Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello again! This week I decided I wanted to make a fun sign for my art space, affectionately titled the "Zen Den". I had a leftover dollar store Halloween sign and I decided to give it a boost of life. I started with a couple layers of black gesso just to get it good and covered up. Then, added a layer of white gesso that I scraped away a bit to give it a more "distressed" look.

Once the gesso was completely dry I used a palette knife to add thick, even layers of DecoArt Media Crackle Paste then I let it dry completely overnight. I have used a heat tool on this before and it works, but the cracks don't seem quite as dramatic as they do when you let it air dry.

Next, I used a Artistcellar Sacred Geometry 2 stencil with modeling paste to create the "moon". I let it dry completely and made sure to clean up my stencil immediately afterwards. If that modeling paste dries, it can ruin the stencil and I can't let that happen!

For the background, I mixed some Phthalo Blue (one of my favorite colors ever!) and Titanium white. I created washes, drips and splashes. You name it, it goes. There aren't any rules here!

Then, using a thin detail brush and some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic in Carbon Black, I painted a tree. A happy little tree.

For the sign, I mixed together some Dina Wakley "Umber" and titanium white.

I also added a thin layer of Dye-Na-Flow "Midnight blue" to the background... for fun!

To finish the sign, I added fine details with acrylic paint markers, white Gelly Roll pen and the Artistcellar Diamond Series Stencils. I just traced the stencil with the markers and it worked like a charm!

I hope you enjoy my Zen Den sign! I can't wait to hang it up.


Hello! In my neck of the woods the weather has really been warming up! This weekend I was even able to start a small garden. I decided that I also wanted to make something fun to hang outside that could clink and clang around in the garden.

I came across a wine bottle that was a gift from my husband's and my wedding. Then, I did a little bit of research online to figure out how to cut the bottom off of the bottle. First, I used a glass cutter and made a line all around the bottom of the bottle. Then, I lit a candle and took the flame to it. I alternated between candle flame and cold water until the bottom just fell off. Lastly, I sanded down the edges so that it wouldn’t be sharp.

Next, I gathered up a bunch of “stuff”… a plastic skeleton from Halloween, wooden thread spools, some old jewelry items and a vinyl record and I took them all outside and started painting!

I used Dina Wakley Heavy Body acrylic paint in turquoise and tangerine and also Art Alchemy acrylic paint in Wild Fuchsia and Emerald Green to paint over some of my embellishments. Once dry, I went over them with some Stickles glue because GLITTER!

I used a Sacred Geometry 2 stencil “Seed of Life” with DecoArt Media Mister and Stickles glue to add interest to the vinyl record. Then I went over it with a layer of DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.

Once everything was dry, I assembled it all with hemp string and Voila! Your very own funky outdoor decor!

My family and I had a relaxing and fun Spring Break that was spent with extended family and included visits with friends. It was so nice that I had a verrrrry difficult time coming back to "real" life and the daily chores I wish I could avoid. With this laid back attitude I decided to create a few simple abstract compositions using the Sacred Geo 2 stencils. The designs are inspiring and have so many great elements to them. I didn't want to worry about a deeper meaning or what I wanted to communicate. I just wanted to make something cool and not have to give it a purpose. It was a perfect project to do relaxing on the couch with a favorite tv show on.



I scrounged up a few small sheets of mixed media paper that had random marks on them from when I was playing around with watercolor. It was the perfect first layer. For the second layer on a few of them I placed the stencil and lightly brushed water color paint on top of it. This ends up giving a imperfect, grungy look.



Grabbing a fine tip waterproof pigment ink pen (like a Faber Castell Pitt pen) I placed the stencil back into place and began to trace along the design. I paid attention to what sections I traced and purposely left out others so that it would not come across too obviously that I was tracing a stencil.


I was strictly looking at it as an abstract composition and making sure I had a good visual balance, some repetition, and interesting positive and negative space. (Basically all the things I have been trying to teach my little K -2nd graders at school. Ha!)


