Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

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 :

Today we have a special guest blogger, former design team member Linda Edkins Wyatt! I was thrilled when she agreed to come up with a post, and she even used several stencils that are on sale this week at Artistcellar :-D. I hope you enjoy seeing her process when creating a special Reiki Morning Prayer journal page. -Lisa 

To christen my new Dylusions square journal, I decided to do a two page spread using some of my favorite Artistcellar stencils. I am particularly fond of the Chakra stencils, which come in a six inch square size and also as a set of pocket stencils, which are conveniently the exact size of ATCs. The Diamond Series heart stencil, Sacred Heart Divine stencil, and Jill K. Berry Map Series Global Compass Rose combined nicely with the Chakras.

I started by prepping the pages with gesso.

When it dried, I sponged some light lavender acrylic paint through the crown chakra stencil, followed by the heart gem with aqua paint.

I randomly grabbed stencils, mixed paints, and sponged away until almost the whole spread was covered. I had the idea of putting a favorite Buddha quote on the right side, so I blocked that space out with a piece of cardboard.

Once I finished the stenciling, I stepped back and looked at it. Ugh! It was garish. With Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s tips from a recent class ringing inside my head, I took some black acrylic, watered it down a bit, dipped in my art toothbrush, and splattered away. Better, but still kind of…boring.

Julie’s other tip from the class was, when something isn’t working “knock it back,” so I applied gesso to tone the colors down. Better. I added some strokes of white acrylic here and there until I liked the background.

I had a vision of using my calligraphy markers and adding my favorite Buddha quote: “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” I pulled out my phone to Google the quote and to be sure that the words were correct. Much to my dismay I discovered that it is a fake Buddha quote. Good words to live by, but fake, fake, fake.

I threw caution to the wind and decided to just write the Reiki Morning Prayer on the pages, using an ordinary Sharpie marker, with my semi-sloppy handwriting sprawled on the page. I did not Google the words, I did it from memory. There are several variations to the wording on the Morning Prayer, but they all have the same intent. I also purposely left the pencil marks under my writing as a reminder of my own imperfection—I am a Virgo and constantly try to be perfect, to be correct, and to strive for excellence. The pencil marks peeking out remind me to slow down, relax, breathe, be thankful, and just be.