Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello beautiful souls,

Today's challenge was quilt squares with the new pocket quilt squares and 6x6 quilt square stencils. These new stencils remind me of the quilt my mom made for me in the early 90's. Hmmm so what to do with these style stencils to think outside the box? I decided to use a design style that I had discovered early on in my mixed-media journey where I did some cut out butterflies with some stenciling and gold outlines. I called the original piece "Becoming Real" because as I designed the butterflies on the packing paper desk cover I realized how pretty the "mess" was and decided to use it as the background. The outlined butterflies seemed to come to life out of the paper and it was a great metaphor for the transition in my life as well.

I pulled out my watercolors and go to work creating a background with some nice warm colors.

Next I began layering the quilt square stencils in both sizes to the paper with some different colored distress inks, shimmer spray, and white ink.

Next I got to work cutting out the butterflies. I first outlined them in gold and then folded up their wings to give them some more life.

Next I decided to use a canvas I had covered with tissue paper for another project and began adding paint through the stencils in blues.

I wanted to make the design pop more so I outlined the images in gold.

Here is the finished piece.

I was pretty pleased to have worked the quilt square theme into a design that didn't fit the typical style.

I also had my studio mate, Christian working with me at the art table again. It's always nice to create together. 

We were creating some pieces for Free Art Friday again. Christian created this mini canvas with the sacral chakra pocket stencil 

and I did a one of my "Metatron's Full Moon Galaxy" pieces on a 4x6 watercolor using the flower of life and Metatron's cube stencils. 

 How do you use your quilt square stencils?

 Love, light, and art,


Today I wanted to just sit and play and explore with my art supplies. Using watercolor paper, stencils, watercolor and acrylics I explored color and played with the paint on the page. I love to work in this intuitive way and just let the art "be". Whatever wants to show up, I welcome it! Today, a "moonflower" appeared. I call it a moonflower because to me, it fits. 

I hope you will enjoy the little video I created for you!

Supplies Used:

Hello beautiful souls,

Oh man did I have some fun this past week creating these galaxy pieces. I had the idea to do a moon phase piece on some scrap wood I got from work, but before making the final piece I did a little mini piece of art to "test" the design before making anything permanent. So let's begin, shall we? You know I love me some watercolors so I started with some Caran d'Ache Neocolor II in "galaxy colors".

Next I started my mini 3x3 watercolor and long wood piece and began making the galaxy layers.

I had originally wanted to do some moon phases layered with the flower of life stencil and pocket stencil sacral chakra, but wasn't sure if the design would be too busy.

I finished the little 3x3 test piece. I thought it was really beautiful, but felt like you couldn't really tell there was supposed to be a moon under all of the layers. So when I created the wood panel I decided to only use the flower of life stencil for the moons and skip the chakra overlay.  I just love seeing all of the layers piece by piece and end with the finished art! You can see the layers coming together now! So exciting! Here is the original flower of life panel done with the moon phases.

Omg! So pretty! I thought I should totally keep this one for myself, but I had a new little twist on the design to try out next!

Next I decided to do the same galaxy design, but add some of metatron's cube stencil to the background to add a little more sacred geometry to the design!

I really like my design to flow around the sides and keep your eyes moving over the piece so I stenciled every side with some distress inks in similar colors to the background taking care to alternate the colors underneath with an opposite color on top. I love how the colors blend in some places and stand out in others.

Here you can see the finished piece in all it's glory! It's SOOOO PRETTY!!

Well I was on a roll so I took out another larger square piece of wood and did a 6x6 piece. Here is what the bottom layer looks like created with watercolors, and shimmer watercolors first.

Next I did my inking and stencils with the metatron's cube stencil.

I just love the process and seeing the design come together. I really LOVE this silver paint marker I have. It's nice, "juicy," and super shimmery. Here is the finished piece.

Do they just keep getting more amazing with each piece, or what?! So the next question is which one will remain mine and which ones will I sell?

I also have been enjoying participating in Free Art Friday Kansas City.  In this facebook group the idea is to make your art and drop it somewhere in KC with a photo clue and allow people to collect the art for free. How fun is that?! I live in a pretty awesome part of Kansas City called "Midtown" and "Westport". It's the cool artsy part of town with lots of restaurants, music, and cool shops. My drop last week was at this awesome gay bar down the street from me called "Missie B's". Here is my artwork and my photo clue.

I bet you remember seeing my print design from my past blog posts :D I have been dropping my photos and clues on my Thirdeyegypsys instagram account too for some extra fun.

Do you get  on a roll when you figure out a new design? How do you spread the news of your artwork in your local scene?

Love, light, and creativity,


Hello my Lovely Lovelies! This weeks piece is a watercolor piece. To start I used Sri Yantra from the Sacred Geometry series with shades of blue and red from my Koi Watercolor Pocket Field kit on Hot press watercolor paper. I then haphazardly  put gesso over thinly, then another layer of water color through the Halftone Dots series. I kept the patterns loosely recognizable by using a lot of water and using my heat gun to chase the puddles of color across the page.

I  used my Faber-castell Aquarelle pencil to sketch out the face I saw in the jumbles of color activating it with water. I used the acrylic paint to bring out highlights to the nose, forehead and eyes, then the regular graphite pencil to add the details of the face, and the acrylic paint pen to add more highlights. I also went back in with more water color to add more shadows and details.

In the end I decided to add a 2nd face off to the bottom right of the page. This little page was an hour in my day and because I used the stencils to get my art mojo going it was totally relaxing and I just let myself create.s

I tend to stress out at times trying to create things everyone will like. The funny part is I usually make my most popular art when I create for me.

If you would like to watch my process check out the Youtube video!

Keep creating my lovelies!
Shana Banana


Hey everyone! Lisa popping in here for a quick post about the Tim Holtz Distress Crayons. I know there are some people who ask what can be done with them, other than copy exactly what Tim Holtz, the Distress Guy does. Besides all the ways Tim shows you on Youtube, I have three of my own favorites. (To see Ranger's videos, just put "distress crayons" in the Youtube search engine.) 

Artistcellar got the two newest color packs in, sets 6 & 7. They are all delicious colors, matching the rest of the distress stain and ink line. These are my favorite ways to use them. 

1. Backgrounds. 

Please don't judge my tag. I simply grabbed it and started experimenting with the crayons. It's not quite the artistic accomplishment you guys are used to :-D What I did was take 2-3 colors and scribble in patches on the background. Then I took a baby wipe and smeared it all around. Heavy wiping will give a lighter look, very light wiping/dabbing will keep more color. I wanted a lighter background here. You can also use a polymer medium or gel medium to smoosh it around and it won't be as water soluble anymore. 

2. Straight up. 

I love crayons. They remind me of childhood innocence. These crayons are smooth and creamy and make awesome bold rough textured lines. They feel very similar to the Crayola Slick Stix and Gelatos, but of course come in a zillion different colors. The heart is outlined, straight up, no smudging. (The "Happy Holidays" type is a stamp). Now, if you want to smooth the line out, fingers are the best tool to smudge the line. An example of that is below: 

The edges are smudged with my finger. I simply drew a line as close to the edge as I could and rubbed with my finger out about 1/4" to bring that blue line in and frame the tag. At the very end I took an Espresso color and outlined the very edge to bring an even darker line. 

3. Watercolor Effect.

The above also shows an example of using the Distress Crayons for a watercolor effect. I used Archival Ink and stamped a few stars all over the tag. I also stamped some Christmas Trees, shown below. 

I took the color I wanted, got a small paintbrush wet (a water brush would also work really well!) and lifted the color off the tip of the crayon, and painted inside the trees. I used a yellow for the stars. I do this with Neocolor II crayons, I thought, why not try the same with the Distress Crayons? It's nice and subtle and you can layer to make it darker. And if you don't like it, take a baby wipe and wipe the color away :-) 

4. Splatter. 

To make the white snow splatters on the Christmas Trees, I took the white Crayon color and "drew" on my craft sheet to lay color down. I then took the tiniest drops of water and made a white thin paste. I loaded a paintbrush, and tapped it on the crayon to create splatters on the area. The white kind of disappeared in the background area, and showed up more opaque on the green color, perfect! 

