Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

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!

Hello beautiful souls,

Wow did we get some awesome new toys to play with this round! I am totally and utterly OBSESSED with the dylusions ink sprays! These sprays are so lusciously saturated with pigment is makes my eyes so happy they could just eat up all that color! Let me show you what I mean....

The awesome thing about these sprays is they do all sorts of amazing things. Here I just misted a few sprays of  dylusions bubblegum spray and dylusions vibrant turquoise sprays. As you can see it made purple where they overlapped. They are very reactive with water which is super cool. I used the hemp flower stencil and sprayed water through the stencil to get this kind of ghost look.

I love this stencil. I seriously use it in like all of my pieces lately. I love the intricacy of it.  Like I said, these inks react with water pretty intensely.

I dipped my paintbrush in water in then squeezed a big fat drop onto the piece and then let the water run down the length of it. You can see how white it got where the original drop was placed. I generally add my water drops all over the piece and then when I am down I hold it up right and let the water run down. I used the following dylusions sprays in this piece: bubblegum, vibrant turquoise, and black marble. I used the following stencils to create shapes in my layers: hemp flower, celestial, constellation, and Kylie Fowler faces stencil. I just love the pretty faces in this set :) 

I really had a hay day and just kept making, and making, and making these fun 4x6 originals. I didn't waste any of the spray either. When I used the spray to spray through the stencil I used the wet stencil and pressed it onto a piece of watercolor paper and set it aside. No sense in wasting anything, right?!

I found that when you spray water through the stencil all over even the white open spaces will get some ink onto them and create this awesome look. After I did the face in black, I sprayed water through the stencil. You can see some of the star prints on her face. I then used the dylusions fresh lime to add some color in the white spots. Next I took some dylusions: crushed grape, and vibrant turquoise with the: arabian nights series stencils. I had these embossing powders that have been sitting on my work table for ages and I decided to pull them out and play with them. These are SO old. Seriously I think they are from the early 90's when stamping and embossing guns were popular for awhile. I think I was gosh, like in middle school?!?! Anyways, it was super fun to pull them out and play. I love how they look and they give some nice texture and layers to this piece.

I pulled out some other texture pieces and paints for this next piece. I used Dina Wakely's paint, some green yellow inka gold, and vibrant turquoise dylusions paint. For the dylusions sprays I used: bubble gum, and tangerine dream.

Lastly I thought I really botched this last one only to have it turn out absolutely amazing after stopping at a certain point and then coming back to it in the morning.

I used a bunch of dylusions sprays to create the base layer and then used bubble gum, and vibrant turquoise dylusions paint pushed through a stencil with my fingers. As you can see it bled through the stencil and made it all blurry. It reminded me of an 80's music video lol. I was like "Ewww"... lol. I set the piece down and came back in the morning. I decided to use some black paint through the stencil over the top of the blurry paint to make some more detailed lines. I added some white details to the eyes and traced some stars through the arabian nights stencils to create some layers and details with a gelly roll pen.

Wow what a difference! I actually fell in love with the piece after this! I set it aside feeling happy with the design until realizing I was slightly obsessed with embossing powder as well and had to add some for some extra texture and details. I used the chartres stencil. 

 

Here are some shots of 4 of the 4x6 originals I made. I really enjoyed leaving them littered all over my art area as I made more. There is something magical about being surrounded by beautiful art you created *dreamy sigh*

 

How do you use your dylusions sprays?

Love, light, and creativity, 

xoxo Genea

Hello beautiful souls,

I am so excited to show off my piece this week! I took my original 4x6 Buddha designs and enlarged the idea to a 12x12 canvas! It is pretty freakin' exciting! Here are the originals so you can see the transition.

I also took an idea from one of my early posts on the AC team when I created my "Labyrinth Lotus" design. Here is the original design:

I really loved how my "Eye See Wisdom in the Stars" piece turned out so I started out with the same techniques by using watercolor  with my dylusions ground coffee spray. I sprayed through the Buddha Eyes stencil and used papers to block out the rest of the paper. Next I used the wet stencil to make mirror images on a few other spots of the watercolor paper to start out my layers.

I also used the Om stencil to help fill in the white space. 

For the next layer I filled in the white spots with some very soft dabbed water colors in some lovely purple and purply-pinks and added some water drips over the ink spray to cause some nice drippy spots.

I love how the drips make such a neat effect.  After that I  inked on top of that layer with some distress inks and the flower of life and hemp flowers stencils.

I added some angelina film in little torn pieces and hit it with my heat gun to make it crinkle. The crinkles really reflect the light and add some awesome texture.

*insert crinkleplasticcu and crinkle plastic all*

I wanted to make the eyes really stand out on The center Buddha so I added some modeling paste and distress inks to add texture and layers.

Now that I had the bottom layer of my piece done, it was time to work on the edges and 3D details.

I began working on the center of the lotus and added layers of acrylic paint, dylusions coffee spray, and viva decor inka gold.

I began working on the petals for the lotus, but tried  a different designs before coming up with this color combination.

I used the Arabian nights stencils and did a different design and color combination on each petal.  These are seriously some of my very favorite stencils! I think I have used them on all of my most recent designs. I wanted the inner petals to have some interest to them as well so I used the flower of life pattern on the inner petals.

I attached my lotus to the center of the canvas bottom just under my modeling paste Buddha eyes so it looked like the lotus was opening up just under them.

OMG so awesome!! I finished up the sides by painting them in the same colors of the canvas with acrylic paints and using the hemp flower stencil to decorate the edges.

Here is my completed piece:

I even took a video so you can really see all of the details on my Instagram. 

How do you incorporate elements of your older designs and combine them to create intricate finished works?

Love, light, and creativity,

xoxo Genea

“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: