Friday, December 9, 2016

Immerse Yourself in Abstract Art Workshop with Sarah Donnell

Are you ready to Immerse Yourself in Abstract Painting?
My NEW and IMPROVED e-course has arrived!

This comprehensive mixed media workshop is designed to turn students into passionate and prolific abstract artists with the assistance of artist Sarah Donnell. Please read frequently asked questions for more information and scroll down for a full list of what is covered in the course!


How long does the course run for?
This is a self-paced course designed to run over four weeks, it can however, be taken as slowly as you wish. You have up to 12 months to finish the course!

Who is this course suitable for?
Experienced practicing artists wanting to develop their skills.
The course is designed to fit in around your already existing studio practice and artistic style.
The course encourages independent research, development of new skills and development of a unique art style (not just copying the teacher!).

Can I take this course if I'm not an abstract artist and don't want to be one?
Yes. The course is quite broad and focused on individual development of your own art style. Any queries about this please contact me.

What do I receive?
- PDF download workshop workbook (contains written material only)
- Access to the online classroom in the format of a private blog
- 12 instructional videos!
- Access to a private Facebook support group
- Full Access to all of the above for 12 months!


IT equipment / Internet access

• Access to a computer and printer to print your workbook
• Email for correspondence and Internet for research/networking purposes and accessing the private classroom

Workshop art materials required

Below is the list of suggested materials for this workshop. Please feel free to contact me if you are stuck for where you can buy these materials.

IMPORTANT - Only buy what you are interested in using! This list is designed as a basic mixed media kit to set you up. You may already have some of these materials or you may be not to keen on using some of them. It is totally up to you.

Drawing paper or watercolour paper {consider buying a whole pad} A2, A3, A4
Sketchbook in your favourite size
A variety of different size canvases {at least one large canvas}
Acrylic paints or gouache in your favourite colours
White gesso
6B lead pencil and sharpner
Permanent pens in different thicknesses
Willow charcoal
Black drawing ink
Oil pastels
Collage papers {we will handmake these!}
Palette Knife
Spray Varnish
Soft Gel Medium {or white glue}
Spray paints {from Montana Gold}
Bamboo sticks {try your local supermarket for these}
Sponges {household or sea sponges from the art shop}
Stencils {household items or from}
An old jar for holding water and dipping your brush into
Paintbrushes {different sizes and shapes}
An apron which can get dirty or old clothes for protection
Plastic gloves if you choose to protect your hands
Wooden backing board
Blue Tac
Retarder medium
Scraping tools
Water soluable pastels
Chalk pastels
Alcohol inks
Distress Spray Stains / Dylusions Ink Sprays or Art Spectrum Inks
You will also need a studio space in which to create - we will cover this in Section 1


Section 1: Immersing yourself in Abstract

What is Abstract Art?
Goals and Intentions
Shopping List
Setting up your Studio
Art Crushes
Inspiration Board
Planning your first Abstract Artwork

Section 2: Tools and Tricks

Beginning your First Piece of Work
Tips for Getting Past a Blank Canvas
More Tips for Painting
Working Large and Small
Working on Paper
Reflections on your work so far

Section 3: Painting Free

Mixed Media Materials
Incorporating Collage into your Work
Tools and Texture
Painting Intuitively
Developing your Personal Colour Palette
Continuing your Painting

Section 4: Developing your Style

Finding your Flow
Documenting Symbols and Themes
Personal Agendas
Developing a Series or Body of Work


I really like the aesthetics and your teaching style is really friendly and honest, and I thought you achieved a good balance between instruction and allowing space for individual expression...all very refreshing in an Arts context! - Amber

So what do you think?  Are you ready?
I would love to work with you 1:1 on your art practice so hop on over to ETSY here and make your purchase!

UPDATE - I am no longer offering this course due to lack of interest. If you are interested please send me an email and I can relist the course for you in my shop. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Guide to Making Polymer Clay Beaded Jewellery

I will start this guide with a disclaimer - I am no means an expert on making polymer clay jewellery!  It was only "the other day" that I decided to try this material out for the very first time.  The pictures I am posting are from my very first attempt at making polymer clay necklaces.

