Friday 31 March 2017

Ambassadors' Meeting - Routines

Hi everyone!
We have another super inspiring chat with my Brand Ambassadors who are sharing their breathtaking Art and thoughts on routine in their lives. 

Yes, you heard it right - the routine! ;)

Because who said that routines and habits can necessarily be a bad thing?! They can actually even be recommended, like workout exercises. ;)
Surely most of us have our favorite ways to create - some people brew a pot of tea before they start, light a candle, have music or tv playing in the background or have their lucky charm clothes stained with paint - does any of this sound any familiar? :)

In this post you will the chance to peek into the routines of your favorite Artists.
 I've also asked the Ladies to leave one piece of advice on the topic - it's such an interesting read!
You will love their 'confessions'!

I believe the routines do make life easier, but inspiration often comes very unexpectedly.
But I'd rather write down the idea and create something in the morning than not have enough sleep. There are just things that I can't skip no matter what kind of idea I have. I always eat and sleep enough. And most important - I always make time to spend with my kids.

I do have some routines that help me to create.
I love cleaning my work space and putting things into their places. While doing this I always get inspired.

Also I love creating during the day and at the same time listening (not watching!) to some of my favorite TV series, like ' Friends'. :)

My advice would be to have everything in its proper places. It's so fun when you just reach out to grab a flower or an embellishment. And not so much fun when you have to overturn a dozen boxes before you find what you need....

Today I'm sharing my latest mixed media canvas. I've discovered I can't live without the sea/ocean for more than a few months, I am in love! When I am at the sea, the emotions overwhelm me! I just can't get enough of the breeze, colors, salty water and smell. I've tried to express this whirlwind of emotions in this latest project of mine:

I definitely have a routine when it comes to creating… it’s whenever I feel like it, because if I don’t do it that way, I’m never really very happy with the results.
I’m not a person that can force creativity. I wish I was, but sadly, I’m not.

I generally am a night owl that gets inspired in the dark of night. I can play around in the Studio during the way with ideas, create embellishment, rearrange pieces and thoughts, but I do the gluing and permanent fixing around midnight. That’s when I finally get the nerve to glue.

My best advice is, know yourself. When do you feel most confident about your work? And always give the process time. I may change things a dozen times. Walk away from your work, and come back. Shine a light on it; photograph it for composition sake; and then decide. Does it still need something? Or is it time to stop.

I created the embellishments for the front of this project way before I knew what I was going to do with them. Sometimes the embellishments create the spark for the basis of your work.
I used the Iron Orchid Design Moulds with Patina Effect Pastes and Metallique Paints on the door shrine. When you open the door, you can see a frame that’s had the 3 steps to a patina finish painted on.
I hope you enjoy this project and a few tips of how I create. Basically it’s by the seat of my pants! Whatever works for you. More pictures and links are on my blog for this project - hope to see you there!

In later years I haven't had a problem with 'routine' as such, and quite often I need to get the mojo flowing by just pushing on and creating, until it feels good.
I much prefer to create from midday onwards - it is when I get the best natural light in my scrap space; and on the rare occasion, that creating can extend in to the small hours of the morning, especially if I don't have work the next day.
I do tend to get into my messy [covered in paint and glue] clothes to create, plus they are so much more comfortable 😄. Oh and I always have the television on in the background, [me bad] I know.

My advice? Don't be to hard on yourself if you just aren't 'feeling it'! I know it is incredible frustrating not to get your creative groove on when you would like to, but don't push it, look at doing something else to help you relax. However in saying that, If I have a deadline, I 'push thought it'! 😊

Today I would like to share with you 2 art journal pages I created using Finnabair's fabulous new Art Alchemy Sparks Acrylic Paint - Mermaid Sparkle.
The pages were created on black paper, and the actual images I hand drew using fine line masking fluid. This was then highlighted by the Sparks acrylic paint.

Like everyone I have certain kinds of habits and creative routines but I don't firmly stick to them.
I create when I have time, sometimes setting my alarm clock to 4 or 5 a.m. or create in the afternoon or in the evenings.
Sometimes I listen to music or glance at a tv, some other times I work in complete silence.

