Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
Hello my lovely lovelies!
It's summer! I mean it's really summer, here in Phoenix we have been at close to record highs for over a week! When I got up this at 5 a.m.p to take my pup to the park it was already 80 degrees!
That is why I am happy to say I am going north! I go to MN and WI every year so I can attend a few family reunions, celebrate my daddy's birthday and enjoy time with my family. This year I am going for a month! Since I am only bringing carry-on luggage on the plane I have to pack light.
I bring one small carry-on suitcase for my clothes and toiletries and a second larger laptop bag for my recreational items which include ART supplies!
The first items to go in my bag are my substrates; I always pack a larger strathmore watercolor paper, because I like to be able to give art as gifts while I am home visiting. This year I have decided to bring mineral paper as well. Third, is an art journal - this year my journal is the Large Jane Davenport journal with hot press watercolor paper. I then place my 2 watercolor palettes (one for me my koi travel kit and one to share my grumbacher) in with the paper.
In an over sized pencil pouch I put my sketching pencils, a waterbrush, a #10 round brush, white gel pens, a black pen, an assortment of prismacolor pencils and last but not least, all of my Artistcellar pocket stencils.
Using the oversized laptop bag allows me to carry everything I need and still have room to add a book to read and have space in case I find more supplies I need to bring home with me!
Make sure you check for my next blog post to see what I create using the minimal supplies I am bringing with me! See you in 2 weeks!
Big hugs and mushes to you! Xoxoxo
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”-Georgia O’Keeffe
Do you journal? Or are you like me, jotting thoughts and sayings on random bits of paper? I have often purchased beautiful journals fulling intending to fill them. I just never do. I don’t know if it is the fear of the blank page, or what seems like the vast the number of pages that puts me off. But whatever the reason, there they sit, on my bookshelf, spotless as the day I purchased them.
Some time ago I bought a pack of inexpensive Ace playing cards. The flying biplane on the backs won me over! Who wouldn’t want to fly off to a new adventure in that wonderful plane? It was then I decided to use them as a journal. With a deck of 52, completing one card a week didn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. To kick off my venture I knew the best place to start was with the Artistcellar Pocket Stencil series Creative Words: Believe, Trust, Seek, and my favourite, Create.
Have you ever noticed the lovely sayings tucked away on the inserts of your Artistcellar Stencils? To me the stencils alone are creative cake…the inspirational quotes are the icing. Creative Words were just that…the catalyst I needed.
The playing cards have a plastic finish. To allow the media to attach, I sanded the cards and applied a quick layer of gesso. I didn’t want to totally cover the suits and numbers, so I removed some of it with a paper towel. On my work table, I assembled my stencils, acrylics and stamps. I wanted to have a bit of fun and see where my journey would take me. I revisited an old technique: applying rubber cement through the SEEK stencil.
I tried a new idea as well: dabbing Dye-Na-Flow colour through the TRUST stencil.
When dried I positioned the cards in a row and completed the backs. Though not identical, they have the same “feel”…a record of a time and place. In the end I was happy with the results. Best of all, the stencils stood up to everything I threw at them. Clean up was a snap and they were back to perfect condition.
The cards are now part of my new journal project, safely tucked away in a pocket page protector in a three ring binder.
Time seems to be racing by for me. Is it the same for you? Journaling is a wonderful way of capturing the essence of who we are. The perfect journal format is whatever suits you best. We owe it to ourselves to take the time to make our unknown known. Not only to ourselves, but sharing it those we hold dear. Right now. Right here.
Now I KNOW I want to experiment with the stencils using them to create artistic quilts, (and how fun would it be to sun dye fabric with Dye-Na-Flow ink?!) but for now I wanted to figure out a way to use the stencils in a totally off the wall way.
So... I made a lotus!
To begin, I sprayed the art journal page with some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in "Verdigris". I just wanted to get some color on the page -- once I sprayed it, I set the book aside and grabbed a loose piece of watercolor paper. I had already used this paper to doodle on, so I turned it over and started spraying the "Star Flower" stencil with Lindy's Stamp Gang spray in "Ponderosa Pines Olive". I gave it a quick dry with the heat gun and then used scissors to cut out the flower petals.
Then, I used a hot glue gun to glue the petals down and add a stem. I wanted more color on the page, so I used the pocket stencils with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in "Tarnished Silver" as well as Dye-Na-Flow in Turquoise and Dylusions spray in "Crushed Grape". I also added some black acrylic for more contrast and a Uniball Signo UM-153 pen to add the quote!
