Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello !

Right now I'm gearing up for a show in December so I'm in the phase of hoarding ALL THE ART.

Because of this, I'm painting primarily on canvas nowadays. (Though I miss my art journal so!) 

So today I'm working on an 8 x 8 wood canvas. Wood canvases are my FAVORITE for working with any kind of mixed media or just acrylic paint.

I started with a layer of clear gesso to prime the surface. Then, I picked out colors that I love in acrylic paint and started adding color randomly to the canvas. Since I picked out the colors beforehand, I know I'm going to love everything I put down and I can work intuitively and not have to put as much thought into it. This spur of the moment creativity is my favorite.

In-between layers I dried it with my heat gun. For a bubbly, grungy effect I also purposely had the heat gun too hot and too close to the surface.

Along with acrylics, I'm also mixing in acrylic mists and letting them drip.

Next, I used an Artistcellar Sacred Geometry 2 stencil with DecoArt Media Mister, and when that dried I painted in some of the gold leaf adhesive. After about 15 minutes the adhesive went from a milky color to clear and I was able to do the gold leafing! 

Gold leafing is a bit scary for me because I'm not used to it and it's really different for me but I love the experimentation of new supplies. 

What is a supply that is scary for you? I challenge you to incorporate it into your work this week!

Supplies Used:

I've enjoyed making my own collage papers lately and I've only used paper, stencils and paint. I decided I wanted to make more interesting textures for my collages but this time I decided to leave the paper on the shelf and only use acrylic paint, gloss medium and stencils. The result is called an acrylic skin. They are super fun to create because the outcomes can be equally unpredictable and fabulous. Please know that this is a drawn out process with lots of drying time. Let's get started!

Here's what I used:

The reason I used page protectors to build my layers on is so I can peel off the "skin" when it is dried. I made sure to slip in a sheet of white cardstock to give the page protector more stability and to better see the colors of the paint.

The first layer is stencils and gesso or paint with the goal to create various designs and textures. Use a palette knife to scrape the gesso or paint through the stencils. Let dry. Clean your stencils right away!

The next layer is paint mixed with a gloss gel medium. I like to use a couple colors so I can get fun color mixing effects. You could also use a matte gel medium if you want to mute your colors. The choice is yours! I just squeezed the paint and medium right on top of the dried gesso layer. Use a palette knife to gently spread around the paint and it should be thick, like spreading peanut butter on bread. You could do a thinner layer but the resulting skin will be easily stretched and wrinkled, which could be a fun texture! A thicker layer will take longer to dry but will be more sturdy and thus easier to cut into shapes when using it in your collage. When using your palette knife go slowly so you don't over mix your colors because those variations will give you stunning results!

Now comes the difficult part, letting everything dry again. If you do this at the beginning of the day then set your creations outside in the sun and let it help expedite the process. I would not recommend using a heat gun because of how it could affect the page protectors. I did this in the evening thinking I would wake up to beautifully dried skins ready to use. I was mistaken, a few were almost dry but others needed more time so I set them outside and went about my day. I checked on them in the late afternoon and they were ready to carefully peel off the protectors. The results were awesome and I can't wait to use them. I am thinking an abstract collage would be fun!

Do not store these on top of each other as they will stick to each other. If you used matte gel medium there should be minimal stickiness. There are some quirks to this process but it is fun to experiment. I encourage you to search the internet for more inspiration, tips and tricks. Have a creative week!

You may have heard the saying, “Makers gonna make.” As much as I love the idea of handmade items, I often freeze up when it’s time to actually create gifts for the holidays. Since it’s still November, I am giving myself a little wiggle room by experimenting early. That equals less pressure and more time to play! Hooray!

Today I am sharing an idea for creating collaged tags. They can serve as gift tags or become a bookmark. The choice is yours!

Supplies Used:

Step 1:

Place the Gera stencil under the newsprint. Use a felt-tipped marker in dark blue to color over the stencil. Then use a large red crayon to color over the marker.

Note: The stencil is still underneath the newsprint

You’ll end up with something like this:

Step 2:

Use shipping tags or cardstock as your base for the collage.

Spend some time laying out the tags to measure how many will fit inside the area that you previously colored.

Step 3:

Look through old books for interesting words or imagery. You will find some great options at your local thrift store or library book sale.

Step 4:

Measure and cut out the first layer from the initial stencil rubbing paper you created on newsprint.

Step 5:

Glue the first layer onto your tag base. Use scissors to trim around the edges.

Use an awl to recreate the hole, if desired.

Step 6:

Find some images from an old book, and cut them to size.  Play around with where they might sit on the tag once glued down.

Step 7:

TIP: Check both sides of the old book page images you cut, and decide which side you like best. I happened to like the backside better on two of the images I cut out. You never know!

Step 8:

Glue everything into position.

Now you have some awesome and amazing tags! Well done!

I hope you have a blast making your tags!

Sending Blessings to you!

-Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

Hello lovely lovelies!

Want to know my favorite part of being creative? It's when I can create something for someone that makes them smile.

This week I want to share a piece I have created for my friend Pan. She is a wonderful person who recently lost a beloved Newfoundland named Misha.

Because Misha was camera shy there weren't really any good pictures of her face so I volunteered to make some art of Misha.

To create this I decided to use my favorite medium - my Koi watercolors on hotpress watercolor paper. I love how I can layer the koi colors and how bold they are. Since most of Misha's face is black I really needed to use layers of color to create some highlights to give structure. I also went in with my white gel pen to create the illusion of fur. 

And then to add more fun and interest I always grab my artistcellar stencils in this case I used my Jill Berry texture series to finish up the piece.

I really hope my friend Pan enjoys this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Big hugs and mushies to you!

Shana banana

Words matter, and the right words matter most of all. In the end they’re all that remain of us.” – John Birmingham

I relish layering in artwork…colour on texture on paper on ink on paint. You never know what the outcome will be, but the journey can be enough. And as much as I love surprises in the visual arts, I also love words. They too can carry you on an elaborate voyage of discovery…with twists and turns as you search for just the right word.

For my next project I primed illustration board with gesso and attached an old dictionary page. When dry, I covered the center with a mixture of Splendid Gold acrylic that I thinned with glazing liquid. I surrounded the gold with Bubble Gum Dylusion Spray that I brushed on. The spray colours are great and hold their hue regardless of the surface they are painted on, or how they are applied. I wouldn’t be without them. My next step was to rubber stamp. I chose both a typewriter and calligraphic stamp and a dye ink to minimize bleed.

Some time ago I added Quentin Matsys’ painting “The Money Changer and His Wife” to my collection of paper bits and pieces. It was in a newspaper and I really liked the saturated colour on the newsprint. I chose to use only the woman and her open book in the collage.

With such a variety of designs it is can be a challenge to choose just one Artistcellar stencil. I decided to start with the Quilt. This stencil comes in two sizes, which allows so much freedom when planning your work. The Pocket Stencil was the perfect size for my collage, and what a wonderful foil for Quasicrystal Infra. Large or small, Artistcellar stencils are instrumental when you are looking to give your work a unique edge. You’ll always find just the right one for your project. I continued layering the stencils, with the final image as you see here, surrounding the woman with letters and words. Will she find the right ones to narrate her story?

Finding just the “right one”…be it an image, a colour, or a word can be perplexing. But what a marvelous feeling of accomplishment when you do! And sharing the right word layered with the right sentiment is an incredible way to immortalize the sweet story of our lives.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

Do you ever have a theme that starts in your work and continues to surface in each of your new creations? For me one of the recurring images that shows up in my work is the Chartres Labyrinth. I  fell in love with this intricate pattern back when I made one of my first "labyrinth lotus" designs. I used Chartres to adorn the petals of my lotus.

Next I created my little 4x6 mixed-media cards and since I loved the design I did with my favorite colors (lime green, aqua, and teal) you see the design again.

I had so much fun with the labyrinth series stencils I did some layering on these mirrors.

It surfaced again as the patterns on my sacred heart for my "Love Winds the Infinite Machine" piece, and then it morphed into jewelry with my shrink plastic pendants and necklaces.

My self-portrait piece that is still in the process of being finished.

I recently got sucked back into Chartres for the most recent shrink plastic necklace designs I created for our regional area Burning Man event in Wichita, Kansas, Resonance. I created some gifts to hand out at the burn and decided to make glittery feathers since those are basically a sin to take to burns since they leave what is called "moop" (matter out of place). One of the 10 principals of Burning Man is "Leave no Trace". Since glitter falls off and feathers shed from boa's and costumes they are frowned upon in the community and bring up lots of heated arguments. So my fun way of making light of such a triggered subject was to make feathers and glitter "happen" by creating my feather necklaces. You can read the full backstory on my blog here.

Of course I am always refining my designs and making each one better until I feel they have reached their "perfect state" so naturally once you do one design you keep getting ideas for more. I started out more simple and then kept getting more and more intricate. I did a Chartres labyrinth feather as one of the first feathers with a pattern and expanded from there.

Next I went on to creating feathers with the Chakra 1 and Chakra 2 pocket stencils.

They were so freaking awesome I had to do a sacred geometry series, so I used the sacred geometry  and sacred geometry 2 stencils as well. I even did a special release on my Instagram.

What recurring theme works it's way into your art?

Love, light, and creativity,

xoxo Genea

Hello again everyone!

This week I opted to work on my Artistcellar project at a favorite local coffee shop! Frank and David joined me, and while they played a game of Magic the Gathering, I sipped coffee and arted to my heart's content.  It's really fun to create art in places other than my own home - not only was I able to spend time with friends, but it also sparked conversation with a stranger as well. 

