Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
Do you have any stencils in your collection that you have not used yet? Oh my, can I relate! We simply have our go to favorites, right? I would like to put out an unofficial challenge to you. Look through your collection, grab a stencil you have yet to try, and make something. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you want to play along, you can use the following hashtag on Instagram, #artistcellarstencilchallenge. It will be so fun to see what you come up with! (And if you don’t have any unused stencils, maybe it’s time to buy some new ones from artistcellar! A brilliant excuse for purchasing new supplies, don’t you think?)
Here’s what I did with my unused stencil. It’s from the Coral Series, 12 x 12 set, called Star Coral. I adore circles, so I am surprised I have not used this one yet. I am so excited to give it a try!
First of all, I love the 12 x 12 stencils artistcellar carries. They are made in the USA; they are sturdy, and well designed.
I am working on a large 12 x 18 sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper, as I will eventually cut this up to create Mail Art postcards.
When I first started with my stencil on my paper, I thought I might do the cosmetic wedge and paint technique for application.
I quickly realized that this would take forever and a day, so I put on my thinking cap. Aha! I could use a foam roller!
I found this faster application of acrylic paint much more satisfying.
I appreciate seeing the variation in texture from the sponge roller. (See above)
Next, I flipped the paper over and scraped some new paint I purchased at Michaels. It’s called Color Shift, by FolkArt. It has kind of a smell to it, so if you are smell sensitive, you may not approve.
However, that color sure is pretty!
So, I rinsed the sponge roller, squeezed out the excess water, and applied a new color of acrylic paint over the color shift paint.
But first, with the stencil on top, you can see how the color shift paint is red on the top, and sort of pink on the bottom. OOOH AAAAH! I just had to show you!
I rolled out a periwinkle blue acrylic paint with a wet sponge roller. It looked like this.
Then I used the best invention for using with stencils, a baby wipe.
When you use a baby wipe over stencils, you clean your stencils and fill in new areas on your paper simultaneously. It’s the best!
When I lifted the stencil off, it didn’t look like much. No worries, as this is just a background for more scribbles, collage, and pen doodles to come!
I flipped my paper back over and added some colorful scraped paint stripes.
Finally, I added magenta and greens.
Now I have two sides painted and ready for crayon scribbles, random collage, and pen doodles.
If you are in the USA, you want your postcards to be at least 3 ½ in. x 5 in., and no larger than 4 ¼ in. x 6 in. There is also a thickness restriction, but the 140 lb. watercolor paper meets the limit. When in doubt, add extra postage, or go to your local post office to see what they require.
I am off to turn this paper into Mail Art, and then I will post pictures to our artistcellar stencil challenge hashtag over on Instagram. Remember, your creation does not need to be anything fancy. Simply make something with a stencil you have yet to use. See you over on Instagram at the hashtag #artistcellarstencilchallenge.
All of my best,
Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com
“As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.” – Charlie Chaplin
Valentine’s Day has arrived, flinging open the door to love. But when jotting down names on your Valentine card list, did you add yourself?
An article published in a local holistic magazine titled “Self-Love” caught my eye. Drawn from the wisdom of Charlie Chaplin, the article was inspiring as well as thought provoking. So often we think of others and their needs before our own. Shouldn’t self-love, or if you prefer to call it self-care, be part of our daily nurturing practice? Isn’t getting to know our authentic selves the best gift we can give to others? What is wrong with falling in love with ourselves?
I have once again decided to study Tarot. I have added Tarot to my “when I have the time” list for many years. Taking the lead from the article, I decided to make a journal as a gift…and maybe a physical prompt…for myself.
I really love the small journals currently on sale. This little book manufactured by C.R. Gibson and is similar to others I have altered. For me, journaling is more about note taking, list making and snippet saving. Similar to the other journals, the book has small folder attached to the back cover. It’s perfect for hiding away little bits of ephemera.
The cover is dusky blue faux leather. I lightly sanded it and the applied a thin coat of gesso. When dried I attached a piece of rubber stamped tea stained paper with matte medium. I have been experimenting with a variety of stamp inks, dyes and paper. I decided against using the paper covered in wax as I wanted to try hand colouring the image.
My choice of stencils was an easy one. I masked out part of Steampunk Lace stencil. It fit perfectly at the corner of the cover. Echoing the Tarot card, The Wheel of Fortune, it will be a constant reminder of karma and the fluidity of life. I built the colour with layers of Dylusions Paints and Spray using brushes, a sponge and paper towels.
Surrounding the stencil and stamped image with swabbed and splattered paint, I was nearly finished. I added the words “Carpe Diem” created from the same paper as the woman’s face. I coloured the woman’s eye and lips with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and a brush, giving the image a bit of shine.
This Valentine’s Day…and every day of the year…be kind and loving to yourself. It’s the best way to share and honor your own truth and live authentically. Simply fall in love with you!
Hello beautiful souls,
Sometimes you just need some new clothes because you are tired of the same old stuff, that and you have not found a style out there like something you could make yourself. I bought this t-shirt with the intention to paint on it for Christian and finally got to it. I started out with the star and cross stencil for my glow-in-the-dark layer. I will admit this is the HARDEST layer to see since it's almost transparent. I did 2 layers of fabric paints to make sure I had a nice solid glowing layer. I checked my progress with a black light to make sure I didn't have a week blurry looking layer. I also botched getting the design even an I didn't end on the box shape of the stencil so I have one extra line on the right side of the shirt (Oops!). I also had to repeat the stencil 3 times to make the back design to finish the block shape.
Next I used the Metatron's cube stencil with black paint since it's the central design for the shirt.
I used tape to secure the stencil and keep it from shifting as I worked. I wanted to accent some more symbols on the shirt so I chose the pocket chakra stencils. I laid out a few designs to see how I wanted to use the chakras and decided I wanted the root chakra in the center of the cube.
Here is the finished shirt design.
I wish I could have gotten a better photo of how awesome the shirt glows, but you can kind of get the idea here.
How do you keep your wardrobe exciting by making art?
Love, light, and creativity,
This week I've been super busy, I launched my first ever solo online class called "The Magic Forest". After all the excitement, I decided to continue working in my Magic Forest journal for this project.
Today, I'm going to be using:
To start, I used a Artistcellar Arabian Nights stencil with Adirondack color wash spray. Then, I spritzed the Dylusions spray a few times and let it drip.
Now, we can start layering collage. For this, I used e6000 glue. It's extremely sticky, but it's tough. Since this collage is thicker than normal, matte medium won't be the best choice for it.
After gluing the collage, I used black pens and acrylic paint to doodle and add splatters.
Then, I applied the Ice Stickles Glitter Glue. The orange peel is AMAZING because it's both orange but with green glitter. It fits in well with the green in my photograph! Then, to finish it all off, I used the Artistcellar Diamond Series stencil with Gold leaf adhesive. When the adhesive had turned clear, I put a sheet of gold leaf on top and used a dry brush to move the excess.
Ta-da! I LOVE THIS PAGE! It fits right in with my Magic Forest journal.
Speaking of, if you would like to join - the classroom is open now! You can sign up here, (and don't forget to check the description for a early bird special!) http://bit.ly/
This week's project is inspired by a mantra that I have been saying to my elementary students more and more in art class.
Progress, not Perfection
The younger students are still filled with the wonders of being creative and don't get hung up on perfection. They are excited to try new things and love their results no matter what. I have noticed that starting in 3rd and 4th grade the doubts start creeping in and they are more and more unwilling to take risks and do something they don't already know how to do. There is much discussion on having a mindset that allows them to grow and that making mistakes is part of that growth. I try to make my classroom a space where they don't feel like I am constantly judging or comparing them to their classmates. I found myself repeating "Progress, not Perfection" over and over throughout the day and found most students began to relax and feel proud of the work they are doing right now.
How true this is for all of us. The act of creation does come with feelings of vulnerability and when we start to compare our NOW with others' NOW it can be daunting. When my students see my project examples they proclaim that they want their art to have that same quality. I remind them that I have been creating for over 30 years and if they put the time in to work on their craft they will improve but they do not need to be perfect now. I want them to try their best and make it their goal to have each project improve in some way from the previous one.
I wanted to make this mantra into a permanent art piece to hang in my classroom so my students (and myself!) can be reminded that progress is the goal right now, not perfection.
I found a canvas in my studio that had a start of a background made from various printed papers. I don't care too much for the prints now but the subtle texture from the papers will be a nice foundation.
While that dried I pulled out my collection of chipboard letters (from my scrapbookin' days!) and spelled out my mantra. When the molding paste was dry I used regular gel matte medium to glue the letters in place in the center-ish of my canvas. I carefully flipped my canvas face down on my non-stick craft mat and placed heavy beanbags in the center and edges of the canvas to make sure the surface was flat to the table to as the gel medium dries everything stays flat.
When I was sure everything was dry it was time to give the entire surface a coat of paint and I chose Night from Dina Wakley Media. Again, wait for paint to dry. I then used a piece of sandpaper (a fine-ish grit) to sand off the paint from the surface of the letters and some from the perimeter of the canvas where I put the modeling paste with the stencils. This step really helps the raised surfaces stand out from the background.
After brushing off the dust from the sanding I used Ocean and Evergreen paints to give some color to the canvas but not the lettering. As a finishing touch I painted the outside edges of the canvas red.
Ta-Da! I love the way it turned out and look forward to displaying it in my classroom.
Have a creative week!
Love is in the air, and I don’t mean only for those who are in a relationship, married, or partnered. There are all kinds of ways to love and be loved. In fact, self-love is huge in my book. It’s the foundation for which we make room (in our lives, in our hearts) to allow in love from other people.
I am one who believes in the power of love. I believe in the power of giving and receiving kindness. I most certainly believe in the healing power of art.
So, let’s make some hand-painted and stenciled paper to use as the foundation for handmade valentines. Create them for yourself, for your friends, your neighbors, your family, etc. The world can always use a little more vibrant color, light, and love from you. Let’s begin.
Dribble paints on your watercolor paper. (I used a variety of pinks, reds, and white).
Spread paint with a wide brush. (Enjoy the wonderful colors that appear before your eyes!)
Place a stencil or two on the wet paint. Use a baby wipe or damp paper towel to remove the paint through the stencil.
Continue using a variety of stencils, removing paint through the stencil.
TIP: If the paint is getting too dry, you can spritz plain water through the stencil, and then wipe away the paint.
Get out those spray inks and stencils!
TIP: For a crisper image, hold the spray ink further away from your paper.
(The closer you are, the wetter and more blurred the end result appears.
The image below shows too much spray ink, sprayed too close to the paper. It’s a learning process, and I am still learning. It’s okay if you are, too.)
TIP: After you’ve sprayed the ink over the stencil, use a paper towel roll to soak up the extra ink. (I learned this from Dina Wakley or Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.)
I had an absolute love affair with this Dylusions “Cherry Pie” Ink Spray. The color is just sooooooooooo delicious.
Add the Heart Chakra stencil in bright green.
Once your background paper has dried, use a heart template or paper punch to cut out your valentines.
Hand them out, mail them as a surprise, put them in your art journal, etc., etc. The possibilities go on and on! Be sure to save at least one for yourself.
I had a blast making this background paper. I am so grateful for artistcellar and other makers of quality art supplies. We need to play, enjoy color, and express ourselves. We need to give and receive love. If Valentine’s Day is hard for you, please be kind to yourself.
You are worthy. You are loveable, and you are loved.
May it be so.
Blessings to you,
Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com
“Many people think that patience is a sign of weakness. I think this is a mistake. It is anger that is a sign of weakness, whereas patience is a sign of strength.” - Dalai Lama
Life of late has taken a turn in a not so wonderful direction. I appreciate we are often challenged by circumstances beyond our control. I am also aware that with Life’s every twist and turn there is something to learn. I think the lesson for me, here and now, is Patience.
Last year I created a series of Prayer Flags. They still fly on the pergola. Seeing them inspires me to embrace serenity mindfully. And their comforting cues usually do the job. I wanted to add another chiffon flag. This time I wanted to feature the virtue of Patience.
Finding solace in Art, it was a relief to gather up my supplies gets started. The first step was to prep the cardboard base. Because of the weight of the chiffon, just a light coat of repositional adhesive was needed. I rolled the fabric on to the cardboard and smoothed out the few air bubbles I found. I started work with a new stencil series recently added to my collection: Artistcellar Steampunk! It was the perfect choice…a pattern of gears and dials reminded me of clocks and the need to allow life to unfold at its own pace. Not mine.
I placed the Apparatus stencil on an angle and when dried flipped it to continue the pattern across the flag. The Steampunk Lace stencil fell beautifully into place just above the border. If you are like me, you find that certain stencils quickly become favourites. They are the ones that allow your creativity to fly. The Steampunk Series certainly falls into this category for me. And even with the many cut outs, the stencils cleaned up in a flash, not requiring me to exercise patience. I have found that Artistcellar stencils are sturdy enough to take frequent applications of paint and cleanings. This is so important to me. I gravitate to supplies that I don’t have to baby. They let me to focus on the creation of my work.
I have also been falling in love with the Ranger series of Dylusions Paints. If you haven’t tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing. The tubs have a wide mouth which makes it easy to dip in your brush, or as in my case, a natural sponge. But what I love the most is the way they hold the vibrant colour, even on something as sheer as chiffon. I can’t wait to see my flag flying next to the Prayer Flags. But that requires patience.
I threw caution to the wind for the rest of the design and added the colours and stencils as they came to hand. The final piece of the design was the word that inspired it all: Patience. It was now ready to sew on to the dowel and add a string.
I take refuge in the fact that all things pass…the great, the good, as well as the dreadful. And I hope my gentle reminder floating from the pergola brings comfort on the days when the strength of patience is truly what I need.
Hello beautiful souls,
Have you ever dug through things you've made and decided they needed a makeover? That is what I did with one of my older coffee cup and coffee bead glass art frames I made awhile back. I decided this piece needed to be refreshed. I took out a piece of watercolor paper and made some measurements to make sure I covered the right area for inside of the frame's view.
Next I did a layer of watercolors and shimmer water colors.
I wanted to do something super simple and liked the way the half-tone dots stencils stacked and looked like gobstoppers with their layers. I picked this shape for my frame since I wanted to repeat the dots like on the coffee cup. I also chose the same colors along with a few extras for the design. First I used the largest sized dot stencil and did my layer of lime green.
I didn't want to waste my extra paint so I used a smaller watercolor piece to use up the extra and save for another project. Next I did aqua with the next smaller dot stencil.
Then dark violet with the next smallest.
I finished with the smallest dot stencil and magenta dots.
A simple enough design, but a little something to spruce up the old frame design. Here is the finished frame.
There were just a few rays of sunlight left so I ran outside to catch them before the sun went down.
What pieces of your art have you re-made into new works?
Love, light, and art,
Currently, a year long journaling/tarot class called Pull Pen Paint is well underway! I'm excited to be one of the guest teachers - but also excited to be a student as well.
I wanted to create a fun insert in my journal. This particular journal is a little strange - I made it myself and added in elastic so I could have a "travelers journal" feel to go along with it.
Today, I'm making a fabric insert using ink sprays and Artistcellar stencils!
Hello Creatives! Here is a quick project for you this week. Are you a fan of Zentangles? I admit I wasn't familiar with them until recently when I researched them for an art lesson for my elementary students. (I'm an art teacher by day and it is pretty fun!) Go ahead and do a quick Google search and feast your eyes on the all the amazing patterns people have created. I find this drawing practice to be relaxing and a great way to improve my drawing skills. My students got a lot of fine motor skills practice with their Zentangle projects! It was quite satisfying to them to fill their papers with patterns and the end results were impressive and they were very proud of themselves!
Grab an Artistcellar stencil that has a larger pattern and use your favorite black pen (like a thin nib Faber-Castell Pitt Pen) to trace the design onto a smooth drawing or Bristol paper. Now you are ready to fill each section with a different pattern!
I hope this inspires you to try something new with your stencils! Happy creating!