Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.” – Cecelia Ahern

Have you ever been driving down a street and wondered…Who lives in a house like this? It may not be the largest or the most attractive, but there is something about it that catches your eye. That’s how I feel about a local apartment house with the chic name Stonehurst Court. 

In my last post I mentioned recycling tissue paper to mop up paint from your stencils. Using the tissue I covered with acrylic, I created the mini canvas you see here.  I love the freedom of this technique. You never know how much of the paint will transfer. The results are unexpected and can be a great inspiration. I still have quite a lot of paper left. I will be using it for a community project in a few weeks.

One of my favourite Artistcellar stencils is the Halftone Dots Series. With just a bit of painter’s tape you can mask off just what you need to enhance your design. Inspired by the many steps leading to Stonehurst Court’s front door the largest dots, Shadow, take center stage on my canvas. As the building is surrounded by bushes and plants, I completed the design by tearing off organic sections of the tissue and layering with matte medium. The Playful Pods shimmering in gold added just the effect I was after.

Who lives in a house like this? I like to think people who are adventurous and like to create the feeling of home wherever the put down roots. Is there a certain place that inspires you? I hope you will try the tissue paper technique and have as much fun with it as I did.

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"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it." - Frank Zappa

I always smile when I read this Zappa quote. When I was in Art School, as much as our instructors encouraged following our creative voice, they equally stressed the importance of sales. After all, a starving artist in a garret sounds romantic, but creativity has a difficult time thriving when you’re faced with a lack of income.

I have been working on a series of Prayer Flags using the Artistcellar Tibet Series for inspiration. They will be on exhibit at WITF-TV, our local PBS channel in Harrisburg, PA. This is my second set. The first sold at an exhibition last year. Although the new set is in the spirit of the old, I found my colour choices and positions of the stencils were evolving. As you use your Artistcellar stencils you too will discover how they inspire your work. When masking a stencil here or there, you can change the feel of your design, always creating something fresh and new.

Recently a friend gifted me with a beautifully wrapped wind chime. The deep purple tissue paper she used has a wonderful sheen and light texture. I knew it would find its way into my art. While working on the flags, I found it hard to just wash all the luscious paint off my stencils. Instead, in celebration of Earth Day, I used my purple tissue as a blotter. What better way to “Reuse & Recycle”?

When I was finished stenciling my flag, I transferred the paint to the paper. The tissue took the acrylics well and soon I had two gorgeous paint covered sheets. But this is just the beginning. The paper will be a central part of a project I will write about in the coming weeks.

Have you ever tried using up your paint on paper this way? Not only “saving” your acrylic it’s a great way to extend the life of your stencil…to have positive and negative images at your fingertips.

I suppose Frank Zappa was right. As artists we can make something from nothing.  And here’s hoping you have future sales to boot!

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Hello beautiful souls,

I am so excited to show off my piece this week! I took my original 4x6 Buddha designs and enlarged the idea to a 12x12 canvas! It is pretty freakin' exciting! Here are the originals so you can see the transition.

I also took an idea from one of my early posts on the AC team when I created my "Labyrinth Lotus" design. Here is the original design:

I really loved how my "Eye See Wisdom in the Stars" piece turned out so I started out with the same techniques by using watercolor  with my dylusions ground coffee spray. I sprayed through the Buddha Eyes stencil and used papers to block out the rest of the paper. Next I used the wet stencil to make mirror images on a few other spots of the watercolor paper to start out my layers.

I also used the Om stencil to help fill in the white space. 

For the next layer I filled in the white spots with some very soft dabbed water colors in some lovely purple and purply-pinks and added some water drips over the ink spray to cause some nice drippy spots.

I love how the drips make such a neat effect.  After that I  inked on top of that layer with some distress inks and the flower of life and hemp flowers stencils.

I added some angelina film in little torn pieces and hit it with my heat gun to make it crinkle. The crinkles really reflect the light and add some awesome texture.

*insert crinkleplasticcu and crinkle plastic all*

I wanted to make the eyes really stand out on The center Buddha so I added some modeling paste and distress inks to add texture and layers.

Now that I had the bottom layer of my piece done, it was time to work on the edges and 3D details.

I began working on the center of the lotus and added layers of acrylic paint, dylusions coffee spray, and viva decor inka gold.

I began working on the petals for the lotus, but tried  a different designs before coming up with this color combination.

I used the Arabian nights stencils and did a different design and color combination on each petal.  These are seriously some of my very favorite stencils! I think I have used them on all of my most recent designs. I wanted the inner petals to have some interest to them as well so I used the flower of life pattern on the inner petals.

I attached my lotus to the center of the canvas bottom just under my modeling paste Buddha eyes so it looked like the lotus was opening up just under them.

OMG so awesome!! I finished up the sides by painting them in the same colors of the canvas with acrylic paints and using the hemp flower stencil to decorate the edges.

Here is my completed piece:

I even took a video so you can really see all of the details on my Instagram. 

How do you incorporate elements of your older designs and combine them to create intricate finished works?

Love, light, and creativity,

xoxo Genea

Hello my lovely lovelies!

It's my turn again to share what I've been playing. Remember this picture from last week?

I decided I would play with this one a bit more and it turned out nothing like the start of it!

I was looking at this piece and realized I have done many like this with a girl off center with glorious wind whipped hair. I didn't want to do another one. Lol!

So I grabbed my Sacred Geometry and Tibet stencils and set to covering her up.  I wanted to get messy! So I did by finger painting using Dina Wakley paints and getting my fingers all messy.

Then with the Dina Wakley paints in Black and Ruby I made wonderfully watery drips and messy lines and marks all over the canvas board.

Those marks turned into first one face then a second appeared in the chaos of the piece, which made me very happy! I highlighted the faces with a white sharpie paint pen and more Dina Wakley paints in Elephant, Turquoise and Ruby

I love the colorful chaos of this piece, the almost willful look of the female face on the right and the wistful look of the male on the left. It has deeper meaning for me but I won't go into my drab here!

I definitely think this piece turned out to be not the norm for me. And I love how deliciously messy my hands got!

Big hugs and mushes to you!

Xoxo! Shana

“There is a distinct kind of Magic in the iridescence of a Dragonfly’s wing.”

The Dog Days of Summer are already here. I can’t help but feel as the mercurial sizzling days slip through our fingers it is a gentle reminder to be mindful and savor every moment.

A few months ago I created a prayer flag inspired by the new Artistcellar Tibet Series Stencils. As luck would have it I purchased enough chiffon to make four flags. This is the second in my series and I decided to feature the Lotus.

Once again I began by spraying a light coat of repositionable adhesive to a large piece of cardboard. I rested the chiffon with as few wrinkles as I could manage to the sticky surface. I was then ready to start stenciling. Keeping the colours to shades of pink and cream I wanted my lotus to embody the qualities of devotion and purity.

To me the Dragonfly is not only a perfect match for the Lotus, but symbolizes the exquisiteness of the season. I have loved Dragonflies endlessly. Not only are they a wonder to witness in the air, but my thoughts drift back to peaceful childhood summer mornings spent at a local creek with a friend. Dragonflies represent transformation. They guide our spiritual and emotional quest of self-realization. To see a dragonfly in flight is to grasp the magical possibilities of freedom. But to be truly free, we need to accept our unique selves. And I suppose that makes us all works in progress.

The Artistcellar stencils provide a great array of options. I selected the Petite Pods from the Playful Pods series to add to the flag. The image was perfect and continued the theme. I have long been fascinated by the iridescent colour released from dragonfly wings. So inspired I completed the design with dots of glimmering acrylics. It now flies next to the Buddha Eyes flag on the pergola.

Artistcellar stencils are inspirational. I am always discovering something new when I begin to work. The images allow me to explore and express my creativity. They encourage me to design with the same freedom we feel when seeing the shimmering flight of a dragonfly. By permitting my creativity to unfold my desire is to delve deeper, discover my unique self, always knowing I will forever be a work in progress.

