Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello to Your Wonderful and Creative Self,

I am here to share something that really gets me excited. It’s simple mark making. I would like to encourage you try your hand at making your own unique marks. Even though I believe that is within all of us, I understand that doing something that is totally YOU may feel intimidating. Thank goodness there are many resources, and there’s even an art challenge (April 1-30, 2017) created by Rae Missigman to help you along your mark making journey! For details on Rae’s “Art Marks Part 2 - 30 Day Challenge”, click here.

Mark making is just something I am completely and utterly drawn to. When I want to create, but I don’t know what to make, I often turn to mark making. I find it extremely satisfying, meditative, and visually interesting.

One of my favorite sets of stencils here at artistcellar is the “Marked Series” designed by artist Lynn Krawczyk.

Let’s Get Started with Mark Making

Allow me to share a process to get you started with mark making.

  1. First, create a simple pattern on a blank piece of paper, using a brush and acrylic paint. Let your paint dry.
  2. Next, using a ballpoint pen, trace some shapes from the “Marked Series” over and around your paper.
  3. Use a small round brush and Dye-Na-Flow to paint in some of the shapes you traced.             
  4. Get out of  your own way, and allow for creative flow takeover!

As you know, things don’t always go smoothly. So, when you have an itsy bitsy spill, make the most of it! Create drips, and prints from the bottom of the jar. These are all wonderful marks!

Dip an Art Foamies stamp into that spill and make some more marks.

What I love to see about this mixed media process is how all of the materials work together. Depending upon the ink in the ballpoint pen, the ink may or not bleed a little from the wet Dye-Na-Flow on your brush. When you put Dye-Na-Flow over acrylic paint, there can be a resist that is subtle, but awesome!

I felt like I needed a little more contrast on the paper, so I used the “Midnight” color of Dye-Na-Flow. Sometimes I like to simply use the cap to dip my brush into as I paint.

Painted paper is one of my favorite things. I love paper, and the sound of painted, wrinkly paper is quite wonderful, too. (The paper I worked on here is copy paper-nothing fancy).

Paper like this can be used in so many projects: art journaling, gift tags, handmade cards, mail art, collage, mixed media art on canvas, book making, etc.

In Summary, I hope this post helps you to see that mark making is fun, energizing, soothing, and creative, all at once!

For more mark making ideas and inspiration, I invite you to hop on over to my site

Blessings and Happy Mark Making!


So as I said in my last post I have been taking part in a Faces of February challenge, I have been making a face everyday, using different mediums or styles. So that being said, this post is not about a face I did! lol! because I have to plan these out a bit I just wanted to play and do a bit of playing with stencils and paint today!

I started by getting out my Gesso and covering something I didn't care for in my Strathmore Journal. I completely covered my pages in layers of color using multiple stencils, (here is the list: Playful Pods, Japanese Geometric, Traditional Japanese, Halftone Dots, Marked Series and Steampunk, I thinks that's all of them!) and Dina Wakley Acrylic paints.

I grabbed my Generals Scribe-all pencil and made some simple scribbly sketchy flowers on the pages. I then used gesso to outline them.

I grabbed more of the Dina Wakley paint and mixed it with some gesso and made some beautiful blendy loveliness around the flowers.

After that I just went willy nilly, grabbing more paint, some pens and the generals pencils to play until I was done having having fun! The last thing I did was add some simple silhouettes of a fairie and random bugs and some purposely sloppily written "It doesnt have to be fancy to be fun"

This process is by no means something that I created but it is a wonderful way to play with my supplies and make something that I enjoy looking at! Here's the video: 


Big hugs and Mushy stuff!

Shana Banana

When life takes on the feeling of being trapped in a never ending roundabout, it’s nice to stop, step back and search for balance. I find solace in Art History.

The Dada Movement inspires me. Born of the chaos of World War I the Dadaists embraced all facets of art as an authentic means of expression. Tristan Tzara, a man with a poet’s heart and a founding member of the movement, composed his work by cutting up newspaper articles and selecting words at random. Following his lead, I cut text from a variety of sources and a photo of Tzara into strips.

The more I looked at the material on my work table, the more I wanted to free the collage to build itself. As was the choice of many Dadaists I wanted to follow the laws of chance. Using this technique and a photo of a pair of cupped hands, a design began to emerge.

To complete the work, I turned to the pages of my Strathmore Visual Journal.  It is such a great resource to have at hand…everything in one place ready for use. It was from these pages that I chose the Artistcellar Marked and Blocks series.  They were the perfect compliment. Not only did the neon acrylics and organic Marked shapes enhance the collage, but I was happy with the straight edged Open Work design. It was the perfect foil. Artistcellar stencils never disappoint!

