Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

"You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow." – Janis Joplin

I was just a kid, making my bed and listening to the radio on a Saturday morning. The opening notes of a song caught my ear, but it was when I heard the raspy, passion filled voice, I knew I was experiencing something exceptional. At the time I didn’t know who was singing, and I didn’t know the name of the song. But the vocalists’ raw emotion, the way she held a note…releasing it at just the perfect moment...captivated me.  The song was “Piece of My Heart” by Big Brother and the Holding Company. The mesmeric voice belonged to Janis Joplin. The memory of the first time I heard her sing will forever stay with me.

We all know her story…leaving Port Arthur, Texas to discover who she was as a woman and an artist, of her addictions and her need for pushing the limits of her rock-and-roll lifestyle.  But rather than dwell on the tragic I want to celebrate all that was triumphant.

As a confirmed letter writer myself, I loved reading Janis’ correspondence to friends and family. This Janis is the one that inspired me through my awkward (are they ever anything but!) teens and into my twenties. Janis kicked open the door for women in the arts. She showed us anything is possible if we follow our dreams to our authentic self. Her drive to succeed on her own terms…caressing the vulnerable and the beautiful…lead to many mishaps but also to great discoveries.

The quote is a favourite of mine. Before words like “mindfulness” became part of the lexicon, Janis was already a believer. As I’ve recently been working with the wonderful Artistcellar Labyrinth series, my heart and my work have found a brilliant resting place in being fully present and not destroying my “now”.

The newest member of the Artistcellar family is Blocks. I couldn’t wait to start creating! The variety within the four piece set is excellent. I was especially drawn to the Open Work and Cross T designs. I wanted to give my work a 1960’s vibe so I chose to stencil with the colours of the era: hot pink, purple, acid green. It was fun to dab my acrylics through the stencil and see the combinations. I even stenciled a single colour knowing I could add it to my art. As with all of the Artistcellar products, clean up was a snap leaving the stencils in perfect condition.

I enjoyed building the collage. I wanted to give the work a vintage feel and started with a tintype background. I added the layers including the stenciled images, newspaper clippings, date stamps, painted dryer sheets, and finally the image of Janis. I chose this particular photo because she looked fearless, happy and ready to take on her next adventure.

It is easy to be drawn to the heart-rending story of a creative who died before their time. But if there is one thing I’ve gained from following Janis’ much too short career it is this: Be true to yourself, as a woman and an artist, and you will find authenticity waiting to be discovered in that special piece of your heart.

MATERIALS USED:

  • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: BLOCKS - Open Work, Cross T
  • PLAID FOLKART METALLIC ACRYLICS: Aquamarine, Champaign, Antique Gold, Amethyst, Plum, Rose Shimmer, Metallic Rose, Emerald Green, Peridot, Blue Topaz
  • PLAID ACRYLICS: Sunflower, Brilliant Pure Orange
  • REEVES ACRYLICS: Rose Red
  • NATURAL SPONGE
  • NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
  • STRATHMORE Mixed-Media Visual Journal 300 Series- 5.5" x 8.5"
  • DIGITAL IMAGES – Purchased & Created

 

 

Hello beautiful souls,

Did you know how hip it is to be square? Well let me let you in on a little *secret* it is when we're talking about the  new Blocks Series stencils that have just been released by Artistcellar. There is something magical about the geometric shape of a square. 

So let's take a look at these babies in action! Remember when I made my first 4x6" mini  masterpieces? ("Genea goes on a creative streak") I used the "Deco"  stencil and did a nice psychedelic echo design.

I even talked my friend Zack into coming to play with me in the studio.  He worked on his very first watercolor and did an amazing job!

I'm excited to talk about celebrating making mistakes because they make you learn and how mistakes lead to things like "happy little accidents" as my highschool art teacher used to say 😉 Let's take a look at my "Passion and Vision" piece I created as a gift for a friend.

See the mistake? Oh you don't? Well this is what we call a "happy little accident". What happened is that my black paint pen smeared when I was outlining the LK Os stencil. I was so bummed! I tried wiping off the few more blurby spots with a wet wipe, but you could still see the mistake. I remembered that I had used some black hearts in my "Minds Eye" piece to create some layers and decided that was EXACTLY how to work with my mistake.

The design didn't seem finished so I added my signature swirl eye to the hearts in gold to finish off the design. I love all of the layers the piece creates starting with the layer of the Cross T stencil all the way to to the finished piece.

For my next designs I am combining the fun of being a kid and the new Block Series stencils. How does that all work out, you may be asking yourself? Pretty freakin' sweet if you ask me! Let's take a look!

