Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello lovely lovelies!

Want to know my favorite part of being creative? It's when I can create something for someone that makes them smile.

This week I want to share a piece I have created for my friend Pan. She is a wonderful person who recently lost a beloved Newfoundland named Misha.

Because Misha was camera shy there weren't really any good pictures of her face so I volunteered to make some art of Misha.

To create this I decided to use my favorite medium - my Koi watercolors on hotpress watercolor paper. I love how I can layer the koi colors and how bold they are. Since most of Misha's face is black I really needed to use layers of color to create some highlights to give structure. I also went in with my white gel pen to create the illusion of fur. 

And then to add more fun and interest I always grab my artistcellar stencils in this case I used my Jill Berry texture series to finish up the piece.

I really hope my friend Pan enjoys this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Big hugs and mushies to you!

Shana banana

Words matter, and the right words matter most of all. In the end they’re all that remain of us.” – John Birmingham

I relish layering in artwork…colour on texture on paper on ink on paint. You never know what the outcome will be, but the journey can be enough. And as much as I love surprises in the visual arts, I also love words. They too can carry you on an elaborate voyage of discovery…with twists and turns as you search for just the right word.

For my next project I primed illustration board with gesso and attached an old dictionary page. When dry, I covered the center with a mixture of Splendid Gold acrylic that I thinned with glazing liquid. I surrounded the gold with Bubble Gum Dylusion Spray that I brushed on. The spray colours are great and hold their hue regardless of the surface they are painted on, or how they are applied. I wouldn’t be without them. My next step was to rubber stamp. I chose both a typewriter and calligraphic stamp and a dye ink to minimize bleed.

Some time ago I added Quentin Matsys’ painting “The Money Changer and His Wife” to my collection of paper bits and pieces. It was in a newspaper and I really liked the saturated colour on the newsprint. I chose to use only the woman and her open book in the collage.

With such a variety of designs it is can be a challenge to choose just one Artistcellar stencil. I decided to start with the Quilt. This stencil comes in two sizes, which allows so much freedom when planning your work. The Pocket Stencil was the perfect size for my collage, and what a wonderful foil for Quasicrystal Infra. Large or small, Artistcellar stencils are instrumental when you are looking to give your work a unique edge. You’ll always find just the right one for your project. I continued layering the stencils, with the final image as you see here, surrounding the woman with letters and words. Will she find the right ones to narrate her story?

Finding just the “right one”…be it an image, a colour, or a word can be perplexing. But what a marvelous feeling of accomplishment when you do! And sharing the right word layered with the right sentiment is an incredible way to immortalize the sweet story of our lives.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

Do you ever have a theme that starts in your work and continues to surface in each of your new creations? For me one of the recurring images that shows up in my work is the Chartres Labyrinth. I  fell in love with this intricate pattern back when I made one of my first "labyrinth lotus" designs. I used Chartres to adorn the petals of my lotus.

Next I created my little 4x6 mixed-media cards and since I loved the design I did with my favorite colors (lime green, aqua, and teal) you see the design again.

I had so much fun with the labyrinth series stencils I did some layering on these mirrors.

It surfaced again as the patterns on my sacred heart for my "Love Winds the Infinite Machine" piece, and then it morphed into jewelry with my shrink plastic pendants and necklaces.

My self-portrait piece that is still in the process of being finished.

I recently got sucked back into Chartres for the most recent shrink plastic necklace designs I created for our regional area Burning Man event in Wichita, Kansas, Resonance. I created some gifts to hand out at the burn and decided to make glittery feathers since those are basically a sin to take to burns since they leave what is called "moop" (matter out of place). One of the 10 principals of Burning Man is "Leave no Trace". Since glitter falls off and feathers shed from boa's and costumes they are frowned upon in the community and bring up lots of heated arguments. So my fun way of making light of such a triggered subject was to make feathers and glitter "happen" by creating my feather necklaces. You can read the full backstory on my blog here.

Of course I am always refining my designs and making each one better until I feel they have reached their "perfect state" so naturally once you do one design you keep getting ideas for more. I started out more simple and then kept getting more and more intricate. I did a Chartres labyrinth feather as one of the first feathers with a pattern and expanded from there.

Next I went on to creating feathers with the Chakra 1 and Chakra 2 pocket stencils.

They were so freaking awesome I had to do a sacred geometry series, so I used the sacred geometry  and sacred geometry 2 stencils as well. I even did a special release on my Instagram.

What recurring theme works it's way into your art?

Love, light, and creativity,

xoxo Genea

Hello again everyone!

This week I opted to work on my Artistcellar project at a favorite local coffee shop! Frank and David joined me, and while they played a game of Magic the Gathering, I sipped coffee and arted to my heart's content.  It's really fun to create art in places other than my own home - not only was I able to spend time with friends, but it also sparked conversation with a stranger as well. 

It's no secret I'm -always- inspired by poetry. I'm working with my beloved mineral paper, watercolors, colored pencils and Artistcellar Quasicrystals and Sacred Geometry 2 stencils to create a simple yet beautiful mandala poetry piece.

I started with a poem I love by Nayyirah Waheed (an absolute favorite!) and built around that idea with colors and textures. From stencils to dripping watercolor, I intuitively built it up until I had something I liked. 

This was one of my first attempts at colored pencils on the mineral paper. I tried it after all the watercolor had a chance to totally dry. I will say my final verdict is it's not my favorite - but I don't hate it, either. I think I might like it for smaller details, and to stick to watercolor on the fill in's. Like in the flower petals! 

Either way, I'm really happy with my final piece. It was simple and meditative, yet it's fun to look at too. 

Where do you like to go to create art outside of your home/studio?

Making my own collage papers is one of my favorite things! I have talked about this process before but this time I have tweaked it a bit and I am excited to show you my results! It's a super easy process and I hope you are inspired to make your own.

Here is what I used:

I use three or four layers for my papers. The first layer is usually a solid color but this time I used a brush with some super black Chinese Ink and painted some graphic patterns and written script.

This is the tweak I mentioned earlier. I wanted to incorporate some personal marks to make my paper more authentic to my artistic style. Using my own handwriting and hand-created lines creates a personalized collage paper unique to me beyond the stencil patterns I chose. Please do not stress about your handwriting thinking it is not "good enough" because that IS NOT TRUE! Your handwriting is unique to you and what better way to immerse your mark into a piece of art you create. 

When the ink has dried then it is time to get stenciling! I usually add 2-3 stencil layers and I like to let the paint dry before I add the next layer. If I find the paper is getting too busy I use white as a final layer to tone things down.

And that's it! Easy peasy and beautifully textured with a personal touch. I hope you find time to create some handmade collage papers and incorporate your own marks and handwriting into them!

It’s nearly my birthday, and I want to have some FUN! So, I decided to use some awesome supplies from artistcellar to create a sign to hang on my art studio wall, as a loving reminder.

Supplies Used:

Step 1:

Gather your supplies.

Step 2:

Apply the Dylusions Blendable Acrylic paint through the Sea Foam stencil in a way that pleases you.

Step 3:

Remove the stencil and take a look at what you’ve got so far.

Step 4:

Look around your studio for some painted papers or some scrapbook paper.

Hand-cut the letters F-U-N.

TIP: The N can be tricky. I usually have to draw it out the correct way before my brain can process what it looks like backwards. Usually I draw the letter on the backside of the paper, backwards, so that when I cut it out, it’s the correct orientation. With the N, I just cut inside my lines on the front of the paper. That helped me have more fun!

(See how tricky N can be??!!)

Step 5:

Enhance your letters in some way to help them stand out from the background. I chose to color in some oval shapes, using markers.

Step 6:

Hang your FUN sign on your studio wall and smile each time you glance at it!

Sending You Blessings for More Fun!

 -Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“Letter writing is an excellent way of slowing down this lunatic helter-skelter universe long enough to gather one’s thoughts.” – Nick Bantock

If you are like me, you are not averse to peeking into a trash can now and again…without shame! Collage and mixed-media artists all know the unsung wastepaper basket can be an absolute treasure trove. It was in a receptacle of wonder that I found the discarded interoffice envelope I used as the heart of my next Artistcellar project.

The envelope was still intact. Originally used to communicate between workplace departments, with a bit of creativity I could turn it into a place to hold new notes and letters. And so the work began by brushing Ruby, Blushing and Lemon Dina Wakley Acrylics directly on to the envelope. To keep the colours transparent I mixed the paint with glazing liquid. It is wonderful to add to your paint, allowing you to get just the right amount of transparency for your art.

I covered a shipping tag with Vibrant Orange Dylusion Paint. When dry I stamped on a Gibson Girl image with dye ink. It was now ready to place. I hooked the cord around the red tab at the top and glued the tag in place. The pen nibs at the bottom of the envelope were added with stamp pad ink…just the image for the new purpose of this envelope.

I decided to try my hand at making Washi Tape. Laying a few lengths of first aid surgical tape to wax and freezer paper, I wanted to see which would be a better substrate when I started my stenciling. Both worked well. So if you are out of one or the other, you can still create your own tape. Using the Artistcellar Open Work Block I stenciled in various shades of Dina Wakley acrylics, highlighting with touches of gold. The colours held true and dried quickly. Tearing the tape was easy and gave me the finished look I was after.

I continued adding elements as they came to hand…more Artistcellar stencils (of course!), crayon scribbles, printed paper, and even a penciled inscription. I threaded ribbon though the already drilled holes. Tied at the back, it secures my new enclosures with a bit of inspiration.

Slowing down is always a good idea. I agree that we do have a helter-skelter universe, now more than ever. But taking time to see the wonders of the world around you restores the sanity of creativity. And isn’t this a fantastic quality to share through the written word?

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

I'm excited to share my newest mixed-media piece with you. I am going to take you on a walk down memory lane to show the metamorphosis of the original design into the present.  I don't know about you, but I am always excited to always be improving on each design pushing things further and further and ever expanding the possibilities. I had the pleasure of spending a few days with one of my dear friends Eryn, while she was visiting from Colorado.

She asked me to create a piece for her using the throat chakra and remarked about how she really loved one of my 6x6 pieces I had done. I began the first design as a 4x6 with the heart chakra stencil and the flower of life stencil.

Next I designed this 6x6 canvas jumping up in size.

Later when the set of chakra 2 pocket stencils came out I thought it would be a great idea to add the heart chakra sanskrit symbol on the inside of the star.

I ended up doing this piece as a facebook live stream here if you are interested in watching the whole piece be created. To start out I used layers of watercolors, inks, and a white signo pen using the flower of life stencil.

Next I layered on some texture paste with the throat chakra stencil and made the texture bubble up by spot heating it with my heat gun. 

I just love making this texture with the modeling paste. In the past I had used some fluid acrylics, but I wanted to make the throat chakra blueish so I used inks and shimmer sprays to create some lovely layers and depth.

Just look at all of those delicious colors and textures! Yum! 

Here is the finished 6x6 canvas.

How do you like to expand your design when creating new pieces in a series?

Love, light, and creativity, 

xoxo Genea

This week has been really busy... my local allied arts council commissioned me to paint a traffic box! It's a week long process that started on Sunday, and it will end on Friday with a reception. I've been going out to the street corner everyday to add more work to it and it is coming right along. Here's some progress shots so far: 

When it came time to do the Artistcellar project for this week it was a nice break to get back to working on a flat surface.. and WATERCOLORS!

I started with mineral paper (of course, I'm in love) and a quick sketch. I was inspired by the song, "My Body is A Cage."

Once I had the sketch where I wanted it, I put down some Artistcellar stencils and watercolors. Here I'm using Quasicrystals, Sacred Geometry 2 and Cathedral Plans.

I let the stencils sit on the paper until the watercolor was dry.  Once the watercolors were totally dry I finished with acrylic paint. Overall, a nice easy colorful project to work on and relax! 

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the weather and the comfy clothes. I love the colors, the smells and the crunchy sounds of leaves. To celebrate the arrival of Autumn I felt inspired to create a fall themed craft. Here's what I used:

I began this creative adventure by gelli printing over a dozen sheets of deli paper with a set selection of paints colors and only two stencils. I wanted the papers to be cohesive so they would layer nicely when I collaged them onto the pumpkins.

To prepare the pumpkins I first applied a layer of gesso. When it dried I used a glue gun to "draw" lines and dots on the surface. 

Now to collage the paper onto the pumpkins! Tear the deli paper into smaller pieces to make it easier to apply to the curvy surface of the pumpkin. Paint your chosen collage medium onto the surface of the pumpkin, then apply the paper and finally paint more collage medium on top. I used a stiff brush that I could abuse because I wanted to really form the paper onto the textured surface. 

The final layer was the addition of a metallic paint (I used Dina Wakley Acrylics in Gilt and Penny). I think it really makes everything pop! 

The finished pumpkins make me so happy! The colors and textures created by the stencils are gorgeous. What Autumn themed artwork would you create?