Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Shhhhh, you hear that? No? That's okay because it's silence. At my house. The first day of school was this week and it was awesome (Yippee!!!!). All four of my darling daughters are in school now and for the next 6 weeks I will thoroughly enjoy all the silence before I return to school and begin teaching art again. One of the perks, I guess, at my school is the "specials" classes don't start right away so I have more time to prepare! And procrastinate!

While I was enjoying the silence and procrastinating my lesson planning I played with the new Labyrinth Series stencils from Artistcellar. These stencils are ah-may-zing and I have only tipped the iceberg on the creative possibilities!

I ended up creating four different greeting card designs and I am pleased with how unique they are from each other. My substrates are blank white smooth greeting cards by Strathmore. I found them in the depths of my stash. When using a supply (like these gorgeous stencils) for the first time I usually like to work with a smaller size paper and what's better than a blank greeting card!? That way, if I make something AWESOME, I can send it to someone and bring a little sunshine in their mailbox. Who doesn't love that?

Here is a list of the supplies I used and a peek into the process:

CARD #1

Using a random piece of painted deli paper from my stash I pasted it to the front of my card. (Use a clean brayer to really smooth it down!)

I chose the Crete stencil for this one and started with a layer of gesso and then I bumped the stencil over a smidge and did a layer of red. When that was all dry I put the stencil down again and traced all those lovely lines with a black pen. I just dig that off register look it makes.

It still needs text and I haven't decided yet what I want it to say. Suggestions welcome!(That stencil does look a bit like a brain here, don't you think? hahaha!)

CARD #2

This time I used the Chartres stencil with the crackle paste. I applied the paste in a thin layer with a palette knife. Be still my texture-lovin' heart! I was unsure how successful it would be since the lines in this stencil are smaller but the result was gorgeous!

After the crackle paste was fully dry because you don't want to ruin that lovely texture I applied a wash of Blackberry Violet and Night. Before it dried I gently wiped the paint from the crackle paste and then added a painterly layer of the same colors beneath it.

For the finishing touch I applied five lines of pearl dots with the Ice White Perle Pen. (You can make a big impact by repeating a simple element.)

I think of this card as a love letter to Texture. (Texture, how I love thee, Let me count the ways....) Just check out those little pearls!

CARD #3

(Let me start by saying that this card is not my favorite. I almost decided not to include it but the simple technique I used is so fun and wanted to share just in case it is new to you.)

Up next is the Gonzaga stencil! I grabbed Dina Wakley's brand of Gesso and applied it with a palette knife making sure not to smooth it too much because I wanted the texture (of course!).

When that was dry I grabbed a cosmetic sponge to apply some Ruby and Tangerine colors to the entire card. Then, with a baby wipe or lightly damp cloth, I wiped the paint from the gesso. (Dina's gesso is less matte than others I have used and it lends itself to this technique making the paint wipe easily from the surface.)

Now this is when things got a bit wonky. I grabbed my black pen and traced the design to make the maze stand out more. It was then it reminded me of Pac Man or other maze games. I used the Black Pearl Pen to make some shiny dots and then added some words in the center.

While I like the idea I think my execution was a bit messy. I also don't like my lettering. Sometimes hand lettering works and other times it doesn't. I'm going to type up my words, print it and glue it over my lettering. I think I will be happier with it then. Yay for creative solutions!!

CARD #4 (My favorite!!)

This one started with Distress Crayons. So smooth! So colorful! Don't be stingy with the color.

The crayons are water activated but instead of water I used Acrylic Glazing medium. I quickly added a layer to the surface of my card making sure not to make too many brush strokes as I spread the medium over all the crayon marks. Before that dried I put the Anasazi stencil down and with a baby wipe or damp cloth I wiped the color off. Let dry.

The shape the stencil left reminded me of a tree. I wanted some shimmer and applied a thin layer of  Inka Gold with a palette knife. (Inka Gold dries super fast!!)