But when it comes to the products I admit I have my favorite ways. ;) For example, to create I need to have gesso + paints and crayons + stamps + coffee. I also love metal embellishments.
When I like a certain product, I can play with it for ages and keep reaching for it in my every work. Recently, I got a little crazy about the new Waxes and Mini Art Stones. :)

Even though I tend to reach for the same products, I always try to come up with new ways of using them. That's a lot of creative thinking and huge fun for me.

The piece I'm presenting today is a work in which I wanted to go beyond my usual ways. I decided my focal point not to be the usual vintage photo but this adorable little nest. I hope you like it!

I believe in routine if it's a routine of creating daily or keeping yourself in a creative mood. Like more in general terms, not a specific agenda to create. I love some restrictions in my crafts as otherwise I'm overwhelmed by the amount of ideas and choices but a total routine might be too restricting to me.

I came up with one routine - tea. If I have a day off and start creating, the first thing is to make a pot of tea. I usually end up drinking at least half of it freezing cold, but it's a starting habit. Otherwise than that, there's very little routine.

When I was studying, I noticed that I was at my most creative late at night or really, really early in the morning. Now that I'm older, with a family and a full-time job, I don't always have the luxury to stay up as late as my creative peek.

I try to think about the project during the previous night. About the topic, maybe even the colors or products, but most of all to have some kind of starting point straight away. Otherwise I let the project lead. I may have an idea but if the project says otherwise, I'm in for the ride. 

My piece of advice would be: know yourself or learn to know yourself. It's a simple but oh such a hard thing! Think about the projects you are very happy with and think when you are happiest in creating.

I chose this project for the post for a couple of reasons - first, it's quite recent and shows the effect of the wonderful Opal Magic Paints well but secondly, it shows one starting point for a project.
Like I wrote earlier, if I'm in a rush, I think beforehand of a starting point. For this project it was to use the paints so I came up with the idea to do two almost identical cards but just paint one with black and one with white to show the unique effect of the paints.

We hope you enjoyed today's meeting with the Ambassadors and their stories.
How about you? Do you have any favorite creative routines while making art?
Leave a comment below - we'd love to hear from you and know a little more about your creative process!

Finn & The Team

Wednesday 29 March 2017

A Touch of Magic - collage

Hi my creative souls!
I'm on my tour now in the USA and Canada, but fear not - I've made some projects in advance to show you when I'm away, busy teaching, travelling and designing!

Collage I'm showing to you today is a great example of the story which, after some unexpected bumps and problems, finished with real "and they live happily ever after". I know it is hard to tell now, but my plan for this project was different - I tried to follow my concept as much as I could and then - boom - something changed, something happened and I landed quite far from the original idea... but do I like the result of this journey?
Like it a lot. Love it, actually!
I'm absolutely in the background I created - using Art Basics Modeling Paste and my Bubble stencil. I know it is hard to tell, but I used in a free-hand, very freestyle way to add intriguing, rich texture under the main composition. The real beauty of it show end when I started rubbing the Art Alchemy Waxes into the texture: with a magical touch of Old Silver and White Gold from the Metallique line all the eye-catching details started to show. Perfect!
I love all the little imperfections, all the grungy, almost like "moonscape" or "underwater" look I created on the canvas and I have to tell you - it is more than great to touch  them too... This project is a real, dimensional, textured feast! Made sure all my elements were staying in place - I used my favourite adhesive - Art Basics Heavy Body Gel - which is perfect for any kind of heavy-duty gluing. After my composition built with all the possible findings such as shells, pearls and of course a selection of my Mechanicals I primed it all with Art Basics Black Heavy Gesso and I was ready for painting.
I decided not only use the sprays but to make everything really shine and create this ocean-inspired look I picked 3 colours of my new Art Alchemy Sparks: Magical Pond, Mermaid Sparkle and Unicorn's Hair. You can't compare this shine to anything else! And here the trouble started... I was so excited to simply PAINT with these beauties I went one step too far... well, maybe few steps! The moment I realised I simply can't see anything but sparkle and shine I knew I have to calm everything down a bit... Rust Pastes to the rescue!
As you can see adding a bit of these cool, rust-like products helped me to show the beauty of all the details again and added a new quality to the colour palette, which was simply too monochromatic for my liking! The past part of it all is the Rust Paste is so simple to use and it will give you tonnes of possibilities of creating cool, grungy effects on your projects. I have to tell you - I'm a proud Mama of this Art Baby :)

I hope you like this assemblage I made for you - and it is going to inspire you to try new combinations, new effects, push yourself to try go outside of your box... and don't panic when something is not going exactly the way you expected!