I hope you have fun playing with these new stencils! I am already brimming with ideas, they are so versatile and I haven't seen anything like them before!
So, I gave a talk to the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters on Monday, February 27th, 2017. The talk was held at the Minnesota Textile Center.
The topic of my talk was on art journaling. Shortly before I was supposed to give my talk, I received a package from Lisa of artistcellar. Inside the mailing envelope Lisa sent were the latest artistcellar stencils in the theme of QUILTS! I couldn’t believe it. I have most certainly had quilts on the brain, and this felt like a sign from the universe!
I am excited to share some quilt and textile inspiration with you today to hopefully get your creative juices flowing.
First, here are some of the amazing pieces created by the members of the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters group.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the artists names to give them credit. The only artist I know is the creator of the yellow textile in the upper left. Her name is Peggy Wright.
Here are a few photos I snapped of the journals and books I brought to support my talk on art journaling.
Now onto the BRAND NEW and amazing QUILT SERIES STENCILS from artistcellar. There’s a 6x6 set and a Pocket Stencils set. They work quite nicely together, too. First, I started with a pre-painted background and the 6x6 four-stencil set.
I used the Dylusions Paint and a cosmetic wedge for application.
Are you ready to see what this looks like on top of my messy painted background?
Oh, how I like the contrast of the hard edges on top of the free flowing paint. How about you?
Now it’s time to try out the Quilt Pocket Stencil set. These are so sweet. I couldn’t help but think of these as “mama” and “baby” stencils.
When you need a little contrast, black paint is usually a good choice, right?
See below for how nicely the two sizes of the Quilt Series stencils play together.
And because quilts make me also think of stitching, I had to add some faux stitching lines for effect. I used the Gelly Roll Moonlight pens by Sakura.
Hopefully you can now see that even if you are an expressive artist like me, these quilt stencils are completely awesome!
I have many ideas for how to use the NEW Quilt Series stencils. One idea is to trace the stencil design on the back of scrapbook paper, cut it out, and then collage a quilt onto paper. Wouldn’t that look fantastic?! You might also try tracing the quilt pattern directly onto fabric, cut out the pieces, and then sew them onto a larger fabric background. Oh, the possibilities. Are your creative juices flowing? Good. I hope you have tons of fun!
Thank you for being here. Also, thank you to the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters group and the Minnesota Textile Center for the inspiration.
Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com
I've really enjoyed seeing what the other designers have created with Artistcellar's new Chakras 2 Series Stencils. Having these design in three different sizes really adds to their versatility.
Here's what I used for this book:
I first applied a thin layer of gesso with an old hotel key card to one side of my paper and let it dry. I then used a brayer to apply a few layers of Turquoise and Lime acrylic paint.
While the paint was still wet I put down the Surf stencil and used a baby wipe to wipe away the exposed paint, removed the stencil and let it dry.
As a final layer I put down the Brain Coral stencil and sprayed a light layer of the blue Dylusions Ink.
For the other side of the paper I put a single thin layer of black gesso applied with the old hotel key card. I cut this paper into four 3"x12" strips and accordion folded them. I attached each one to the other with a piece of washi tape. Tada! My finished accordion ready for some artistic content.
On a separate sheet of Strathmore paper I used a makeup sponge to apply Night paint to the Chakras pocket stencils and after they dried I cut them out and edged them with Inka Gold. I then glued them in my book leaving a black page between them. On the blank pages I used white paint to stencil the corresponding Chakras 2 series stencils and then wrote the names below and beside the symbol.
Our finished accordion is simple and informative. I hope you make time this week to create an accordion book of your own!
Hello beautiful souls,
It felt great to get back in the studio, not only for myself, but for my MMM (Mixed-Media Man) as well. There is something really great about getting to create with your love. We decided for our one year anniversary we would have a "One year ARTiversary" and go create in the studio together. I had a nice primed piece of fiberboard waiting for some paints and I got to work with my water colors.
I received the 12x12 Flower of Life sacred geometry stencil in this month's box and I couldn't wait to give it a test drive!
I really love this nice large size for this 12x12 piece. I got some felt tipped paint markers to try out on this fiberboard since it shreds up my Molotow markers, and the paint pens were a hit! They were just perfect for this size stencil and art piece.
We decided to do some live feed streaming from the liveme app which was pretty cool. At one point I had 43 people watching me create!
