Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

I am just returning from a week in California. As a Minnesotan who does not travel much, this trip was a huge deal for me. I was out in California, attending the Paint Riot retreat put on by Connie Solera (of Dirty Footprints Studio) and Chris Zydel (of Creative Juices Arts). I really explored my painting and mixed media boundaries. And so, I thought I’d do that again, but on a smaller scale, for this post.

Today, I am working with the Eternal Knot stencil, one of the four included in the NEW Tibet Series stencils.

My goal is to stretch my boundaries, so I am using some art supplies and techniques that are not my norm.

SUPPLIES USED:

Step 1:

Trace the inside of the Eternal Knot using a black pen.

Step 2:

Doodle designs using the Gelly Roll and Gold Uni-ball pens.

Step 3:

Begin to color in spaces with the CarbOthello pastel pencils.

Step 5:

Create your own unique border around the Eternal Knot.

Step 6:

Use an embroidery needle and thread to hand stitch around the border.

One of the benefits of stitching on thin paper is that when you hold it up to the light, you can see through to your next possible stitch.

Step 7:

Add watercolor inside the spaces in colors that please you.

Step 8:

Add water to any CarbOthello colored areas to blend as desired. (It’s partially water-soluble, meaning you will still see your lines).

Step 9:

Admire your art that is uniquely you!

This whole thing took me about two hours to complete. I anticipate the question that somebody might ask, which would be, “What’s the point?”

Well, here’s my response.

“The point is to immerse yourself in the creative process. The point is to breathe and stretch yourself. The point is to notice which colors sing to your soul. The point is explore unknown materials to see what you can do with them. Each and every exploration is a learning experience. Enjoying the moment is the point.”

May you enjoy many creative moments today and each day, in order to feel your aliveness.

Many Blessings to You,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

“Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Could anything be more uplifting than seeing a row of decorated flags floating in the Spring breeze? I have long been captivated by the dynamics of fabric and wind. I get the same feeling of bliss seeing laundry hanging on a clothesline as I do when dancing with veils. The graceful movement of soft cloth echoing the direction a breeze is meditative for me…a way to slow down and become mindful.

Traditionally Tibetans believe in the power of decorated Prayer Flags. By hanging the flags along mountain tops in the Himalayas the prayers and mantras are blown by the wind to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The wishes are not carried to the gods, but instead benefit all who are embraced by the wind. Subject to the elements, the Flags symbolically become part of the Universe, fading over time. New flags are hung beside the old; a sign of the ever changing wheel of life.

Inspired by the new Artistcellar Tibet Series I was ready to craft my own flag, the first of four I hope to create. As it is the colour of Air and Clouds I purchased white chiffon fabric. It is quite transparent and will easily float when caught by the wind.

To keep the fabric from slipping when stenciling, I used an old screen printing trick and sprayed a light coat of repositionable adhesive to a large piece of cardboard. It made acrylic application easy and if luck was with me I was hoping to remove the cloth with little damage. The top of the flag was the perfect spot for the Buddha Eyes, also known as the Wisdom Eyes, stencil. I chose shades of blue acrylic paint…the colours of sky and space…and a wonderful way to show the Lord’s existence around us.

Spring has certainly arrived with flowers blooming in their beds. It is here in the garden that I find complete serenity. Our bearded irises are now gloriously cloaked in a vast spectrum of lavender to deep purple. They share the garden, living side by side with pansies of yellow, orange, and violet. They, like the Flags, will eventually become part of the Universe as their blooms fade and die. Hoping to hold the memory of this moment, I stenciled the bottom half of the flag inspired by the flowers. The perfect stencil for a kaleidoscope of colour is the Halftone Dots series. Layered, they recreated the riot of colour on display in the garden.

Once dried, it was time for the moment of truth: the removal of the fabric from the cardboard. Just as I had hoped, it peeled off easily with very little distortion. I wasn’t sure if the acrylics would stiffen the chiffon. I am happy to say it was anything but. Even with multiple layers of paint, the finish is muted and sheer, almost dreamlike. And best of all, hanging from a dowel rod finished with wooden end caps, the stenciling on both sides is equally as nice.

Of all the wonderfully creative benefits Artistcellar products have to offer I especially love the way they encourage me to think, slow down, and become mindful. Now more than ever we need to surround ourselves with empathy, strength, peace, and above all wisdom. My hope is that wherever you may be, may the wind caress you and the serenity of my garden encircles you.

Hello beautiful souls!

It's time!! Are you ready to check out the new Tibet Series Stencils in action?! They are so awesome!!

I'm excited to finally reveal the rest of my artwork photos with the new series. I used the Wisdom Eyes of Buddha for both of my pieces thus far. Here are the finished photos of my piece I created for my friend, Leon that moved to California.

I used some gold and outlined it in black to make the eyes really stand out. I love all of the layers in this piece!

I am still working on my girl piece as we speak. I have really been working on the layering.

I used so many of the Artistcellar stencils it's nutty. In this photo you can see: pocket chakra stencils, halftone dots, 12x12 Sri Yantra, labyrinth series, Japanese geometric series.

I wanted to create some 3-D elements so I used some texture paste, and the 12x12 flower of life stencil.  I was impatient so I was using my heat gun to speed up drying time. I ended up getting these cool bubble textures in the paste! Neato torpedo!

I played with some alcohol inks, and some inka gold and created this cool kind of frog bump/dragon scale look. 

I kind of stopped at this next point. I have so many layers, colors, black, white, and gold going on I am not totally sure what to do here, or to just leave it and continue on with the rest of my girl and the bottom lotus design.  Here I used some more texture paste and the Wisdom eyes of Buddha stencil. I had tried to just use some pens to trace around the stencil, but it didn't have enough umph to the texture paste was PERFECT!

