Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

I had hoped to share the progress in my fabric book but it is going quite slowly so I have a different project to share with you today. Never fear, the progress in the fabric book will be shared in the near future!

This project was inspired by a portrait lesson I taught my 4th graders at school. We have been learning about facial proportions and portraiture and I knew they wouldn't be excited about drawing random faces for long. In an effort to make their art more personal I asked them to draw a self-portrait with a simple line drawing. Then I asked them to fill their faces with words that describe who they are and what they like. It was fun to see what words they chose for themselves.

When I finished my project example and as my students were busy with their own I looked again at my paper and realized I had the beginning of a great piece of artwork. I ended up creating two versions.

Here are the supplies I used:

I began by spraying water and Dylusions ink liberally on the watercolor paper. While the ink was still wet I pressed the mineral paper onto the watercolor paper and then carefully peeled them apart to see how the color transferred. Let dry before continuing.

Before using the stencil I sprinkled water on the mineral paper and after a few seconds I wiped up the water by rolling a paper towel roll on the surface which resulted in the ink being lifted off the paper. I set the stencil down on the paper and sprayed it with water. Since the inks are water reactive I was able to take a soft paper towel and rub it through the stencil design to remove some of the ink. This was done on both the Mineral and watercolor papers. The subtle design it created was perfect for a background.

Using carbon transfer paper and a stylus I transferred my drawing onto both papers. I did not trace the words as I wanted the freedom to change those around if the composition called for it. 

Using a small brush and black paint I went over my graphite lines to create a bold outline for my face. I carefully painted white paint onto the face on the watercolor paper. The ink from my first layer is still reactive with wet media so I was careful not to scrub my brush too much on the surface. Some color transfer happened and it was lovely how it created a dimension to the white paint. Having an under layer on a painting always help bring more depth to the piece. For the Mineral Paper I just painted regular water onto the sections of the face and blotted the water up with a paper towel to remove the inked surface. 

From this point on I found myself concentrating on the watercolor paper composition. Using a pencil I sketched in my lettering lightly to focus on how things would fit. When everything was where I wanted it I used a black acrylic paint pen to bring out the lettering. 

Final details were using Dina Wakley acrylic paints to paint the eyes, lips and shirt. 

I am very pleased with the result and I can't wait to finish the variation on Mineral Paper. I hope you will take some time to create your own self-portrait celebrating the qualities that make you, YOU!

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?

WE RISE TOGETHER

“You will rise by lifting others.” - Robert G. Ingersoll

When times are bleak we seize the smallest glimmer of hope wherever we can encounter it. I find myself in the midst of such times. For me, turning to my Art is a way of trying to make sense of what is clearly chaos.

I started my journey in Art as a printmaker. The mechanics of cutting a woodblock or prepping a stone always fills me with the comforting feeling of whispered anticipation. Working with the Speedball Lino Cutter and Speedycarve block was like visiting an old friend. And the timing couldn’t be better.

I drew simple butterfly shapes on to the Speedyblock as I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to carve. I must say, it was like pushing a warm knife through butter. Now that I am familiar with the block, I am looking forward to using it again on more finely detailed work. I tried both a conventional stamp pad and acrylic paint to print the image. Both were successful, but I preferred the acrylic paint finish. When dried, I coloured the butterflies using Twinkling H20 watercolours. I love their shimmer and rich hue…keeping true colour even when dry.

I love the variety and durability of the Artistcellar stencils. Adding to my Strathmore Journal, I grabbed the Halftone Dots and Seafoam stencils. I wanted to create a feeling of randomness. I allowed the stencils to drop to the paper without positioning them. My selection of acrylics was as accidental.

When all of the elements were complete, I scanned and began the final composition.

It is impossible to ignore the events surrounding us. The implications are global. But through it all, my spirit is renewed.  Each time I see a new group of concerned individuals lifting their voices in unison, I know we are seizing the essence of what makes us truly American. Like soaring butterflies, our differences are celebrated. And we will only rise when we support and lift each other.

MATERIALS USED:

I've been making some little art in a little book and it's been fun! It's supposed to be a daily art practice (it's a daily planner by Moleskine so there is a page per day) and while I am a little behind I am enjoying the challenge. Some days I just fill several pages with stenciled backgrounds or solid paint colors to give me a nice little jumpstart for more little layers. Can you tell I'm having a little fun?! ;)

The stencils I used for these pages are the Rouen from the Cathedral Series and Sea Foam from the Water Series. The paints are Dina Wakley Acrylics. Other supplies I used are black and white acrylic paint pens and water soluble crayons. 

I ended my mini art session with words I cut out from an old children's book. I feel like this will be a good thing for me to do this year and I hope you are inspired to make a goal to implement some little sort of daily art practice!

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: http://www.orangespiralarts.com/my-blog/ink-and-oil-pastel.html

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

Blessings and Happy Creating to YOU!

-Briana

 

"Photography helps people to see." – Berenice Abbott

Do you “see”? Do you mindfully take time to appreciate the glorious sights that surround you? Do you find similarities in beliefs and dreams reflected where you least expect them?

The incredible photographic work of Berenice Abbott is without a doubt thought provoking. And while I agree that photography helps you to see, I also think music, literature, painting, printmaking, drawing, and in my case collage, also encourages introspection.

