Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hey guys! I know I have been absent from the Artistcellar space and I apologize for this. I got in a mentally difficult space for a few months and my creativity took a toll for it.

With the various different events happening in North America (I am Canadian but still feel very strongly about what is going on south of our border), I shut down.
Then, I woke up one day with this in mind "It’s time." Does it happen to you too or am I crazy (maybe both? ahah)? So I bound a dedicated journal for expressing my feelings regarding race. You might not know that I am actually a bi-racial woman of color and that I am in a bi-racial marriage as well. Too Black for White people, too White for Black people: this could be the summary of my entire life! And this fucking sucks!

Here is the first page from that journal. I created a photo step-by-step of the stamping with stencils technique you see me using in the video:

Get more from your stencils: use them as stamps!

I usually start by using my stencil 'normally'. For this example, I used one of my favorite from the Old World Maps series with an acrylic spray paint. As you can see, it covered most of my panel.

Nothing is ever lost when it comes to creative stuff with me (that is how I discovered how cool this really is.) See all the paint sitting on the stencil? Open your art journal and stick it between two pages. It is the beginning of a future cool page. 

Next, I grabbed another of my favorite stencils called "X's" from the Marked series designed by Lynn Krawczyk. This is such a versatile stencil, I simply use it everywhere and love it. I wanted something more sheer so I used my Lindy’s Sprays - it’s more like ink than paint. Plus, it shimmers!

I sprayed it on a sheet of deli paper - you can reuse it, as well. I told you, nothing is ever lost. Using several colors, it will create an unexpected print. 

Instead of turning the stencil over on my wood panel, I took my surface and pressed it against the stencil.

I applied some pressure everywhere, to be sure that my panel was fully in contact with the stencil underneath.

There you go, a colorful happy beginning for whatever makes you happy. You can create as many layers as your heart desires!

Be safe,



Hello hello ! I don’t know about you, but for me it has proven difficult to know what day of the week is which in this crazy period... My sleep is eluding me again, and I almost got up at 2am to create this page that was truly needed.

The creative process, for me, is often more important than the finished project itself. And as we do our best not to give in in paranoia, remembering not to hold my breath is something I have to actually think about during the day.

I took a spread (double page) in my square art journal that barely had anything in it. I love using the Old World Maps stencils as backgrounds. The four stencils are pretty different from one another. I layered two different ones. I used a beige color for the first one, all over the spread. Then once dry, I used a dark brown with another stencil from the same series to create a border.

Once dry, I picked the Om stencil in the Tibet series as my focus point. It is the perfect sound to calm my antsy mind. So it is a good reminder to have in between my journal pages. Remember: it’s mostly about the process. I used Extra Heavy Gesso with it to have a beautiful thick white base.

I then used acrylic paint after replacing the stencil on top of the dried gesso-ed motif to add color. Not perfect, but it’s okay. I will get a crisp painted stenciled image eventually 😆


I love oil pastels so I used them to add shading to the Om and also some mark making. A new favorite combo: a crisp teal blue over a dark brown. Makes me really happy, the contrast between the two is wonderful! I forgot how much I loved it.

I used acrylic markers to write my message. Added teal splatters in the top and bottom corners. And that’s it. 

I hope you are carving time for your creativity as a positive outlet during this time, that hopefully won’t become a new normal in our lifetime. What are you creating?

Take care,


Find me on Instagram ( and on Youtube (

More pictures :



Hey guys, me again. If you are not familiar with my creative process, there is something you need to know:  I am an intuitive painter. It means that I will start with a thought, a feeling or a slight idea and then will just go from there. I do not plan ahead. For this project, I just knew I wanted to use one of the stencils either from the Tibet series or from the Sacred Heart series.

I started with a canvas that already had some stuff on it, I often do that. It avoids the «blank surface» fear.

I simply started by picking a few colors of acrylic paint an applied them freely on my board. I kept the original thing on one corner... thinking «we will simply see were this goes. I like that corner». I do my best for not overthinking my process : I like it? I keep it. I don’t? I cover it up. Easy.

I love the Old World Maps series because it has intricate lines that are perfect for my backgrounds in general.
I used extra heavy gel molding paste, which is a pretty unique medium. Unlike gel medium, it will dry slightly opaque. I used my Catalyst tool for it but a palette knife or even an old credit/store card work just as well.

Once it’s completely dry, I applied some spray paint. I was curious to see if the gel property would actually create a resist effect. Result: it does not. But that’s okay. You can honestly use a sheer paint or nothing at all at this stage...

Now, for the focus stencil. I used the Sacred Heart: Divine stencil, which is my favorite of the four. I made my own paint using pigments and heavy gel (the gloss). Heavy acrylic paint would be perfect too, it will make the design stand out from the rest of the canvas. I would suggest you take your time to apply it. As you can see, this does not come out perfectly but I am okay with it. If you have any tips and tricks that will help me get a crisp render, please share in the comments. There is always room for improvement !

I really wanted words on this piece. I picked some positive messages from Dina Wakley’s «Word collage pack» which is simply amazing, by the way. I tore them because I don’t like scissors in general and prefer the ragged edges (you do you) and glued them with matte gel medium. I love my art to have a positive impact.

I tend to use oil pastels to add my final touches. I picked contrasting colors and added my signature symbol : three drops.

And voilà ! I really hope this will inspire you to create a meaningful piece of mixed media, something that will make your heart happy.

A few more photos :

Hey guys I'm Nolwenn Petitbois and I'm so happy to share with you my first project for Artistcellar!

You'll see the amount that I use the stencils especially for texture and for backgrounds but that's not all. In this first project, I wanted to do the cover of my Book of Shadows; it’s a specific system using rings, the same that you’ll find with the Happy Journal line.

The first step was to cover the ring holes with some painter’s tape. Then, I use some gesso (I should have sanded the cover first, but I didn't… that's alright though as I'm not one for perfectionism in my creative process.) I just added some acrylic paint and applied it with various tools to see how it would look. You can simply use a big paintbrush: you do you!

Once it's dry, I can have some fun with the map stencil: they are very cool! I used some acrylic spray because I wanted something quite pigmented but you could use a sponge and acrylic paint instead of a spray for sure.  Mixed media is thing of patience because I work in layers I have to let them dry in between.

As my focal point, I wanted to use the Lotus stencil from the Tibet series. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I used an embossing black pen though the stencil, and dual-toned embossing powder to make it pop.

Because this cover is made from plastic, I had to be careful not to over-heat it when using my heating tool.

I love metallic paints and used a copper acrylic sprays on the borders, with Surf stencil of the Water series. I wanted it to act as a sort of frame around the cover. I have a thing for using sprays coupled with stencils because it is fast and easy but still builds pretty layers.

After this, I came back another day (I like to space the layers now and then, to be sure everything is 100% dry) and have this feeling something is missing… but what? I go through the stencils and find one in the Sacred Geometry 2 set that calls my name. (Quattro Flower) My guts tell me to do something that can appear a little strange: create a glitter gel to add on top of the embossed lotus. This could be a big failure but I won’t know until I try it, right? So that’s what I do. I suggest that if you want to do something similar, find some very fine glitters. I used some heavy gloss gel. It will dry transparent.

I really hope I inspired you to create a beautiful cover for your journal. Here are some more close-up photos :


Until next time,




Greetings creative one! I hope this post finds you well.

Today we are going to play with a pre-painted piece of copy paper, some Dina Wakley acrylic paint, and the Old World Maps Series stencils from artistcellar.

Step 1:

Place your stencil of choice underneath your copy paper.

(In the picture below, I have the stencil on top just so you can see how the size matches well with my paper.)

Step 2:

Squirt out a few small drops of the Dina Wakley acrylic paint in a contrasting color to your painted paper.

Step 3:

Use a plastic card to scrape the paint over the paper, leaving a “rubbing” of the stencil underneath.

