DecoArt Media: My Top 5 Favorite Products

Mixed media is something that I have been really interested in since doing my sculpting course in University. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, we didn't have kilns or the ability to torch or fire anything, so we had to resort to using unconventional sculpting materials such as styrofoam, concrete and even cardboard.

Decoart recently came out with an artist grade Mixed Media line, so when the opportunity came up for me to test out some of the products, I jumped at the chance. Here are my top 5 favorite products from the Mixed Media line.

Texture Sand Paste and Modelling Paste

What I love most about these products is that they are buildable, yet really lightweight.

In the past when I have painted with plaster on wood, I loved being able to build out the texture and make a truly three dimensional piece of art. However, plaster breaks and the piece becomes incredibly fragile. With the Mixed Media products, I can get that same effect with both the modelling paste and the texture sand paste.



The Texture Sand Paste gives a really great fine sand effect to your piece. If you are working on adding any beach themed home decor pieces, this product would be a great addition to give dimension, depth and texture. I really liked pairing it with the Liquid Glass, for an unexpected texture pairing to give balance and also to ensure that the focus is on the gritty sand texture.

The Modelling Paste is really amazing. By using a palette knife, I was able to layer it on smooth in some areas, and thick in others to play with the different textures. While the Texture Sand Paste is gritty, the Modelling Paste is really smooth.


Crackle Paste

Similar to the texture sand and modelling pastes, the Crackle Paste goes on with a palette knife and provides thin or deep cracks, depending on how thick you put in on over your surface. I was curious as to what it would do over a medium like the Modelling Paste and was really pleased with the results. Sometimes mediums will resist one another, but that was not the case here!


Misters

I really wasn't expecting to like the misters as much as I do. With vibrant, yet transparent, color options, you can spray as little or as much as you would like. I chose to add carbon black over top of my crackle paste, to give a bit more dimension into the foreground of my abstract pieces.

Liquid Glass

I was so excited to test out the Liquid Glass. This product comes in a squeezable bottle with a very fine tip, so you can make the perfect little glass bubbles on your piece. What's even better is that those tiny glass bubbles dry three dimensionally, which makes for yet another layer of texture!

 
The results on all three pieces were fantastic, and I really love the black and white pairings, along with the layers of  texture. I definitely will be adding more one of a kind textured pieces like these to my Etsy shop, and think that they would look fantastic mounted on glass.


Disclaimer: I was provided the Mixed Media line by DecoArt for the purposes of this post. All opinions expressed are my own!


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Etsy Items ON SALE! #sale #etsy

Have you checked out my Etsy shop in a little while?

I am still adding new and fun designs for 2014, which means that most of the 2013 designs are on sale!!


Sculpture, paintings and wearable pieces are on sale at 25%-50% off regular prices, and they're in the shop until they're gone.

If you had your eye on something in the past, now is the time to scoop it up!

There are some changes coming for my Etsy shop this year. You've seen some of the beautiful sculpted mobiles, like the one I created for the nursery, and there will be more and more items added.

Sculpted tube sculpture
Hand rolled and pressed stones
Hand shaped spheres

Lots of sculpture coming to the shop, all made to order and to make your home beautiful!
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Sweet Stella's: Custom Art and Sculpture for your Home #giveaway #sponsor



I am so excited to share my new mobiles and wall hangings with you! They were created on a whim, inspired by our nursery, and have become one of the best selling items in my shop.There's one up for grabs, that the winner gets to design with me, in the Mom & Baby Giveaway next month!


They have also been inspiration all on their own for custom home decor; sculpted feathers, dipped in metallic paint, that a lovely custom is using as part of a family dreamcatcher - a great alternative to a family tree!


While my shop will be on hold for custom orders for the next few weeks, ready to ship items are happy to be packaged and trotted to the lovely ladies at the post office.

Inspiration changes all the time, but I take my main queues from the boys around me who are crazy, loveable and energetic.

Their dad is a super rational, analytical, practical and mathematical type of guy. He appreciates my art work, even though he can't quite explain why he likes a certain piece over another, and definitely inspires me to keep creating just to get a reaction.

Our eldest is an inquisitive little guy who wants to know how and why things work. He likes putting things together symmetrically, then taking them apart (or smashing them on the floor and making them explode) and is always asking questions while I'm sculpting or painting.

This little guy has already inspired a whole line of mobiles, wall sculpture and custom home decor pieces that are rooted in feathers; so natural and beautiful all on their own, but magnified and made extra special with a touch of metallic paint.

Find inspiration in your every day; invite Sweet Stella's in your home and home decor.


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Small Paintings can Pack a Punch #art #homedecor

Small paintings; have you ever considered them when you're planning out your home decor and accents? Probably not...they're small, usually forgotten, but if they feature enough interest, they can pack a visual punch for small rooms like powder rooms, nooks, bathrooms, and baby nurseries.


Would you believe that this painting is only 5"x7"? There is just so much going on in it.

The layers of paint create texture and dimension. I love painting with acrylics because when you mix the colors together, they blend to make new colors, but at the same time tend to resist one another which creates cracks in the paint. I apply mine in think fluid drips, then dry brush so they are true tones rather than watered down.

The marbled effect, along with the cracks, creates movement and allows your eye to flow freely throughout the painting.

Again...it's only 5"x7"!

Where would you put a painting of this size?
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Still time to find your Purpose! #toronto #torontoart #ldnont

Have you made your way to Urban Gallery on Queen St. East in Toronto, ON yet? There's still time to check out my show, Purpose, and find yourself in one of the eighteen abstract paintings.


The exhibition closes on April 26th, so if you have the opportunity to get out to Urban Gallery, please do!

And if you've seen it...what did you think??? Leave a note in the comments below!



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Pops of Color in Sculpted Artwork on Etsy

Looking to pull in a pop of color into your home decor this Spring?


White clay makes for a really amazing canvas for bod pops of acrylic paint to create a striking piece of sculpted art.

In this piece, I've used three really strong colors that are all next to one another on the color wheel. Purple, green and blue, but with a slight twist.

The key here is to choose unexpected tones with the paint colors.

Dark plum
Mint green
Turquoise blue


Dark
Light
Medium

It is perfectly balanced, and yet striking in its abstract application. Great colors for spring and summer!

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The Purpose behind Purpose

So many have asked me why did you title this exhibition Purpose?

Well...for a few reasons, but namely what I've written below in my exhibition statement.

Pretty deep?

My intention was to make you sit back, take pause and think. There are 18 pieces in all, with a nineteenth that is permanently in my own studio.

My own purpose.

I found mine. I wonder how many will find theirs in April!


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Gallery Sneak Peek

You've been keeping up to date with the happenings of Purpose for a few months now on Instagram, so I thought it was time that I gave a sneak peek to my blog readers who haven't traveled over to the Instagram waters to see what I'm up to.

Here's just a sample of one of the paintings that you will see at Urban Gallery in April 2014!

 

I know...only one photo!? Sorry kids - there is just so much richness in this collection.

Next week, I'll be sharing my bio page from the exhibition so you can see the symbolism behind Purpose. It's pretty deep, and certainly is going to make you think!

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Introducing the Intersection Collection

A few months ago, I created this painting and since then, it has sat on the floor in my studio....with me staring at it feeling like it just wasn't quite right.


I knew that it needed something, and recently decided to pull out my washi tape and tape off certain areas of the painting.


Next, the white paint came out {two coats} and I am thrilled with the end results.


These intersections are inspiring a whole new body of work. Abstract paintings on the underside, then painted over with white. In the end, what is left is amazing. There is so much movement and space created by this technique; one that I will definitely be working into a few pieces for my Etsy shop!

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A journal for Carey Mulligan

I am so excited to reveal the journal that I have created for Carey Mulligan. It is perfect for daydreaming and doodling....sketching and writing plans.


I love the deep rich tones of the purple and green. The splash of lime going through the top third of the cover is also pretty great, and there is such amazing texture!! I just love it!

And what about the flower? I think it is perfect for her!

What do you think?

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Elements and Principles of Design, Unity

How does a dynamic piece of artwork make all of the elements and principles come together in one sinuous design?

Achieving unity within a piece means that all of the components that went into its creation come together in a very seamless way; as if there were destined to grace that particular canvas together and create something truly magical.

Unity is classically defined as....Unity is the concept behind the artwork. An analogy would be the way in which a conductor directs a wide variety of instruments in an orchestra to produce a symphony that is recognized as a single comprehensible piece.[3] Unity is how well different parts of an artwork build on each other. source 

How does it translate on a canvas?


