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

Friday, 1 May 2015

Be Brave. Be Bold.

Hello, lovely Friends!
How are you spending the first day of May?
In case you needed some encouragement and some words to chase away your creative doubts - who comes to the rescue?
Marta and her alter ego... :)
So put your fears away and feel inspired!

Hello everyone!
It's Marta here. I am so happy to be back to you.

I am back with a message: 'Be brave, be bold' in your art !
How many times have you stopped yourself while creating?
How many times did you think: 'No, it's not great.' Oh 'they' won't like it...
Do you often compare yourself to other artists?
How often do you doubt your art?

Well, my friends... all above should not matter.
We should be brave, bold and have no regrets while making our art.
Today's canvas had at least 3 different looks in my head.
I was thinking: No, this is too simple, this is not unique and this is too strange...
Which option have I chosen?
Yes, the strange one in my mind. ;)

Why strange?
I felt that this doll is not a perfect match... A bare doll with blue hair, scary looking actually.
But should it be perfect? Of course NOT !
When I painted my doll with gesso and accidently covered her with some leftover canvas I knew this was it. I loved it!

Step by step the project was coming together and I felt that this small dolly is me. :)
Funky, fearless and happy the way she is !

I hope you will enjoy my process video.
Be brave, be bold and find your inner artist !
Happy crafting :)

Sending you lots creative hugs,

Products used:

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Take a Chance - Bloom

Hi again creative folks!
I've just got back from amazing, intense weekend at Indigoblu HQ in UK. Let me just say... we had 3 (!) full days of creative madness there and I can't wait to show you what projects we've created together - these classes were a bit unusual for me and I was challenged to stretch myself a bit more... and I have to admit, that I loved every minute of it!

So, before I'll focus on unpacking and creating some new project just for you let me share a scrapbook page I've made for great French magazine "Histoires de Pages" about a year ago. I can't believe time goes that fast!

I remember being inspired by soft, vintage palette of colours of washi tape I found in my stash and beautiful 7 Dots Studio papers from Nature Walk and Cold Country collections. It was also great chance to experiment with new product from Prima - Chalboard Paints. You can see them not only in the background but also on the top of my metal embellishments.

Finishing touches were done with one of my clear stamps - and I was also adding some accents with mini paints from Claudine Hellmuth collection - they were matching my colours perfectly!
Looking at this project today - I still like it. I'm even tempted to try similar colours in the future and I surely need to use my these great colors of Chalkboard Paint some more... I hope you like it too :)

Here is the list of the products I've used (linking to our Mixed Media Place Store):

Sending you all warmest hugs - see you very soon!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Mr Time

Hello, dear Friends!
Today we meet with Monika and her amazing new gentleman friend. ;)
A true feast of color and texture!

I felt inspired to reach for another canvas in my latest creation.
All this because of an old photo of a certain gentleman in a bowler hat and a vintage clock face that I found among my treasures.
Somehow these two objects made me think about Pink Floyd's 'Time' song so I put the music on and let my imagination run wild... :)

I applied a thick layer of White Crackle Paste straight onto my canvas, I dried it and added another layer.

I wanted to try something new so the moment the crackles started to show up, I took some of them off with a palette knife. Then, I applied Modeling Paste, dried it and added a thin layer of Heavy White Gesso.
This way I created some really rich textures that were going to play the main role in my project this time.

Although this time I decided to focus on the texture, I couldn't resist adding some lovely embelishments:
bits from a vintage book, a metal plate, some Mechanicals cut into pieces, found elements from my stash... I also added some paper tape and delicately painted my composition with White Gesso.

Now it was time to have fun with colors!
Delicious Silks paints in Teal Zircon and Apricot Nectar, Glimmer Mists in Jack O'Lantern and Lemongrass, a few drops of white and black acrylic paint and... some strong coffee.

I used Messy stamp and one of the stamps from Old Town set in some places and finally added my new friend in a bowler hat. I hope you give him a warm welcome. ;)

Sending you lots of hugs,

Materials used: