Finnabair's Store7 Dots StudioFlickrPinterestFacebookTwitterBlog


Creative Gym - Exercise #5

Hello Mixed Media Friends!
We're so excited to be meeting again to stretch our art muscles in our new Creative Gym Exercise!
This month's challenge was prepared for you by lovely Pascale and it looks like this... :)

As always - you can create anything your heart desires - layouts, canvases, journal pages, cards, ATCs... anything!
What are the rules?
please combine
black backround + all the colors of the rainbow.

Does is sound exciting? If you still need inspiration, here are some beautiful artworks by our Design Team, we are sure they will spark your imagination!

The idea for this piece was growing in my head for a long time. And suddenly I realized that it goes perfectly with our new challenge on Mixed Media Place. I wanted to do something abstract, geometric, with contrast and very vivid colors.

I started by creating some geometric pattern and coloring it with all kinds of paints - Twinkling H2Os, Ecolines, Lindy's Stamp Gang mists. It took hours... very very happy hours full of calm and focus. :)
Then it was a time for creating my black background. And to be honest - I spent about three hours creating it, 'cause my black still wasn't looking the way I wanted. Then the blissful inspiration came - and it was ready! And I was absolutely over the moon with it.

And... an amazing story happen. The "blissful inspiration" was "just" a song. I love creating with music around me and it has to be the right music for the specific moment.
I was really struggling with my black background, so I texted my very special person asking for musical inspiration which would change my mood - works every time. ;) I chose Hozier first. And before the first song on the album ("Take me to church") ended - my background was ready.
And - the next morning - amazing and talented Marianne Johansson (who is by the way our new designer in Mixed Media Place!) posted on facebook a video to the very song that made me so inspired. I can't even tell you on how many levels it moved me. It's just something magical, spiritual, so deep and meaningful to me... It's just a perfect fit for my piece.

Creating something like this brings so much joy to me. No masks, stencils, stamps, no scrapbooking products - just paints and pure creativity. You should really try this - if you haven't already. :)

Materials from Mixed Media Place:

I adore colour, deep and rich and lots of it, and colour looks great on a dark background. Producing this piece really made me think.
I have not used any coloured papers or white gesso (except for a very small section under some tissue) on top of my black background,  so all the colour comes from modeling paste, distress stains, embossing powders, sequins and thread.
I had to think in reverse… normally we add black highlights onto white backgrounds and colour shows up very easily on a white backgrounds, but not on black.

I started with a piece of 12x12 chipboard and coated it with Heavy Black Gesso.
Using a Finnabair church windows stencil (available soon!), I pressed embossing ink through it and embossed with white and did the same with a multi circle stencil and embossed with gold. All the chipboards have been embossed with white or gold.

Now to introduce some real colour. I splattered several colours of Distress Stains onto my black background, the colour disappeared straight away, I could see where it was wet but not what colour it was. Before it dried completely, I spread Modeling Paste through the Prima Elementals “Harlequin” stencil and the modelling paste picked up the colour beautifully.
Did the same again with the small diamond stencil and Finnabair’s Doily Stencil. I was aiming for a sort of “churchy stained glass” effect.

As always I had to add some tissue at the base of the photo. What I love about tissue is its transparency, but on black it was never going to work. So I traced around the tissue shape, filled it in with Heavy White Gesso and then stuck it down with Soft Matte Gel.

White embossed chipboard, stuck down with 3D Matte Gel, coloured threads, sequins, gold embossed background and Finnabair Doily Stencil used with modeling paste and Distress Stains.

Materials from Mixed Media Place:

I started by creating my statuette : first, I made a wire structure, then with polystyren, aluminium foil, masking tape, I gave some volume to the future Miss Butterfly. A mix of Powertex and Stone Art helped me to model the chest, the arms and the head, then I created a plaster face.

When the chest was dry, I arranged some linen and paper around the body of the statuette. I used some Gold Silks to highlight the paper.

I decorated the pedestal with a stencil and a 3D Matte Gel. When dry, I primed the pedestal with black Gesso, then with black Powertex. I used some Gold Silks to highlight the design too.
I colored the butterflies die-cut in a watercolor paper with Twinkling H2Os and Gelatos. I finished them with a light touch of gold wax.

Materials from Mixed Media Place:

This palette is an ode to Black Gesso and Pan Pastels. The moment I saw the new pearlescent Pan Pastels and tried them in my mini album for my husband, I have been dreaming about doing this kind of project. So this challenge was the perfect playground to bring out the bibs and bobs, the gesso and the lovely pastels! 

The effect is similar to that of oil but much softer. The colors are brushed on top of the plain colored black and shimmer in turquoise, green, blue, gold and white.

These kinds of projects are perfect to use all the strange bibs and bobs. Can you find a juice cap there? Or old money? What about two metal catches from an old bag? There's also a Christmas decoration, pair of old scissors, two markers that didn't have any coloring left, an Ikea pencil, several bottle caps and several blooms.

Materials from Mixed Media Place:

I created a card using 7 Dots Studio Illumination paper as my background and then I applied a few colors of acrylic paints using stamps designed by Nathalie Kalbach and also as splashes (using a brush from this set).

All acrylic paints are by Claudine Hellmuth. I altered 7 Dots Studio Nature Walk chipboard pieces using Emboss It dabber from Ranger, Embossing Sticky Powder and Finnabair Glitter Set - Abloom. The edges of the card are finished with Prima Chalk Ink.

Materials from Mixed Media Place:

And now it's time to announce the winner of our Creative Gym Exercise #4. However, this month we decided to do it differently.
Kasia's Exercise was all about no judgement and no pressure so we decided not to vote this time. Somehow, we thought it wouldn't be fair to decide on "the best" work. That's why this month we are using to choose the winner.
And the winner is....

... Kris... !
make sure you visit her blog to see her Intuitive Painting Exercise accompanied by a beautiful poem she wrote!

Congratulations, Kris! :) Please, contat us at: store(at) to claim your prize.

So... what do you think? Are you feeling inspired? Don't wait! Grab all the colors you have at home and have fun splashing them on some black background. :)
You have time until March 16th. Simply add a link to your work using the inlinkz tool below.
Our Design Team will then choose their favorite piece and its author will win a discount coupon to be used in our Mixed Media Place Store.


  1. OH dear would be nearly impossible to perform CPR on oneself if one were to pass out; which this DT's offerings nearly made me do! I am next to speechless; which implies I can still speak but there is much drooling....
    These are GORGEOUS makes.
    Thanks so much for the incredible inspiration. I hope to get a chance to jump in for the first time ever.
    Lisa x

  2. oh my God all projects are so amazing, I love how looks like the background black!

  3. Que preciosidades!!! y que maravilloso desafío!!!...ya tengo ganas de probar!! gracias!!!

  4. Breathtaking inspiration, ladies!!

  5. Ladies,
    All gorgeous and inspirational art pieces - I love them all! Thanks for sharing all of your art!

  6. What fabulous inspiration!Love all the projects!

  7. DT did a splendid work! So many ideas. Love all your creations, girls.

  8. I made it! LOL
    Now I've got to check out all the other entries. <3

  9. ... forgot to mention that I love the Design Teams creations! Thank you for such inspiration!

  10. I'm so glad I came across your blog and all the talented people who create for it and participate in these challenges. I look forward to future challenges and future inspirations. Everyone's creations are so beautiful. I love seeing the unique eye of each artist. Great job!

  11. Fantastic inspiration by the team! Loving the creative gym!

  12. Dear heavens the DT creations are gorgeous! I just did a piece with a black gesso base my the ColourArte blog and thought I really need to do this more often! Wish I had time to participate in this one!


Please note: leaving a comment on this website means you agree for us to store and process your data (such as user ID) for communication, education and marketing purposes. More information on our Privacy Policy is listed on the blog.