Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Today I bring you part two of my project using the Quilt Series Stencils. I ended my last post by showing you that I had just started adding my stitches to my piece of canvas. 

I ended up concentrating on one of the stencil designs and really took my time adding more and more stitching details to the original design. I used regular embroidery thread in a variegated color scheme as well as black, white and ecru. I stuck with the basic stitches I am familiar with, running stitch, back-stitch and Xs.

After I had filled our my design to my liking I decided I would turn this into the cover for a fabric book where I plan to paint, collage and stitch on the pages. I plan on making it full of texture and color. 

After cutting my cover to size I also cut some batting (to thicken the cover) as well as fabric for the inside of my book to the same size. The fabric I pulled from my stash includes ticking, canvas, white broadcloth and gray felt. The ticking ended up as the inside layer of my cover with the batting sewn between it and my painted canvas.

It's a little wonky and certainly not perfect but I am so so happy with how it is coming along. The stitching makes me slow down, relax and it's nice to just let something evolve as I add a bit to it each evening.

I'll be back next time with a finished book filled with chunky texture, luscious color and more stencils!

Hello to Your Wonderful and Creative Self,

I am here to share something that really gets me excited. It’s simple mark making. I would like to encourage you try your hand at making your own unique marks. Even though I believe that is within all of us, I understand that doing something that is totally YOU may feel intimidating. Thank goodness there are many resources, and there’s even an art challenge (April 1-30, 2017) created by Rae Missigman to help you along your mark making journey! For details on Rae’s “Art Marks Part 2 - 30 Day Challenge”, click here.

Mark making is just something I am completely and utterly drawn to. When I want to create, but I don’t know what to make, I often turn to mark making. I find it extremely satisfying, meditative, and visually interesting.

One of my favorite sets of stencils here at artistcellar is the “Marked Series” designed by artist Lynn Krawczyk.

Let’s Get Started with Mark Making

Allow me to share a process to get you started with mark making.

  1. First, create a simple pattern on a blank piece of paper, using a brush and acrylic paint. Let your paint dry.
  2. Next, using a ballpoint pen, trace some shapes from the “Marked Series” over and around your paper.
  3. Use a small round brush and Dye-Na-Flow to paint in some of the shapes you traced.             
  4. Get out of  your own way, and allow for creative flow takeover!

As you know, things don’t always go smoothly. So, when you have an itsy bitsy spill, make the most of it! Create drips, and prints from the bottom of the jar. These are all wonderful marks!

Dip an Art Foamies stamp into that spill and make some more marks.

What I love to see about this mixed media process is how all of the materials work together. Depending upon the ink in the ballpoint pen, the ink may or not bleed a little from the wet Dye-Na-Flow on your brush. When you put Dye-Na-Flow over acrylic paint, there can be a resist that is subtle, but awesome!

I felt like I needed a little more contrast on the paper, so I used the “Midnight” color of Dye-Na-Flow. Sometimes I like to simply use the cap to dip my brush into as I paint.

Painted paper is one of my favorite things. I love paper, and the sound of painted, wrinkly paper is quite wonderful, too. (The paper I worked on here is copy paper-nothing fancy).

Paper like this can be used in so many projects: art journaling, gift tags, handmade cards, mail art, collage, mixed media art on canvas, book making, etc.

In Summary, I hope this post helps you to see that mark making is fun, energizing, soothing, and creative, all at once!

For more mark making ideas and inspiration, I invite you to hop on over to my site OrangeSpiralArts.com

Blessings and Happy Mark Making!

-Briana

Hello my Lovelies! I am totally scatter brained! I recently realized that I lost a day at some point this week! So here I am working leisurely on this week's blog post thinking I was a day ahead of schedule than "splat" reality throws a curveball at me! Sorry Lisa! I was playing with a canvas and my 12" x 12" Water and Coral Series stencils.

My plan is to keep doing layers of color until I like what I see. I had company in  town and I gave a piece of art off my wall and I now have a space to fill so I am making this all for me. I will give an update on my next blog post as to how it turned out.

Because I wanted to have a actual completed piece for you I promptly took out my journal and decided I would have some fun play time. After doing the faces of February I realized that I am pretty much stuck in a rut as far as what the faces I usually make look like so I have been working on changing that and trying to evolve my style a bit.

If you are familiar with what I normally do you will notice I tried to make her eyes further apart and to put less detail in the nose, I want to kind of "rough up" the look and get to refining later.

I started by doing a very rough sketch of my girl holding her kitty with my Generals Scribe-all in black. I then activated the pencil with water and started adding Dina Wakley  paint willy-nilly until I got the face colored in nice. I did a color wash background using more watered down paint in multiple layers. Then went back in with Cheddar and Fuchsia and the Japanese Geometric stencils thinking it would give me the feel I wanted but It didn't groove with me so I went in with Gesso through the 12" x 12" Sea Foam from the Water Series and realized the sentiment I wanted to record in my journal. "Why can't I just live in a bubble with my cat" which I wrote using a nib pen wth my Dyna-flow in Turquoise. For the last touch I used my white gel pen to add little scribbly bits here and there until I was happy!

I love doing these fun journal entries and exploring my style! 

Big Hugs and Mushy Stuff!

Shana Banana

“Aspire, Advance, Achieve” - Society of Women Engineers

Math. Just hearing the word still sends shivers down my spine, even with years as a cushion between my high schools classes and the present day. But the least scary for me of this abstract science of numbers, quantity, and space was Algebra. As a person who struggled dismally with geometry, for some bizarre reason, the algebraic symbols made sense. Although I won’t say I was enamored by my Algebra classes, at least I didn’t thoroughly dread them. There was something satisfying in solving the simple equations of elementary algebra.

Recently I decided to review my collection of instructional DVDs. Like going back to school for a refresher course, I began with Seth Apter’s “Easy Mixed Media Techniques for the Art Journal”. There are so many DVDs on the market, but in my opinion, Seth’s instruction is truly one of the best. His relaxed step-by-step style and proclivity for using “low tech” materials make his projects fun and a great learning experience. By encouraging you to “make it your own” surprising and unique results are always a possibility. So with supplies at the ready my project began.

Inspired by Seth’s instructions, I attached a page from an old Algebra book to a sheet of watercolour paper in my Strathmore Visual Journal using matte medium. When dry, I masked off a few equations on the page with torn Post It notes.  I then framed the page with Waterfall Green pearlescent liquid acrylics, leaving the center free for a transparent wash of Brilliant Orange mixing acrylics with an equal amount of glazing fluid. 

A technique I haven’t used in ages, but is always fun, is “inking” the rough side of corrugated board. At Seth’s suggestion, my packing box discards produced the most interesting series of lines when infused with white gesso. 

I had been gifted some time ago with the lovely vintage photo of four Victorian women. With the layers of texture and colour taking shape, I knew this would be a special background just for them. I like to think of the women as engineers, creatively collaborating on a project. And their inspiration absolutely had to be the Artistcellar stencil Metatron’s Cube form the Sacred Geometry 2 Series. Incorporating every shape in the Universe, this certainly could be all the motivation they would need. To help them along, I surrounded the women with a series of rubber stamped numbers…the tools of their trade. 

The word Algebra derives from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning "The reunion of broken parts". Journaling is a wonderful way to reunite fractured thoughts and feelings. Taking a new class or reviewing an inspiring DVD is equally as rewarding. And there is nothing better than sharing new techniques and discoveries. 

I suppose the spirit of Algebra is still with me...and perhaps all of us... as we aspire to find the balance hidden within our broken parts.

MATERIALS USED

  • Sacred Geometry 2 Series 
  • Matte Medium
  • Mod Podge – Sheer Orange
  • Golden Glazing Fluid
  • Gesso
  • Daler Rowney FW Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic Waterfall Green
  • Plaid Brilliant Orange
  • DecoArt Desert Turquoise
  • Reeves Metallic Copper
  • Post It Notes
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Stamp Pad
  • Natural Sponge
  • Paper Towels
  • Corrugated Board
  • Strathmore Mixed Media Journal Watercolour
  • Vintage Paper and Images

Hello beautiful souls,

Well I had a blast with the crackle paste this round! I learned some awesome things too so I am excited to share those things as well. So let's dive in! I like to start out with a 4x6" watercolor piece to try out the design and then go bigger. So for my first piece I rocked the chakra, pocket chakra and pocket chakra 2 stencils.

As you can see the crackle starts out white, but that's boring, right? So why not get down and dirty with some colors?

So here are some helpful tips I learned while working with this super sweet medium. On the website it suggests that you use matte medium to help the crackle stick to your piece better, but if you forget to do that when you start you kinda have to go backwards. Luckily you can still do that after you put your paste down. So you want to let the crackle paste dry. DON'T try to speed up the crackle with a dryer or you will not allow the medium to crackle on it's own. If you want big cracks you want a nice thick layer. Thinner layers will create thinner cracks, but be careful. The thinner the layer the flakier the little crackles, and when you put the matte medium on top you will lose it on your brush. The crackle doesn't really like to let all colorful things stick like watercolors so you need to get creative. On my heart sanskrit piece I used alcohol inks and the liquid solution to thin down and blend the color. I just squirted them right from the bottle on my piece and let them drip. When I was creating both pieces of artwork I flipped between both while I learned how to use them.

So let's take a look at my Om piece using the 12x12 Om crown stencil. I got my background nice and poppin' with some super bright colors, layers, black, white, drips, inks, and watercolors. I laid my Om on the top with the crackle paste and got to work.

It was pretty with just the white. You can actually see the distress inks penetrate the surface and bleed through, but they were a little too subtle. I started out with some opaque inks, but the crackle was so delicate before I learned the matte medium trick.

So I did the inks and then did the matte medium. This is not a water based ink so I didn't have any of the ink come up on my brush when I painted on the protective layer. So you want to keep that in mind as you do your matte medium layer. You can see the places where I lost some crackle, but it looks distressed and goes awesome with my piece. I was kinda digging the kind of tie-dye easter egg look, but it was pretty pastel.

I decided to get down with some alcohol inks and distress inks to really make the crackle pop, but then things got to be a little too much, and I was losing those awesome layers I had build up.

I got a little stuck so I posted on Facebook and asked friends to help make some suggestions. I got things like outline in white, black, dark blue, and some greens. I had already tried to outline in white but it still wasn't  enough to help. I decided to go for metallic gold so I  covered the Om in white ink and then got out the dylusions ground coffee spray, some other sparkle sprays, and I finished off the look with Viva Decor Inka Gold. I deiced I want to to clean up the outline so I addedd a paint pen in metallic gold as well and the constrast was pefect. I LOVE how well this piece turned out especially after the mess I started out with Lol.

What awesome saves have you done with your work when you got stuck in a design rut?

Until next time...

Love, light, and creativity,

xo Genea

Hello starshines!

In my part of the world spring is upon us and I couldn't be happier! However, I'm also finding myself in a bit of a whirlwind. I have so many projects going on right now and an upcoming show at an art gallery! While it's all very exciting, one way that I de-stress is through tarot and oracle. As a side project (because I don't have enough projects - LOL) I started developing an oracle deck.

The process of creating the deck has been very relaxing and rewarding because I don't feel a lot of pressure. I started by cutting out the size of "cards" that I wanted out of watercolor paper. I'm using a mix of Fabriano Hot Press watercolor paper and Arches cold pressed depending on the texture I want from the card. Cold pressed watercolor paper is a lot more textured - or bumpy... and hot press is more smooth. It's a lot easier to use with ink pens to get nice bold lines. 

I've finished quite a few cards already, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to show you how I incorporate Artistcellar stencils into the oracle cards in subtle ways. 

Today, I started with a piece of watercolor paper cut down to the size I wanted. Then, I grabbed an Artistcellar Cathedral Plans stencil and a Faber-Castell graphite pencil. Using only a part of the stencil, I traced around it first in pencil then added another element (in this case, a flower dropping a petal). 

Next, I used a pen to ink the drawing and then a waterbrush with Twinkling H20's and watercolor. To finish it off, I added white highlights with a Uniball Signo-UM-153.

Because the size is so much smaller I find that I can easily finish a card in one sitting. With limited supplies, it's a project I can do on the go as well!

If you want to follow along with the progress of Dear Heart Oracle, follow along on my instagram! (@pantheartist) or Patreon! (www.patreon.com/panart)

The new Quilt Series stencils have been a source of great inspiration for me. After my last project, where I worked with paint in my art journal, I decided to get my SEW on and grabbed some fabric and embroidery thread. Since I am more of a tortoise than a hare when it comes to hand sewing (okay okay, really ANY sewing) I am only sharing the first half of the project this week. 

Here's what I used:

First step was painting my canvas. I sprayed my canvas with water so when I brushed on the paint it would apply smoothly and blend well. I also made sure I used a wet brush and brushed the paint on the canvas with circular motions. I was going for a wash of color as opposed to thick layers because I wanted to fabric to stay pliable.

When the canvas was dry I placed my two stencils down and did a layer of gesso and then, when dry, a layer of Penny.

Now comes the sewing!! So far I have chosen a variegated embroidery thread and sewed around the edges of the stencil with a back stitch. When I add more stitches I'll be thinking about what I would add if this was a drawing or painting. My needle and thread will act as my pencil or paintbrush. I am enjoying the handiwork and I find myself relaxing as I work. It's nice to unplug, slow down and make progress stitch by stitch.

 

Will it be a book cover? A wall hanging? Check back next time to find out!

Happy creating!

Howdy Ya’ll,

I am going to let you know that I am feeling all the feels at the moment. One thing that seems to help me in this situation is to turn to the art journal for some color, writing, and feelings of relief.

Supplies Used:

Step 1:

Spray Inks for the background.

Use a roll of paper towels to soak up extra ink.

Step 2:

Choose a stencil and grab your Dylusions Blendable Acrylic paint, as well as a cosmetic wedge for application.

Step 3:

Apply paint through stencil.

Step 4:

Write some comforting words around the stencil image, using a Uni-Posca Paint Pen.

Steps 5 and 6:

Use a hand-carved stamp as a border for your page.

Use alphabet stamps to print a phrase for what you most need and want in this moment.

Step 7:

Take a picture of your page.

May this light and love reach you now.

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

Hello my Lovely Lovelies!!! I am so excited to share today's arty fun with you! I actually created this piece on March 16, which is my Birthday! Yay me! Lol! I also am getting to share how I used the new Artistcellar Quilt series stencils

As soon as I saw these beautiful stencils I knew immediately that I wanted to create something that incorporated my family history. I have an AMAZING family and these stencils reminded me of a speech my Auntie made about how quilts helped aid runaway slaves to safety and freedom. My family is of (MUCH) mixed ancestry and are known as the Cheyenne Valley settlers. They were one of a few integrated communities that lived peacefully without prejudice with integrated schools, churches, and helped each other in times of need. Also one of my Ancestors was know for the round barns that can be found all around the area. My family history on my paternal side is fascinating! If you would like to read more you can search for Cheyenne Valley Settlers Wisconsin. 

I love that I created this piece about my history on my birthday, it grounds me, and once again makes me realize how lucky I am to have been raised within a family that didn't judge based on skin color. I still have a hard time comprehending how people can do that. 

To create this piece I used both the Mini Quilt Pocket stencils and the 6 x 6 Quilt series stencils, I painted the a brick round barn with some simplified Wisconsin scenery in the background using my Koi Watercolor field kit on Strathmore Coldpress watercolor paper. I decided to use the 6x6's to create some fun quilt shapes in the sky. I then used the pocket stencils to put quilts hanging out on the line to dry. For the last step I used my White Gel pen to add some bright white contrast throughout the piece!

I am so happy with how this turned out! I would have liked it without the use of the new stencils, but the stencils made the whole piece feel more homie and they add just that little bit of detail the bumps it up from like to love!

Big Hugs and Mushies to you!

Shana Banana

P.S. I do not have the video completed yet (its my birthday! I'm gonna go play some bingo!) but hope to get it completed soon!

DIE GOLDENE MEDINA - HER DREAMS

“Beds, three tiers high, were still not sufficient to accommodate the 5,000 immigrants who arrived daily. Many, like this young woman, were forced to sleep on benches, chairs, or on the floor.” – Lewis W. Hine

When traveling, have you ever felt bone-weary…so tired you feared the next step? Have you ever been stranded in an airport, with nothing but what seemed like unending hours until the next flight? I have. And if you are like me, I am sure all you could think of was getting somewhere, anywhere, to sleep. To lessen the discomfort of my situation, I like to visualize of my cozy bed at home, covered with a warm, colorful quilt.

My inspiration for this collage was a photograph from the Hine Collection. As an educator, Lewis W. Hine encouraged his students to use photography as a tool for social change. He often held his sociology classes at Ellis Island. In five years, 1904 to 1909, he produced 200 photographs of the immigrants passing through the Island. The young woman trying her best to get some sleep is one I thought fit perfectly with the new Artistcellar Quilt Stencils.

The new series features four quilt designs: The Bear Claw, The Star Flower, and the two I chose to use, The Ohio Star and the Amish Star. Living close to Lancaster, PA it’s nice to see the Amish star included in the series.

Going back to my Strathmore Journal, I sponged on layers of acrylic paint, letting each dry between applications. Having the stencils in both the 6” x 6” and Pocket size is really useful. In my work, I used both. Again, the quality of the stencils didn’t let me down. Even though the paint was dry between multiple layers, clean up was a snap, with each stencil back to immaculate condition. I built the background quilt layer by tiling the image as on a true cloth covering.

Completing the collage, I drew upon my collection of ephemera. I surrounded the Slavic lady with what I imagine surrounded her: mountains of paperwork as she made her way through the Ellis Island process. 

And was she like you and me, tired and sleepy, dreaming of a familiar place to rest? Did her dreams include quilts and thoughts of home?

MATERIALS USED: