Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
Hello beautiful souls,
I'm all about presentation. When I gift I want the gift to be enjoyed, but I also want to create an "experience." I want my gift receiver to enjoy the unwrapping as much as the gift itself. So today I created a pretty gift bag that I upcycled from one of my purchases. They were kind enough to give me a nice kraft colored canvas on which to start. I began with a messy layer of gesso. I have liquitex, but I will tell you through several art projects I noticed the "tooth" on this stuff literally EATS pen tips. No lie... I killed a sharpie in this quick project. So I would highly recommend a nice gesso like what Artistcellar carries instead
Next I wanted some crackle and texture so I added some deco art media crackle paste through the sacral chakra stencil. When using the crackle paste you just need to let it air dry on it's own and be sure to put down a layer of matte medium so the texture doesn't flake off. I had to wait quite a bit for my piece to dry in the thick spots, but you can see it start to crackle here.
I noticed that the dylusuions sprays leave these really pretty batiky spots on the layer where I sloppily brushed it on the paper. Oooo pretty!
Next I wanted some pretty stars so I used the hemp flower stencil and traced inside with a silver paint pen. My old pen was working perfectly, but it was previously eaten from earlier projects. I had a nice new one ready to use, but as you can see it was super juicy. I had to improvise. I used my poor little navy blue sharpie to make the outlines and then traced a few in silver. Since the silver was too soupy I had to limit my silver design, but liked the subtle outlines as well. I wanted to add some color to my crackle sacral so I used dylusion spray fresh lime, and some glimmer mist. When trying to color the crackle paste it doesn't accept a lot of mediums well so this is just a light coloring so the sacral symbol isn't stark white.
I did a few drips of fresh lime and let them run down the base of the bag as well. The stencil was pretty wet so I soaked up the excess with a paint brush and then added a little water to the brush to let it drip. I finished by outlining the sacral chakra in a nice metallic gold paint pen and then sealed the project with some krylon spray. Here is the finished bag.
It's so pretty I almost want to just hang it on my wall. He he.
How do you dress up your gifts?
Love, light, and creativity,
“Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.” Bryant H. McGill
Do you have a secret you would like to share? Is it something no one knows about you? Do you have a sincere spirit of inquiry, a sense of curiosity about life? Does it lead you to unexpected discoveries?
Keeping with playing card Art Journaling I produced another set to add to my collection. Much of the materials used to create “A Holy Curiosity” collection found its way as a base for the new cards. I’m a great believer in the motto that too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
Working commercially for so many years, my art is usually much “cleaner”. I’ve long been curious about how it would feel to throw caution to the wind and let the paint fall where it may. The compact size of the cards have “given me permission” to explore and discover my messy side.
As I already had the backs complete from the previous project I set out to begin the face design. The Curious Possibility clings by Tim Holtz feature in this set as well. But added to the images are lovely rubber stamps I purchased from Leavenworth Jackson in California. The company truly has an outstanding collection.
Building the layers on the face was enjoyable. The Artistcellar Blocks series stencils were a lovely counterpoint to the Halftone Dots series. As with all Artistcellar products the quality allows you to focus on creating your work, not worrying about damaging the stencils. I have used a variety of media and the stencils always wash up easily, making them ready for my next project.
Distress Crayons are wonderful to work with. The colors in the set I have are bright and stay true when applied to the substrate. The feel is soft, smooth, and luxurious. Subtle touches of crayon completed the work.
I hope you will give Journaling on cards a try. You may discover, as I have, the joys of following your messy, succulent spirit of inquiry. You may even find a new kind of happiness waiting for you!
“Never lose a holy curiosity.” - Albert Einstein
Have you tried Art Journaling on playing cards? I enjoyed it so much I decided to continue with the project. I suppose my curiosity got the better of me.
Inspired by the saying “In The Moment” I found printed in a catalogue, I made it my goal. I prepped the cards by lightly sanding them and then giving them a coat of gesso. I placed all of the cards face up on my table and began randomly layering acrylic paint. Whatever colours came to hand I used. Once dried, I flipped to the back and began working. I love the new Tibet Series by Artistcellar. I wanted to incorporate the Eternal Knot stencil in some way. Although too large to completely fit on a playing card, when dropped here and there on the cards the stencil certainly added interest.
It’s been a long time since I looked through my collection of rubber stamps and clings. The Curious Possibility clings by Tim Holtz was just perfect for what I had in mind! Combined with a few images I had in my collection I got just the right Victorian vibe I wanted. I know some people like to cover the images on the playing cards completely. I like to allow the flavor of the card to show through where possible. To complete this series I highlighted portions of the back design with Distress Crayons and Crackle Paste. They are now safely tucked away in my binder.
One word of advice: I used my heat tool to get the layers to dry faster. I believe I got a little too close as one of the cards “popped” and buckled. My guess is the plastic coating just didn’t like the heat.
As artists, curiosity is the force that inspires us to create new work. Journaling was always a bit of a mystery to me. I suppose for me it’s “in the cards” using this technique. My question to you: What are you curious about?
Hello beautiful souls!
Birthdays are the best time to make art for gifts. I ended up creating this awesome 12"x12" piece for a friends birthday the day of. We got invited over last minute so I spent the evening making his gift. He told me his 3 favorite colors were: green, blue, and purple. Score! They all look gorgeous as galaxy colors and fade into each other nicely. It turned out so pretty I wish I still had it for our wall.
I also took the time to play around with some more of the awesome Deco Art crackle paste , the 12x12 Sri Yantra stencil, and the 6x6 golden mean stencil for this piece. I had a lot of fun with the bottom layer using some stencils, and splashes.
Next I layered the crackle paste. I love watching the little crackles form as the medium dries. The inks like to show through the white layer and it looks pretty awesome.
Next I started layering the sprays and things to create the metallic gold look. I used some dylusions ground coffee spray, some glimmer mist, and some other sparkly sprays.
The first layer looks like snake skin. Pretty cool. Then I added some Viva Decor Inka Gold to really give the gold some nice highlights and depth. I even took a nice little video on my Instagram to show off the finished piece since a 1 minute video can capture way more than several photos.
I create one last piece literally last night just to get some art time in. This mini art is 4"x4" and will be backed on a flat canvas. I used the flower of life 6"x6" stencil and the third eye chakra pocket stencil. I really dig this little piece celebrating the awakening of the third eye.
What projects do you like to create when you only have a short amount of art time?
Love, light, and creativity,
Hello beautiful souls,
Well I had a blast with the crackle paste this round! I learned some awesome things too so I am excited to share those things as well. So let's dive in! I like to start out with a 4x6" watercolor piece to try out the design and then go bigger. So for my first piece I rocked the chakra, pocket chakra and pocket chakra 2 stencils.
As you can see the crackle starts out white, but that's boring, right? So why not get down and dirty with some colors?
So here are some helpful tips I learned while working with this super sweet medium. On the website it suggests that you use matte medium to help the crackle stick to your piece better, but if you forget to do that when you start you kinda have to go backwards. Luckily you can still do that after you put your paste down. So you want to let the crackle paste dry. DON'T try to speed up the crackle with a dryer or you will not allow the medium to crackle on it's own. If you want big cracks you want a nice thick layer. Thinner layers will create thinner cracks, but be careful. The thinner the layer the flakier the little crackles, and when you put the matte medium on top you will lose it on your brush. The crackle doesn't really like to let all colorful things stick like watercolors so you need to get creative. On my heart sanskrit piece I used alcohol inks and the liquid solution to thin down and blend the color. I just squirted them right from the bottle on my piece and let them drip. When I was creating both pieces of artwork I flipped between both while I learned how to use them.
So let's take a look at my Om piece using the 12x12 Om crown stencil. I got my background nice and poppin' with some super bright colors, layers, black, white, drips, inks, and watercolors. I laid my Om on the top with the crackle paste and got to work.
It was pretty with just the white. You can actually see the distress inks penetrate the surface and bleed through, but they were a little too subtle. I started out with some opaque inks, but the crackle was so delicate before I learned the matte medium trick.
So I did the inks and then did the matte medium. This is not a water based ink so I didn't have any of the ink come up on my brush when I painted on the protective layer. So you want to keep that in mind as you do your matte medium layer. You can see the places where I lost some crackle, but it looks distressed and goes awesome with my piece. I was kinda digging the kind of tie-dye easter egg look, but it was pretty pastel.
I decided to get down with some alcohol inks and distress inks to really make the crackle pop, but then things got to be a little too much, and I was losing those awesome layers I had build up.
I got a little stuck so I posted on Facebook and asked friends to help make some suggestions. I got things like outline in white, black, dark blue, and some greens. I had already tried to outline in white but it still wasn't enough to help. I decided to go for metallic gold so I covered the Om in white ink and then got out the dylusions ground coffee spray, some other sparkle sprays, and I finished off the look with Viva Decor Inka Gold. I deiced I want to to clean up the outline so I addedd a paint pen in metallic gold as well and the constrast was pefect. I LOVE how well this piece turned out especially after the mess I started out with Lol.
What awesome saves have you done with your work when you got stuck in a design rut?
Until next time...
Love, light, and creativity,
I worked in my art journal this week and by using a few stencils and paint I added to a page I previously worked on. Here are the supplies I used:
You might remember this face from a previous blog post. The facing page was empty and I felt drawn (heeheehee) to it this week. It seemed to me that this facial expression was sad, confused or uncertain. I thought about what words she would like to hear to help with these emotions. The words used in the Creative and Virtues words pocket stencils were perfect positive affirmations to include on my page.
After creating a layered background I used a silicone tool to spread a medium layer of crackle paste in six small sections where I wanted the words to be. When dry I sanded the crackle paste to smooth it and then stenciled the words on top. To create a border around each word I used the Faber-Castell pencils and activated it with water to smudge the graphite.
I wanted to add some personal journaling in black Fude Ballpoint pen but I couldn't come up with my own words. SO many things are happening in our world right now and I am still thinking of how I can express my feelings about it. Right now the stenciled words are enough for me.
I hope you can make time to create in your art journal this week!
“There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all”
"In My Life" - John Lennon
Of late, the Full Moon has been my time of introspection. Urged on by the changing of the seasons, so it was again this month. The feeling of melancholy surrounds me as I see the leaves change colour and begin their spiral dance to the earth. And the progression continues with change as the only constant.
I have mentioned how much the Artistcellar Labyrinth series has inspired my work. Believing in Synchronicity, they came to me just when I needed them most. This time my chosen stencil to work with was Gonzaga. I love the clean straight lines. It would be a superb counterpoint for the elements I collected for the collage.
A new medium for me is the Deco Art Media Crackle Paste. Application is easy and all that is needed is a palette knife and patience to allow for an adequate drying time. I picked a piece of copper metallic writing paper for my substrate. As I spread the paste through the stencil I wondered how it would hold up. Would this technique be its demise? It’s an interesting process to watch. The thickness of application varies the size of the eggshell cracks. And like magic…there they were. I pulled the stencil away from the paper and started my clean-up. I’m happy to report, as with all Artistcellar products, cleaning was easy and the stencil held up beautifully. Quality, quality, quality!
Hearing “In My Life” on the radio brought back so many wonderful memories from a time before email. It’s no secret that I am a passionate lover of the written word. Letters, postcards…anything in the mail is nourishment for my Muse! I relish the anticipation as much as the delivery. Just to see an address in a familiar hand is uplifting. I wanted my theme for the collage to be the art of correspondence.
I admit I find it difficult to meditate. So many ideas, so many images interrupt what should be a place of quiet and wonder. By using the labyrinth as the focal part of my work, I am getting closer to quieting my mind. The Labyrinth pulls together my random thoughts. So the work you see here is an attempt at stream of consciousness meditation, for lack of a better phrase.
It was time to complete the collage. Drawing from my Book of Backgrounds (aka the Strathmore Mixed-Media Visual Journal) I selected other stencil designs I created: Halftone Dots, Seafoam, and Open Works from the Blocks series. Placing the images went smoothly…as if they knew where they should “live”. I allowed myself to feel, and to journey looking back at what once was with a definite optimistic view of the future. I recognize that accepting change is an integral part of the progression.
In my life all these places had their moments. And for that I am grateful.
Shameless Plug: The Labyrinth Series in addition to other works incorporating Artistcellar Stencils will be on exhibit at the Oyster Mill Playhouse, Camp Hill, PA November 4 through November 20, 2016
Yay! We have a new series out! This one is nice and square and blocky and makes great texture and backgrounds! I've been playing with these for awhile, beginning with my gelli plate (naturally!) Here's what they look like:
Aren't they pretty? Of course I couldn't just show you the designs. You can see those on the Artistcellar Website Stencils page.
So you know how you can have a half finished canvas laying around and it's saying to you "meh." Well, I grabbed one of those canvases and just started some layering with the Blocks Stencils. And since I loved how the design team kept using crackle paste through stencils, I tried that too. Boy did I have a hot mess at the end. Now it screamed "MEH!!" But I did a little trick that my friend reminded me of... I tied it all together with Nickel Azo and Burnt Umber glazes. This is what happened.
But check out this texture! I wasn't sure if my crackle paste would even crackle, with the humidity being 423% (or so it felt) but it turned into crackle on steroids!
And hidden in between the texture-y goodness lay more blocks.
I sorta like this piece now. I call it "Cracked, not Broken" The original piece was inspired by a huge sidewalk crack I took a picture of, the end result is a little more metaphorical and reminds me of that poem about "cracks letting the light in."
This morning I was visiting Diana Trout's blog and saw this little tutorial on Twinchies. Well, these were tags that failed at paper marbling so I stenciled over them, cut them square and decided to try Diana's method. I first glued some book page words on the squares and covered the entire square in an Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. I ended coating them twice to get a nice thick gloss. I then dipped the edges in a flat gold embossing powder and melted them smooth. I grabbed another half-finished canvas I've had laying around for YEARS and gave it a fresh coat of paint and stenciling with the same Tiles stencil, and mounted the little tile in the middle of the canvas. I coated the canvas edges in the glass bead gel to give it a little bling. The funny part is that the "Beautiful Exasperation" cracked when I tried to straighten it. I love delicious irony.
But wait. Didn't I mention in the Newsletter something about a GIVEAWAY? Yes, yes I did! I'm giving away a set of stencils and a beautiful book called "Art Journal Your Archetypes" by artist and author Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli. It is a gorgeous book filled with artwork and interviews by your favorite artists like Nathalie Kalbach, Orly Avineri, Sarah Trump, Jessica Sporn, Mary Beth Shaw, Seth Apter, and Tamara Laporte. Yours Truly has a little piece of artwork in there, representing my main archetype "Nature Girl."
It has a section where you can answer questions to figure out what archetypes you most identify with, and half the book shows you how you can use stencils and other mixed media methods to create journal pages to honor your archetypes. It really is a unique book, with a fascinating subject, you will be sure to learn something about yourself and then want to create art about it!
Gabrielle and I also got the chance to talk a little bit over at Google Hangouts and she recorded it for everyone to see. (eeek!) We talked about archetypes, art journaling, running a business, and other "stuff". Enjoy!
Now for the details of the Giveaway! Just leave a comment here about what you think your archetypes are. Or just leave a comment about what you think about the Blocks stencils and artwork. Or just say hi :-) I will pick a random winner on October 8th, after the Design Team has had a chance to show off their creations. You have to come back to THIS post to enter the giveaway. Only one entry per person, duplicates will be eliminated. I am giving away a brand new book and a set of stencils. And if I have more than 50 comments, I will be giving away another book and set of stencils! So share this post and encourage people to enter. Good luck and...
Have a fantastic week!
This week I've struggled with a bit of a creative block. It doesn't happen often -- but when it does it hits hard! For some reason, everything I went to work on turned out horrible -- really, really horrible. I realized the correlation between the projects was that they were all quite small... so for this project I pulled out the big guns! A large piece of watercolor paper.
I prepped it by grabbing some inspiring ephemera and used matte medium to "glue" them down. Next, I added a shabby layer of gesso just to push some of it back and help it not be so crazy.
True to my nature (especially lately) I grabbed a DecoArt Media Mister in "Carbon Black" and the Adirondack Color Wash in "Butterscotch" along with the Labyrinth stencil set, and one of my favorites from the Diamond Series Set.
After the sprays, I added another light shabby layer of gesso, and then used Dina Wakley "Black" paint to doodle on the page. I started with a portrait, and then decided to go ahead and add in a lotus flower as well.
Next, I used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Black, Payne's Grey, Titan Buff and Titanium white to paint the portrait. These are some of my favorite portrait colors (especially the Payne's Grey and the Titan Buff combo -- yum!)
I also added bits of metallic gold, because I love the way it pops off of the painting when paired next to the Black and Payne's Grey.
To finish off the painting, I added some white highlights with a Uniball signo UM-153 white pen and Inka Gold in "Gold" throughout.
I also added some song lyrics that inspired me as I painted -- "Eleanor Rigby" by ... *drumroll* The Beatles!
Oh! My lovely lovelies!
I am so happy to be back with you this week! I played a lot the past couple days! And I made a piece that I adore!
I decided I wanted to go out of my comfort zone a lil bit, and try to use mostly items or mediums that I hadn't used before! so I decided I would use DecoArt Crackle Paste, something I have been avoiding, mostly because I had no clue what I was going to do with it, DecoArt Gesso, its really thick so hadn't had a real reason to get it out, my Inka-Gold, my steampunk gears stencil set, they are just new and I love them and some fluid acrylics I got on a clearance rack. I also ended up using one of the Sacred Hearts stencils and a ranger paint dabber along with some other craft acrylics.
For the background gears I just used 1 stencil thickness layer of the the crackle paste, I found that allowing it to air dry produced more cracks than if I tried to speed the drying up with a heat gun. For the heart and the key I first used a stencil thickness layer of the thick gesso, allowed it to dry then applied a 2nd layer using the crackle paste.
For the color on the background, I used fluid acrylics and dark spray ink applied with a paintbrush. I then went over it again with color, did some sanding to rough it up and then applied the inka-gold with my finger or a paint brush. I love how the inka-gold looks, on some of the pictures it looks like a light is shining on the piece, but its not! It's just the Inka-gold doing its thing! love the stuff!
I then decided I had to add a face, so I went in with the thick gesso to create a face shape and cover up some of the background gears, I then just did a very simple face, using the background gold as pseudo hair.
I am totally in love with the crackle now! I cant wait to try it out again on something new. I have all kinds of ideas!