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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback Flexi-binding
  • Publication: 25 January 2022
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782218777
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 450
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: £17.99
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The Innovative Artist: Abstracts and Mixed Media


Brilliant new ways with colour, texture and form by Helen Kaminsky (Author)

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Book Description

Explore abstract art with a mix of media and methods, under the guidance of expert artist Helen Kaminsky.

The Innovative Artist series provides a unique insight into the methods and materials used by leading contemporary artists who are pushing the boundaries of their art. Through numerous examples of the author’s work alongside practical demonstrations, each book provides a fascinating exploration of the artist’s creative process that will inspire the reader to move forward on their own artistic journey.

Abstracts and Mixed Media is aimed at artists who wish to explore the possibilities offered by mixed media in new and impressive ways. Helen's love of colour and experimentation is carried through layers of imagery and texture with a gloriously vibrant mix of traditional and imaginative new techniques. It is the experimental combination of these methods that gives each painting its unique glowing quality.

Artists will discover different ways of mixing and blending paint with unusual materials, collage techniques, fun printing methods, mark-making with found objects, and original ways to incorporate homemade stencils and stamps into their work. Helen leads the reader through her exciting range of techniques using charcoal, gesso, oil pastels, wet and dry media, printing and mark-making materials, and collage.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6, Inspiration 10, Demonstration: The Toolmaker 12, The art of the abstract 18, Colour 20, Demonstration: Rock Strata 28, Demonstration: The Meeting of the Waters 30, Composition 36, Demonstration: Playtime with Matisse 40, Design 42, Demonstration: Rocky Road 42, Interpretation 46, Demonstration: Pollen for the Bees 46, My working process 52, Demonstration: Cottage on a Hillside 57, Materials and tools 60, Mixing the media 72, Creating backgrounds 74, Demonstration: New Directions 80, Demonstration: An Artist’s Garden 87, Demonstration: A Different Perspective 95, Collage 100, Demonstration: Retro City 114, Veiling and lifting 120, Demonstration: Watermelon Woman 122, Transparency 130, Printing 134, Mark-making 144, Demonstration: Red Lilies 168, Varnishing and completing 174, Index 176, Acknowledgements

About the Author

About Helen Kaminsky

Art has always been a passion for popular mixed media artist Helen Kaminsky and her work has evolved through her love of experimenting with different techniques. She is predominantly self-taught, working intuitively and energetically over a diverse range of subjects. Since attending a mixed media course at Central Saint Martins School of Art, London, Helen has gathered together an astonishing range of versatile effects, loving the challenges offered by using different and unusual materials. The synergies of the techniques used combine to establish an intuitive, original and diverse portfolio that has attracted the attention of many art collectors internationally. She is a member of the SAA and recent awards include their Artist of the Year Award for Across the Bay (Highly Commended) and Red Angel (Commended). Helen has also had work selected for the Society of Women Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.

Helen has written for The New Artist Magazine and has also produced various articles and demos for the SAA's Paint Magazine.

Helen lives in Cheshire, UK.



This is a truly glorious book! Packed with inspiration and rich illustrations Helens passion for mixed media shines through on every page. As well as the demonstrations and stunning examples of finished works, the content is organised under four broad areas; The Art of the Abstract, Materials and Tools, Mixing the Media, Varnishing and Completing.

Within these key areas, there are pages of detailed examples, sharing inspiration, how to play with materials, and the most creative sources of mark-making; how just by looking around your home you can find so many items to use e.g. forks, pastry cutters, toy building bricks, combs, bottle tops, sponges and so much more! Helen adopts the same approach with printmaking, from creating stencils, to making your own stamps, again using household items.

But it is the richness of colour that makes this book such a delight and the freedom of using mixed media in such innovative and delightful ways.

As a source of inspiration, The Innovative Artist: Abstracts and Mixed Media is outstanding, Helen has created a book which will encourage experimentation by artists of all ages and abilities. We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!

Paint & Create, March 2023

This thorough and carefully explained guide examines not just the technical aspects but also what abstraction is and how it speaks to both the artist and the viewer. Helen looks at sources of inspiration as well as the creative process where ideas are translated into shapes, forms and colours.


With the popularity of abstract painting showing no sign of abating (there was a time when books on it were a drag on the market), there has for some time been space for a book that comes between the simple project-based approach and the more academic, analytical tomes.

And here we have a thoroughly practical book aimed at the serious artist who has mastered the basics and is ready to move on to more advanced techniques and interpretations. Rather than pitching straight into the dual aspects of the books title, Helen first deals with abstraction colour, composition, design and interpretation, with each section having an accompanying demonstration that manages to be straightforward without being annoyingly elementary. This augurs well for the books balance between simplicity and taking its subject and its readers seriously.

The matter of media is now introduced, with textures, pastes, gels, watercolour, inks and acrylics all coming into the picture or do I mean mix? This is where things start to get exciting and where the book absolutely justifies its inclusion in the Innovative Artist series. Work here takes the form of examples and shorter exercises because Helens aim is to get and help you to develop your own vision and voice. Where project-based books will have you completing the authors idea of a painting, the intention here is to give you ideas to work off and to spark the imagination.

Helen deals with a broad and complex subject, but the book never feels intimidating or inaccessible, but rather draws you in, eager to find out more. An added bonus is that the binding is sewn rather than glued, which is unusual outside hardbacks. As a result, the book falls open easily in the hands and the pages are easy to view and read.

Amazon Customer Review

A must-have for anyone interested in creating abstract art. I am new to art and found this book invaluable. The explanations of colour, composition, design and interpretation were easy to follow and the processes and techniques of collating, stamping, mark making and creating texture have inspired me to have a go at all of these. Well worth the (very reasonable) cover price.

Booklist, February Issue

Mixed-media artist Kaminsky specializes in exploring materials and techniques as she works through her own journey as a self-taught artist, and here shares some of the possibilities shes investigated so far. Starting with an overview of colour, composition, design, interpretation, and process, Kaminsky explains the underpinnings of her work, with an approach designed to suit those just getting started or to serve as context for more- experienced artists. As is fitting for the variety of media represented, a significant portion of the book is devoted to materials, tools, and an assortment of techniques including collage, veiling, lifting, transparency, printing, and mark making. The authors artwork is featured throughout, and while she uses a variety of techniques, her art style is recognizable, with bold, layered colours that are sustained through a variety of subject matter. For readers wishing to explore a range of techniques and enjoy the inspiration of a skilled artists work, this book will provide instruction as well as a jumping-off point for their own artistic journeys.

Leisure Painter

Part of the Innovative Artist series, which pushes the boundaries of art, professional artist, Helen Kaminsky, explores the creative possibilities of mixed media, showing how layers of imagery and texture can add unique qualities to your work. Areas covered include collage techniques, printing methods, mark making with found objects, homemade stencils and stamps as well as a mix of wet and dry media. Demonstrations throughout the book will allow you to follow Helen's processes to achieve her glowing paintings.

The Artist

The Innovative Artist is a series from Search Press that aims to bring to the reader a selection of artists who are at the forefront of media or techniques. Helen Kaminsky is a first-time author whose work in abstract covers a wide variety of techniques, media and styles.

Interest in abstraction has taken off in recent years and has been served by a progression of excellent books that are, however, generally basic in their approach. This is the first that starts from an avowedly higher level and assumes that its audience will have an understanding of the basic working methods. This does not mean that explanations are missing or skimped and there are plenty of examples, exercises and demonstrations that you'd expect from a publisher of instructional books.

If you're serious about abstract painting, this is a book that will, in return, take you seriously and fulfil your requirements.

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