Here is the list of the products I used - linked from Mixed Media Place Shop! I hope it helps!

Sending you warmest hugs from beautiful but rainy Seattle

Monday 27 March 2017

Poppin' The Bubbly

Hello Dear Friends!
Let's start a new week with a glass - or even a bottle of a very special art treat! :)
John did his magic and is here today to inspire you to find a forgotten plain bottle and turn it into a piece of art - you will love his idea! Not a bad way to celebrate another Monday, is it? ;)

*   *   *
There’s just something about popping a bottle of champagne – the sound of cork, the bubbles exploding if you’re not careful, the smiles and giggles that soon follow when filling the glass.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@artnewwave), I’ve been having fun with the Patina and Rust Effects Pastes on empty wine bottles the last few weeks. And then I realized that I’d forgotten my favorite bottle of all, champagne! 
Of course to begin this project, I needed to enjoy a nice bottle of champagne. :)
Once I removed the label from the bottle, I painted a couple of coats of Heavy White Gesso onto the bottle and allowed to dry completely.
I then used the new Antique Lucky Emerald Wax to color the bottle with that beautiful iridescent green color, then to add a little purple I rubbed on the Opal Magic Royal Robes Wax on top.
To create a nice background pattern, I used the Harlequin Stencil and placed it onto the bottle and held in place.
I colored the pattern using the Sparks Iris Potion paint, applied with a Jumbo Dauber so that I wouldn’t have to worry about applying too much paint.
I wanted to create the look of champagne and bubbles flowing from the top of the bottle, so I mixed Clear Sculpture Medium with a touch of Heavy White Gesso to form a piece of muslin from the Fabric Pack.
To make it a little more fun, I wrapped the fabric around the bottle to give it a flowing appearance and then heat set with a heat tool.
Once the Sculpture Medium was completely dried, I first painted the muslin with Sparks Unicorn’s Hair (the perfect color of Champagne!) followed with Sparks Dragon’s Eye.
Once those were both dry, I highlighted the fabric with Metallique Aged Brass Wax.
To create the inside of the pocket watch, I first disassembled the Mechanicals Pocket Watch.
Next I applied a layer of Concrete Stone Effects Paste, then sprinkled Gold Leaf Mica Flakes.
The Flakes were followed with a touch of Bronze Micro Beads to create the background.
I then layered my painted metal embellishments onto the background and reassembled the pocket watch.

I colored almost all of my embellishments the same way for this project. I began with a base coat of Heavy White Gesso, followed with Sparks Unicorn’s Hair and a touch of Sparks Iris Potion.
I then highlighted the embellishments with both Metallique Aged Brass and Opal Magic Royal Robes Waxes for a beautiful look.
To attach my embellishments to the bottle, I used the Concrete Stone Effects Paste as my adhesive for holding them down while creating some texture at the same time!
Because of the shape of the bottle, I found it easiest to just use my finger to apply the paste directly onto the bottle.
Before adhering my embellishments, I bent the embellishments to fit the shape of the bottle
which means that you can’t use some embellishments simply because you can’t get them to bend. :(

I placed the embellishment down into the paste, and while the paste was still wet I first added a touch of Mulberry and Gold Leaf Mica Flakes followed with a dash of Bronze and Copper Micro Beads.
I used this same 'recipe' to continue adding my embellishments around the bottle.
To speed up the process I used a heat tool to set the Concrete Paste so I could move on to the next embellishments.
In some areas I highlighted the Concrete Paste with Opal Magic Royal Robes Wax to give a little sparkle and color to highlight the texture in the paste.
I hope you like my short video in which you can see my bottle from different angles - join in the party! ;)

I hope that this project has inspired you to take a second look at those empty bottles that may turn up around the house from time to time.

These transformed bottles make great gifts that you can personalize, or even use them as a vase!

Be sure to share any bottles that you may have made with us in the Finnabair & Friends Open Studio facebook group, we’d love to see your inspiration as well!

Products used:

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