If you look closely in this photo you can see me taking a photo of Christian working and see me in the video screen on my phone. Christian tried recording from his phone on his end of the table too, but for some reason his recording was 3 columns with lines through it. So weird. I am kinda bummed too because I bet it was cool to see things from each of our perspectives as we worked at the same time. Christian was rockin out the chakra pocket stencils and the square rose sacred geometry 6x6 stencils for his piece.
I just love how Christian's pieces go through so many changes while he works. He does this awesome bumpy paint technique you can see in the square rose photo. I love how he clustered the little chakras as well. Next Christian did some paint layers on top of the inked chakra stencils.
He decided to take it a step further and even do some cut outs!
A little pro tip for making stencil cuts in your canvas is to put the stencil on the backside, trace the image in pencil, and then use an exacto knife to cut it out.
I did some inks on my piece after I did the sacred geometry layer and used the heart chakra stencil.
Christian wanted to do some painted pieces to layer under the chakra cut outs and asked me how I did my watercolor technique. I think it's cute he meshed our styles for this part. The results were pretty amazing!
So you will just have to stop back next week to see his finished piece and mine as well. I had to stop taking photos of my piece as I got to use the NEW super *secret* stencils that will be hitting the shelves in January! So stay tuned for some more awesome artiness! Until then...
Love, light, and art,
The Self Is Born in the Stars – Carl Jung
I’ve always been interested in Tarot. The cards intrigue me…not so much as a tool for fortune telling, but more of a way of discovering what is happening in the present and how it will shape the future. I am by no means an experienced reader. But I do find comfort in handling the cards and finding my part of the story of the symbols.
As with many of us, my life has been quite hectic of late. And I find time seems to be moving at an accelerated rate. I’ve been told that life gives you what you need if you are receptive. And what I needed was some time to stop and reflect.
Looking through my collection of Tarot cards, I was drawn to The Star card. Stars are visible in the Universe because of the cradle of darkness. So too, we shine when we have been through a difficult time and come through with strength and faith in ourselves. I decided to use the card as the basis for my work using the Artistcellar stencils.
The Star Card is aligned to the Crown Chakra. I started the collage using Prismacolor pencils on rough drawing paper and the Crown Chakra stencil. When finished I built the collage around the stencil drawing. The vintage images of the Marseilles Tarot, the palmistry hand, and the night sky fell into place.
I can’t get away from the Mineral paper. It is wonderfully adaptable to any media. My acrylic paint using the Halftone Dots stencils stayed as vibrant dried as they did wet. The Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic kept their incredible shimmer, which is sometimes lost on other substrates. If you haven’t tried this paper...you must! The results are delicious!
It has been a brilliant education getting familiar with all the products Artistcellar has to offer. I have tried techniques that are new to me, and hopefully will stir your interest as well. This brings me back to The Star card.
The card is one of personal transformation, new ideas, and opportunities. The thirst for new journeys can be of a physical or spiritual nature. But above all, The Star is one to encourage you to have faith and believe in yourself.
And what better way to be true to yourself than to write your own story across the sky?
Artistcellar Halftone Dots Series Stencils
Artistcellar Stencils: Pocket Stencils – CHAKRAS – Crown
Hand cut stencils
Vintage Images Tarot Card, Palmistry
Prismacolor Coloured Pencils
DecoArt Metallic Acrylic paint: Teal, Amethyst, Plum
Reeves Metallic Rose Red, Copper, Silver
Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic: Moon Violet, Waterfall Green, Galactic Blue, Velvet Violet
Hey everyone, school is almost out and for this elementary art teacher I might be counting down the days along with my students. Teaching art is super fun y'all but I am t i r e d. And in this stupor I went and decided why don't I just work on 4 canvases at once. You know, just to keep things interesting. Ha!
I don't work in a series normally but each time I try it out I wonder why I don't work this way more often! It's like getting several pieces of art for the price of one. It is fascinating how things can flow and ideas can be worked out in slightly different ways on each canvas. Here is how I created one such series.
My small canvases started with a light molding paste texture already applied and dried. I added black dots with the smallest Halftone dot stencil.
I then painted over that with a wash of turquoise and (using a technique I learned from Dina Wakley) I placed a stencil on top of the still wet paint and using a baby wipe I wiped off the paint showing through the stencil. What a juicy texture that makes!
I cut out house shapes from chipboard and used them as masks when I painted red all over the canvas.
Using white paint first and then several layers of yellow I added words to the houses with the pocket stencils.
Using the largest circles from the halftone dots I added white paint dots to the perimeter of each canvas.
Then more little details with yellow paint, acrylic ink and a graphite pencil.
Ta Da!!!! (Yikes! Look at that messy desk.)
Here's wishing you a creative week!
I saw my first crocus a few days ago. The thin green striped shoots pushing through the earth was a joyful sight. Although we had a relatively benign winter, seeing the crocus renewed my trust in the natural energy of the seasons. It is wonderful to just simply be.
Inspired by the Artistcellar Pocket Stencils I chose to work with the Crown stencil from the Chakras series. The Crown Chakra is the center of consciousness and spiritual awakening. It is the place where we connect not only with our deepest self, but with our higher power and are able to appreciate the bigger picture of life. When our Crown Chakra is open we are filled with trust, faith and devotion. Inspiration has a place to ripen. We are mindful.
Like most collage artists, I have an envelope of bits and pieces…torn paper, postcards, tissue paper and the like. Working intuitively, I pulled out whatever came to hand and started gluing the papers to my illustration board substrate using matte medium. I worked quickly and allowed the shape and color of the papers to find their own space on the board.
Once dried, I sponged on a selection of metallic acrylic paints. I chose several shades of violet acrylic for the Crown stencil, the color related to this chakra.
I love the Pocket Stencils series. The size is perfect and I always find just what I need to enhance my work. Creating this collage was no exception. And there it was, the word “trust”. It is the embodiment of the chakra. Using Lapis Blue Dina Wakely Acrylics, I sponged the word on a piece of gold tissue paper. As with all Artistcellar products, clean-up is quick leaving the stencil in pristine condition, allowing me to focus on creating new work.
Faith and trust frees our spirit. We move in harmony with the wisdom of the universe. Once we find our mindful, quiet space inspiration is unrestricted. And we can simply be.
Assorted papers: newsprint, Russian passport, Tissue, Magazine paper, Wax infused paper, Citra Solv paper, postcard, tea stained wax infused paper, coffee stained paper, library card
Hand cut Stencils
Liquitex: Matte Medium
Deco Art Metallic Acrylics: Splendid Gold, Berry
Plaid Metallic Acrylics: Amethyst, Plumb, Blue Topaz, Champagne, Aquamarine
Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic: Moon Violet, Waterfall Green, Galactic Blue, Velvet Violet
My name is Kirsten (pronounce it "Curse 10") Varga and I am doing a happy dance over here about being part of Artistcellar's Design Team. I have been creating for as long as I can remember. I earned a Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Arizona many moons ago and I worked as a graphic designer after graduation. I also worked for a local scrapbook store (LSS, if you will) and I enjoyed smelling all the gorgeous papers and teaching design classes to lovely ladies. It was one of the best jobs. I have also worked in custom invitations and that was super fun and challenging too. When my sweet children started appearing I stayed home with them and tried to keep the creativity alive by puttering around in my creative cave (as my husband calls it).
Now that my daughters are 10, 8, 6 and 4 I am dipping my toe back into the workforce. Currently I am working part-time as the art teacher at an elementary charter school and I am enjoying it so so much. Just the other day I blew some Kindergardener's minds by mixing yellow and blue together. Pure magic people. If I was paid by hugs from my students I would be a millionaire.
Messing around with art supplies is super fun and I look forward to sharing my shenanigans with you. Paper is my very favorite medium followed by acrylics and pen & ink. I like making books and working on canvas or wood panels. Mixing mediums is my jam and texture makes my heart sing.
I made some notebooks awhile back for a different project and had some leftovers from when I trimmed them down. The scraps were the perfect size for pocket size jotter type notebook. Despite knowing what I wanted them to become they sat on my desk waiting to inspiration to strike. How would I decorate them? When I saw Artistcellar's pocket stencils I knew I had to use them on my mini jotters! The inspirational words are the best size for little masterpieces.
I started by adding Dina Wakley's acrylic paint with a brayer onto the cover. After that dried I used white paint for the word stencil and applied it with my finger. Weeeee! After that dried I grabbed the Sacred Heart series and used them to add "sunshine" type lines radiating from the words. I needed to reapply the white paint onto the words so it would pop more. Finally I grabbed some colorful embroidery floss and did a simple three hole pamphlet stitch to hold the book together.
Woohoo! Beautiful notebooks I would be proud to give as gifts (or keep for myself, hee hee!).
I look forward to sharing more of my artsy adventures with Artistcellar stencils with you.
If you are interested you can find me here: