Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” - Marcus Aurelius

Returning to my prayer flags seems especially timely. Viewing the events of the last few days has been emotionally exhausting. But a quiet place to reflect and dwell on the beauty around us is always found when I begin any art project. For my next flag I selected the Eternal Knot from the Artistcellar Tibet Series.

The interlacing design of the knot is found in many cultures. It represents the concept of duality and the search for the interweaving of qualities of wisdom and empathy, as well as femininity and masculinity. The ultimate objective is to acquire the necessary stability to allow us a clearer path to enlightenment.

I couldn’t wait to stat the project. This time I decided to use a heavier 100% cotton duck fabric. I wasn’t sure how the acrylics would work, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the results. The colours are vibrant and blend as I intended. The heavier weight also made the flag easier to adhere to the card I sprayed with adhesive.

To compliment the Knot I selected the Shooting Stars and Celestial stencils from the Artistcellar Arabian Nights series. What could be more inspiring than observing the sky at night? Working with various shades of blue and green, colours traditionally representing unity and balance, I enveloped the shooting stars with a grand blanket of the cosmos. The flag was finished with a selection of multicoloured Halftone Dots and Diamonds. As in life, it’s the compliment of colours that unites and enhances the entire composition.

I, as well as many of my friends, have experienced great dismay at the world events surrounding us. Sometimes we opt to step back as a way to make sense of the insanity. But there are moments when we need to make our voices heard. Beauty in life includes thoughts and actions. I choose to focus on the people who in my mind are the stars. They are the brave that shine. They speak their mind with wisdom and empathy. They are the stars I aspire to run with.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

I am so excited about this post since I have been on such a roll with art since my new 4x6 pieces I did for first Friday.  I started out working on this piece from a 4x6 piece I used to save some of my dylusions ink sprays from the back side of my stencil. There was so much ink that would be wasted so I used some 4x6 pieces of watercolor paper I had to pick up the excess inks. I used to kind of not like this stuff because it does pick up the back layer when you try to paint over it, but when I did these next pieces it really was just perfect and now I kind of want ALL of the dylusion ink sprays, lol.  

Here are the 4x6's I used as a base with the Buddha eyes stencil.

I used the dylusions "ground coffee". I started out by filling in some of the white spots with water colors using a dabbing motion to softly add color. I used 3 different purples and then topped them with 3 purple distress inks and the flower of life stencil.  After that I did some drips down the piece using water from my paint brush rinse jar. As you can see the drips and layers of stencils look awesome already!

Next I used the celestial stencil from the Arabian Nights series with some white ink to create some ghostly layers. Now to brighten up those eyes with some aqua blue.

Then to finish it off I added all of the fine details with some metallic gold paint penned in the pupils of the eyes, the swirl in the middle of the face and on the forehead. I added a few drips of gold since my gold pen leaked when I was outlining some details. Oops! This is mixed-media art so we just call that a "happy little accident" and add things to make it look like it was intended. I finished off the design with a few doodles in black.

Here is the finished piece.

I was so freaking excited with this piece! I just love all of the layers and details. I love how the ink, distress inks, and water colors have such pretty translucent layers. I was so excited about the 4x6 I just HAD to try making a shrink plastic pendant to match!

Here is the pendant before I shrunk it down. I love that you can get a feel for the layers in such a small piece. The piece is about 2.5" before it shrinks down to about 28mm.

Here is how it looks tiny size. So awesome! I even turned it into a necklace and took these necklaces with me to first Friday.

You can see it here with its other friends.

I also made another 4x6 with the other print I had, but I  decided to make this one more masculine feeling. I used reds, oranges, yellows, golds, and blacks with a white ghost layer and the star & cross stencil since it was chunkier.

I am really in love with this one too!

I can't wait to show you what I have in store for my next post. There are just so many elements to the design it needs its own post.

Do your one of a kind designs turn into a series?

Love, light, and creativity,

Genea

Greetings Everyone!

I don’t know about you, but I am a paper addict. I love to paint my own paper, print on paper, and make rubbings on paper. I use this paper in my art journal, on handmade cards, or in various mixed media collages.

Today I would like to share a fun technique that may help you reuse some of your favorite catalogs. One of my favorite catalogs is by Paper Source. (If you’ve never been to Paper Source, you’re missing out!) The paper in their catalog is a nice weight, and it is not glossy.

Step 1:

Loosely apply gesso on both sides (to prevent curling) of a page torn from a catalog. Let dry completely.

Step 2:

Gather your supplies:

Step 3:

Place a stencil underneath your catalog page.

Use an oil pastel to create a texture rubbing. The Crayola Oil Pastels are great because they are inexpensive, and they are a larger size.

Step 4:

Apply Dye-Na-Flow with a paintbrush.

(I chose to paint loosely on only parts of the page.)

TIP: The oil pastel does get on your brush a bit, so be prepared to rinse it out before dipping back into your liquid color jar.

Another couple of reasons to use the Crayola Oil Pastels set of 28:

They are nontoxic.

The colors are great, and included are gold and silver!

I hope you enjoyed this mixed media tutorial on creating your own collage papers. Have tons of fun!

Blessings and Peace,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

Hello Everyone!

I am so happy that you are here reading this blog post. Something that I feel passionate about is staying interested, curious, and present with my creative process. For me, this looks like trying new techniques and playing with new supplies.

For today’s post, I will be using the following SUPPLIES:

Let’s Begin

I am working on an easel where I’ve set a drawing board.

I clipped the Star and Cross stencil to the drawing board.

Next, I pulled out a few colors of Dylusions Spray Inks. Caution: Sometimes the nozzle gets clogged and the spray goes where you don’t intend it to go! My solution to this problem is to expect that as a possibility and remove things I don’t want to get sprayed.

Using a water-soluble graphite stick by Pacific Arc, I scribbled inside the stencil. This felt very satisfying to do.

Now, I am ready to remove the stencil and add more layers of graphite marks and watercolor paint.

I’d like to say something here about items you may deem as “precious” or “too ‘cool’ to use.” I have experienced this feeling many times. Now, I am getting to the point where I think, “Why not use it? There’s always more cool stuff to discover.” How do you feel about using your “special” items? I am curious to know how others process this dilemma.

So, I just kept playing with the graphite stick and watercolor paint. I rotated my paper. I stood far away, and got close up.

Pictured below is where I decided to stop. As a mixed media artist, I often end up tearing my painted papers to use in collage. I am not sure the fate of this one. For now, I like it whole.

In Summary

I hope this post inspires you to use some of your “precious” items.

May you explore with some new art supplies, so the creative process feels fun and exciting. May you stay curious and interested, as you play.

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

 

Hello Art Makers,

I hope this post finds you well. I’d like to share a secret about myself. I feel like I rarely finish a piece of art to a stage of completion. Some of that is because I create for the process of it, rather than the product. I am an expressive artist, not a fine artist. However, I do want to create a finished piece here and there. Can any of you relate to this dilemma?

To push myself a little, I decided to take a random piece of pre-painted deli paper to see if I could turn it into a more completed art journal page.

First, I chose the amazing “Star and Cross” artistcellar stencil from the Arabian Nights set. Next, I chose a paint color that inspired me. It was the Dylusions Blendable Acrylic in “Bubblegum Pink.”

When I opened the container, the paint was much soupier than I had expected. I nearly dumped it all over the place. A word of CAUTION, “Be careful when you open your paint!” I know from watching Julie Fei-Fan Balzer videos that the trick to getting a lovely stencil print is to dab off a bunch of paint before applying it to the stencil. I was feeling a little rebellious though, so some of the soupy paint snuck underneath. Am I crushed by this? Nah. It’s no big deal. Sometimes being messy with your art is quite fun!

TA DA! I love this hot pink on top of the gray-green and yellow.

Now, comes the part of turning painted paper into something else, like an art journal page.

I grabbed my Strathmore Visual Journal, a paint scraper, and some Apple Barrel acrylic paint in two shades of green.

Once the green paint was on and sort of dry, I reached for the good ol’ Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish. I tore strips of the pre-painted and stenciled deli paper and set them in place on my journal page.

I put medium under each strip, one at a time, and also spread the excess on top of the deli paper strips. I used the paint scraper to remove the air bubbles. I also chose to wrap the strips around the top and bottom edges of the page, so there is a bit visible when you flip to the next page in the journal.

I recently purchased an alphabet stamp set designed by Everything Art, put out by PaperArtsy.

I was eager to try these stamps, but felt a little confused by the packaging. The letters were all connected by a tab, and also had a sticky side. Guess what? It wasn’t that hard to figure it out once I just dove in and tried something. I snipped the letters apart and found the taps actually quite useful for placement on the page, as well as when I went to put the stamps back on the packaging. (The gray part is somewhat sticky, and that’s what keeps the stamps in place on the glossy paper packaging).

Since I’ve been feeling overwhelmed a lot lately, I decided to put the calming word, “Breathe” on my art journal page.

Now, when I flip through this journal and come across this page, I may pause and breathe.

May you also pause to breathe.

Did you know there are entire programs just on re-teaching adults how to breathe? It’s true! Anyway, thank you for witnessing my creative process. I hope you learned something or felt inspired to try something new!

And remember . . . .

Blessings and Peace to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

“Through art we can change the world.” - David Sandum

I’m sure you’ll agree…the world is going through some extremely tough times. And as strange as this may sound, when things seem just a little too intense for me I enjoy wandering through a supermarket. My local A&P was always a favourite. And when I moved to England my supermarket of choice was Morrisons. Regardless of the location, the ambiance was reassuringly identical and delightfully soothing. Is it the orderly rows of merchandise, the bright colours of the packaging, or even the Muzak that charms me? I really don’t have an answer. I just know I enjoy wandering, most of the time aimlessly, through the aisles. I guess you could call it my version of “retail therapy”.

Searching through my collection of ephemera for inspiration, my eye caught a vintage image of a woman pushing her overflowing cart. Like me, she had to be an A&P shopper. There was the clue.  My favorite: Eight O’clock Coffee…the original DIY lovers’ coffee…ground to your own specification in the machine conveniently placed in the aisle. I wanted to place the woman on a background that would scream “SALE!!” I took another look at one of my favourite stencils, Artistcellar’s “Celestial” from the Arabian Nights series. I built two versions on heavy white paper using a variety of colours. In the end I had two distinct looks. I decided to use the lighter, brighter one as a background.  Having an assortment of choices at my fingertips so quickly and easily is the hallmark of Artistcellar products.

Working wholly conventionally this time I cut and glued my photos, text and sections from handwritten shopping lists I “procured” from a parking lot to the card. Creating this way was just as therapeutic as my supermarket stroll!

Soon the finished piece will be on its way to Twitter Art Exhibit. Founder David Sandum began the project in 2010 using social media and global public engagement to generate income for charities and nonprofits. Artists donate postcard sized work to #TAE for sale. At an exhibition the art is sold. The chosen organization receives 100% of the proceeds.

This year TAE17 is supporting Molly Olly’s Wishes in Stratford upon Avon, UK. The organization compassionately assists children with terminal or life threatening illnesses and their families. Their goal is to help maintain emotional wellbeing for those undergoing extremely difficult times. My challenges in no way compare to those facing these children and their families.  But my hope is that with my card we can share a smile and the relaxation of my supermarket meanderings.

Why not spread the healing spirit of Artistcellar? There is still time to enter as registration closes on February 24th. Your postcard must be in the hands of #TAE17 no later than March 17th. For more information follow this link: http://twitterartexhibit.org/

As artists, inspiration surrounds us…even in the most unlikely places…such as a supermarket. But with our unique brand of creativity that we can change the world…one postcard at a time.

MATERIALS USED:

  • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: ARABIAN NIGHTS – CELESTIAL
  • ACRYLIC PAINT
  • REEVES: Rose Red
  • CRAFTSMART: Sea Mist Pearl
  • DECO ART: Peacock Pearl, Champagne Gold, Sunny Day
  • PLAID FOLK ART: Sunflower, Inca God, Bright Red, Amethyst
  • 90lb WHITE POSTCARD PAPER
  • VINTAGE & CONTEMPORARY ADS
  • FOUND SHOPPING LISTS

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:

Greetings to You!

I am just a weeeeeee bit excited to share my new love with you today.

Do you all know about the 8.5 x 11 inch Arabian Nights Series Stencils available here at artistcellar?

There are so many things I love about these stencils. First of all, the 8.5 x 11 inch stencil size is perfect for the 8 x 10 inch gel printing plate by Gelli Arts. Second of all, the designs of the Arabian Nights Series stencils are fabulous! I didn’t print all of them, but they each have these wonderful open spaces, and gelli printing with them is a pure joy!

To play along, here are the supplies you’ll need:

GETTING STARTED AND SETTING UP

TIP: Set your Gelli Plate on a smooth, non-porous surface, such as a piece of glass, a Teflon sheet or baking tray

I am right-handed so I set up my work space as follows:

Gelli Plate in the center
Paint above Gelli Plate or to the left of Gelli Plate
Soft rubber brayer to the left of Gelli Plate
Roll off paper to the right of the Gelli Plate (consider stacking several papers)
TIP: Always place your brayer on its back (roller side up) when not in use
Column paper pad within reach
Stencils out of packaging and within reach

BASIC STEPS

  1. Choose two colors of acrylic paint and roll them out on the Gelli Plate
  2. Choose a stencil and place on the Gelli Plate
  3. Place paper over stencil and use hands or brayer to press
  4. Lift paper and see the magic!
  5. Vary these steps in any way that delights you, and keep printing!

SHOW AND TELL

First I rolled out yellow and white paint and printed that on the paper. Next I rolled out blue paint, added the stencil, then printed a second layer on the same paper. (There was a short amount of drying time in between).

Next, I put a piece of deli paper on the Gelli Plate to pull a “ghost print”, a print without adding any paint to the Gelli Plate. (See below).

This is the deli paper on the Gelli Plate. (The deli paper already had a yellow print on it).

This is the result of the ghost print on the deli paper once it was lifted off the Gelli Plate.

What you are seeing here is rolled out charcoal gray and periwinkle paint with the Arabian Nights Celestial stencil on top of the Gelli Plate. The paper goes on top.

Roll over the paper with your brayer to create the print.

Lift the paper and see what you created!

Ta Da!

See below for a closer look.

There’s still wet paint to print with, both on the Gelli Plate, and on the stencil removed from the Gelli Plate. Next, I placed a pre-printed piece of deli paper on the Gelli Plate (below left), and the back side of a pre-printed piece of paper over the wet stencil (below right).

And Oh my goodness, I think this is my favorite print of the day! What you are seeing is me lifting the deli paper off of the Gelli Plate. This is a ghost print of the stencil on pre-printed deli paper.

The stencil print on paper looks like this:

I am still feeling pretty jazzed about this one, too!

You know those “junk journals” that us paper collectors love to see and make? Wouldn’t these papers be perfect?!!!!

Alright, one last show and tell.

The Dina Wakley Media acrylic paint works beautifully on the Gelli Plate!

This time I cleaned my brayer on the back of the paper as I pressed to create a print.

I mean, for real! How awesome are these stencils?!!

Time for a ghost print:

Holla!

What I meant to say is, “I love this!”, and see below for a closer look. ; )

SUMMARY

The Arabian Nights Series stencils work well with the 8 x 10 inch Gelli Plate. Gelli Printing is fun and amazing! The creative options are endless. Enjoy!

Blessings and Peace to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com