx

Carol McCready said...


Bonnie aka Cinnabon said...

Love love love! I will be taking the artifact and time capsule classes in Manitoba July 23-23 so I will be able to use those classes to do this on my own at home! Just what my bare living room walls need!

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