So my tag is not the beautifulest of objects, but it does show four ways you can use the Distress Crayons that you may not have thought of. And Tim Holtz can show you some more ways if you google him. 

If you are reading this on December 21, 2016, these will be on sale for 25% off in the Artistcellar shop as part of the 12 Days of Christmas Promotion! All SEVEN sets are available, just look at all those delicious colors! 

Thanks for reading, and since I stole Shelby's day, she will be up tomorrow on the blog! xo Lisa 

Hello again!

Today we're making stardust. I hope you enjoy the video I have prepared for you...

"Well nevermind we are ugly but we have the music" - Leonard Cohen.


Supplies Used:

In art and in life there are ups and downs and today I feel a little bit sad because this will be my last Artistcellar design team post. It is for the best that I let go and let someone else shine. I have enjoyed seeing the work others have created with Artistcellar stencils and I hope I have made some friends here.

I love the portrait series by Jane Davenport as they are a great way to make beautiful portraits without the worry of getting the eyes, ears, nose and lips in all the wrong places (unless you want to of course). I chose ACS063 (Side) because it expresses so much with so very few lines. I love doing portraits over a colored background instead of the white paper. Having a colored background gives me more creative freedom where I can have fun accenting shapes and colors using watercolors and ink.

Supplies needed:

  • ACS063 Jane Girls Side stencil
  • Canson Moulin Du Roy 140 lb watercolor paper cut 5” x7”
  • Daniel Smith Watercolors: Quinacridone Rose, French Ultramarine, Pthalo Turquoise, Hansa Yellow and Shadow Violet
  • Yasutomo Traditional Chinese Ink Ultra Black (CM18)
  • Memento Bahama Blue stamp pad
  • One round and one flat watercolor brush
  • Small stencil brush

First, create a graduated wash of  blended color and apply it to a sheet of cold press watercolor paper. For a smooth graduated wash, wet the paper first by brushing on clear water until the paper looks semi shiny but not dripping or puddling. Load a flat brush with a generous amount of blue watercolor and brush it along the top, then quickly add a wash of yellow and finally a wash of rose. The colors will blend nicely and will be lighter once they are dry.

Position the stencil over the paper and secure with masking tape. I chose a blue stamp pad to being out the image but not to overwhelm since I want the lines to disappear when I start painting. Hold the stencil in place and scrub the ink in with the stencil brush in a circular motion to bring out the details.

Use a pencil to lightly draw in hair and other details.

I used transparent watercolors for painting in the details and shadows. I prefer transparent colors because they mix beautifully without creating mud. Brush on a wet wash of color and drop in another color without actually touching the brush to the paper. Doing this causes the colors to dance, mingle and create new colors. Remember, the secret to watercolor is water!

I felt the image needed more contrast so I used Yasutomo Chinese Ink Ultra Black to block in the background and bring out the face. This ink is really dense and concentrated so don’t mix it with your watercolors and use a different water container and brush for the ink. I love the way it dried to a matte finish.

Fill in more details with various shades of watercolor and ink until you reach the desired effect you want. 

Well it’s not goodbye, it’s so long for now and I hope see you out in the land of creativity.

Thank you for having me here!

Karen Elaine


Hello again!

Did you know that Frida Kahlo's birthday is in the month of July? True story, she was born on July 6, 1907. For the last couple of weeks I have been celebrating her artwork and legacy and today is no different!

I wanted to do something a little bit different than a portrait this time, so I found a Frida quote and set off on a inspired painting!

Today's quote from Frida is, "I paint flowers so they will not die."

To start, I traced around an Artistcellar Diamond series stencil with a General's Scribe-All pencil. I didn't trace around the entire stencil because I think it makes it pretty interesting if you pick out sections. Next, I used a Koi waterbrush and some watercolors to paint in the entire stencil. I let that dry completely so that it could be an awesome under-layer for later!