So first I started with a cute little 2 1/4"x2 1/4" square shrinky dink.

Next I did some layering with some inks and paint markers

I just love seeing a piece come together.  Now for the BEST part....

OMG! Isn't it SO cute?! I mean who doesn't like cute things?! Well you know how that goes when you make something super cool, right? Yep, MORE cool things! So off I went to do a cute little series of 4 with the awesome new Block Series.

Here they are in their full size. I tried a few different things because I have been noticing that the white paint pen is a bit more delicate. So this round I thought I would try putting the white accented dinks upside down and even dropping my gas oven temp to 275 degrees. Well.... that didn't exactly work. I had to bake the shrinky dinks WAY longer than their 3 minute suggested time. 

As you can see I did burn my poor little babies. It looks like the white paint is just a bit delicate to work for these pieces, but the others held up really well.  Luckily I did few different styles to see what worked well including one of the designs using a colored ink instead of gold like I did with most of the blocks. I also used a silver metallic ink to do outlining. Just look at how pretty this one turned out with the colored ink and silver metallic paint pen.

*Swoon* So I bet you can guess what I am working on the second I get back into my studio! What are you favorite pieces to create with these fantastic geometric stencils?

Love, light, and creativity,

Genea

Yay! We have a new series out! This one is nice and square and blocky and makes great texture and backgrounds! I've been playing with these for awhile, beginning with my gelli plate (naturally!) Here's what they look like: 

Open Work

Deco

Tiles

Cross-T

Aren't they pretty? Of course I couldn't just show you the designs. You can see those on the Artistcellar Website Stencils page. 

So you know how you can have a half finished canvas laying around and it's saying to you "meh." Well, I grabbed one of those canvases and just started some layering with the Blocks Stencils. And since I loved how the design team kept using crackle paste through stencils, I tried that too. Boy did I have a hot mess at the end. Now it screamed "MEH!!" But I did a little trick that my friend reminded me of... I tied it all together with Nickel Azo and Burnt Umber glazes. This is what happened. 

But check out this texture! I wasn't sure if my crackle paste would even crackle, with the humidity being 423% (or so it felt) but it turned into crackle on steroids! 

And hidden in between the texture-y goodness lay more blocks. 

I sorta like this piece now. I call it "Cracked, not Broken" The original piece was inspired by a huge sidewalk crack I took a picture of, the end result is a little more metaphorical and reminds me of that poem about "cracks letting the light in." 

This morning I was visiting Diana Trout's blog and saw this little tutorial on Twinchies. Well, these were tags that failed at paper marbling so I stenciled over them, cut them square and decided to try Diana's method. I first glued some book page words on the squares and covered the entire square in an Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. I ended coating them twice to get a nice thick gloss. I then dipped the edges in a flat gold embossing powder and melted them smooth. I grabbed another half-finished canvas I've had laying around for YEARS and gave it a fresh coat of paint and stenciling with the same Tiles stencil, and mounted the little tile in the middle of the canvas. I coated the canvas edges in the glass bead gel to give it a little bling. The funny part is that the "Beautiful Exasperation" cracked when I tried to straighten it. I love delicious irony. 

But wait. Didn't I mention in the Newsletter something about a GIVEAWAY? Yes, yes I did! I'm giving away a set of stencils and a beautiful book called "Art Journal Your Archetypes" by artist and author Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli. It is a gorgeous book filled with artwork and interviews by your favorite artists like Nathalie Kalbach, Orly Avineri, Sarah Trump, Jessica Sporn, Mary Beth Shaw, Seth Apter, and Tamara Laporte. Yours Truly has a little piece of artwork in there, representing my main archetype "Nature Girl." 

It has a section where you can answer questions to figure out what archetypes you most identify with, and half the book shows you how you can use stencils and other mixed media methods to create journal pages to honor your archetypes. It really is a unique book, with a fascinating subject, you will be sure to learn something about yourself and then want to create art about it! 

Gabrielle and I also got the chance to talk a little bit over at Google Hangouts and she recorded it for everyone to see. (eeek!) We talked about archetypes, art journaling, running a business, and other "stuff". Enjoy!

Now for the details of the Giveaway! Just leave a comment here about what you think your archetypes are. Or just leave a comment about what you think about the Blocks stencils and artwork. Or just say hi :-) I will pick a random winner on October 8th, after the Design Team has had a chance to show off their creations. You have to come back to THIS post to enter the giveaway. Only one entry per person, duplicates will be eliminated. I am giving away a brand new book and a set of stencils. And if I have more than 50 comments, I will be giving away another book and set of stencils! So share this post and encourage people to enter. Good luck and... 

Have a fantastic week! 

xoLisa 

Hello, hello!

This week I've struggled with a bit of a creative block. It doesn't happen often -- but when it does it hits hard! For some reason, everything I went to work on turned out horrible -- really, really horrible. I realized the correlation between the projects was that they were all quite small... so for this project I pulled out the big guns! A large piece of watercolor paper.

I prepped it by grabbing some inspiring ephemera and used matte medium to "glue" them down. Next, I added a shabby layer of gesso just to push some of it back and help it not be so crazy.

True to my nature (especially lately) I grabbed a DecoArt Media Mister in "Carbon Black" and the Adirondack Color Wash in "Butterscotch" along with the Labyrinth stencil set, and one of my favorites from the Diamond Series Set.

After the sprays, I added another light shabby layer of gesso, and then used Dina Wakley "Black" paint to doodle on the page. I started with a portrait, and then decided to go ahead and add in a lotus flower as well.

Next, I used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Black, Payne's Grey, Titan Buff and Titanium white to paint the portrait. These are some of my favorite portrait colors (especially the Payne's Grey and the Titan Buff combo -- yum!)

I also added bits of metallic gold, because I love the way it pops off of the painting when paired next to the Black and Payne's Grey.

The Diamond Series Stencil "Flanders" is one of my favorite stencils EVER, especially the center design. I used it on the dress of the girl, with some crackle paste.... I loved the way it turned out!

To finish off the painting, I added some white highlights with a Uniball signo UM-153 white pen and Inka Gold in "Gold" throughout.

I also added some song lyrics that inspired me as I painted -- "Eleanor Rigby" by ... *drumroll* The Beatles!

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I was in the mood to explore color and texture so I grabbed the Labyrinth series along with some Dina Wakley acrylic paints, a brayer and a 5 inch square Gelli plate. Let's do some Monoprinting! 

The paper I used for this printmaking adventure are 4.25 inch squares of Canson mixed media paper

After a whirlwind printing session where I didn't clean my brayer at all and just layered paint color over paint color on my palette as I worked I was left with almost 20 squares of color and texture goodness.

I picked out my 12 favorite squares and arranged them in a grid. Using regular scotch tape I taped them together on the back side. Then, using spray adhesive, I mounted my grid onto a large panel and then trimmed the panel down. 

Here is what I have so far, a paper quilt!

I wanted the squares to seem more integrated with each other and so I used some vine charcoal and scribbled on the seams and rubbed the charcoal to blend it. 

This created a subtle shadowing and I felt it brought the different squares together as one big happy family.

I am going back and forth about either adding a quote, layering more pattern (dots!), details or color,  or just leaving it as is. What is the story I want to tell?

I come to this point often when I work and I find my creative brain needs me to set them aside to let them simmer. Right now it is propped up on the side of my work table patiently waiting for me to tell the rest of its story. If you are ever in this situation just trust the process. Keep the artwork out where you can see it everyday because your creative self will be inspired and you will know what to do next.

 What do YOU think I should do next? 

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Greetings Artistcellar fans!

I hope life is treating you well.

Today I have a stepped out tutorial of a layered art piece to share with you using the following supplies:

Before I get into the step-by-step process, I have to tell you something. The NEW Mineral Paper Pad is really, really awesome! The paper is made from rocks, not trees. The paper feels smooth, thin, yet sturdy for both wet and dry media. You neeeeeed to check out this paper!

Step 1:

Choose an artistcellar stencil you like, and with a cosmetic wedge, dab a color of Dye-Na-Flow through the stencil. (Here I am using the Trillium stencil with Midnight Blue Dye-Na-Flow).

Step 2:

Try different ways of applying the Dye-Na-Flow. Pictured above, the right corner was done using a paintbrush. Then I flipped the stencil over (bottom left) to make a print and rubbed a little color around with a paper towel. All of these variations make for an interesting background layer.

Step 3:

Complete the page with one more use of the stencil. (I used the cosmetic wedge again).

Step 4:

Choose a contrasting color of acrylic paint to dab through a different stencil. (Here I am using the Sun Flower stencil from the Kaleidoscope Series.)

Step 5:

Continue playing with placement of this second stencil.

Step 6:

Next I pulled out the Dylusions Paint. One thing I love about this paint is that it is semi-transparent, which makes it perfect for mixed media layering techniques!

Grab the first stencil you were using and place it slightly off-center on an area where you previously used that stencil.

When you remove the stencil you will see the following results:

Pretty cool, right?

Step 7:

Do the slightly off-center technique one more time. You might want to choose a new paint color, or a variation of your contrasting color.

And here you go!

So, that sort of looks like a jumbled mess now, would you agree?

This is all a part of the creative process and the layering process. It’s sort of like the “teenager” stage.

Let’s tie things together.

Step 8:

Add a unifying color (I used yellow Dye-Na-Flow) to part of your piece.

Step 9:

Add a focal image or symbol. (I painted a red spiral using a ½ inch paintbrush and Dylusions Paint).

When I finished this piece, I was pleased with the lightweight Mineral Paper. The piece could easily be framed or turned into a flag on a banner (you know, with ribbon or string and multiple “flags” hanging down). Of course, there is always the possibility of cutting and tearing for your mixed media collage creating pleasure!

In Summary, I hope you’ll try the NEW Mineral Paper Pad from artistcellar. It is quite amazing stuff! Also, try to remember that there are many stages when creating a layered piece. It’s normal to have a stage that you really don’t care to look at. Usually, more layers will take care of the issue, as well as adding a focal point.

Have fun and enjoy your art supplies!

Blessings,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

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Oh! My lovely lovelies!

I am so happy to be back with you this week! I played a lot the past couple days! And I made a piece that I adore!

I decided I wanted to go out of my comfort zone a lil bit, and try to use mostly items or mediums that I hadn't used before! so I decided I would use DecoArt Crackle Paste, something I have been avoiding, mostly because I had no clue what I was going to do with it, DecoArt Gesso, its really thick so hadn't had a real reason to get it out, my Inka-Gold, my steampunk gears stencil set, they are just new and I love them and some fluid acrylics I got on a clearance rack. I also ended up using one of the Sacred Hearts stencils and a ranger paint dabber along with some other craft acrylics.

For the background gears I just used 1 stencil thickness layer of the the crackle paste, I found that allowing it to air dry produced more cracks than if I tried to speed the drying up with a heat gun. For the heart and the key I first used a stencil thickness layer of the thick gesso, allowed it to dry then applied a 2nd layer using the crackle paste.

For the color on the background, I used fluid acrylics and dark spray ink applied with a paintbrush. I then went over it again with color, did some sanding to rough it up and then applied the inka-gold with my finger or a paint brush. I love how the inka-gold looks, on some of the pictures it looks like a light is shining on the piece, but its not! It's just the Inka-gold doing its thing! love the stuff!

I then decided I had to add a face, so I went in with the thick gesso to create a face shape and cover up some of the background gears, I then just did a very simple face, using the background gold as pseudo hair.

I am totally in love with the crackle now! I cant wait to try it out again on something new. I have all kinds of ideas!

Big hugs and mushy stuff to you all!!
XOXOXO
- Shana Banana!
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"Travel brings power and love back into your life." – Rumi

TRAVEL: To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey.

From the time I was a child the word “travel” was the genesis of my wanderlust. I couldn’t walk past a travel agency without stopping to look into their store window. Gazing at posters showing incredible scenes of cities that seemed so far away only fed my desire to travel. I wanted to learn about the lives of the people depicted in those posters. I wanted to see for myself the towns and cities that looked so enticing even when viewed through a plate glass window. I wanted to put pins in a map of all the places visited. I knew I was destined to live a nomadic life.

And I have been lucky. I have visited almost all of the places that sparked my interest. And I found when traveling my journey enriched not only my physical but my spiritual life as well. And this is why I am in love with the beautifully crafted Artistcellar Labyrinth series. Let me tell you about the journey I walked in creating this collage.

Starting with my Strathmore Journal, I covered a page with Dye-Na-Flow Midnight Blue fabric paint using a 1” foam poly brush. While still wet, I splashed on Dye-Na-Flow Magenta followed by dripping rubbing alcohol into the wet dye. As the page dried a soft floral pattern emerged.

Although I liked the effect, I wanted to see how the dye would react on Mineral Paper. But this time I drizzled on a bit of rubber cement before coating the paper. The beauty of Mineral Paper didn’t disappoint! I liked the way the resist seemed to flow with the dye one enhancing the other. Although the technique was the same, I now had two distinct looks. Where my journal paper produced a soft velvet effect, the mineral paper was watery and wonderful. Looking at the backgrounds, I couldn’t decide. Which one should I use in the final work? As the saying goes “You can never have too much of a good thing”, so opted to use both.

In my last collage I featured the Chartres stencil. This time I knew Crete was the one to work with and stenciled directly on to the page in my Journal beginning with Viva Decor Inka Gold. I liked the effect I got the last time I used this product and polished it, when dry, with a soft cloth. It then became a wonderful base for shades of Silver, Gold, and Rose Red acrylics. The final element added was a vintage map.

Just working with the Labyrinths allowed me to recall so many memories of my travels. I believe travel empowers you to wander with purpose and explore the passions that drive you. Travel does more than include the physical movement from one place to another. Travel also resurrects the desire to explore within and find love and serenity in just being present.

MATERIAL USED:

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Hello beautiful souls,

So you know when you get on a roll with something and you need to keep going? Well it happened... I am one of *THOSE* people. You know, the kind that get stuck on something and need to have ALL of something (normally this happens with art supplies :P). So it's no surprise it happened with my art. I got totally stuck on the 4x6" size watercolor  designs. Well that's where the "sickness" started, and it kind of kept going in all different directions. So where the heck are these pictures, right?!

 

Holy, amazing, huh?! So I discovered this double layered design using the Sacred Geometry Series 1 and Sacred Geometry 2 Series stencils along with the Chakra Series stencils. So that led into the next design which I used some recycled laminate pieces from work and sanded and gessoed them.

Wow, does that sweet sunshine make those pieces glitter, huh?! Oh and don't mind the shadow of my hand in the photo. Lol. It was a little bright outside when I was taking the photos.

So next I was dreaming bigger and tried this design on a 6x6 canvas. I decided to cut a piece of watercolor paper to fit the top of the canvas and hot glue it on since I love the way the mediums blend on the paper best. I love seeing the process unfold because each layer is just so exciting. I think sometimes people get intimidated by mixed-media because there are so many layers and the end result is so complex. I tell people that it's a simple process since you do it step by step. Maybe that's why it's so exciting to create mixed-media.

Oh baby just look at that beauty in that sun shot! 

But let's not stop there..... I found some super sweet 12x12 fiber boards at work and took those for a drive :D Here is the first part of "Love Winds the Infinite Machine".

I was so excited about how beautifully this turned out I took a video. I also destroyed my poor Molotow marker in the process! Everyone was so excited over this part too and I had to remind them that this piece wasn't near done! I did the next layer and if you thought the first layer was gorgeous you will DIE over the second layer!

Yeah, as you may have guessed I had to take another video, lol. Oh and I killed yet another marker *sigh* So worth it though! I didn't quite get this piece finished yet, but I did a quick photo to show kind of how the finished piece will be.

 

I did find out a cool discovery for the inside of the heart that I wanted to share. I wanted the inside of the sacred heart to be gilded in gold so at first I rubbed some Viva Decor Inka Gold on the inside. I noticed that I saw cracks of white where the inka gold didn't rub in so I decided to spray the inside in Dylusions Ground Coffee spray.

I really like the look of the inka gold under the spray, but I didn't do the whole heart so I had to layer the Inka Gold on top after I sprayed.

I can't wait to finish this piece. I have actually been trying to get to my studio all day to work on the heart. I still need to color the heart, give it some details and work on the cello flame that will be coming out of it. So excited!

I remembered I had these tiny 3x3 cello bags so guess what I did? Yep, I made super teeny chakra and sacred geometry art with the super cute pocket chakra series stencils! Come on ladies, who doesn't love super cute tiny things?!

OMG so cute huh?!

I had one more design I tried out that didn't work. I got this super amazing tiny paper lamp from Ikea (they have all of the wonderful things you could ever want).

Originally I tried to do my sacred geometry chakra design on the lamp, but it's too springy and holey for the design to work out properly. I think I am going to spray it all in gold and do my "labyrinth lotus" design on it! I just need to make big petals to fit the 8" size lamp! Oh baby! I can't wait to show you all next blog!

Til then... keep loving, keep creating, and keep resonating at your highest vibration.

With deepest love and gratitude, Genea, the Third Eye Gypsy

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Hello again!

I really, really loved the combination of butterscotch and black from my last project... so I couldn't help but incorporate it again! This week I started with a piece of matboard and sprayed Adirondack Color Wash in "Butterscotch" and DecoArt Media Mister in "Primary Cyan" through Artistcellar Labyrinth stencils. Once dried I added a layer of white gesso randomly throughout. Then, I used a palette knife to layer crackle paste. I let that dry completely by just sitting aside overnight. The thicker the layer of crackle paste, the more dramatic crack effect you will achieve! 

I came back to my project the next day with a Faber-Castell Aquarelle pencil and started drawing a simple sunflower design. To fill it in, I used Dye-Na-Flow ink in "Sun Yellow" and let it drip throughout (of course!). To add a little more dimension to the sunflower I also used DecoArt Media in "Titan Buff" and "Metallic Gold". 

Then, for the center, I used Dina Wakley "Black" and "Umber" acrylics

I finished it off with Inka Gold in "Gold" and Pearl Pen in "Black"

That's it! Have you been creating with the Labyrinth stencils?

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