How do I choose what painting to create?

It is not always easy for me to choose and commit to paint a particular subject or theme. Sometimes I have so many ideas and desires, choosing something particular becomes stressful and overwhelming. Over time, I developed a strategy that helps me to organize this process.

I try to follow my soul and mood when I choose what painting to create. I avoid creating one theme several times in a row (like, only landscapes or only animals, etc.) and instead pick three different topics for my future paintings, for example, flowers, landscape, birds. Then I decide which particular flower I want to create, what kind of landscape I want to paint, what kind of bird I wish to make. After I choose this, then I think about more details, like, do I want to paint bouquet of flowers, flowers in the field, or just a single flower. I narrow down the options to a minimum until I have a complete image of this future painting in my head. Usually I work on three different paintings simultaneously, so I need to decide all of them before I begin the first one.

When I just can’t choose what to paint at all, I take time to look around and see what catches my eye, what excites my vision, what touches my heart in some way, what speaks to my soul. This searching might take time, but in the end, I enjoy the process of creating the painting much more.

Materials and tools for creating wool paintings

People often ask me, what materials and tools do I use to create wool paintings. Besides the main material, wool, I also use a substrate, scissors, tweezers, and the frame with glass. I’ll go in depth on how I use each item in this article. Let’s start with a frame.



I use an ordinary photo frame, which can be found at any home or craft store, as well as purchased from a frame shop. The average frame consists of a backdrop, clear glass, and its overlapping edges.

I avoid frames with plexiglass covers. The first problem, wool can become statically electrified and stick to plexiglass, especially in new paintings when the wool has not yet had time to lie down. Second of all, depending on the quality, plexiglass might look cheap, thereby spoiling the impression of the painting. And finally, most plexiglass is easy to scratch. If you would like to buy a frame with plexiglass, especially relevant for large frames, I suggest to buy it in the professional frame store. They have high-quality plexiglass with a non-glare option.

I discovered, that sometimes it’s hard to frame the painting due to the thickness of the wool. In this case, a frame with double mat works great. It covers the painting nicely and gives it an amazing 3D effect. The only disadvantage is a lack of color options. I found only three colors (black, grey, and espresso) and only one company which make this type of frame.

There are many options for your choice in frame, but you must use one with a clear covering, since that protects the surface of the picture and holds the wool fibers securely in place. Read more about framing options for wool paintings.


In order to keep the wool from slipping and so it sticks better to the backing, I use a substrate (also called an underlying base) when creating my paintings. Some people use flezilin, plain natural fabric, or rough paper. But, I prefer to use a simple, cloth paper towel for several reasons. First, it’s easy to find in a regular grocery store and fairly economical. Next, I can sketch my picture’s outline on the paper towel before laying down the wool. Finally, the wool fibers don’t shift out of place or roll down the picture’s surface, even when the artwork is stood vertically without its glass covering. Any of aforementioned materials can be glued to the backing of the frame to keep them from moving while create a painting. But, I prefer not to use glue, so that I have the opportunity to mount the painting in a different frame, if necessary. Read more about substrate materials.


The primary material used in the paintings is wool roving, in the form of combed ribbon or carding. The combed ribbon (or tops) is combed wool in which all the fibers are stretched in one direction and laid in a ribbon. The carding wool is a product in which, unlike a combed ribbon, all of the fibers are bent and aimed in different directions. I try to have a wide variety of colors available, because the more shades I use, the more vivid and picturesque the wool painting becomes. Sometimes, to add a bit of shine to the picture, I will use fibers of silk or viscose. Viscose fibers are soft, smooth, straight, and have a strong shine to them, although they are less durable than fibers of natural silk. Visually, viscose and silk fibers do not differ much, so they are interchangeable. But, it can be difficult to work with viscose – it’s electrified, sticks to the glass and does not keep its shape. Because of this, viscose and silk are always mixed together with wool. Elements of a picture crafted from a combination of wool and viscose fibers, reflect the light and shine; giving the objects an animated and expressive appearance. Read more about types of wool.


When creating a wool painting, scissors are used a lot: not just to cut the strands of wool, but also to move the wool around with their points, to act as a brush to smooth out the fibers to help lay them in place, and so on. When working directly with wool, I always use a good pair of sharp scissors. I experimented with many types of scissors before finding the ones that fit my hand the best and were the most comfortable to use. I also discovered that those with sharp points work better than those with rounded ends. I suggest using scissors with a comfortable rubber handle, which will prevent your fingers from slipping. When you first start making wool paintings, start with the scissors that you already own. Then, as you continue the craft, you will want to invest in a nice pair.


I use tweezers to layout the small details in the foreground of a painting, but other artists may just use their fingers. The way a person works is up to them and depends on their preference. There are several varieties of tweezers, but I prefer pointed tweezers slanted at the tip. The combination of both the slanted and pointed styles allow for more control and better grip when work with small pieces of wool. Other tweezer varieties like slant tip, flat-tip, and arched-claw will work also; you should experiment and pick your favorite style. When you buy tweezers, make sure they are smooth on the edges without any nicks or burrs. Otherwise, the imperfections will catch unwanted wool fibers on the painting, thereby might spoil it.

Where do I get my inspiration from

In order to be surrounded by inspiration and find new ideas, I think it’s important to get out of the house to take a walk, go for a run, or find a pleasant coffee shop for a nice latte. Since I create paintings with wool, the only place I can create my art is inside my house. I can’t create my paintings outside, because the wind will blow the fibers away. Sometimes when I work on something complex, I might not leave the house for a week or two. Then I begin feeling uncreative and start suffering from “artist block”. I need to accept this as a sign to take a break and find a source of inspiration.

My biggest source of inspiration is nature. There are so many places to find inspiration in nature that you can list them endlessly. My favorite places I like to visit are: Central Park in New York, Sandy Hook beach, South Mountain, Watchhug Reservation. I like the peaceful solitude of time in the forest, watching wild animals scamper and play, seeing the beauty of flowers blooming, or listening to the sounds of waterfall or water lapping at a shore. When I go on my vacation I always pick places where I can be in nature, away from big cities and their bustle.

Quotes. I love reading quotes and believe that they can be a great source of inspiration. There’s so much wisdom in the words of the most successful people in history and of today. Whether I’m having a rough day and need a pick-me-up to assure myself that it’s all going to be OK, or whether I’m just looking for a mission statement for the day, reading inspirational quotes help me put one foot in front of the other and make the small or sweeping changes in my life.

Meditation. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary for me to be alone and listen to silence. I always try to find some time and place to clear my mind. The act of sitting still for a short time, emptying the mind, and just focusing on breathing, has a powerful effect on mind, body, and soul, and lets my thoughts spin away from reality.

Always trying to stay positive. This is the most important thing in accomplishing anything. If you enjoy life, accept all the challenges it gives and perceive them as new adventures, you will assuredly succeed. I’m trying to surround myself with positive things. Enjoy what I do, do only what I love and never give up!

Inspiration, truly, is everywhere and can be found all around us if we just take the time to stop, look, and truly appreciate everything that life has given us, even in our toughest moments. From sunrise to sunset, from the morning cup of tea till the supper of the night everything that we cum across, everything that we see, feel, or hear is what we get inspired.

How Did Wool Painting Begin

It’s believed that wool painting came into existence in the beginning of the 20th century, in Germany. The technique of wool painting was founded by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, scientist, and architect. He traveled through the country’s provinces, trying to find common materials to use for creating artwork, and eventually focused his attention on wool fiber. He liked the way it could be folded over, mixed together, and would take on volumetric and arbitrary forms. The only problem was lack of color variety in the wool. Steiner knew nothing about dying wool, but experimented and found a way to achieve the results he wanted. During that time, the scientist noticed that when people regularly painted with wool they became more balanced, calmer, and their perception of the world of became wider. Even now, more than 100 years later, the process of creating artwork with wool helps millions of people to reduce stress and tension, find an inner balance, and reveal their hidden talents.

Continue reading “How Did Wool Painting Begin”

How did I become interested in wool painting

I discovered “wool painting” technique in one of my favorite book stores in Saint Petersburg, “Bukvoed”, in 2014. This store has a huge selection of everything, not just books, but also games, puzzles, stationary, souvenirs, etc – basically “Barnes & Noble” combined with “Michaels” which is why I like to shop there. My wandering through the store took me to art and craft department where I noticed a “painting with wool” kit. I found the description interesting and decided to try to make a picture. This really piqued my interest because the last time I was engaged in creativity was at school. I will honestly admit, my first attempt to make a picture was unsuccessful. I didn’t manage to figure out how to make a picture on my own, so I took several classes from, to my good fortune, the author of the kit who lived near me in Saint Petersburg. After attending a few classes, I understood the basics and began to create pictures by on my own.

While I was discovering this form of art, I quit my job in Russia to spent up to half a year in America with my boyfriend. I wasn’t allowed to work and this new hobby was a very welcome distraction in my downtime. So, I started create wool paintings and practice a lot to gain experience. First, friends started complement my artwork and asked me to make something for them, then their friends became interested in my work, and then somebody (I don’t remember who exactly) suggested to participate in art shows. So, in 2016, I participated in very small craft and art show in Bayonne, NJ – this was the beginning of my professional career as an artist. For several years now, I have been constantly participating in art exhibitions, writing tutorials, and teaching classes.

If you want to become the owner of one of the wool paintings or pleasantly surprise a loved one with a unique piece of artwork, visit my shop, where you will definitely find something to your liking. If you would like to learn how to create paintings with wool, check out my online classes.

What Is Wool Painting

“Wool painting” or “wool watercolor” is a technique used to create pictures, not by the method of dry or wet felting, but by placing multiple colors of dry wool in layers on a quilted fabric surface, then covering it with glass.

When the fibers are compressed under the glass surface, works of art fashioned from wool appear as if they are watercolor or pastel paintings. It is only when you come closer that you realize they are not painted. Under the weight of the glass, the multiple layers of wool blend together to form an image, which is lively, colorful, and very bright. These images are so real, that you can almost taste the berries & fruits, touch the trees, and smell the flowers and grass. When looking at the wool paintings, you can also sense the movement of air masses and bask under the heat of the sun, as well as embrace subtle traces of the scents of mountain air or tidal waters. Wool is a living material and, because of this, the paintings come alive.

Every wool painting is a unique work of art. The artist gently places each fiber with his fingers, thereby offering the essence of his soul to the viewer and charging the picture with his energy. Once the painting sparks the atmosphere, there are sure to be emotional conversations between people, covering all levels of feelings and sensations available. Wool paintings bring happiness and warmth to your home, provide a welcome mood for relatives and friends, and are a sincere and one-of-a-kind gift to loved ones for any occasion! If you want to become the owner of one of these paintings or pleasantly surprise a loved one with a unique piece of artwork, visit my shop, where you will definitely find something to your liking.