Then, I continued with my Scribe-All to sketch in some floral illustrations and of course, our quote of the day. When I had the drawing right where I wanted it, I outlined with a black acrylic paint pen.

Next, I started tossing some color at it. I used some fluid acrylics (in the flowers), and watercolor for the background.  I wanted it to be a little bit brighter and colorful because Frida was a very colorful lady... to do this, I added in Dylusions Spray in "Cut Grass". This added a perfect pop of extra color that I needed. In some areas I was a little more precise with the brush, and in others I added drips and splatters and was just a little more messy.

To finish up the painting I simply added white highlights and doodles throughout.

That's it! What about you? What is your favorite Frida quote?


Hello my lovely lovelies! I am so happy to share this week! I am home in Wisconsin to visit my awesome family like I do every year.

I always bring art supplies with me and this year I brought my Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box, my Sakura water brush, Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelles and two art journals, one a homemade with watercolor paper, and the 2nd my Strathmore  with mixed media paper.

When I am home I just create to keep flow going, I don't go about trying to get a style. I just paint or draw things around me, with the landscapes here it's easy to be inspired. Sometimes my Daddy and I just hang out and have beer summits so I decided to record that in my journal! It's always Pabst Blue Ribbon and always served in my favorite bass can cooler.

Other times we go for drives and end up driving home with the sunset, the colors are so vibrant that I can't do them justice because they are so bright they don't look real.

Or other times I just doodle away, my favorite doodle this year is this pretty fairy girl.

All of these quick pages started with a sketch with Graphite Aquarelles and then I activated the pencil using the Sakura water brush with watercolor and without. These are by no means glorious works of art, but they are bits of time that I cherish recorded in my journal.

I will be back in Arizona before my next post so I will have a video to go with it! Thank goodness for cell phones so I could share with you!

Big hugs and mushy stuff to you my lovelies!


“I have never been able to understand the artist whose image never changes”-Lee Krasner, Abstract Expressionist Painter

When I feel adrift, I return to Art History. There I find comfort and direction. Reading Lee Krasner’s quote started me thinking about the evolution of our work.

Do you ever review your body of work? Do you find you can re-experience a particular time in your life just by looking at your colour selection, composition and the materials you chose? Art journaling clearly gives us a sense of time and place. And I feel work beyond journaling can take you on a similar voyage.

Usually when I begin to work I have an inkling of where my journey will take me. But this time I really didn’t have a finished piece of work in mind, so I decided to let my supplies influence my direction. Building on my last Artistcellar piece I wanted to continue exploring the use of Rubber Cement as a resist. Last time I chose a heavy watercolour paper. I now went to the extreme…my cherished smooth and silky Mineral Paper. I was excited to see if the new substrate would enhance the resist.

Using the Artistcellar Seafoam stencil I once again applied Rubber Cement. But this time instead of using my fingers for a mottled finish, I brushed the cement in an even layer through the stencil and allowed it to dry overnight. Removing the stencil was easy, the clean-up quick, leaving it in pristine condition.

Punchinella, circular and hand cut stencils at the ready, I covered the Mineral Paper. I used both a dry brush and wash technique of various watercolours. When dried I added the metallic acrylics. I varied the density and disregarded the placement of the rubber cement.

The final step was the removal of the resist. The Mineral Paper held the cement in place which made it a little difficult to remove. What simply peeled off the watercolour paper held fast this time. But with a little perseverance, all cement was removed and I was left with an interesting array of colour and form. As with past projects, the Mineral Paper held up beautifully. No tearing or buckling. The paper is just fantastic and a MUST for any artist.

The final pattern reminded me of the post-War Abstract Expressionism movement…and I knew what I need to add to complete the image. Some time ago I purchased a fashion photo of a woman in a lovely flower print dress and hat. From her pose she could easily be gazing at an interesting piece of art. Could she be wondering…Is it Art? What do you suppose her answer would be?

When you view your work can you see a shift in perception? Do innovative and interesting influences appear over time? What images are constant…giving you a secure base to allow you to dream and experiment. And do you ever wonder, looking at the world around you…Is it Art?


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