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Hello beautiful souls,

I had so much fun with this latest piece. I guess I have been kind of on a yellow kick too. I really dig the nice warm happy colors in this piece. I did a TON of layering and took a lot of pics to show the transformation. Let's dive in 

First off I started out with a nice variation of warm hues of: pinks, oranges, and yellows in water colors. I received the Arabian Nights series stencils and totally fell in LOVE!  For the first layer I used the "Celestial " stencil which is awesome because it also has a sacred geometry shape in in like "Square Rose".  

Next I did some layering with the"Shooting Stars" stencil. I used some nice purples and blues to simulate a nice sky look.

I even discovered something super cool with my hula hoop tape! I cut out some little dots with a paper punch I have. I used my heat gun and blasted then with some heat. The heat made rainbow colors appear!

Next I added some white sprays to create some opaque layers.

Then I kept adding on the layers.

I love how you can see the white spatters over the hula hoop tape dot! Here is a shot of the background before I started adding the 3D elements.

I love adding texture and 3D elements to my pieces so I used my cricut machine and cut out these BA flower of life shapes and these moroccan style stars.

I used my heat gun on the  Angelina Film to create the crinkles. Making crinkles in the film allows the light to really bounce all over the piece and create some gorgeous texture.

I call this piece "Inner Wisdom". I took so many photos to really capture all of the incredible design elements.

I was super excited my idea with layering texture paste and the Angelina film turned out. The crinkly film didn't let the texture paste lay super flat, but I used a mechanical pencil tip to remove the messy parts of the paste. I then painted the texture paste with water colors, and used some Viva Decor Inka Gold to add some pretty gold highlights.

Here is the finished piece in the sunlight.

I even took an Insta video to capture all of the details 

How do you like to use your Angelina Film? What ways do you add 3D elements to create depth and visual appeal

Love, light, and creativity,

Genea

“Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.” Bryant H. McGill

Do you have a secret you would like to share? Is it something no one knows about you? Do you have a sincere spirit of inquiry, a sense of curiosity about life? Does it lead you to unexpected discoveries?

Keeping with playing card Art Journaling I produced another set to add to my collection. Much of the materials used to create “A Holy Curiosity” collection found its way as a base for the new cards. I’m a great believer in the motto that too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

Working commercially for so many years, my art is usually much “cleaner”. I’ve long been curious about how it would feel to throw caution to the wind and let the paint fall where it may. The compact size of the cards have “given me permission” to explore and discover my messy side.

As I already had the backs complete from the previous project I set out to begin the face design. The Curious Possibility clings by Tim Holtz feature in this set as well. But added to the images are lovely rubber stamps I purchased from Leavenworth Jackson in California. The company truly has an outstanding collection.

Building the layers on the face was enjoyable. The Artistcellar Blocks series stencils were a lovely counterpoint to the Halftone Dots series. As with all Artistcellar products the quality allows you to focus on creating your work, not worrying about damaging the stencils. I have used a variety of media and the stencils always wash up easily, making them ready for my next project.

Distress Crayons are wonderful to work with. The colors in the set I have are bright and stay true when applied to the substrate. The feel is soft, smooth, and luxurious. Subtle touches of crayon completed the work.

I hope you will give Journaling on cards a try. You may discover, as I have, the joys of following your messy, succulent spirit of inquiry. You may even find a new kind of happiness waiting for you!

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Hello all!

This week I have some new mediums to play alongside my artistcellar stencils.

To start, I grabbed an 8 x 10 piece of hot-pressed Fabriano watercolor paper. This paper is nice in that it is both 140lb and hot pressed AND it doesn't break the bank. Good watercolor paper tends to be really expensive, and while worth it - I can't always afford it!

Next, I started auditioning some Artistcellar stencils on the page. Here, I'm using Tibet Series: Buddha Eyes, Cathedral Plans: Notre Dame and Cathedral Plans: Amiens Plan.  The Cathedral Plans series stencil is a longtime favorite of mine for backgrounds. They are so versatile and I've found use for them in many different paintings.

With a palette knife, I scraped Golden Glass Bead Gel through the stencil. Let me tell you -- this stuff is awesome! Glass beads inside the medium really shimmer and shine and it works beautifully with the stencils!

I let it dry completely, and then I started dripping strings of Golden Tar Gel throughout... the tar gel appears white, but it will dry pretty much clear and adds great texture (similar to creating lines with a hot glue gun). 

Next I used watercolors, mermaid markers and alcohol to add color and even more texture. To create the cell-like effect I simply dipped a brush in the alcohol and then stamped it on the page. Yum!

For extra accent, I used a bit of Inka Gold and some Dina Wakely acrylic paint as the finishing touches. 

This is a super texture rich page and it was such a fun way to experiment with new supplies and old favorites. 

 

Hello everyone! I am so happy to be sharing with you this week! 

So I had a bit of an accident at the dog park, my sweet pup was running with the rest of the dogs and knocked me down! I know he is so sorry! 

The bad part, I fell straight back and caught myself with my right arm and did a good number on my back and right shoulder, so a bit of a hiatus was forced upon me. I am still sore so I have decided I will be working lefty until I am healed!

This week I wanted to play with the newest of the Artistcellar stencils, the Tibet Series. I acutally have an idea for a painting but without the control of my right hand I decided to forego the paint and do some art journal work!

I have a friend Shannon that comes over every Saturday and we have what we call "Shantime" where we create and learn from each other. This week I talked her into playing with the set of stencils and then further talked her into letting me share what she created!

Without planning to, we both started our pages in our dylusions journals with a line of of the lotus flower stencil across the bottom and that is where similarity ends...

For my journal spread I used watercolors to create my line of lotus flowers along with colored pencils and acrylic paint.

I then used Dy-na-flow in turquoise along with India ink in teal to create a fun drippy background over the top of some watercolors through the Eternal knot stencil allowing the drips to go over my lotus flowers.

Then for a challenge I decided since I am all lefty I would try my hand at creating a girl using an assortment of paints including Dina Wakley in Ocean and Fuchsia, colored pencils and regular pencils. I used the Buddha eyes on the opposite side  with the word overcome to signify my new lefty status.

Shannon on the other hand (pun intended she is right handed! lol) decided she would use paint for her lotus flowers and created a body of water for them to float on. She then went on with metallic paint and painted the Tibetan Ohm Symbol, Buddha eyes and the Eternal Knot using metallic paints. Then went over them using dylusions sprays, and for more fun she used the stencils again to ghost the symbols into the page.

We had so much fun creating our journal spreads using the new stencils, it is always so much more fun to share art with a friend and I am truly blessed to have so many I hold close to my heart!

Big hugs and mushies to you

“Never lose a holy curiosity.” -  Albert Einstein

Have you tried Art Journaling on playing cards? I enjoyed it so much I decided to continue with the project. I suppose my curiosity got the better of me.

Inspired by the saying “In The Moment” I found printed in a catalogue, I made it my goal. I prepped the cards by lightly sanding them and then giving them a coat of gesso. I placed all of the cards face up on my table and began randomly layering acrylic paint. Whatever colours came to hand I used. Once dried, I flipped to the back and began working. I love the new Tibet Series by Artistcellar. I wanted to incorporate the Eternal Knot stencil in some way. Although too large to completely fit on a playing card, when dropped here and there on the cards the stencil certainly added interest.

It’s been a long time since I looked through my collection of rubber stamps and clings. The Curious Possibility clings by Tim Holtz was just perfect for what I had in mind! Combined with a few images I had in my collection I got just the right Victorian vibe I wanted. I know some people like to cover the images on the playing cards completely. I like to allow the flavor of the card to show through where possible. To complete this series I highlighted portions of the back design with Distress Crayons and Crackle Paste. They are now safely tucked away in my binder.

One word of advice: I used my heat tool to get the layers to dry faster. I believe I got a little too close as one of the cards “popped” and buckled. My guess is the plastic coating just didn’t like the heat.

As artists, curiosity is the force that inspires us to create new work. Journaling was always a bit of a mystery to me. I suppose for me it’s “in the cards” using this technique. My question to you: What are you curious about?

 

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