Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

"What seems ordinary is often extraordinary; it's all perspective." 

Hi there friends,

My name is Susanne Rector. I’m new to the Artistcellar Design Team and am super happy to be on this one! 

Originally from Germany, I’ve been living in the Los Angeles area for the past 30 years. I consider myself a multi-media artist, loving to art-journal. Art journaling to me is a great way to release some ‘penned-up’ creativity. It’s a fun way to start a little project, which doesn’t ‘have to be’ anything!

So, with that in mind, I sat down one afternoon and opened my art journal. 

I was at my new Tiny House Trailer, which I’m restoring right now. So I don’t have a lot of art materials there. Looking through what I have available, I pick a few things:

An assortment of brushes, a small travel pallet of watercolors and a few NeoColor II water-soluble crayons. Of course I’ll have some water.

Staring at that white page - we all know how that sometimes goes - nothing inspiring comes to mind … YET! So, let’s just make a background and see where it will lead us. I’m choosing to use the neocolors and scribble with them all over the page.

To soften the background scribbles and give me some ‘tooth’ for the next layer, I use white Gesso to activate the neocolor crayons.

I feel like intensifying the background and using my watercolor, staying in the same color space, I add more color and let it dry.

I have these wonderful stencils from Artistcellar which feel really inspiring right now. These are the 6x6 Water Series stencils.

Using some acrylic paint and the stencils, I added some loose texture to the background.

Having some texture on my page, I now look for some collage items in a magazine I have. I come up with a few I like. 

I especially like the girl with the blowing skirt and the mirror image of her - that feels like it wants to be on that page.

I position her and affix her with Matte Medium and let everything dry.

Next I use the Sea Foam stencil again. This time I add some dimensionally with some Modeling Paste or Texture Medium, which I apply through the stencil.

And letting all that dry again.

Time to do a little painting. Here are the colors I have available, so I’ll use them. 

My paint process is simple - I follow the light and dark shades as outlines in the collage.

I add some dry-brushed paint to the texture medium as well.

And find some words that feel right for the page. I have a Tim Holtz words collection sticker pad available to me, so I choose some from there.

And there you have it - a lovely afternoon practice of Art Journaling.

XOXO Susanne




Greetings Everyone!

Today, in my art journal, I played around with the 12" x 12" Water Series stencils. It has been a very snowy February, and now a very wet March here in Minnesota, USA. It felt appropriate to use these stencils! I chose the Ripples stencil from the 12" x 12" Water Series.

I was having trouble sleeping last night, so I was envisioning what I would do for my artistcellar post! Pink and water was the inspiration behind what transpired.

Supplies Used:

Step 1:

Make it pink.

I used pink and white acrylic paint and scraped it across the two pages.

Step 2:

Using a foam roller and deep periwinkle acrylic paint, I applied paint in the spaces of the Ripples stencil by Artistcellar.

Tip: Foam rollers work great to cover an area quickly when using large stencils.

Step 3:

Using fluid black acrylic paint and a long-handled no. 8 brush, I loosely drew a mandala.

Step 4:

Add some details, using a script liner brush.

Step 5:

Finally, add a contrasting color of acrylic paint around your mandala and the background designs.

I am sending you encouragement to play around with your art supplies this week. Make a mess; draw something simple. Do not worry about the end result, but do enjoy the process.

May it be so.

Blessings to you,

Briana of

Today I wanted to challenge myself in two different ways -- I wanted to paint a boy (something I don't often do) and I also wanted to use totally new colors for the portrait. Eee!

I started with an 8" x 10" canvas and a graphite pencil. I used a sketch of my own from about a year ago as my reference. For the background, I also used a 12" x 12" Artistcellar Sacred Geometry Sri Yantra stencil.

 Once I finished with the sketching, I brushed on a layer of clear gesso.

For the portrait colors I used Dina Wakely Acrylic, "Blushing" and "Umber" mixed with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in "Titanium White". I brushed on layers to capture shading until I reached a point I was happy with. 

For extra background elements I used 12" x 12" Artistcellar Water Series in "Sea Foam" and "Ripples" with DecoArt Media Mister in Primary Cyan and then I added in more color with Dina Wakely's "Ocean", "Fuchsia", and "Blackberry Violet".

To finish off his shirt, I used Dina Wakely's "Evergreen" with some white acrylic for the stripes. 

This week, I discovered that it is really fun to go back to old sketches and drawings and bring them into the now. I changed a few things here and there, but mostly kept true to the style of past me.

I hope I have inspired you to go back and rediscover some of your old work! How will you incorporate it into the now?

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!​

Hello and How Are You?

I hope you are doing swimmingly!

Today is all about getting in the ffffflllllloooooowwww with the 12x12 Water Series Stencils.

The tools I am using are:

First I experimented with rolling two colors of blue paint directly over the Sea Foam stencil.

Here’s the result (see below) after pulling up the stencil from the newsprint

Then I printed the wet stencil on another sheet of newsprint. (See below).

Next, I wanted to see a contrast of color, so I first rolled out some red and hot pink acrylic on newsprint. (See drops of paint prior to brayering below).

Oooh, la la, isn’t that beautiful!?

Then, I used a cosmetic wedge to dab the mix of blue and white paint over the red and pink background.

I made a print of the wet Surf stencil, and felt like trying some watercolor paint in between the blue lines.

Still feeling inspired by the contrast between pinks and blues, I rolled out some neon pink acrylic ink over the blue Sea Foam print from earlier.

If you are interested in learning more about ink, I have a NEW online class that starts on Friday, January 13, 2017. It’s called Ink and Oil Pastel, it’s only $20 USD, and it’s going to be so, so fun! More details here:

I do hope you’ll join in the mess making and artful experiments! See you in class

Blessings and Happy Creating to YOU!



Hello there my darling lovelies! I have decided to stop planning my art, I am going to make it all play from here on out. This is the 1st piece I have created after this conscious decision was made.

I decided I would go back to a favorite of mine, just throwing paper down willy nilly, covering with paint and texture and see what would happen.

I actually did this piece over 2 days. When I started, I placed paper and thick gesso mixed with DecoArt Media fluid acrylics, to create texture using the Petite Pods stencil from the Playful Pods series and the Fire Coral stencil from the Coral series. I then added drips of a few colors of the DecoArt Media Misters, spraying them with water to make them drip and spider out. I planned on having a vibrant piece, full of bold colors and texture, that is the direction it looked like it was going when I left it to dry!

When I picked it up a few days later I grabbed the Star Coral stencil from the Coral series thinking I would use it with some gesso to soften up some of the hard lines from the edges of the paper. I actually ended up taking the gesso and tinting some turquoise acrylic paint, blending out ALL the paper edges, and toning down all of the bold colors. I then went back with the Star Coral stencil adding more of the random white.

After finishing that step I started to look at the shapes in the background I found the spirit of the painting that wanted to come out. With the colors in place I felt the tranquility of water, and I could see her gazing down peacefully at the surface before I even started to paint her features.

Can you see where I see her?

I used the Generals scribe-all to outline and define her feature, I then used Neocolor II's for additional shadow and color. I then used some acrylic paint in an off white to truly bring out her face.

I also used the muted turquoise along with the Ripples stencil from the Water series to create the water that her hair is touching.

I love how this piece turned out, her face has the peace and compassion and love I imagined she would have.

If you would like to watch my process take a look below and watch from start  to finish!


Big hugs and mushy stuff!