These paintings are four of my absolute favourites. To me, the embody the element of unity very well because they use line, shape, form, contrast, colour and movement to create sinuous design. Each one is unique from the next, and cannot be duplicated {not even by me!}

What do you think? Are the unified compositions? What elements would you add to make them more unified?

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Element and Principals of Art...Shape

One of the more difficult elements of art to define within the bounds of abstract art is that of shape.

Clasically defined as the area in two dimensional space that is defined by hard edges and lines, shape They can be geometric, or in the instances of abstract art, they can be organic.


Organic shapes are those that you will find in abstract art {more often than not}. Lines, drips, splatter, blobs, puddles and pools. Whatever the shape that the paint takes on in its truest form, perfectly imperfect.

What shapes do you see above?

Elements and Principals of Art: Space

The Verve once wrote in a song that there is no space and time, that we have existence and that's all we share.

In the terms of art, the element of space is probably one of the most important things that makes a piece complete. It is the space within the time...the space in which the piece exists.



The physical footprint of the painting above is 20"x16"...or 320 square inches. The paint exists within the bounds of the stretcher bars but there is space created within that aid in making this piece complete.






Follow the yellow arrows. Do you see all of the little pockets of space created within this piece?

Space can do wonderful things within a painting, especially with abstract work. While you may think that the drips and paint is just thrown haphazardly on a canvas, there is a method to the madness. That method is to create space.

Achieving Balance through Art and Design

A couple of months ago, I was asked to create a leaflet for the Argyle Art in the Park with something informative.

I got thinking about the elements and principals of art. Way back in highschool, these were things that our studio teacher Mr. Flink would drill into our brains, and little did I know how much I would use them later in life in my professional career.





Every day in my studio, I think about contrast, line, movement, space and form.

I strive to use these principals to create a balanced design, albeit a less traditional form of balance. You'll see that many of my paintings are weighted to one side, be it the top, left, right or bottom. I use contrasting colours to offset the weight, dry brushing with drips and am conscious of the space within the painting itself {ie: background, middle ground, foreground...creating layers for depth}.

Feel free to use the leaflet to become educated in the elements and principals of art...hopefully it will help you understand what an abstract artist does and that it not just all haphazard design.

Arygle Art in the Park

This past Saturday, I was able to take park in a really awesome event in one of our most beautiful parks in London, Ontario.

It was my first time using my Banners On The Cheap vinyl banner, and I think that it looked so incredibly beautiful. Patrons were constantly commenting on it, and it really helped my booth to have a lovely branded and professional feel.

At my booth, I had a wall of paintings on repurposed old shutter doors. Unfortunately, the paintings kept falling off with every gust of wind and by 2pm, I has thrown in the towel. By 4pm, I'd figured out how to make them stay, only didn't have the materials to pull it off. Oh well! At least I have figured out how to make the shutter doors work {people loved them, and said it made them feel like they were in my studio!}

I also had my lovely MDF bifold display, that I built myself. I loved it and it tied everything together really well! Now, it's up in my studio as a way to get my paintings hung and constantly on display. Awesome!

I also had a tiered stand of accessories, and bracelets hanging from my vase-trees.

All in all, it felt the way I had envoisioned. It was like I was inviting people into my studio, and sharing with them why I paint the way that I do...

The compliments were incredible! I was told by very established artists that I am very talented and was born to paint. Others made comments about the fluidity of the movement in my work, something that I try really hard to achieve. Another artist was on her way back to her booth, and did a double take...circling back and gasping at every painting she saw, eventually telling me that she was very impressed by my skill.

The best compliment that I go all day was by a fellow artist, who {thinking I was younger than I am} asked if I knew who Jackson Pollock was. Yes, most definitely I do, and when he went on to say that my work is very reminiscent of the abstract impressionist masters...I just about died.


From the lovely shutter doors, to my incredible banner from Banners on the Cheap, to the bifold screen...the experience could not have been better! I am overwhemlingly proud of the response rom the public, and it has reaffirmed that I am indeed on the right path!

Special Post: The Value of Art

You may have noticed some changes in the shop lately...new pieces, and new prices.

Custom miniature triptych

I've been doing lots of research, and mostly listening to my heart.

I am an artist.

Every item that I put into my shop is one that I have created with my own two hands. It is one that only my brain can process...the brushstrokes are ones that only my hands can do.

Pearl and black dahlia rings, handsculpted
 My designs are my own; they are not copied or modeled off of anyone else work. If a photograph is used for reference, it is one that I took (like for the skyscape journal below)

Monogrammed and handpainted skyscape journal
I've begun to realize the value of art...the value of myself as an artist, and the four amazing years that I spent in the sculpture and painting studios during my time at Wilfrid Laurier University.

12x12 abstract painting

Art is such an amazingly personal thing, and for me...it's something that I pour every ounce of myself into. The process is one of beautiful evolution for me, and I am so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to share that with you.

I am an artist, and I truly truly hope that you love what I do as much as I love doing it.

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Hanlon Lain Photography...getting messy!


Last month, I had the great pleasure of working with my BlogHer sponsor Hanlon Lain Photography  on a fantastic photo shoot. 

I had a vision of me in one of her fields with my canvases, paint and easel…just being me and being inspired by the space around me. 



The messier part of the vision was that I would end up covered in paint….head to toe {not hair to toe…} in paint. My feet were an absolute mess by the end of the shoot since I was literally standing in the drippings off the paintings and my easel, and my hands were blue by the time everything dried and I got home {and I still had to go to the grocery store!}



I would never in a million years have thought to capture what Laina did. Her use of angles, the way she captures the light that no one else can see, and the way she caught my expression was incredible. I was able to just paint, do my thing and have her capture who I am as a true artist.

The entire experience was amazing. It made this whole artist thing seem...real. Like this is what I was meant to do and who I was meant to be. What an amazing feeling!

I am absolutely thrilled to feature one of her photos on the bio-side of my media cards that will be passed out at BlogHer this year!

Special Shop Announcement!

Since just before Christmas, I've been rethinking my product offering and artistic image.

What genres suit me best as an artist?
What are my strengths as an artist?

So...I've made a decision.

While I positively love creating party supplies, piggy banks and stationery, playing with paper and different ink techniques...it's just that...playing. They're both items that will be offered on a custom design basis only, under a new category called Custom Designs in my etsy shop.

What I really want to do and focus on are my paintings, journals and some new sculpted elements. Branch more into home decor, focus on who I am as an artist...that sort of thing.

Did you know that I actually had two studio majors while in University? Ya...I actually studied sculpture first, and painting second, but quickly grew to love them both because of the professors that I studied under.

I'm going back to those roots, and will be giving my shop some much needed focus so I can, personally, gain some much needed clarity.

What you can expect to see are amazing journals that are truly a work of art, with sculpted cover embellishment, as well as antique skeleton keys, shimmery ribbons and other such inspired embellishments.



Abstract journals, both in linear and painterly styles, using a variety of acrylics and applications for a three dimensional effect. These can be found under Painted Journals in my shop.



These are sculpted embellishments that will be attached to some journal covers. I absolutely love them, and find it so soothing to work with clay again! The largest flower for journals is approximately 3" in diameter.



Acrylic paintings on both stretched canvas and wood. I am very very excited to offer these in my shop. Nervous, but excited! And of course, found under Acrylic Paintings in my shop.

I'll also be working on a variety of sculpted wall installations long the same concept as the sculpted journal embellishments. The smallest flowers will be 3" in diameter, going up to 8"-10" and sold in sets of three and five (or more by custom order) - all ready for hanging! Stay turned for a Sculpted Wall Art category, coming soon!

I'm really excited about the direction that Sweet Stella's is taking...but wonder...what do you think?

Leave me some love in the comments!

Special Post: New Journal Sizes!

Happy Tuesday!

I went out searching for journals yesterday, and found two new sizes that I'm so excited to introduce to you!



On the top...5.5"x8"
On the bottom...8.5"x11"




Small journal...5.5"x8"
$25.99



Large journal...8.5"x11"
$35.99

Journals are painted in an abstract fashion...either painterly or linear...and can be embellished in a variety of ways.

I'm currently waiting on a shipment of twenty brass antique skeleton keys, which have inspired a whole ballet-esqe line of the journals...soft, flowy, pastel colours with wide shimmery satin ribbon and a skeleton key to keep all of your secrets safe.

I'm also working on a variety of sculpted embellishments, including rolled rosettes, five petal flowers...all in different sizes as well! I'm very excited to get back to sculpting sincei t' an area that I majored in for my studio courses in University.

Order your journals now! 2 small and 1 large have already been spoken for! I only have 1 large and 3 small left until I restock!