A Black and White Stenciled Art Journal

The artists on the design team at Artistcellar have challenged each other to come up with a project that is only in black and white.  Whew!  That is quite a challenge for me as I have been using so much color for the past couple of years.  I decided to make an art journal with a black and white cover using two different stencils.

To begin I folded a large sheet of water color paper to make a small book and taped the open ends with black and white tissue tape.

  I stamped one of Dyan Reaveley’s ladies on a separate piece of paper and cut it out.  I glued it to the front of the book with a strong adhesive.   Next I used one of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s stencils called Blazonry.  I laid this across the top to begin with and used a dauber to pounce the Memento LUXE Espresso Truffle ink onto the paper.

When the ink was dry I chose one of the stencils from the Coral Series and spread gesso randomly all over the cover of the book.

I stamped a phrase from the Stampers Anonymous collection on a piece of scrap paper.  After tearing the edges I distressed them with the Espresso Truffle ink.  The black mat is cut from card stock a little larger than the phrase piece.  They are glued together and them mounted on the book with pop dots.  Three holes were punched on the fold and a piece of black waxed twine was threaded through the holes and tied in a bow.  The edges were distressed with the Espresso Truffle ink as well to frame it.

This was a quick art journal to make, it didn’t take more than 20 minutes.  The key is to fold little books like this in advance and have them waiting for you to decorate.  Thanks for stopping by today and my thanks to my design team friends for thinking of this challenge.  It was definitely outside of my comfort zone!

Hugs~ Renee xx


Roamin’ in black and white

sept 1 h
Happy Monday! For you in the USA – Happy Labor Day! (“Funny” story…8 years ago I was in labor on Labor Day.  Yes, the kid is a witty one.)

This week the Design Team challenged ourselves with creating in only black and white.  It was really a challenge for me because I lovvve color.  However, I’ve always been intrigued by artwork that uses minimum color and a lot of white space.  So I tried an art journal page.  As you can see, I couldn’t just stick with black and white.  If you have any artwork with a black/white/gray color palette, please provide a link! I’d love to see it.

“The journey will always happen…glorious stuff” – that’s what the highlighted blackout poetry states.

Art supplies used for art journal page
Art Journal by Strathmore in 9×12
Aboriginal stencil by Balzer Designs
Blazonry stencil by Balzer Designs
Derwent Inktense Blocks
white pen like the Sakura or Uniball

Sept 1 a
Step 1 – Applied gesso.  After it dried,  I used the Aboriginal stencil with silver sparkle paint for the background.  I was going for gray but this came out shiny silver.  The camera doesn’t pick it up but it’s shiny.

sept 1 b
Step 2 – Black paint with the Blazonry stencil.  Next time I’m picking up art supplies, I will spend a little for a quality black paint. Then I outlined with red Derwent block.

sept 1 z
Step 3 – I added the train embellishment and an ATC of blackout poetry.  Again, this one says, “The journey will always happen…glorious stuff.”
Click here for previous post on blackout poetry.

sept 1 c
Step 4 – The feathery looking pieces were created by writing intentions on a sheet, flipping over to outline with the Blazonry stencil on back, cutting out, outlining with red Derwent crayon, and gluing.

Marking with X’s

Here it is…the last Friday of August already! Can you believe it?

For this week,my inspiration came from Artistcellar Design Team member, Sarah Trumpp. Sarah has an awesome painting series on YouTube and this one,                                      24 of 50 Canvases in 2014: Torn Tissue Paper Mixed Media Speed Painting   was the video that sparked my muse and kicked my inspiration into gear. Thank you Sarah!

The first thing I did was coat a hardboard substrate with black gesso-

post 003 (3)While the gesso is drying, I pull out an assortment of colored tissue papers and started stenciling Lynn Krawczyk’s X‘s stencil from her Marked Series.

post 004 (3)I stenciled X’s over all the colored tissue papers using just Black & White acrylic paint. After that I tore the papers into strips and adhered them to the board with Golden gel medium.

post 005 (2) post 006 (2) At this point I also added a few other pieces of ephemera to the substrate and waited for the gel medium to dry. The design looked a bit too bold for me,so I toned it down with some white gesso.

post 008 (2)Next, I also used the Comma Stencil from Lynn’s Marked Series – Laying the stencil down I wiped away the gesso from the Comma‘s to give me the negative on the substrate.

post 009 (2)

On a separate piece of Mulberry paper , I added a stamp with black ink and then colored in the stamp with watercolor markers. After tearing the edges it was glued onto the center of the piece with gel medium.post 011 (2)And lastly, I add a few more small pieces of ephemera and my stamped phrase-

Expand your horizons your imagination will follow

and we’ll call this a wrap!


post 010 (2) Thanks so much for joining me again today!!

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend- and hope to see you next week!

Jackie “)



The POIRE Series

This week I’ve been immersed in painting pears.  So fun!  So easy!  Lemons or pineapples or apples may be next…???