I loved the experience and am now completely addicted to making polymer clay beads {with glitter - LOTS of glitter!}.

First of all, watch this awesome video by Ashley Picanco here!  Ashley makes this somewhat confusing medium very very easy to use.  See her make a polymer clay bracelet from scratch.

Next, assemble your polymer clay. Cut into chunks of different sizes depending on how big you want your beads.  Roll into balls.  Combine two or more colours to make multicoloured clay.

Next, with the end of a small paintbrush, poke holes in each of the balls.  I chose to do this the same was Ashley does in her video but if you want smaller holes, use a needle {as seen in the top left hand corner of the image above - obtained from craft stores}. Alternatively, you can use a toothpick.

Now it's time to bake! Bake your beads according to the manufacturer's instructions on your polymer clay packet. 

Finally, assemble your baked and cooled beads ready for stringing!  Use whatever chain or cord you like. If you have chosen to use the paintbrush to make your bead hole, most necklaces will fit through the holes.

Wear or sell your beautiful bead bracelet or necklace.

PS. Ashley recommends sanding the beads which I did not do because it changed the colour of the beads. Your choice!
PPS. Watch Ashley's video on how to create glitter beads!

x Sarah

You can buy my polymer clay jewellery in my ETSY store here.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Solo Exhibition 2017

Yesterday I stitched up a booking for a solo exhibition in 2017! I'm brimming with ideas! I thought I would share here some photos of past exhibitions, mainly for my own inspiration and for your viewing pleasure! Above are some images of my first solo exhibition back in 2010. The exhibition was called Universe and had a psychdelic theme.  My ethereal, pink haired fairy was my mascot!

Above is an image of my first ever exhibition (bless) way back in 2006. This was actually a group exhibition held during SALA that year.  It is so interesting to look back at older work and see where art has taken me.

Another photo of a more recent group exhibition I was involved in back in 2012.  This was during my doll/big eye  era...this was actually the first girl in my Dress Series paintings (I'll leave that for another post).  I also created some chunky necklaces made from colouful yarn and pom poms for this show.  Still love them and know the dear lady who purchased them and still wears them!

So so much to do and so incredibly excited about putting a new exhibition together!  I guarantee it will be fun fun fun with lots of neon and rainbows!

Love Peace and Rainbow Sparkles
x Sarah

UPDATE - Show cancelled due to financial reasons.  Group exhibition planned instead for Aug 2017.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Obsessed with Imperfection

As the title of this blog post states, I am becoming increasingly obsessed with imperfection. In a world where the media encourages us to be 'perfect' on so many levels, I feel so liberated to be able to create wonky things. To have people respond to those wonky things and love them is all the more sweet.

The above two images are from figure experiments undertaken today with charcoal, oil pastel, aerosol and acrylics. I am trying to simplify the body as much as possible, almost making it a caricature.  Not that the body isn't important - just that perfection with it isn't.

x Sarah

Abstract Figure Series

After days of creating abstract faces, I was looking for something new. How about a whole figure created in continious line? Or maybe 3 or 5? lol

This series kinda came out of nowhere! I love it when a series magically sneeks up on you. It reveals the true power of art.

Keeping the figures loose and naive, I outlined in oil pastel, used ink to define the eyes and faces and then used acrylic to create the backgrounds and clothing.

I love how these have evolved. The originals are now available in my ETSY store. Prints to come!

Love to hear your thoughts on these.

x Sarah

Wonky Faces

Recently I have been madly working on a series of abstract faces inspired by continious line drawing.

I have fallen in love with the imperfect and 'wonky' appearance of these faces.  The more wonky they are the more I love them. I love the beauty and randomness that continious line can provide.

I feel as though these faces reveal true emotion. I love that these portraits are as imperfect as we are in the reality.

On instagram I recently wrote about the freedom I feel in creating these faces with continious line. It has really expanded my art practice and I no longer feel the pressure to create things that are cute and perfect looking {a big relief}.

I am hoping to possibly exhibit these in 2017.

x Sarah

Welcome Back ME!

Dear all!
It is lovely to be back and blogging after such a long time away.
I hope that you will follow me to keep updated with art related stories!

Peace xx