Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.” – Cecelia Ahern

Have you ever been driving down a street and wondered…Who lives in a house like this? It may not be the largest or the most attractive, but there is something about it that catches your eye. That’s how I feel about a local apartment house with the chic name Stonehurst Court. 

In my last post I mentioned recycling tissue paper to mop up paint from your stencils. Using the tissue I covered with acrylic, I created the mini canvas you see here.  I love the freedom of this technique. You never know how much of the paint will transfer. The results are unexpected and can be a great inspiration. I still have quite a lot of paper left. I will be using it for a community project in a few weeks.

One of my favourite Artistcellar stencils is the Halftone Dots Series. With just a bit of painter’s tape you can mask off just what you need to enhance your design. Inspired by the many steps leading to Stonehurst Court’s front door the largest dots, Shadow, take center stage on my canvas. As the building is surrounded by bushes and plants, I completed the design by tearing off organic sections of the tissue and layering with matte medium. The Playful Pods shimmering in gold added just the effect I was after.

Who lives in a house like this? I like to think people who are adventurous and like to create the feeling of home wherever the put down roots. Is there a certain place that inspires you? I hope you will try the tissue paper technique and have as much fun with it as I did.

MATERIALS USED:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MATERIALS USED:

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the weather and the comfy clothes. I love the colors, the smells and the crunchy sounds of leaves. To celebrate the arrival of Autumn I felt inspired to create a fall themed craft. Here's what I used:

I began this creative adventure by gelli printing over a dozen sheets of deli paper with a set selection of paints colors and only two stencils. I wanted the papers to be cohesive so they would layer nicely when I collaged them onto the pumpkins.

To prepare the pumpkins I first applied a layer of gesso. When it dried I used a glue gun to "draw" lines and dots on the surface. 

Now to collage the paper onto the pumpkins! Tear the deli paper into smaller pieces to make it easier to apply to the curvy surface of the pumpkin. Paint your chosen collage medium onto the surface of the pumpkin, then apply the paper and finally paint more collage medium on top. I used a stiff brush that I could abuse because I wanted to really form the paper onto the textured surface. 

The final layer was the addition of a metallic paint (I used Dina Wakley Acrylics in Gilt and Penny). I think it really makes everything pop! 

The finished pumpkins make me so happy! The colors and textures created by the stencils are gorgeous. What Autumn themed artwork would you create?

Have you heard about the painted rocks? People paint them and then leave them around for strangers to find? I recently found out it was a "thing" and loved the idea right away!

One of my favorite things is "abandoning art" around town for people to find. In fact, at the last First Friday KC I showed up with a purse full of prints and dropped them about the entire evening. It's kind of fun to leave a little trail in a large crowd like that and notice just how fast they get swooped up. 

Sometimes, I drop things around town and simply post a "clue" to its whereabouts online. I've had people send me photos after they discovered and let me tell you, it's awesome for them AND me. So, I set out to paint some rocks. I picked out a few and then cleaned them up with soap and water. It doesn't take long for them to dry if you sit them outside on a sunny day.

Then I picked out a couple of colors and started painting them. Once dry, I decided to add some glitter. Because.... well, GLITTER. Ice stickles glitter glue is perfect for this and pretty much the most non-messy way I've discovered to work with glitter. 

Then, I pulled out some of my Artistcellar pocket stencils to create some designs with Dylusions paint and a little q-tip (it worked perfectly!), and used fine detail brush for edging, highlights and to bring it all together. 

Check out the end result!

Overall, not very time consuming but SUPER FUN to paint some rocks, and I can't wait to scatter them about. I hope they will be something that brightens someone's day... and the world could use more of that, don't you think?

Supplies Used:

DIE GOLDENE MEDINA - HER DREAMS

“Beds, three tiers high, were still not sufficient to accommodate the 5,000 immigrants who arrived daily. Many, like this young woman, were forced to sleep on benches, chairs, or on the floor.” – Lewis W. Hine

When traveling, have you ever felt bone-weary…so tired you feared the next step? Have you ever been stranded in an airport, with nothing but what seemed like unending hours until the next flight? I have. And if you are like me, I am sure all you could think of was getting somewhere, anywhere, to sleep. To lessen the discomfort of my situation, I like to visualize of my cozy bed at home, covered with a warm, colorful quilt.

My inspiration for this collage was a photograph from the Hine Collection. As an educator, Lewis W. Hine encouraged his students to use photography as a tool for social change. He often held his sociology classes at Ellis Island. In five years, 1904 to 1909, he produced 200 photographs of the immigrants passing through the Island. The young woman trying her best to get some sleep is one I thought fit perfectly with the new Artistcellar Quilt Stencils.

The new series features four quilt designs: The Bear Claw, The Star Flower, and the two I chose to use, The Ohio Star and the Amish Star. Living close to Lancaster, PA it’s nice to see the Amish star included in the series.

Going back to my Strathmore Journal, I sponged on layers of acrylic paint, letting each dry between applications. Having the stencils in both the 6” x 6” and Pocket size is really useful. In my work, I used both. Again, the quality of the stencils didn’t let me down. Even though the paint was dry between multiple layers, clean up was a snap, with each stencil back to immaculate condition. I built the background quilt layer by tiling the image as on a true cloth covering.

Completing the collage, I drew upon my collection of ephemera. I surrounded the Slavic lady with what I imagine surrounded her: mountains of paperwork as she made her way through the Ellis Island process. 

And was she like you and me, tired and sleepy, dreaming of a familiar place to rest? Did her dreams include quilts and thoughts of home?

MATERIALS USED:

Is it too early to think about Saint Patrick's Day? If you asked my dad that his answer would have been a resounding, "NO!". My father was very proud of his Irish heritage. He had quite a collection of Irish themed objects including several books about Ireland, pins, ties, green shirts a'plenty, knick knacks and even his business logo (which he asked me to design) was a shamrock! When I saw an unfinished wood shamrock at the craft store the other day I knew it had to be mine and I knew it needed two things: Artistcellar stencils and Dina Wakley acrylic paints. Well, and a wee bit of Inka Gold too, of course!

Here's what I used:

After lightly sanding my wood form I gave it a coat of Evergreen paint. 

While I waited for that to dry I used the stencils and paint on deli paper to create a few sheets with interesting layers.

I chose a couple papers and tore them into smaller pieces and applied them to both sides of the shamrock with matte medium. The best way to do this is to apply a thin layer of matte medium, then the paper and another thin layer of matte medium. Use your paintbrush to smooth everything out.

When dry I painted the edge with the Penny and Umber paint. I used Distress Crayons to add a depth of color to the outer edges of the surface and bring out more green. I also rubbed Inka Gold along the edges to give it some sparkle.

I found an inspiring Irish proverb and simplified it to add a little text to my shamrock.

A few little details made with my acrylic paint pens and a coat of clear finish later and I have a finished piece!

I really like the layers of texture and the shimmer of the gold. Many thanks to my lovely eldest daughter for being a fabulous hand model for me once again. May you all have the Luck O' the Irish with you in your creative pursuits this week!

 

Hello Starshines!

This week I wanted to do something different and fun. I'm not working on paper or canvas I like I usually do! This time, it's all on a re-purposed vinyl record!

Ohhhh!

Grab a record... and note - it must be something you will never listen to -ever- again. Pick one that isn't your favorite, isn't worth much or is damaged. (Also, you can usually find these super cheap at thrift stores too!)

First, I used Dina Wakely acrylic paint in black to paint over the label on the record. Then I used modeling paste and a palette knife, to scrape through a 12 x 12 Artistcellar Stencil (This one is from the Sacred Geometry set - "Flower of Life") Once the modeling paste is dry, set the record on a circular metal base and start heating it up with your heat gun. As you do so, the record will melt and form a "bowl" shape around your base. 

From there, you can paint! I used Dina Wakely's "Ocean" and "Blackberry Violet" for this part, and then filled it in with some white highlights. 

To finish it off, I used my finger to add Inka Gold in Gold around the edges of the bowl.

Ta-Da!

Use it for anything and everything!

Here, I'm using it as a way to store my crystals.

I have had a memorable week. As I celebrated Thanksgiving with some of my family my thoughts were with my mom and her sister. My aunt entered the hospital with pneumonia after battling a different infection that we thought had cleared up. Her body struggled. She unexpectedly passed away a few days ago. 

Grief. 

That emotion has been close to me for several days now. As an artist I usually can express feelings through making things but with grief I struggle. It can close you up and isolate you and the thought of creation when I have just experienced loss seems foreign. 

But, through the creation of something I can process the grief, give it a name and begin to progress again. 

I share this only to explain my little art journal page I made. It's small and not my favorite but it is significant to me and a step forward. I like making whimsical, beautiful things and it can be difficult for me to express grief through my art but I discovered through this that creating beauty during sad times helps me grow. I miss my aunt but she was a creative soul who inspired me and will inspire me still. 

May you find joy in all your creations my creative friends. 

Supplies used:

Greetings!

This week I'm working with chakra's again -- but with a little bit of a different approach. Lately I've been having a lot of fun using Amazing Mold Putty and creating molds of various items I own --- especially from my doll collection. I've been creating artwork on canvas with these pieces. Today, I wanted to create a painting on the theme of the "Third Eye".

Every time I think about this -- it reminds me of one of my favorite Tool songs by the same name. Before I started painting -- I lit some candles, turned on some music, and used a tiny bit of Clary Sage essential oil in my brush water. 

I have created a little video of what happened next:

Supplies Used:
- 5 x 7 canvas
- Ephemera 
- Artistcellar Chakra Pocket Stencil - Third Eye
- Doll face made out of plaster, broken into pieces
- Artistcellar Block stencil
- Matte Medium
- DecoArt Media Mister - Carbon Black
- Modeling Paste
- Golden High Flow - Indigo
- DecoArt Glazing Medium
- Prima Art Alchemy Metallique Light Patina
- Dina Wakely Black
- Dina Wakely Blackberry Violet
- Prima Art Alchemy Wild Fuschia
- Dye-Na-Flow Midnight Blue
- Uniball Signo UM-153 pen
- Gloss Varnish

Its my turn again! I am hoping you are all doing well my Lovelies!

This weeks play time ended up totally different than what I had first planned to start out with. The start of my page I wanted to be sweet, maybe a girl with a teddy or something equally sweet. But my page turned into this worried girl.

At first I was frustrated and was going to start over, but after some deliberation I realized this is what a journal is for. I may not write my feelings down in words but the face I painted shows how I have been feeling as of late. I have multiple family members that have medical issues that are very scary right now and this causes me to worry, and worry causes anxiety. These are the times when I should be working in my journal the most but I tend to lock up and it's a fight for me to get into my studio, but once I do I feel all of my anxiety start to melt away. Sometimes I forget what the best medicine for me is.

To start I used my Stathmore Visual Journal, starting with a page painted in a sloppy black layer. My girl and the idea I had for my page were inspired by another artist, Mindy Lacefield. So I started my girl using a palette knife to lay down some white Dina Wakley paint for her head and shoulders, I then used some of the other vibrant paint colors from Dina to create shadows. I used my Generals Scribe-All to add definition to some of the features. I then went in with more of the paints to add more definition using brushes and palette knife.

For the background I used a big paint brush to 1st do a layer of orange to which I added some stenciling. I decided to cover it and I used another layer of paint using white this time. I decided I needed a bigger shape in the back ground so I used Bodacious Pods stencil from the Playful Pods series using orange, then using green to fill in space.

I love how this page turned out, it shows how I was feeling but also shows the bright outlook in my background, which encompasses my fake it until I make it way of life! And so far I'm winning!

So I guess my lesson learned is that I need to use my journal as way to better myself instead of worrying what I think everyone else will like! If you would like to watch my process take a look below at my video up on youtube.

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!!!

- Shana Banana