I wanted to share with you how I use artistcellar  stencils for further interest and embellishments on my pieces!

Shall we?


Played around with a background, then added AC’s mini cubist stencil on one piece and Lynn K’s “o” stencil from the AC Signature Series.  I used gesso for my stenciled images.

pear3 pear4

Working on lights and darks in these photos…got my stencil ZING going on:)

pear5 pear6

Final phase.  Really liking the effect of the stenciled images on these.  I’m glad I used gesso as well…nice resist.


The assembly line!  Three of 12 or so I have going on in the POIRE series!  Got to give a shout out to ROBERT BURRIDGE for his examples on this technique…too bad he didn’t have the AC stencils

Now I must paint more POIRES!

Au revoir!

Theresa Plas

Studio 48 Tango LLC

Sushi Night

Last week I was talking to a couple of my closest friends about my oldest son’s trip to California a few years ago which led to an obsession with sushi and a necessity to learn to make it.  This revelation led to the creation of Tuesday Night Sushi Night, a night to hang out, drink too much wine, eat too much sushi, and talk too much trash.  Perfect.  Also perfect art journal fodder!

I started with a page that had some left over stencil prints from printing with my Gelli Plate and traced a circle.

sushi night 1I then used Silks glaze in Key Lime to cover the rest of the page.  So transparent and sparkly!

sushi night 2

To emulate my rice, I used the Microbial stencil and Transparent Brown Iron Oxide Golden acrylic paint.  My weird stomach appreciates brown rice!

sushi night 3

I started the center of the sushi roll with random globs of paint.  Seriously, I just globbed it on.  Sort of how I make actual sushi.

sushi night 4

I used the Bodacious Pods stencil and a wet paper towel to remove paint and make the center look less globby.

sushi night 5And then added fluorescent pink paint because everything is better with fluorescent pink paint.

sushi night 6

These are all colors that give my camera an identity crisis.

To finish my sushi roll I outlined the whole thing in dark green paint…

sushi night 7

and then doodled around in the middle with a Uniball Signo gel pen.

sushi night 8

To finish the page and make it look less like a glob of globs in the middle of a glob (again, how I make sushi), I added some flair with Silks glaze in Pink Azalea.

sushi night 9

and then gave it some wordage.

sushi night 10

Since I use my art journal primarily as a place to capture moments I want to remember, this seemed like a perfect thing to document.  The fact that it is on the opposite/back side of my Robin Williams page really speaks to my need for balance.  Sometimes there is sorrow and sometimes there is joy, and both things should be embraced for what they are.

sushi night 11

Thank whatever gods are watching that my rolls look better than this

Now I’m going to go sleep off all of that wine.  See you next week!

Pocket Stencils Have Powerful Words!

I am using my Pocket Stencils today to create some impact on a canvas.  Artistcellar has tiny stencils called Pocket Stencils that measure 3 1/2″ by 2 1/2″.  The stencils I chose to use today are from two different packets of four called “Virtues Words” and “Creative Words”.  Each stencil does fit perfectly on an ATC but in this project I’m using them on a canvas that measures 12″ by 4″.  Here is what my finished project looks like.

I began by applying a thin layer of gesso to the blank canvas with an old credit card, scraping off the excess.  When the gesso was completely dry I painted 2″ lines of DWM acrylic paints.  I started with Ruby Red.

Then I added Tangerine Orange and Lemon Yellow lines.  With each color I tried to drag just a touch of the previous color down using a baby wipe.

I continued with Lime, Turquoise, Lapis and Lapis mixed with Berry Violet and White.

When the paint was dry I started applying the words using my stencils and some gesso.  I tried to apply the gesso carefully since I wanted the lines to be clean and legible.  I had to allow the gesso time to dry between each word so I didn’t smudge my work along the way.

When all the words were dry I inked the edge of the canvas with StazOn Midnight Blue.  Now I just need to put a small metal hanger on the back and it is ready to go.

Thanks for joining me today.  I’ll be back next Tuesday with more stenciling ideas to try.  In the meantime, enjoy what is left of summer.  I noticed today some of the local orchards have opened for apple picking.  Amazing!  Pie time.  Take care ~ Renee xx

Vase of Tumbling Pods

August 25 a

Happy Monday! (last Monday in August, makes me very sad as I lovvvve summer)
I really dig layering canvases.  I did it here on Ninja Seek and I’m doing it again today.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Art Supplies Used

Constellation 8.5×11 stencil by Artistcellar
Sunny Compass Rose stencil by Jill K Berry
Tumbling Pods by Chris Cozen
Inka Gold in steel blue
Dylusions ink spray in london blue and funky fuschia
Chunky 6 inch canvas (2 inches deep)
3 mini canvases
oscillococcinum bottle (homeopathic medicine for sickness)
fabric tape

Aug 25 b
Step 1
After prepping the chunky canvas with gesso, I sprayed on the london blue using the awesome Constellation stencil.

Aug 25 d
Step 2
Then added the gorgeous Inka Gold on top.

Aug 25 f
Step 3
After gluing the mini canvases together with heavy gel and painting them yellow, I added the Sunny Compass with molding paste.

Aug 25 g
Step 4
To make the Tumbling Pods, first I painted watercolor paper, then sprayed it with the fuschia from far away to guarantee the speckles.  Next, I applied Inka Gold with a rubber glove to the Tumbling Pod stencil and cut out them out.

Aug 25 h
Step 5
Anyone ever try this homeopathic medicine when feeling under the weather?  The tiny bottle holds tiny pellets.  As you know, I’m into upcycling and these bottles are so cute.  I covered it with this tape made from fabric, it’s like a washi tape upgrade.  Then I took floral wire and wrapped around a paint brush to get the spring look for the stems.  Lastly, I hot glued the pods to the wire and glued the mini canvases to the big one.

A little vase of pods just for you!


Inktense and Frida

Hello Friday viewers!

I’d like to say I have tons of photos for you, but – I don’t!

The reason for this is because, ever since I opened my Inktense Blocks from Artistcellar- I have been all over with them! I get started sketching and painting- and totally flake about taking photos!   A true artist at work??   “)

I have challenged myself by using the blocks to draw and paint with, and not using pencil and eraser- and it has really been rewarding for me!                                                           As with last weeks post, I have been creating with the Derwent Inktense Blocks - inspired by my  favorite  artists-                                                                                                               This week is Frida Kahlo-  who is truly, one of the most-talented artists and courageous women I have ever learned aboutfollow the link if you are curious for more

DSCN9865This first photo is the beginning of my Frida- I was goofing around on a piece of cardstock , hence the fold in the center “(  then later added her to my journal-

A few things I discovered while using the Inktense:

1.) the little smudger sticks work great along side the blocks,both for blending and for removing color                                                                                                                      2.) gesso is great for an undercoat as it allows color to be removed when necessary       3.) babywipes work great for removing Inktense color!

DSCN9911This second photo is my finished version after I glued the cardstock down. I also added more color as well as some stamping to the outside of the page and added flowers to Frida’s hair-

I did spray the whole piece with a matte sealer so the Inktense would not rub off, and in case you already noticed, yes, I did cheat and add gold paint to the picture for Frida’s earrings!

These next two photos are beginnings of another Frida journal spread  i am working on…. with,you guessed it! Inktense Blocks!


I would encourage you to step out of that comfort zone and give something that      “scares” you a try- Art related please!

Thanks for coming by and be sure to visit me on my blog-  http://www.creatingwithoutcolor-jackiepneal.com

Please Pass the Gelatos…again

Happy Thursday Peeps!  I had to do more playing with GELATOs – as in Faber-Castell creamy water soluable get sticks – as in my post from last week…Because there are times when Once is Not Enough!

Here’s the Dream Team:



Journal page Before:


Add some Orange Gelato – scribble it on – then blend with a wet brush if you wish:


Feel free to experiment with other shades – layering colors is encouraged:



Perhaps an outline?


View from different angles:




Ain’t Art Great????


Theresa Plas

Studio 48 Tango LLC


Subtle Watercolor Resist with Artistcellar Stencils

Hidey-Ho Neighboreenos!

OMG you guys, I am seriously seriously SERIOUSLY excited about this discovery.  Look what happens when you mix stenciled Golden regular gel gloss medium…


with watercolor washes:

watercolor8HOLY CRAB BANANAS.  I am seriously so psyched.  Practically hyperventilating.  PHEW.

I went into this project in experimentation mode, not having any idea whether or not it would even work (and, of course, not bothering to TEST it or anything, like a sane person would).  I grabbed a watercolor block and a pencil, sketched out a quick face, and then started stenciling.

I used gel medium (regular gloss gel, in case you forgot already) through the Bodacious Pods stencil and Xs.  Of course I used Xs.  I’m OBSESSED.  WHATEVER.  Clear medium on white paper is, not surprisingly, very hard to photograph.  I bumped up the contrast in hopes of actually being able to see something.  You get the general idea, though.



Once that was dry, I laid down my first watercolor wash…


You can see in the drips where the gel medium is already starting to resist the pigment.


I was excited to see that this might actually WORK, so, once that layer dried (watercolor.  SO time consuming), I laid in my next layer and watched the magic start to happen in earnest.




I love how subtle it is.  Even better, my next layer kept the subtlety and made it more fabulous.


I am seriously giddy at this point.  GIDDY.  I’m sitting here waiting for the red to dry so that I can add more layers, but LOOK.


Those little subtle stenciled details are really turning my crank.  This is only layer three of about 50, and I’m sure the stencils are just going to get cooler and cooler as time and layers go on.

If you’re curious to see where this ends up, I’ll be posting the video on my Youtube channel as part of my 50 Canvases in 2014 challenge tomorrow!

GO GO! Splash some paint around!  See you next week!