Once the ink lines were dry (which isn't too long because it is a thin line) I went back into my watercolors to add another layer and started defining the space in my composition by adding complementary colors. The texture watercolors make is oh so dreamy. If you don't have watercolors then go ahead and use a nice acrylic paint you've thinned out with either a fluid medium or water. 



Finally I grabbed my fine line pen again and added small decorative elements. Lines, dots, short phrases. Basically anything to give it some more interest. And after looking at them now I can see their purpose! They will become cards to send to a few dear friends. So interesting that even though I started off without a purpose I made art anyways and the art let me know what they needed to be.



I hope you try a few of these techniques in your art journal and have a creative week!

When I started working on today’s project – the theme that kept coming up for me was "calm." I wanted to create calming artwork in a calming environment. For me, the way to begin is always lighting a bit of incense or white sage. Scent helps me start the calming process. Next, I grabbed the Sacred Geometry 2 stencils. When I look at them, I find them mesmerizing – and definitely calming!

This time, I decided to pick a color scheme before I started. Sometimes I do this so that I can work without having to worry much about what color goes with what, or what I should use where. Today, I’m going to use Titan Buff, Cobalt Teal, Magenta, Payne’s Grey, Dioxaxine Purple and of course – Fluorescent Pink!

I started with an Aquabord from Ampersand. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t gesso it, however, I had recently painted something on it that I didn’t like. So gesso first it is.

Next, I added a layer of Dye-Na-Flow in “Midnight Blue”. Before it dried, I also sprinkled some salt. 

Let it dry completely, then wipe the salt away. I think it leaves a cool texture to work with. 

Next up, I used Sacred Geometry 2 stencils with DecoArt Media Mister in “Purple”. I’m not worried about adding more layers on top of this because the mister dries permanently. 


Once that dried completely, I brought in some more white gesso so I could have a nice surface to draw on, but I wanted that gesso to melt into the painting so I let it drip. 

Next, I sketched and then painted it with the colors listed above. I used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics and Golden High Flow. Then, I finished it off with white highlights with my Uniball Signo UM-153 pen. 


I hope you have enjoyed this process and that you have found your calm along the way.​

My brain is rapidly slowing down as SPRING BREAK approaches and I fear I will fall over as I teach Kinders the wonders of Still Lifes in the few days left before sweet freedom(!) and road trips(!!) arrive. Is that how you are feeling too, my fellow creatives? It is during these times where I need a simple project to rock my world and give my creativity a boost towards ACTUALLY MAKING THINGS. I explain all this to you to set the scene for a recent discovery of mine.

In my quest to use stencils in ways different from my usual, I stumbled upon an awesome texture technique that I am convinced someone has already discovered. Since I don't see it taking the crafty blogiverse by storm I must deduce that that someone lacked the proper publicity skillz to get this out into the world where it can grow and marry and make beautiful texture babies. 


So I will step forth and do what needs to be done. Listen carefully....

Grab your art journal, a brayer, some Dina Wakley acrylics, a paint palette, Golden Acrylic glazing liquid and some rad stencils. The ones I used here are Artistcellar's Sacred Geometry 2 and the Old World Maps Series.

Squeeze a little bit of paint and glazing liquid onto the palette and use your brayer to mix it up and smooth it out. When your brayer is evenly inked grab a stencil and carefully roll the brayer over it once or twice. Now, lay aside your stencil and roll your brayer onto a blank page in your art journal. 


With some of the ink transferring onto the stencil and off of the brayer it is like monoprinting where the brayer is your plate. HAVE I BLOWN YOUR MIND YET? 

And using a dark color onto a pre-painted surface is just divine. Check out this teal background with texture applied with Dina's Night acrylic paint rolled on with a brayer. YUM!

The results are random and depends on how many times you roll your brayer onto the stencil. Want a clear pattern? Only roll your brayer one revolution over your stencil. Want more "layers"? Roll a few times onto your stencil in two different places.

I am not sure if my excitement over this little texture tidbit is a result of my tired educator mind or the thrill of Spring in the air but I can assure you that it is fun and gives mad texture with very little effort. So, go ahead and try it out and let me know what you think. 

Go forth and create, my friends!