Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello My Lovely Lovelies! Today I am sharing just two little pages I did- one on hot press watercolor paper and the other on Yupo paper. These are by no means wonderful works of art, it is simply me having fun. Being a professional artist sometimes causes me some anxiety! I give myself a creative roadblock worrying whether or not the people who read this blog or watch my videos will like my art. I decided TTHHPPPPTPPTT with that today!

 I got out some stuff I hadn't played with in a while and went to town! On the hot press watercolor I played with my Gelatos and used my Ranger Archival ink pad for some stamping along with Dina Wakley and Dylusions Paints and 2 stencils from the Traditional Japanese and the Japanese Geometric Series. I ended up with this silly fella! 

For my 2nd play time I again used the Ranger Archival ink and did some dimple stamping on Yupo with some hand-me-down stamps I have of trees and grass, I then pulled out my Twinkling H2O's and created this lovely little piece. I think I'll put it in a frame in my guest room! I had fun today playing!

Get out some supplies you havent played with in a while or get some new ones and just slop the color around until you smile!

Big hugs and Mushy stuff my sweets!

If you would like to see the process of my owl check it out below!

- Shana Banana @wisccheeto

 

SING FOR ME A LITTLE

"The singer is the life of the soul
The sick man hears him and gets better…
And he clears away the darkness of night
Letting light into the eyes of the lovers
A little, a little” - “Ghannili Shway Shway” (Sing for Me A Little).

Have you ever started work on a project and for a variety of reasons it never finds its way to completion?  Perhaps you became too busy or had other commitments. Or, as I like to think, the time just wasn’t right for you to connect with the work. That’s the story of this collage.  Partially finished, I knew it needed something more. But what?

I found the photo of the Egyptian Lady included in a lot of postcards I purchased. Reminiscent of the haunting Lehnert & Landrock images I viewed in their shop in Cairo, I wish I knew more about her. How old was she? Where did she live in Egypt? Was she contented with her life? If only she could speak! I can’t think of Cairo without remembering the blissful feeling of being enveloped by music.  From the latest pop tunes to the classics, music filters through the frenetic streets from taxi cabs, apartments, markets, and cafes. It is the heart and soul of the city and its people. And one voice speaks for young and old alike: Oum Kolthoum. “The Star of the East” as she was known, Oum Kolthoum’s inimitable musical interpretations united the Arab world as Egypt declared her a national treasure. But her music reached far beyond, enthralling audiences around the globe. Regardless of nationality, those who heard her sing could see a little of themselves reflected in her passionate performances.

A favourite song of mine is “Ghannili Shway Shway” (Sing for Me A Little). It was Oum Kolthoum’s first hit and was featured in the 1945 film “Sallama”. The lyrics, forever timeless, pay tribute to the captivating power of song.

I started the collage by photocopying the postcard on to a piece of very thin white tissue paper. Taking sheets of watercolour paper, I soaked them overnight in a bath of tea with a touch of instant coffee. I was surprised, but happy to see the paper dried to a warm auburn hue. I printed the lyrics to the song in Arabic and tore the edges to give an uneven look. Because I was concerned about the ink bleeding when I attached the elements to my canvas, I sprayed them with a fixative. I was now ready for the moment of truth. I primed the canvas with gesso and attached the paper with lyrics first. There was minimal bleeding and good adhesion. I was hoping it would be the same with the tissue photocopy. I placed the paper in position and covered it with a light coat of matte medium. Luckily it didn’t tear and was translucent enough to allow the lyrics to show through.

I wanted a dramatic background. The perfect choice was Artistcellar’s Arabian Nights series.  Inspired by the star patterns of Arabic geometry is there any better way to celebrate the music of “The Star of the East”? I chose “Celestial” and added it to my collection of backgrounds in my Strathmore Mixed-Media journal beginning with sponging Rose Red acrylics and building layer upon layer as each dried. On aqua tissue I dabbed a variety of metallic acrylics through a stencil that reminded me of the windows in my hotel, evoking the blur of colour and light of an early Cairo morning.

Where inspiration left me the last time I worked on this collage I was now energized and ready to complete the image. The elements seem to fall into place. Where would the love of music and a beautiful song take this woman? I pictured her dreamily gazing at a view of feluccas on the Nile. Perhaps she was wondering what the future would bring, all the while waiting to wish on the first evening star.

I truly believe music, as well as art, have the power to unite us. Regardless of language or genre, one thing is constant. We all search to find our one special star in the night sky. And when we do, we rejoice in letting our light shine, reflected in the eyes of those we love.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

Wow this round was a big learning curve for me, but I am so excited with what I've learned and the confidence that was built after the experience. I haven't done a block print since my high school days and I graduated in 1997.  I will say this new speedy carve block is so much easier to carve than the old school linoleum blocks! The new speedball lino cutter is especially awesome too since you can store all of the blade tips inside the handle.

So let's take a look at my learning process so I can share with you what worked, what didn't and how to handicap your way around making things work with a few different programs and some creativity! I must admit design isn't one of my strong points even though I used to doodle all over my pages. Zentangle was a big help on figuring out some different design patterns to repeat for my block. I knew I was going to do an eye since eyes have been my obsession my entire life. I even sign my work with an eye next to it. I also love hearts and love, so a heart was going to be in the design as well. My signature eye has a swirl center so I used that style for my block. To start I grabbed a piece of paper and drew a rectangle the same size as the block so I knew how big my design needed to be.

As you can see from the first drawing the block design changed a few times before I settled on the final design. The first design wasn't quite it, the second design was too complex, and the 3rd drawing was just right! Next I outlined the drawing in black marker. Before I finished the other side of the drawing I had the amazing idea to take a photo, upload it into photoshop and mirror the image so that my design would line up more evenly.

As you can see the mirror messed up my swirl eye. I used the paintbrush tool in photoshop to fix up my image. I had just downloaded the program called inkscape that does image editing to use with my cricut machine so I used that program to refine my image and turn it into a vector image.

I just LOVE how the program smooths out all of the jaggedy lines and makes it look awesome! I aldo decided to do an inverted image to see if that would be easier to do for the block carving.

The lines looked easier with the first image so I went along with that taking care to carve out the white spaces instead of the black. Now how the heck to get this image transferred to the block?! I only have an inkjet printer not a laser jet that works for super awesome image transfers so I had to get creative. I tried to use alcohol on the block and press the marker inked image over it to transfer the image with little luck. I did some searching for help and found out you could run parchment paper through your printer and try to transfer the image that way. I taped parchment paper to cardstock and sent it through the printer. Hooray! I was able to get some ink on the parchment to transfer to the block! My first transfer didn't go so well and when I tried to remove the ink with  nail polish remover it smeared like this.

Well poop! This means I have one more chance to get it right so I could carve my block. So I flipped my block over and carefully tried again.

The image transferred, but it was so light. I took my marker and drew over the block to make the image easier to see for carving.

Next I went to work carving my block.

Oh man the block turned out so awesome! I did a test print with some pigment inks on  yupo paper.

If you haven't tried out this paper yet, its pretty awesome. I would say it's almost like using photo paper for art paper. The paper has a glossy finish to it and it does take a little while longer for it to dry since the inks seem to sit on top of the paper before being fully absorbed. Next I used some distress inks to do a few more prints.

I had an idea to do an awesome mandal a piece so I gessoed a piece of wood, water colored on top of it and then used my block to do some prints with inks on top.

Next I added some larger painted spots with some dina wakley paints in Fuchsia and Ocean. Here is the finished piece that I am calling "Infinite Possibilities".

What artistic hurdle have you overcome and how did is make your design stronger and build your confidence?

Love, light, and creativity,

Genea

Hello! Today is all about mixed media layers and inspiration from the Om symbol. 

I hope you enjoy the video I made as a result:

 

Supplies Used:

 

I've really enjoyed seeing what the other designers have created with Artistcellar's new Chakras 2 Series Stencils. Having these design in three different sizes really adds to their versatility.

Today I am bringing you a mini accordion book I created using the pocket size of the Chakras and the Chakras 2 series stencils.

Here's what I used for this book:

I first applied a thin layer of gesso with an old hotel key card to one side of my paper and let it dry. I then used a brayer to apply a few layers of Turquoise and Lime acrylic paint.

While the paint was still wet I put down the Surf stencil and used a baby wipe to wipe away the exposed paint, removed the stencil and let it dry.

As a final layer I put down the Brain Coral stencil and sprayed a light layer of the blue Dylusions Ink.

For the other side of the paper I put a single thin layer of black gesso applied with the old hotel key card. I cut this paper into four 3"x12" strips and accordion folded them. I attached each one to the other with a piece of washi tape. Tada! My finished accordion ready for some artistic content.

On a separate sheet of Strathmore paper I used a makeup sponge to apply Night paint to the Chakras pocket stencils and after they dried I cut them out and edged them with Inka Gold. I then glued them in my book leaving a black page between them. On the blank pages I used white paint to stencil the corresponding Chakras 2 series stencils and then wrote the names below and beside the symbol.

Our finished accordion is simple and informative. I hope you make time this week to create an accordion book of your own!

Hello and How Are You?

I hope you are doing swimmingly!

Today is all about getting in the ffffflllllloooooowwww with the 12x12 Water Series Stencils.

The tools I am using are:

First I experimented with rolling two colors of blue paint directly over the Sea Foam stencil.

Here’s the result (see below) after pulling up the stencil from the newsprint

Then I printed the wet stencil on another sheet of newsprint. (See below).

Next, I wanted to see a contrast of color, so I first rolled out some red and hot pink acrylic on newsprint. (See drops of paint prior to brayering below).

Oooh, la la, isn’t that beautiful!?

Then, I used a cosmetic wedge to dab the mix of blue and white paint over the red and pink background.

I made a print of the wet Surf stencil, and felt like trying some watercolor paint in between the blue lines.

Still feeling inspired by the contrast between pinks and blues, I rolled out some neon pink acrylic ink over the blue Sea Foam print from earlier.

If you are interested in learning more about ink, I have a NEW online class that starts on Friday, January 13, 2017. It’s called Ink and Oil Pastel, it’s only $20 USD, and it’s going to be so, so fun! More details here: http://www.orangespiralarts.com/my-blog/ink-and-oil-pastel.html

I do hope you’ll join in the mess making and artful experiments! See you in class

Blessings and Happy Creating to YOU!

-Briana

 

Hello my lovelies! Today I am sharing with you a sweet little piece I was inspired to make using the new Chakra 2 stencils! I used both the pocket size and the 6x6 sizes. I also used Dylusions ink sprays in a non-traditional way!

I had already been playing with these awesome stencils for a while and I had just finished using them in the traditional sense by spraying dylusions sprays through them, and me being me, I decided not to waste the spray left on the stencils. I reactivated the sprays by misting with water and I just smushed them onto my hot press watercolor paper making some awesomeness!

I then used a wet paint brush and the dirty stencils as a palette to paint this sweet relaxed  face along with the using 2 of the pocket stencils, Third eye and Throat. In my mind to symbolize speaking with empathy, trying to see how my words and actions will impact others for the new year, which is one of my resolutions every new year and these stencils inspired me to share it visually. 

If you would like to watch my process check out the video below!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff to you and Happy new year!

- Shana Bird

I had a creatively delightful start to 2017. I received an incredible box of Artistcellar inspiration. Included were the new Chakras 2 Series stencils.  They were impeccably timed.

As with many people I know, I am still trying to make sense of the events of 2016 and see a positive way forward for 2017. I believe this is the reason I was instantly drawn to stunning Sanskrit Om stencil.

If you have ever taken yoga class or tried to find out more about spirituality, I am sure you have heard the sound “Om”. I have read that many believe the resonant tone of Om is the vibration of creation. It is considered the first sound to come from silence.

The symbol of Om visually resembles the essence of Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god, with serpentine curves mimicking his body and trunk. Ganesha is the Lord of good fortune and auspicious beginnings.  But most importantly, he is considered the remover of spiritual and material obstacles. For me, Ganesha has always been a favourite deity. His story of perseverance and faith encouraged me to embrace the power to redefine the course of my life on many occasions.

Om is also a “seed” mantra and is related to the Third Eye the Sixth chakra. Exploring this chakra, your energy to "see" clearly is heightened. Looking at the stencil, you can't help but notice petals in the shape of wings as part of the design. The Third Eye renews our ability to view the world and ourselves with hope for the possibilities of life...allowing our spirit to soar.

And most importantly, your Third Eye is the window to experiencing the feelings of others from their perspective…to revive our ability to empathize with those we meet.

I couldn’t wait to start my next collage. I’ve had my eye on a beautiful piece of marbleized rice paper. It was waiting for the right project. And I knew this was it!

