Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finnabar Classes

Last summer I was lucky enough to take 2 classes from the amazing mixed-media artist, Finnabar.  I first learned of her when I went to CHA 5-ish years ago. She must have just become a member of the Prima Marketing design team because two of her large mixed-media canvases were quietly hanging in their booth, no big sign identifying them....just these two big beautiful mixed-media pieces.  WHOA, did I do a double take! I had never seen anything like it before. She has a very distinct style that involves adding a lot of texture and 3D objects to her canvases. She often uses her own image as her focal point and creates headdresses with found objects. Basically her philosophy is along the lines of "I have my husband take a picture of me and get 25 prints at the store and there you are".  Check out her blog to see all of her amazing work.  I will be honest I had some of her work on here but it made my canvas look so drag it depressed me. I know that she worked on her canvases for a lot of hours and I had 4 was still depressing...SOOOOO on to denial.

I have taken a few classes with big "celebrity" crafters, both in-person and online, and they are all great experiences, Finnabar was by far the most laid back and coolest teacher yet. She is just a super NICE person who loves to teach and share her art. She now has a HUGE line with Prima under the art basics-Gessos, Mediums, Texture Pastes, 3D Gloss Gel, Modeling Paste; art ingredients that includes Micas, Glitters, Glass Glitters, Glass Beads, Micro Beads.

She has a pretty extensive line of metal embellishments under mechanicals-everything from metal hardware, to gears, to faucets, to jewelry pieces
Mini Hardware 
Rusty Gears
and art basics which include alterable fabric flowers.
Alterable Flowers: White
Under the Finnabair brand there are also rubber-stamps, patterned papers, brushes, texture tools, and stencils.  I used her Butterfly stamps for my January 12 Tags of tag.
Her newest products include art alchemy line which are the most gorgeous paints...a few are below just to tease you with.
Steampunk Copper 
Metallique Gold Rush

Métallique Vintage Rose  
Metallique Light Patina
These incredible Opals that have been screaming my name since I saw them....they seem like the kind of product I buy and then refuse to use because they are too pretty which really makes no sense but, yeah.
Opal Magic Aqua Rose 
Opal Magic Rose Gold 
Opal Magic Violet Gold
Opal Magic Violet Green
Opal Magic Pink Blue
Opal Magic Blue Gold
Oh. My God...these are STUNNERS. I would have added links to these products but either Karma is kicking my butt OR my husband is because my computer has a MalWare issue with something called "EASYSHOPPER" which is ANYthing but easy. The stupid thing adds pop-ups all over the screen so you can't even look at the item you are trying to see. Who would want that service? Who is going to say "Yay, you completely ruined my shopping experience so let me click YOUR link and purchase through YOU! Yes, that is what I want to do!"? Who? I don't get it...unless their business plan is based  entirely on tricking people into clicking on their site because it is confusing as the pop-ups keep showing up. With Jill it was pretty obvious but on other sites it wasn't as clear and I could imagine someone screwing that up but I cannot believe they can make a good living doing this.
This is a screenshot of me trying to shop at  See the shirt I was looking at? Yay, me either. This thing is very difficult to get rid of....I tried.  I usually just hand my computer tno my husband and let him fix it as he understands this stuff much better than I do. I don't want to make it worse but downloading something that will only add more MalWare...which is apparently very easy to do.  I upgraded to the new operating software X El Capitan-which didn't fix it but has left me closing windows left and right because they switched the back page and red/yellow/green buttons around. Why? Why do that? Every time I want to go back a page I shut the window....UGH its so frustrating. 
SO....back to the class. Finnabair offered 4 classes and stupid me I only took 2 (head butting the wall as I recall this).  The classes were designed to give experience with her Finnabair brand products.  This first class was all about her art basics: Black Gesso, 3D Soft Gel, Mica Powders and tons of metal embellishments from her Junkyard Findings.  We also used buttons from her "Ugly Button Stash" as she referred to them. Basically, she had a bowl containing a collection of the ugliest plastic buttons. The thing is, add some Black Gesso and Mica and BAM you have something that looks like vintage metal and the uglier the button the better this seems to work.
We started by adding texture paste through stencils down the center of the canvas. We then used 3D Gloss Gel to glue down some Prima cardboard on the two sides. Mine buckled in this weird way that gave it an almost fabric look.
Finnabair was as surprised as I was about it...too bad I had nothing to do with it and couldn't reproduce it if I wanted to. After that all dried it was time for the Black Gesso, Mica mixed in 3D Soft Gel.
 The 3D Soft Gel was used to glue down the buttons and metal objects.
The paintbrush was glued down as well with the Soft Gel. I added the screw heads down the handle;  they are part of Finnabair's Junkyard line. I LOVE the effect they give anywhere they are used.
We used the 3D Soft Gell and Micas to make our own custom paints and dry brushed the piece. I was all about the purples and Finnabair actually pulled out a plastic bag full of the unreleased silver mica which was just perfection. I took all the pics on the same day....not sure why the colors are so different.

I will post the second project later this week.

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