I recently had the pleasure of taking a workshop from Anna Dabrowska aka Finnabair aka Finn aka creative genius.
You may know Anna from her spectacular artwork that graced the cover of November/December 2012 issue of Somerset Studio.
Luckily for me, Anna traveled from Poland to the USA to teach and stopped off at Little Bird Creations Studio in NYC. The workshop was called Grungy Spellbook and Spellbook Pages. And Finn absolutely cast a spell over me.
She generously provided us with so many art supplies and materials that we were all able to leave with a doggy bag of treasures - all of which were designed by Finn herself.
Finn's creative style really resonated with me as she takes whatever object she is working with and alters it to make it her own. Look at what she does with simple thread here...
We used one of the books that Finn designed as the basis for the project. We created front and back book covers using the embellishments that she provided, objects that we brought (my usual stash of rusty washers, watch parts, gears, etc.), and paint. And more paint. We ended up with a garden of textural delight.
Although the idea was too add the objects to a relatively small section of the book cover, I got possessed and obsessed and couldn't stop. I ended up filling up almost the entire front cover.
Happily, I gained control of myself for the back cover and was able to be less impulsive. This allowed me to actually create a design for the embellishments.
After we finished the covers, Anna took us through several different techniques to create the inside pages for our books. When they were completed, the idea was to cut them in half and glue them in on facing pages.
In the end, I decided to leave my pages uncut and outside the book. Call it an artist's prerogative.
Finn was a wonderful instructor, really bringing out the creativity in everybody. She provided helpful and honest feedback in the most supportive of ways. And she shared an endless number of techniques that I know I will adapt in my own artwork.