My passion for New York runs deep. While many people find rejuvenation rambling through the countryside, the sound of my heels clicking a staccato rhythm on the sidewalk sets my soul on fire. And if I can’t physically be in New York, Berenice Abbott’s dramatic black and white photos are a passport not only to my hometown, but to another time.

Looking at Abbott’s catalogue housed at New York Public Library, I decided to work with a photo of a Manhattan courtyard on laundry day taken in the 1930’s. The realist in me knows doing laundry in the tenements was a back breaking job at best. But the romantic in me yearns for the days of seeing clothes strung on a line, the patterns and colours enhanced by the sun and wind.

I knew I needed a background as dramatic as the photo. I chose a handmade scarf completed at a workshop I attended at the Carlisle Arts Learning Center. The silk chiffon was accordion folded, secured with wooden blocks, drizzled with reactive dyes and steamed in the microwave to set the colour. It was the first time I tried this technique and I was extremely pleased with the results.

The warm tones of coral, orange and yellow were the perfect framework for the cool palette I chose when using Artistcellar’s Seafoam stencil. The foamy look of the stencil merged perfectly with my wash day theme. And that’s what I love about the Artistcellar products. The only limit to their use is your imagination. With a swash of watercolour, a splash of acrylics and Artistcellar Halftone Dots, my background was nearly complete.

But something was missing. Looking at the patterns formed by the laundry I wondered what stories they had to tell. Life was challenging, but still there was hope. I wondered about the letters sent home to family and friends…some who would be making the journey soon and others would only experience Die Goldene Medina through their eyes. So I added the text in Chinese, Italian, and French.

The Arts are a mirror by which we see a reflection of ourselves and each other. A photo, a painting, a bit of prose they all help us to truly see that hopes and dreams are passions we all share.

MATERIALS USED:

  • ARTISTCELLAR SEAFOAM STENCIL
  • ARTISTCELLAR HALFTONE DOTS SERIES STENCILS
  • 100% SILK CHIFFON SCARF
  • REACTIVE DYES: CORAL, YELLOW, ORANGE
  • WOOD BLOCKS
  • STRING
  • ROYAL LANGNICKEL WATERCOLOURS – FLAT & PEARLESCENT
  • REEVES METALLIC ACRYLIC: GOLD, BRONZE
  • PLAID FOLK ART METALLIC ACRYLICS:ROYAL GOLD, AQUAMARINE, AMETHYST,
    PLUM, ROSE, CHAMPAGNE
  • NATURAL SPONGE
  • FLAT PAINTBRUSH
  • RUBBER CEMENT & ERASER
  • DIGITAL IMAGES

Today's guest blogger is mixed media artist and art journaler Indigene Theresa Gaskin. She is going to share a mixed media project with us today, a very special one that helped her send her daughter to China!

When I was asked by Lisa to be a guest blogger, I was so excited because I love all of Artistcellar’s products!  When the beautiful 12”x12” stencils arrived I oohed and ahhhed over them.

It was such great timing, since I was in the middle of creating 100 mixed media pieces for a fund-raiser for my daughter’s trip abroad to China. I want a lot of my mixed media pieces to be inspirational so when I saw the Sea Foam stencil from Artistcellar's Water Series, I knew exactly what I wanted to create…

I used an 8”x8” wood panel and painted it a bright red. I also added spritzes of red Dylusions Ink Spray to enrich the color.

After allowing it to dry, I put the stencil over the wood panel

and painted it a turquoise green, once again adding Dylusions Ink Spray in blue and turquoise to make the color pop.

I have a lot of quotes to choose from, because whenever I see a quote that fits my life or experiences, I type it up and put in my “Quote File." Once a page is filled I print several copies of a page to keep handy for when I want to use them. I print them out in different fonts, page colors, etc. 

I decided to use the quote, “Love is an energy which exists of itself. It is its own value” by Thornton Wilder.  Once I decided on my quote, I tore it from the page and adhered it with Golden gel medium in the circles on the wood panel. I also smeared some of the ink on the quote, giving it a little bit of stress, or drama as I like to call it!

Since I’m a mixed media artist, I have loads of trinkets to choose from. For this inspirational piece I chose various buttons. I also used Mica to cover the quote and give it a sense of being seen through window or under a piece of glass. Mica comes in a variety of sizes and it can be peeled to the density level you’d like. 

You can also cut it with scissors to any size or shape you’d like as well.

Once I cut the Mica out (in circles) I applied more gel medium on top the quote and then put the Mica on top of it. I attached the buttons in a random fashion, using gel medium to adhere them to the wood panel. Once the gel medium dried (overnight) I put a coat of varnish over the entire piece, giving it a nice glossy look. Once that was dry, the piece was ready for hanging or putting on a miniature easel, whichever suits your fancy. Here is the finished piece. 

I loved using Artistcellar's Sea Foam stencil in the 12”x12” size because it covered my wood panel and I didn’t need to worry about trying to move it around and match the edges to fit my working art area.

To see more art for my fundraiser “China For Kayla” visit: https://squareup.com/market/indigene-art-forms. Please visit my facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/indigeneart where I post new art and goings-on in my art world!

 

 

Indigene Theresa Gaskin is a mixed media artist, whose work has been featured in various galleries in the United States and Abroad. She’s an avid Art Journalist as well!

SHOP:            http://www.etsy.com/shop/IndigeneArtForms 
BLOG:            http://indigeneart.com
FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/indigeneart
TWITTER:       http://twitter.com/Indigene1