It's no secret I'm -always- inspired by poetry. I'm working with my beloved mineral paper, watercolors, colored pencils and Artistcellar Quasicrystals and Sacred Geometry 2 stencils to create a simple yet beautiful mandala poetry piece.

I started with a poem I love by Nayyirah Waheed (an absolute favorite!) and built around that idea with colors and textures. From stencils to dripping watercolor, I intuitively built it up until I had something I liked. 

This was one of my first attempts at colored pencils on the mineral paper. I tried it after all the watercolor had a chance to totally dry. I will say my final verdict is it's not my favorite - but I don't hate it, either. I think I might like it for smaller details, and to stick to watercolor on the fill in's. Like in the flower petals! 

Either way, I'm really happy with my final piece. It was simple and meditative, yet it's fun to look at too. 

Where do you like to go to create art outside of your home/studio?

Making my own collage papers is one of my favorite things! I have talked about this process before but this time I have tweaked it a bit and I am excited to show you my results! It's a super easy process and I hope you are inspired to make your own.

Here is what I used:

I use three or four layers for my papers. The first layer is usually a solid color but this time I used a brush with some super black Chinese Ink and painted some graphic patterns and written script.

This is the tweak I mentioned earlier. I wanted to incorporate some personal marks to make my paper more authentic to my artistic style. Using my own handwriting and hand-created lines creates a personalized collage paper unique to me beyond the stencil patterns I chose. Please do not stress about your handwriting thinking it is not "good enough" because that IS NOT TRUE! Your handwriting is unique to you and what better way to immerse your mark into a piece of art you create. 

When the ink has dried then it is time to get stenciling! I usually add 2-3 stencil layers and I like to let the paint dry before I add the next layer. If I find the paper is getting too busy I use white as a final layer to tone things down.

And that's it! Easy peasy and beautifully textured with a personal touch. I hope you find time to create some handmade collage papers and incorporate your own marks and handwriting into them!

It’s nearly my birthday, and I want to have some FUN! So, I decided to use some awesome supplies from artistcellar to create a sign to hang on my art studio wall, as a loving reminder.

Supplies Used:

Step 1:

Gather your supplies.

Step 2:

Apply the Dylusions Blendable Acrylic paint through the Sea Foam stencil in a way that pleases you.

Step 3:

Remove the stencil and take a look at what you’ve got so far.

Step 4:

Look around your studio for some painted papers or some scrapbook paper.

Hand-cut the letters F-U-N.

TIP: The N can be tricky. I usually have to draw it out the correct way before my brain can process what it looks like backwards. Usually I draw the letter on the backside of the paper, backwards, so that when I cut it out, it’s the correct orientation. With the N, I just cut inside my lines on the front of the paper. That helped me have more fun!

(See how tricky N can be??!!)

Step 5:

Enhance your letters in some way to help them stand out from the background. I chose to color in some oval shapes, using markers.

Step 6:

Hang your FUN sign on your studio wall and smile each time you glance at it!

Sending You Blessings for More Fun!

 -Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“Letter writing is an excellent way of slowing down this lunatic helter-skelter universe long enough to gather one’s thoughts.” – Nick Bantock

If you are like me, you are not averse to peeking into a trash can now and again…without shame! Collage and mixed-media artists all know the unsung wastepaper basket can be an absolute treasure trove. It was in a receptacle of wonder that I found the discarded interoffice envelope I used as the heart of my next Artistcellar project.

The envelope was still intact. Originally used to communicate between workplace departments, with a bit of creativity I could turn it into a place to hold new notes and letters. And so the work began by brushing Ruby, Blushing and Lemon Dina Wakley Acrylics directly on to the envelope. To keep the colours transparent I mixed the paint with glazing liquid. It is wonderful to add to your paint, allowing you to get just the right amount of transparency for your art.

I covered a shipping tag with Vibrant Orange Dylusion Paint. When dry I stamped on a Gibson Girl image with dye ink. It was now ready to place. I hooked the cord around the red tab at the top and glued the tag in place. The pen nibs at the bottom of the envelope were added with stamp pad ink…just the image for the new purpose of this envelope.

I decided to try my hand at making Washi Tape. Laying a few lengths of first aid surgical tape to wax and freezer paper, I wanted to see which would be a better substrate when I started my stenciling. Both worked well. So if you are out of one or the other, you can still create your own tape. Using the Artistcellar Open Work Block I stenciled in various shades of Dina Wakley acrylics, highlighting with touches of gold. The colours held true and dried quickly. Tearing the tape was easy and gave me the finished look I was after.

I continued adding elements as they came to hand…more Artistcellar stencils (of course!), crayon scribbles, printed paper, and even a penciled inscription. I threaded ribbon though the already drilled holes. Tied at the back, it secures my new enclosures with a bit of inspiration.

Slowing down is always a good idea. I agree that we do have a helter-skelter universe, now more than ever. But taking time to see the wonders of the world around you restores the sanity of creativity. And isn’t this a fantastic quality to share through the written word?

MATERIALS USED:

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