Doesn’t that look awesome? (I would like to give credit to the fabulous LK Ludwig who taught me this stencil under the paper technique.)

Step 4:

Let your paint dry. TIP: It does not take long, as the scraping process, plus acrylic paint, equals fast drying time.

Step 5:

Use your imagination and create something out of your painted paper.

I chose to create an envelope for some mail art.

I folded the paper to make three sections.

Step 6:

Use decorative tape to seal the sides closed. Also, fold in the corners on the top fold to give it more of an envelope shape, if desired.

After gluing down the corners of the top fold, I’d like to show you the front and back of my envelope.

Here’s the front:

Here’s the back:

Now all I need to do is add a sticker address label and a stamp!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial using the Old World Map Series stencils by artistcellar!

Have a wonderful day/night, wherever you may be!

Blessings and Gratitude,

Briana of

“It’s what we call a dolce pazzia…a sweet madness. Once you feel it, you will never want to leave”. – "Juliet" by Anne Fortier

Travel and romance. To me the words are synonymous. I have wanted to use the photo of the woman with the dreamy expression from my collection of Victorian postcards in a project. At last I found a place she might call home.

I will soon be facilitating a collage workshop at a local library. We will use discarded book covers as a substrate.  I was given a deep blue cover to see how it would inspire my work. The map of the romantic city of Venice from the Old World Maps series was perfect for what I had in mind. I started the project by stenciling in a subdued colour palette of blues and aqua to allow the rest of the collage elements to pop. This is another reason why I love the Artistcellar collection of stencils. They can be bold and the focal point of your work. Or they can be subtle, but just as vital to your art. The inside book cover was smooth and didn’t drink up the acrylics. As I had hoped, there was very little shift in colour.

I have been experimenting lately with transfers on various types of paper. This time I transferred the photocopy of the woman and added it to a blank shipping tag covered with a layer of gesso. I was pleased with the finish and the way the colour complimented the background. I surrounded the tag with textured paper I received from the Netherlands in a paper swap. The gold foil was reclaimed from greeting cards. Cherry tree twigs blown into the yard with the last storm, wrapped in tea stained gauze, became part of the collage. It’s great that with this type of work trash can become a real treasure!

I usually have tiny jewelry tags on my table when I am working. They are a great place to try techniques or to deposit left over paint. I chose a few from this collection. After masking out parts of the Playful Pods and Quasicrystals stencils, I added glittering dots of colour to the design.

I am captivated by the woman’s wistful smile. Could she be thinking of a journey in the making? Or is she returning to her dolce pazzia…the sweet madness of a certain time and place?

We are fortunate that creating Art allows us the freedom to follow our inspiration wherever it may lead. The door is open just waiting for our ideas to burst through. Who is your muse today?


Hello fellow creatives! I created some more of my own pattern collage papers this week but I used the stencils in a different way then what I usually do. This week I took rubbings of the stencils with a regular ol' crayon. 

To start off I gathered thin papers like drawing paper, deli paper and marker paper. You could also use tracing paper, coffee filters and even newsprint. Also, grab your favorite Artistcellar stencils! I found this technique works with both the bold and fine patterns. 

For a rubbing to be successful you need to keep the paper, which is on top of the stencil, in the same place. (Unless you are going for a blurred movement effect!) It's also good if you can use the long side of the crayon and not the end. My crayon is a chunky black one with no wrapper that I found in my daughters' crayon box. I tend to hold the paper in place with one hand and use the other to rub the crayon onto the paper with medium pressure in one direction.

Some of the rubbings I did were just black crayon on the paper. Simple and has nice contrast. Others I added some Dylusions spray ink. This made the crayon more subtle but still a lovely texture.

Other papers I prepared with a layer of acrylic paint in simplistic patterns. I then placed the paper with the paint side up on top of the stencil and made the rubbing. 

This was so easy and I am left with some beautiful papers! 

Happy creating!