I don't have pictures of a few steps because I kinda got in the zone. But here's a rundown of what I did next: Using the stencil again I added a light layer of paint and then, when dry, traced the stencil with a black pen. I added a heart with the Ruby paint color and when that was dry I applied Liquid Glass to it to make it shine. It's my favorite detail! I used a gold Pitt pen to make five layers of dots around the "tree" (I repeated a favorite element from a previous card!) and a slight border of red. Love.

I hope this inspires you to make some cards yourself and send some sunshine to your loved ones' mailboxes! Happy Creating!

Hello Everyone, 

Did you hear the great news? There is now a Labyrinth Series stencil set in the artistcellar shop! Yes, you read that right. My jaw dropped about a foot when I saw them! You’re going to fall in love with them, too!

Immediately, I thought of how awesome these Labyrinth stencils will be to use with the eight inch round Gelli Plate. So, let the experiments begin!

ANASAZI

The first Labyrinth stencil I grabbed is Anasazi. The design is really, really cool! The image I am sharing doesn’t do it justice, but I was only getting warmed up. That’s a good lesson for you to remember, too. You’ll need to warm up, just like an athlete, before you really get into the zone.

What you are seeing is the Lime and Lemon Dina Wakley paint printed over an initial orange Anasazi Labyrinth stencil print.

Moving right along . . . 

CHARTRES

Here I am using Blick Matte Acrylics in the following colors: Brilliant Magenta, Yellow Deep, and Sage Blue. I rolled out the paint with a soft rubber brayer. Then the Gelli Plate looked like this:

I placed the Chartres Labyrinth stencil on top and pulled a print.

Next, I removed the stencil from the plate and pulled a second print (the ghost print).

TIP: If you move quickly enough, sometimes you can pull a third print from the wet stencil you set to the side. If you use Golden OPEN acrylic paint, you have a longer working time. If you are using craft acrylic or student grade acrylic paint, you can mix a medium like Traci Bautista’s Collage Pauge with your paint as you roll it out on the Gelli Plate.

I tried another color combination and method of printing the Chartres Labyrinth stencil, too.

First I rolled out some orange and orange-red craft paint, and then pulled a print.

Next I placed the Chartres stencil on the pulled print. I mixed my own color using Dina Wakley’s Sky and Blackberry Violet heavy body acrylic paints.

Then with a cosmetic wedge, I dabbed the color over the stencil on top of that glorious orange circle.

Ta da!

GONZAGA

For the Gonzaga Labyrinth stencil, I tried yet another method of getting that stencil print.

I rolled out the Lime and Lemon Dina Wakley paints. I placed the Gonzaga stencil on the wet Gelli Plate. Then I used a cosmetic wedge to add a subtle color. I removed the stencil and pulled the print. Keep in mind all of these decisions are happening quickly because acrylic paint dries really fast! (As I mentioned earlier in this post, you can always add an extender medium, if you need a longer working time).

I tried to get an action shot for you, of me dabbing the color through the stencil on the Gelli Plate.

TIP: Some people like to put duct tape around the edges of their stencils to give them more room to apply paint to the outside edges of the stencil, without “messing up” beyond the stencil edge.

CRETE

As you can see, I love color, but something was calling me to make a black and white Crete Labyrinth print. I rolled out black acrylic paint onto the Gelli Plate and placed the Crete Labyrinth stencil on top.

With the stencil on the plate, I pulled a print.

Next I removed the stencil from the plate and pulled the ghost print.

I quickly went to the wet stencil and made a third print.

These two are my favorites from the black and white Crete Labyrinth prints.

SUMMARY

Hopefully you now have a number of ways to play with the NEW Labyrinth Series stencils. Here are three of the methods shown above:

  1. Put the stencil on the wet Gelli Plate, remove the stencil, and then pull a print
  2. Roll out some paint, place the stencil on the Gelli Plate, leave the stencil on the Gellli Plate, and pull a print.
  3. Roll out some paint, place the stencil on the Gelli Plate, and apply another color of paint through the stencil. Remove the stencil, and then pull a print.

I am sure as you play around, you will come up with even more ways!

TIP: Make notes on the back of your prints about paint used, and how you got that print. Since you are working fast, you may not always remember later! Trust me, I am speaking from experience.

Thank you for reading this post. Have fun!

If you’d like to learn more about color, I am a guest teacher in the upcoming 21 Secrets Color, Color, Color workshop series. Read all about it on my Orange Spiral Arts blog here

All of my best,

Briana

It feels like forever since I wrote for you my little squishy friends!

As you know I was able to go to Art Unraveled and play with stencils all day with the lovely Lisa and her daughter! Jealous? You should be, it was a blast! 

I do feel a bit guilty though! I didn't take any pictures while I was there, I was having so much fun playing with paints and stencils and the wonderful groups of creative people coming around to get some the awesome stencils, I didn't have time to walk around!

I have been a bit distracted for a bit, I have done some recording but not any editing, so I figured I would just load you up with a bunch of pages I have done in my journals using some of the stencils here at Artistcellar along with the Dina Wakley paints!

The 1st two I actually completed at Art Unraveled! I just used the pages to show people samples of how the stencils looked and I just continued to layer until I saw something that needed to come out!

I may actually come back to the lady in red. In the future she may need a background.

The 3rd and 4th pictures are pages that I haven't shared yet, I just love playing in my journal!

I think my favorite is the macaroni and cheese page, the very 1st time I saw the Commas stencil from the Marked Series I knew I had to do a Macaroni and Cheese page!

and the final page I did I wanted to challenge myself by doing a 2 tone spread; I like to do this because it makes me stop thinking so much! I love the Boy Genius stencil so much and I don't use it enough so I decided to use it as flowers in this one, along with a stencil from the Playful Pods series. The blue background I used stencils from Sacred Geometry 2, and you can see the X's from the Marked Series, I also used Tracks from the Marked Series for the fence!

Well I hope you like looking at a few of the pages I have done in the last 2 weeks!

Big hugs and Mushy stuff!!

- Shana Banana!

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"Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together…"  
Lesley Gore/Marvin Hamlisch, Composer

And who said crayons are just for kids?

Included in my most recent box of delight from Artistcellar was a set of Tim Holtz Distress Crayons.  And with names like Peacock Feathers, Twisted Citron, and especially Mermaid Lagoon I couldn’t wait to start using them.

I have long been a fan of the Tim Holtz line of Distress Inks. I love the wide range of colours and the deliciously descriptive names. The quality is always consistently high and I expected the same from the new line of Crayons. I was not disappointed.

Of late, I have been working with my metallic acrylics or watercolours. Receiving the Crayons was a good excuse to bring out the Distress Inks once again. Opening the box I keep them in was like opening a door and visiting with an old friend. The Tim Holtz line was my first purchase when I ventured into Mixed-Media. And what an adventure it has been!

A new addition to my supplies is a Strathmore Mixed-Media Journal – 300 Series. The compact size is perfect for working with my Artistcellar stencils. I am now well on my way to building a library of background images…all easy to find and in one place! Now if only I could get a Mineral Paper spiral bound notebook. That would be Nirvana!

I started my work on Strathmore Watercolour Artist Trading Cards. I chose to keep the colours warm and bright. I covered the card with a wash of Tim Holtz Spiced Marmalade Ink and flat Royal Langnickel watercolours using my Sakura Koi Waterbrush.  The waterbrush is a great tool to have in your collection. It saves time, can be taken on the road if you are an en plein aire artist, and can give you everything from a swath of colour to a thin line. It’s great!

With Journal in hand I chose my favourite Artcellar stencil series: Halftone Dots and Seafoam. I wasn’t sure which applicator would best compliment the crayons. I applied the colour with a natural sponge, cosmetic sponge and the Tim Holtz Blending Tool. The crayons are soft and it’s easy to transfer colour to your applicator.  When pushed through the stencil the natural sponge gave a spotty textured effect. The Blending Tool and cosmetic sponge were equally successful, giving me the soft gradated look I was after…all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

Getting out my Distress Inks was truly like visiting an old friend and reminiscing about happy times past at the start of my Mixed-Media journey.  This explains my choice of using this fashion photo from a 1950’s collage sheet. The women look so joyful…sharing a secret, spending time together, and capturing a moment that will stay with them forever. I am sure you have similar memories. Aren't we shaped and molded by the memories we hold closest to our hearts? And the friendships nurtured through the years are always the sweetest…like sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

MATERIALS USED:

 

Hello creative friends!

So maybe you remember these petals from my last blog post.

Well they have come a long way since then! So let's talk about this exciting new design I have created called the "Labyrinth Lotus". I had worked on some lotus petals for this design way back when I first started my mixed-media journey when I did the "Becoming Real" piece with the butterflies. I set the idea on the back burner as other ideas came up and finally got some time to revisit this design. 

First I created the center of the lotus with this honey comb texture using some: liquitex paint, Viva Decor Inka Gold, and some Dylusions Spray in Ground Coffee (even the name makes me want to go start my coffee pot and pour myself a cup)! 

Next I moved onto my petal designs. Here are a few photos of my previous petals (chakra series pocket stencils) so you can see how much they have evolved in my new design.

Here are a few photos from the process of the new "Labyrinth Lotus" petals. For my petals I did many different steps to the front and back of the petals. On the front side of the petals I color gradated them in 3 different colors with water colors and added some shimmer.

Next I applied the design using the Labyrinth Series Stencils (COMING SOON!) They are one of my VERY favorites and I would HIGHLY recommend them 😉 On the back side of the petals I used some distress crayons

to outline the petals and used the Viva Decor Inka Gold to give them some real shine.

When I mean shine, I mean SHINE! Just look at all of that luster from the gold, Yum!!

Next I attached the petals to the flower doing 3 layers. Here is the finished Lotus!

Since this lotus is SO SEXY I even made a video so you can see the layers of the flower! 

 

The most exciting thing about creating art is watching it evolve. This design really inspired me to keep dreaming of ways to make it even better! What's the next step? Well I started working on paper lantern string lights! Here you can see the start of the design.

Just look how large and detailed the petal is for this design. I can't wait to get this first light done so I can have an idea of how they will look! So I won't stop there! I already have a few more ideas. What's next after that? Well I bought one of these larger paper lampshades from Ikea

and I will make a large size light for a room, BUT.. I will need a few more tools for that project. Oh and I didn't stop there! So what could be bigger and better than that you may ask? Well how about a sculpture for Burning Man! Oh yeah, baby!! I am in the process of dreaming up a large scale design that hopefully 6 people will be able to climb inside. This is in the very early stages so all I can say now is how excited I am to have been connected with some other amazing artists that will help me make this dream come true. I think it will be one of the highest honors an artist could receive to not only create a sculpture that large, but to work on it with other artists, haul it out to the desert and let the masses enjoy your wondrous creation!

Let those creative dreams soar and see where they take you!

Much love, art, and bliss, Yours Always,

Genea

Hello again!  

Today, let's find inspiration in color and chakras, shall we?

So, I found some masking fluid this week and I was so excited to use it on a project. I grabbed a piece of matboard and the Artistcellar Diamond Series and Sacred Geometry 2 stencils. I used a stiff brush to apply masking fluid over the stencils. Once the masking fluid was completely dry, I painted over the entire board with Dye-Na-Flow in "Midnight Blue" and "Turquoise". Then, I removed the masking fluid to reveal the white board underneath. It turned out so cool!

On separate pieces of cardstock I used a palette knife and black modeling paste through the Artistcellar chakra stencils and then cut them out, painted over them with their corresponding color in watercolor, and then added some gold Viva Decor Inka Gold around the edges for a little extra pop. 

Next, I glued the cardstock chakras to my original matboard background and topped them with a gloss varnish because I want them to shine!

To finish it off, I added some dots to the background with Pearl-Pen in "Black" and "Ice White"

I just love how vibrant and bright the chakras are against a interesting and drippy background!​

 

Remember the delicious backgrounds I made when I was experimenting with Mineral paper? If not please check it out here. http://artistcellar.com/blogs/news/116207877-kirsten-has-fun-with-mineral-paper These canvases have been waiting patiently for the next step in their journey and this week I grabbed one, painted the edges black and got started.

Using various colors of Dina Wakley's yummy paints and the Marked series of stencils I created layer after layer on top of my original background. Doesn't this look divine? The transparency of the paint really makes the layering process fun and surprising.

I decided that I wanted the focal point to be an inspirational quote so I picked one of my favorites and used Photoshop to type it out and reverse it before I printed it using my laser printer.

After tearing it out I placed on my nonstick craft sheet and brushed a layer of gel medium on top (like I was buttering toast) and let it dry. Yep, I am making an image transfer! 

After the gel medium dried I peeled it off my craft sheet, soaked it in water and began to gently peel the white paper off. Gel medium image transfers are cooooool. 

While I was waiting for the gel medium to dry I painted a swatch of white on the canvas where I wanted my quote to go. By the time my image transfer was ready so was my canvas. I gently tore the edges of the image transfer down so it would fit within the white swatch and then, using gel medium, I glued the quote onto the canvas.

As a final detail, I used the x stencil from the Marked series to paint the edges of the the canvas.

I really like the final product and I am picking out quotes for the other small canvases. I hope you all will try this quick and easy technique to add text or designs to your art. Many thanks to my oldest daughter for being my hand model!

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Hello Lovely Creative Folks, I created a couple of things, using a lot of artistcellar products. I am so excited to share my playtime with you!

First, I am using the Virtues Words-Pocket Stencils.

There are four words, and I am using three of them: Faith, Hope, and Grace. Don’t those words just make you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside? With that feeling in mind, I created a greeting card.

I set the three virtue words of Faith, Hope, and Grace out on a blank card. Then I sprayed them twice; once with bubblegum pink Dylusions spray ink, then with Adirondack Sailboat Blue spray dye. See the photos below:

I rolled up the extra ink with some paper towels. (I learned that trick from a Dina Wakley video, I think). 

Next, I cleaned off the inked up stencils with a baby wipe on top of a blank page in my art journal. (I will be showing more on that in a minute.)

I set the journal aside to work on the greeting card. Note: I sort of worked on the card backward. It works okay to turn it inside out, but it’s not what I intended to do. Just a little heads up for you to NOT follow my example.

Alright, let’s pull out the NEW Distress Crayons by Tim Holtz.

The Distress Crayons say they are water-reactive, which they are. However, they didn’t do what I expected them to do, based on other water-soluble products I’ve used. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, because it’s good to have a variety of art supplies that do different things. Anyway, water-reactive is different from water-soluble, just FYI. To get the look I wanted, I added a little fluorescent red liquid watercolor by Blick.

I think it is at this point that I realized my card is backwards. (I should have worked on the right-hand side for it to be the front of the folded card). You know, sometimes art making is problem solving. I decided to decorate the inside, so that the card could be folded in or out. Ta Da! A joyful solution!

I have been eager to try the fine tip applicators that are made for the Dina Wakley heavy body paint tubes.

This is my first attempt at using them.

I had a few questions after I tried them, and thought this video by Dina Wakley on YouTube might be helpful for you, too:

“Dina Wakley Introduction to the Fine Tip Applicator”

I used some Dina Wakley paint and played with the Distress Crayons some more. (I kind of couldn’t leave the Distress Crayons alone. I really wanted to get the hang of using them, as I love bright colors!) Pictured below, the right-hand side is the new front of the card, if I choose to fold it that way.

Now back to the art journal page. Like I said, I really couldn’t leave those Distress Crayons alone.

Both the Distress Crayons and Dina Wakley paint have a really soft and smooth texture to them. You’ll have to try them yourself to understand what I mean. I really enjoyed spreading the yellow paint around with my fingers.

I finished things up with a little more color and paint to get this cheerful journal page!

In summary, there are sooooo many great supplies available at artistcellar.com.

I love the AC Pocket Stencils, the Dina Wakley paints, the spray inks, and the NEW Distress Crayons. I hope you feel inspired to give some of these awesome supplies a try in your card making, art journaling, or other mixed media projects! 

Blessings to You!

Briana from OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

 

 

Hello my Lovely little squish monkeys! What is a squish monkey? I have no clue, but doesn't it sound cute? Lol!

Guess what I get to do this weekend?! I get to meet the wonderful Lisa! I will be doing demos using the soon to be released stencils and old favorites for Art Unraveled here in Phoenix! I am so lucky! if you're around come and say hi!

Okay, so for today I planned on spending wonderfully laborious hours creating a journal page, I was very excited to get started using one of my favorite Stencils from the Water Series, Surf. But alas, the stencil made the page come together so quickly and too my liking that I spent only about 30 minutes creating the page!

I love how the page turned out and it is a perfect soothing page to be the 1st page to look at in my journal.

The page was very easy to do the 1st step was to grab my Adirondack spray, I held the stencil about an inch away from the page and sprayed the page. This creates the nice misty loose shape.

I then went in with the same spray and stencil and just used it on the bottom  of the page so that the detail of the stencil really showed.

I originally chose to use the Adirondack spray because I thought it wouldn't reactivate with water, but I was wrong. It actually worked in my favor though! I grabbed my Dina Wakley paint in Lapis and finger painted the upper half of the page, creating and uneven layer of paint, the color ended up being full of depth because the paint reactivated the spray.

I then went in white and created clouds in my sky and used the lapis and white in the water and created this wonderful page that is complete on its own, I am so happy with the simplicity of this page!

Thank you Artistcellar for this awesome stencil!

Big hugs and Mushy stuff!! 

- Shana Banana

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

"Simply Art" Art Journal Tutorial featuring Artiscellar stencil

“Fashion is Art and You are the Canvas!” – Velvet Paper

Fashion truly is Art! From Haute Couture to Prêt-à-Porter the designer
escorts us through their passionate journey.  Colour, form, and
pattern: our shared tools of the trade inspire them to make their
concepts tangible. And how heartening it is to be wrapped in someone’s
dream!

When my Artistcellar box arrived in the mail I couldn’t wait to
experiment with the Marked Series Stencils. With circles, X’s, and an
interlocked ladder the graphic feel made me think of Mid-Century
Modern art and interior design. And I was in luck: my Artistcellar
treasure trove also contained Dylusion Bubble Gum Pink Ink Spray and
Dina Wakley Lemon and Lime acrylics. The stencil pattern and my
acrylic colours were perfect for taking me back to the time of
Bakelite telephones and the Camel cigarette man wafting smoke rings
across Times Square from his billboard.

I wanted to start with the background. I went to a new page in my
Strathmore Mixed-Media Visual Journal. The ladder stencil and Dina’s
Lemon acrylic came first. Slowly, I built up the layers using each
stencil in the collection and a variety of acrylics. Then came time to
throw caution to the wind! I grabbed my Dylusion Bubble Gum Pink ink
and sprayed away. I loved the hot pink colour, mopped up a bit with my
sponge and pushed it through the stencil. I really was pleased with
the effect and will be adding it to my favored techniques. I completed
the background with Punchinella, Artistcellar Halftone Dots Stencils
and metallic acrylic.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the fact that the
Artistcellar stencils hold up to anything I throw at, or push through
them. Clean up leaves them in perfect condition ready for my next
project.

Now that I had my background ready, and my colours were just as
vibrant as they were wet, I knew the focal point needed to be just as
bold. I am a great fan of black and white fashion photography of the
1950’s. I chose a photo of a woman, head titled back, with eyes
slightly closed. What was she dreaming about… Perhaps a great
adventure? And who would accompany her? And most of all, what clothing
would she pack! I thought of the Bakelite phone…and the phone book she
would peruse. To the left of the work you will see a page which I
infused with bee’s wax.

This is what I love about Art. We have so many ways to express what
comes from deep within us. With so many tools at our disposal we are
only limited by our imaginations. By sharing what is essential to us
we give it life, and hopefully nurture the spark in others.

So the next time you put on that favourite piece of clothing, just
think…you are the canvas helping to make a designers soul immortal!

MATERIALS USED: 

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