Working in the method of the Dadaists did the trick. The commotion surrounding me slowed and became ordered and almost magically not as chaotic. I could see making the decision to leave some things to chance is beneficial in…my work as well as in life. It is true that when we learn to let go of what we can’t change, we are open to the possibilities of what we can. We are free to follow the laws of chance, knowing that the decision is always in our hands.


Hello beautiful souls,

One of the very best things you can do is create art with friends. It's exciting to share the artistic experience with others especially when they are new to creating. My partners in the studio this week were Christian, and our new friend, Jewell. You can see the concentration on their faces as they create.

Jewell wanted to create a special birthday present for her boyfriend's Mom. This was her first mixed-media piece and she ROCKED IT!

Jewell used: Chakra Pocket StencilsChakra StencilsMetatrons CubeViva Decor Inka Gold, and texture paste.  Didn't she do an amazing job?! She was super stoked about her piece and I was really excited about how quickly she learned.

Jewell and I worked on our pieces at the same time so I just walked her through the steps I like to do when I create mixed-media pieces. I decided to start off by layering on some different scrap book papers and then based my color palette on the paper. I really liked the flower design on the scrap book paper I had so I chose to use the crown chakra stencil as my large accent. I added some Viva Decor Inka Gold to some places in the flower to add some interest. This stuff is seriously one of my very favorite things I like to use for some shimmer and shine!

I wanted to add some depth and dimension so I added some awesome texture paste and used the O's stencil from the Marked Series stencils. 

I had some fun coloring my texture paste with some alcohol inks and letting it drip.

Here is a shot of my piece so far. I still have a ways to go, but I ended up stopping here for the night.

Christian was working on some more of his stretch painting except he has brought that technique to using some 3 dimensional pieces as well. Here is a shot of his work.

How do you like to start your mixed-media pieces? What types of materials do you like to use to create texture and depth?

Love, light and creativity,


Howdy All!

One of my most favorite things to do is to paint on paper. There are many uses for painted papers, but mostly the process is what thrills me. There is an artist I admire, who also adores painting on paper. Her name is Jane Davies. Like Jane, I love to use stencils and paint to create patterns, textures, and marks on paper. So, I immediately thought of Lynn Krawczyk’s Marked Series stencils, and I got to work painting on some paper!

In addition to the Marked Series stencils, I am also using craft acrylic paint, Dina Wakley acrylic paint, a paint scraper, a paint brush, and crayons from the Dollar Store. Oh, and I am painting on 50 lb. drawing paper, nothing fancy.

First, I scraped on some turquoise paint in two different shades.

Some of the scraping happened with the stencil underneath the paper. This creates an interesting texture. (See below)

I started adding some other colors of paint, as well as some crayon.

As I am working, I am thinking about color, pattern, texture, and contrast.

I definitely needed some orange in there. Not only is orange opposite of blue on the color wheel, but it’s my favorite color, and it’s Halloween in the USA, so there you go; orange.

More painted lines and shapes . . .

Now back to the paper with yellow. (I worked on two papers at once).

That was fun!

Here are the two painted papers side by side.

For more artful color patterns and inspiration, I invite you to check out my workshop in 21 Secrets-Color, Color, Color-Draw, Paint, and Print Artful Color Patterns.

I hope this post encourages you to take some time for yourself to play with stencils, paint, and pattern!

Many Blessings!

Briana of

Hello creative souls,

Wow have I been a on a roll with some artwork! I am excited to share my creations with you this week!

The "Labyrinth Lotus" is still in full effect. I did a quick video to show you all the first layer of petals lit up! Wow is it spectacular.

I have the second row of petals done, but still make the 3rd. I got a little side tracked with some of the other art I will be sharing below.

Next up I got some super sweet mirrors from Ikea for my walls and when I got them home I thought about how sweet they would look all decked out in stencils! I did a little paper template to try out my design before moving the final design to my mirror. I just taped 2 pieces of my art sketch book together and mapped out the side of the mirror.

Next I moved onto the finished product mirror.

As you can see I am still just slightly OBSESSED with the labyrinth series stencils.

So I am pretty stoked to be attending our regional area Burning Man event called, Resonance. "That thing in the desert" is actually happening RIGHT NOW! Sadly I am not there this year, but next year for sure. You can actually tune into BMIR(Burning Man Internet Radio) to hear what's happening. There is also a live cam where you can see the playa! So one of the 10 principals of Burning Man is "Gifting".  I am naturally a gifter at heart so this part is one of the best things for me! So how does this tie in to this post you may be wondering? Well in the art of gifting I have had so much fun painting and making art that I thought it would be even more fun to paint on bodies! I picked up these Wolfe body paints

and grabbed my brush and one of my favorite Artistcellar stencils, "Flower of Life".  I used my boyfriend as my canvas since it's so much easier to paint on something that is not attached to your own body.

The Flower of Life stencil looks so amazing against the teal green. I can't wait to practice some more! I plan to take at least my sacred geometry, sacred geometry 2, Chakra Series, Chakra Pocket Stencils, and Labyrinth Series stencils with me. Lol, may as well take them all, huh?! 

I also wanted to create some little pieces of art to gift at Resonance as well. I decided it would be fun to create some mixed-media pieces that were 4"x6" since I have some really pretty crystal clear cello bags in which to put them. I don't know what it is about super shiny bags that make things look so expensive and fancy.

I had originally had the idea to do some water color-ish piece background and draw some sacred geometry on the top layer, but it's a lot harder than it looks! You can see my attempts here

The first tiny art piece I did I called "Psychedelic Macaroni" cause like Shana, I see macaroni in this stencil series "Marked Series" stencils.

I had so much fun with the first one I kept rolling with it. I did the Sri Yantra piece next. Then I did the Chakra Series piece. I love the pattern on my "Labyrinth Lotus'" so I thought I would do a mini art piece like those as well.

What a blast and it's so satisfying to finish each little piece and make a new one :) I even got my friend, Zack to create a mini piece of art too! His very first mixed-media piece :) 

Here are the last ones I have done, but still plan to keep making more!

What are you favorite mini masterpieces to make? 

Lots of arty love and good vibes,



Remember the delicious backgrounds I made when I was experimenting with Mineral paper? If not please check it out here. These canvases have been waiting patiently for the next step in their journey and this week I grabbed one, painted the edges black and got started.

Using various colors of Dina Wakley's yummy paints and the Marked series of stencils I created layer after layer on top of my original background. Doesn't this look divine? The transparency of the paint really makes the layering process fun and surprising.

I decided that I wanted the focal point to be an inspirational quote so I picked one of my favorites and used Photoshop to type it out and reverse it before I printed it using my laser printer.

After tearing it out I placed on my nonstick craft sheet and brushed a layer of gel medium on top (like I was buttering toast) and let it dry. Yep, I am making an image transfer! 

After the gel medium dried I peeled it off my craft sheet, soaked it in water and began to gently peel the white paper off. Gel medium image transfers are cooooool. 

While I was waiting for the gel medium to dry I painted a swatch of white on the canvas where I wanted my quote to go. By the time my image transfer was ready so was my canvas. I gently tore the edges of the image transfer down so it would fit within the white swatch and then, using gel medium, I glued the quote onto the canvas.

As a final detail, I used the x stencil from the Marked series to paint the edges of the the canvas.

I really like the final product and I am picking out quotes for the other small canvases. I hope you all will try this quick and easy technique to add text or designs to your art. Many thanks to my oldest daughter for being my hand model!


“Fashion is Art and You are the Canvas!” – Velvet Paper

Fashion truly is Art! From Haute Couture to Prêt-à-Porter the designer
escorts us through their passionate journey.  Colour, form, and
pattern: our shared tools of the trade inspire them to make their
concepts tangible. And how heartening it is to be wrapped in someone’s

When my Artistcellar box arrived in the mail I couldn’t wait to
experiment with the Marked Series Stencils. With circles, X’s, and an
interlocked ladder the graphic feel made me think of Mid-Century
Modern art and interior design. And I was in luck: my Artistcellar
treasure trove also contained Dylusion Bubble Gum Pink Ink Spray and
Dina Wakley Lemon and Lime acrylics. The stencil pattern and my
acrylic colours were perfect for taking me back to the time of
Bakelite telephones and the Camel cigarette man wafting smoke rings
across Times Square from his billboard.

I wanted to start with the background. I went to a new page in my
Strathmore Mixed-Media Visual Journal. The ladder stencil and Dina’s
Lemon acrylic came first. Slowly, I built up the layers using each
stencil in the collection and a variety of acrylics. Then came time to
throw caution to the wind! I grabbed my Dylusion Bubble Gum Pink ink
and sprayed away. I loved the hot pink colour, mopped up a bit with my
sponge and pushed it through the stencil. I really was pleased with
the effect and will be adding it to my favored techniques. I completed
the background with Punchinella, Artistcellar Halftone Dots Stencils
and metallic acrylic.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the fact that the
Artistcellar stencils hold up to anything I throw at, or push through
them. Clean up leaves them in perfect condition ready for my next

Now that I had my background ready, and my colours were just as
vibrant as they were wet, I knew the focal point needed to be just as
bold. I am a great fan of black and white fashion photography of the
1950’s. I chose a photo of a woman, head titled back, with eyes
slightly closed. What was she dreaming about… Perhaps a great
adventure? And who would accompany her? And most of all, what clothing
would she pack! I thought of the Bakelite phone…and the phone book she
would peruse. To the left of the work you will see a page which I
infused with bee’s wax.

This is what I love about Art. We have so many ways to express what
comes from deep within us. With so many tools at our disposal we are
only limited by our imaginations. By sharing what is essential to us
we give it life, and hopefully nurture the spark in others.

So the next time you put on that favourite piece of clothing, just
think…you are the canvas helping to make a designers soul immortal!


Hello Everyone!

You may not know this about me, but I am a huge book arts fan. I love artists’ books, handmade journals, and the like. Today I am going to share an easy way to make your own mixed papers, single signature, art journal.

Here are the supplies you’ll need to gather:

The Cover and Inside Pages

I love hot press (smooth) watercolor paper. When Fabriano came out with this pad a year or so ago, I was thrilled! It works great for a sturdy cover.

Fold one sheet of 11x14 hot press watercolor paper in half, with the grain of the paper. In this case, the grain runs short, so make a “hamburger fold”. (See below)

Once your cover paper is folded, it’s time to get out those stencils and paints!

Scrape a few colors of paint on the outside of the cover.

As you work on the cover, have extra copy paper underneath your painting spot. Use this extra paper for the inside pages of your journal. You can even stencil on them as you give your cover a chance to dry!

Work back and forth between the cover (both inside and outside) and the loose sheets of paper for the inside pages. Pictured below is the second layer on the front cover.

Pictured below is the second layer on the back cover. I am using an 8B Faber-Castel Graphite Aquarelle pencil to do a stencil rubbing.

Pictured below is some stencil work and Dye-Na- Flow drips on the inside cover.

Scrape paint on the inside cover, over the drips and stencil work. Doodle on the outside of the cover with the Faber-Castel Graphite Aquarelle pencil. Then add a third layer of paint to the cover using a stencil and white acrylic paint.

Sewing the Signature To bind your single signature book, you will need a ruler, or a paper slicer that has a ruler on its surface. We are going to be doing a 5-hole pamphlet stitch.

First, you need to make a hole-punching guide, using a piece of cardstock, a ruler, and a pencil.

Fold the piece of cardstock in half lengthwise, or a “hotdog fold”.

Measure one inch from the bottom and one inch from the top, and place a pencil dot. Put a dot at the center of the punching guide. Put two more dots in between the dots you already have. (See below).

Label your marks from top to bottom, 1 -2- 3- 4- 5.

Reverse the fold of the punching guide, so the numbers are now on the inside of the fold.

Gather 5-7 pieces of artsy paper to be the inside pages of your journal. Fold them, and place the punching guide at the center of your papers.

Place the folded papers and the punching guide inside an open phone book or on a thick piece of foam.

Use an awl to punch the holes for sewing.

Thread a bookbinding needle with waxed linen thread. The thread should be about 2x the length of your journal. Be sure to tie a loose knot about two inches up from the end of your thread and also near the head of the needle.

Important Note: If you want the loose threads to be on the outside of your journal, start sewing on the outside in hole 3. If you want to tie off your sewing on the inside of your book, begin on the inside in hole 3.

Use your hand or clips to hold your pages in line with the sewing holes once everything is punched. The pattern for sewing is:

Hole 3 to hole 4
Hole 4 to hole 5
Hole 5 to hole 4
Hole 4 to hole 2
Hole 2 to hole 1
Hole 1 to hole 2
Hole 2 to hole 3

You will be making an inside to outside, outside to inside, weaving pattern as you sew. For simplicity, write the sewing pattern on your punching guide as: 3-4- 5-4- 2-1- 2-3 Choose to start from the inside or the outside of hole 3, depending upon where you want your final tied threads to reside.

TA DA! You bound a book! Congratulations!!!

For more art ideas and mixed media inspiration, be sure to stop by

Blessings to YOU!



Good day Artistcellar fans! How are you doing?

Do you feel like a little art journaling session is in order?

Grab your favorite supplies: a mixed media art journal, Artistcellar stencils, a few markers, acrylic paint, a brush, a jar of water, and the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle set.

Today I’m playing with the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle Pencils. I used one pencil in particular from the set-the 8B, along with the included paintbrush.

Let’s begin!

First, scribble some lines through the openings of a stencil. I used the Tracks Stencil from the Marked Series.

Tip: Blot with a paper towel before removing the stencil.

Remove the stencil to see the design.

To continue with the art journal pages, I used a stencil from the Halftone Dots series and some turquoise paint.

TIP: To get more on your background, clean the stencil with a baby wipe on the blank side of your page spread.

Now it’s time to add some journaling. I am a big believer in the power of writing, and I also love how handwriting looks in an art journal. What’s fun about the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils, is that you can easily blend out some of your words so it’s illegible to other people.

To make the writing even more difficult to read, I made a line grid over the words and added more water with the paintbrush.

Use markers to add patterns or anything else you want to include on your pages.

For me, this page spread is complete. I love creating backgrounds while playing and experimenting with art supplies!

Thanks for reading this post!

Blessings to you,


PS For more mixed media art ideas and inspiration, visit me at