Sunday, 14 April 2013

Inspired by Finnabair

I made this canvas for a "Be Inspired Finnabair Style" challenge at Snazzy's blog.

I really love everything Anna Dabrowska (aka Finnabair) creates and I have always wanted to try some of her techniques.
I first applied texture paste through one of my handmade stencils. Then I adhered sequins, some clay pieces, flowers, butterflies and letters. Finally, I sprayed gesso all over the canvas.

I was finally able to purchase some Distress Paints in my country - I bought all the 11 colours that were available and I had to test them the moment they arrived...

Not bad for my first try...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Alpha Journal - progress so far

This is what I've created so far in my Alpha Journal (in alphabetical order, not necessarily in the order it was painted). For more and better photos, go to my Flickr

A is for Attitude
I was testing my hand-made stencils on this page. I tried to be as random as possible. I nearly ruined (or so I thought) the background by adding the yellow stripes using my hand-carved stamp - I was THIS close to gessoing all over it. I'm glad I didn't. It looks perfect with the faces and the quote and words.
The faces were inspired by my online friend Julia's painting. I'm not an expert on faces and I discovered, when you cut the face in halves, it hides some of the imperfections.

[quote by Winston Churchill]

B is for Books
I really love this spread - the green colour, the background book collage, the white drippage, the quote - everything.

[quote by William Hazlitt ] 

C is for Confidence
This page started with two Celtic circles in texture paste (testing my stencils again) and bright yellow/orange paints. Then I started experimenting with my home-made sprays and it turned muddy and brownish... I tried to save it with some yellow and some doodles, but I don't like the result much...

[quote by Marianne Williamson] 

D is for Discipline (a.k.a. Drippage gone too far)
First, I embossed white cardstock using my Tim Holtz embossing plates. I cut the cardstock to smaller pieces and glued them down randomly. And then I spent some time dripping paint all over it. Drippage can be addicting - the key is to stop at the right time. Well, I didn't...

[quote by Jim Rohn] 

E is for Efficiency (and Effectiveness)
After I printed and hand-cut the letters (aaah, way too many E's and F's...), I discovered I couldn't fit the quote on one side. There were two possibilities: A) to cut the letters again, smaller, B) to split the quote and have it on both sides. I chose B...

[quote by Peter Drucker] 

F is for Frustration
This page was supposed to look completely different  - I can still see it in my mind's eye - but I couldn't recreate it onto paper. This added even more to the frustration I was experiencing at the time of painting. But overall, it looks good.

[quote by Marie Chapian] 

CH is for Chaos
I used pieces of corrugated paper for the background. Then I added coarse paste to add more texture. The rest is paint, sprays and drippage.
Note: CH is a letter in the Czech alphabet - it comes after H and before I.  It is pronounced like in the Scottish loch, or German Bach. When looking up words for my C page, I found out, there are plenty of suitable ones beginning with CH. I just couldn't leave it be so I decided to dedicate one page to CH.

[quote by Dean Koontz] 

K is for Kindness
I used my new hand-cut stencil for the background and acrylic paints.

[quote by Scott Adams] 

Q is for Questioning 
My favourite tissue/deli paper technique on the background + acrylic paints + lots of drippage.  I recorded making of this page for YouTube. But the video needs some editing so I'm not sure when it's going to be published...

[quote by Albert Einstein] 

S is for Silly
I had this "silly" mood for about three weeks - I made a lot of silly collages, inspired by Teesha Moore.
The background is created using Dylusions sprays and my handmade stencils.

[quote by Ludwig Wittgenstein] 

Alpha Journal

I have spent most of December thinking about where I want to go with my art journalling in 2013. They say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it... so my 2013 journal is pretty much the same as my last one – in size and in shape (square, because I like working on a square-sized paper).
I decided to get a Bind-it-All machine and make my own journal for 2013. I bought some canvas paper which I believed would be great to work on. Later, I discovered the paper wasn't exactly suitable (it curled) so I had to cut new pages from ordinary cardstock... 
I had several ideas about what should be the theme of this journal. Yes, I could continue with my “word of the week” concept but I wanted something slightly different. In the end, I decided on an ABC theme – there would be a double-page spread revolving around one letter of the alphabet - one side would have a quote with a focal word, and the other would include more words beginning with that particular letter. 
Curiously, I started this journal by making the cover:

I added the title later because I wasn't sure at first what I wanted to call this journal.

This is the title page. I made it simultaneously with the cover page (so the theme is the same, only different colours). You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find a quote about alphabet... The page waited for its quote for about 3 months but now it's finally finished:

[quote by Irving Stone]

Mission accomplished

If you told me I would be painting the last page in my journal on the last day of 2012, I wouldn't believe you. I usually don't finish most of my “projects” and I actually didn't expect to finish this one either... But I did - in style...The last page was created live during the famous New Year's Eve Streamathon. I was one of the 16 broadcasters (and many viewers) from all over the world who gathered on U-Stream and shared their creativity. 

I did my favourite technique - something I'm comfortable with, something I know very well. I started painting in the afternoon, because I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it all in the 60 minutes of my stream. I drew the outlines, gessoed the page, prepared paints - and waited for my time slot. Despite all the preparation, the colouring still took longer than I'd expected... But I managed to add the finishing touches to the page after my stream, just before midnight:

So, with the last of the 54 pages (52 pages for each week of the year plus one introductory and one final page) finished in the last minutes of 2012, I can call this mission accomplished...

Note on the technique:
Here is a little tutorial for the technique I was using for my New Year's Eve page. There are more examples on my Flickr.