I lightly traced the Om and Third Eye stencils on to a page of my new Strathmore Watercolour Visual Journal and completed them using the Twinkling H20s paints and my ever handy Koi Water Brush. The finished effect was just as I had hoped…shimmering, rich colour in peaceful hues of indigo and violet.

I wanted to add straight edged elements to compliment the organic Om and Third Eye designs. I applied the same technique to a series of diamond shapes I had cut into Mylar sometime back. I decided to add the Traditional Japanese Ocean Waves stencil as well, taking it from my library of images safely kept in my Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal. Once everything was dry it was time to scan and build my collage.

I relaxed into working with the elements, allowing the serene sensation of mindfulness to wash over me. The collage came together quickly…almost as if each image knew where they would look best. The wings of the Third Eye allowed me to just go with it…to trust and create from a place of tranquility.

And there it was, my collage inspired by a series of synchronistic events: the release of the Artistcellar Chakra 2 Series and the arrival of the stencils and supplies at the time I needed them most. Perhaps 2017 will be a year of new beginnings… with Ganesha clearing the way, allowing our dreams to take flight.

Materials Used:

Hello beautiful souls,

OMG.. did we get some amazing new toys in our most recent Artistcellar box! Are you excited to follow up on my last art piece? I knew you'd be sitting by your computer eagerly awaiting the cliffhanger reveal. LOL. So without further adieu, may I present my most recent masterpiece, The Flower of Life Heart Chakra with Heart Chakra Sanskrit Center!

I used: 12x12 Flower of life stencilheart chakra stencil, and sanskrit anahata. I used the viva decor inka gold to really make anahata sing. Isn't it beautiful?!

Next up I wanted to play with the Japanese Geometric Series

so I did some little 4x6 water color cards. I used some red, orange, and yellow as the base colors, then shifted the order, used some distress inks for the stencils, and the sanskrit and outlined them in gold. I added some white ink for a lighter contrast with the halftone dots stencils. I didn't intend for it to look Christmasy, but it kind of looked snowy with the white ink. I called this series "SeaZens Greetings"

I wanted to create another one of my mirrors using the labyrinth series stencils, but this time I did it on black. I really dig how the colors look much more bold rather than pastel by changing the base color.

My MMM was in the studio with me again this time creating lots of layers with his piece. I took 3 shots to show the progress as his artwork changes so much with each step

Christian used the 12x12 star coral with some ranger texture paste.

Since I was feeling the mirror thing I was excited to do a chakra and sanskrit mirror series. I did a little paper template first to plan out my design.

I like to do a little template first to get the "design bugs" out before moving on to the finished product. Generally I tend to do some problem solving in this step and find this to be a helpful tool as not to "mess up" my final piece. I decided to use the 6x6 chakra series stencils and repeat the crown chakra stencil since my spacing involved 4 characters per mirror. I did the design so that the mirrors can be hung side by side and follow along the chakras in order :D I like organized design like that. I did the sanskrit in some gorgeous metallic gold paint marker to make the design pop. Could you totally see these in a yoga studio?!

I made so much art recently with the new batch of goodies I have to wait til the next blog to show you all just what a blast I had with the speedball lino cutter and speedy carve blocks we received. I learned so much about myself and design too, so stay tuned for next weeks blog!

Have a wonderful start to your new year and we will see you soon!

Love, peace, and art,

Genea

Hello Starshines!

This week I wanted to do something different and fun. I'm not working on paper or canvas I like I usually do! This time, it's all on a re-purposed vinyl record!

Ohhhh!

Grab a record... and note - it must be something you will never listen to -ever- again. Pick one that isn't your favorite, isn't worth much or is damaged. (Also, you can usually find these super cheap at thrift stores too!)

First, I used Dina Wakely acrylic paint in black to paint over the label on the record. Then I used modeling paste and a palette knife, to scrape through a 12 x 12 Artistcellar Stencil (This one is from the Sacred Geometry set - "Flower of Life") Once the modeling paste is dry, set the record on a circular metal base and start heating it up with your heat gun. As you do so, the record will melt and form a "bowl" shape around your base. 

From there, you can paint! I used Dina Wakely's "Ocean" and "Blackberry Violet" for this part, and then filled it in with some white highlights. 

To finish it off, I used my finger to add Inka Gold in Gold around the edges of the bowl.

Ta-Da!

Use it for anything and everything!

Here, I'm using it as a way to store my crystals.

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