What's your favorite "happy little accident" you discovered while creating?

Love, light, and art,

Genea

Hello again!

As artists, our art tends to evolve with us. New life experiences, emotions, inspirations and yes, even art supplies can all help turn our creativity in different directions.

Right now, the direction I've been taking involves mineral paper, watercolors and Artistcellar stencils.

I was over the moon with Lisa's Artistcellar package containing the brand new stencils - Tibet Series Stencils. If you follow me through facebook or instagram I'm sure you have seen the stencils in action already... they made me swoon!

Today, I made a short little technique video to show you one watercolor/mineral paper/stencil technique that I accidentally stumbled upon and I LOVE!

I hope you enjoy the video I created for you today using The Tibetan Om, Buddha Eyes, Eternal Knot and Lotus Flower:

To showcase one of my favorite stencils from the set, I also created a couple of girls from the Lotus Flower stencil

I started with the stencil as the base, and then used a pencil to sketch the girl "growing" from the center. Next, I filled it in with watercolor and ink. 

The two girls below were both created on different paper, so you will see the dramatic change that using different paper can be. First is created on mineral paper, and the other is on a hot press watercolor paper.

And below, here are some examples of other paintings I created utilizing the technique demonstrated in the video!

With each new release, I'm always amazed at the magic Lisa creates with her stencils... and the resulting artwork to follow. I hope you will find inspiration with the new Tibet stencil series -- and perhaps you discovered a new technique to play with today as well.

See you soon!

It's so exciting when there is a new stencil release and the Tibet Series is stunning! 

For my project I chose to use the Eternal Knot stencil. (It's also called the Endless Knot) Here is an excellent explanation from the Sivana East website:

An intricate pattern of interlacing lines and never-ending loops, the eternal knot is nothing short of eye catching and deeply intriguing. Though found mostly in Tibetan Buddhist culture, the Endless Knot can also be found in Chinese and Chinese-inspired art, and can even be seen in Celtic culture.

Without beginning or end, the endless knot is an intricate design of looped intertwined lines that weave in and out of each other to form a beautiful lattice pattern.

The origin of this ancient symbol is thought to be the icon of snakes- a symbol of duality in many cultures.

Buddhism focuses heavily on the idea of duality and finding the balance between the feminine and masculine qualities in life. This gives a balanced perspective that allows the practitioner to let go of challenging situations, and to see the opposing side of arguments in a new light. This lets go of attachment and hatred, resulting in a closer path to enlightenment.

With all the twists and turns in the knot, it clearly illustrates the interconnectedness of all beings on the planet. This makes the sacred knot take on the symbolism of not just duality, but the perfect representation of unity in the universe.

At its heart, the endless knot inspires one to ponder the connectivity of opposites.

As The Dhammapada reads:

Conquer the angry man by love.
Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth.

 

This is why the endless knot can be found everywhere in Tibetan Buddhism- to remind us of the interconnectedness of all beings in space and time.

Isn't that inspiring? 

I wanted to make a simple pendant banner so clearly display this beautiful symbol. 

Here is what I used:

Use the Infra and Ripples stencils to create texture onto the painted canvas and your background is ready! Take the Eternal knot stencil and transfer the design onto the center of the canvas. The stenciled lines from the pattern will guide your stitching and use the turquoise thread to sew a back-stitch along the design. Paint the space inside the thread lines with white paint to highlight the knot design. 

Create a loop at the top of the canvas by folding the fabric over the dowel and gluing the edge down. Using your choice of cord or thread take a length and tie each end onto the dowel to create a way to hang the banner.

This leaves room for so much more embellishment and personalization. Want to add beads? Handwritten words? Go and do it! I hope you are able to create something beautiful this week and find inspiration from the new Tibet Stencils!

Greetings Everyone,

I am sooooo excited about the latest and greatest stencil series at artistcellar. Are you ready to find out what it is? Allow me to introduce the Tibet Series Stencils. In this series, there are four symbols of enlightenment: The Tibetan OM, Buddha Eyes, the Eternal Knot, and the Lotus flower.

In this post, I am featuring the Buddha Eyes, also called Wisdom Eyes. I gravitated toward them right away. I looked up their symbolism and learned the following:

Buddha Eyes - Also called Wisdom Eyes, this pair of eyes can usually be found depicted on all four sides of the Buddhist shrines known as Stupas. The symbol denotes the all-seeing and omniscient eyes of Buddha and is representative of the Lord’s presence all around. The curly line below the eyes in the middle (where the nose is on a face) is the Sanskrit numeral one that symbolizes the unity of everything and also signifies that the only way to attain enlightenment is through Buddha’s teachings. The dot between the eyes is indicative of the third eye, which represents spiritual awakening.
Source: http://www.ancient-symbols.com/buddhist-symbols.html

I’ve been missing my Dylusions Ink Sprays lately, so I decided to pull them out for this post.

I spritzed three warm colors (red, pink, yellow) on a 9 x 12 piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Next, I placed the Buddha Eyes stencil on the paper and spritzed plain water through it.

There was quite a bit of seepage, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did the paper towel roll trick again to soak up the extra water. Once I lifted the stencil, I saw a very subtle impression of the Wisdom Eyes.

Can you see it?

It’s kind of cool, but I was hoping for something more. I decided to really add some contrast by adding black acrylic paint through the stencil.

I created a repeat pattern of Buddha Eyes.  (See photo at the top of this post).

 Next, I decided to use only part of the stencil to add more details in the in between spaces. Notice the sideways numeral ones and the third eye dots.

I haven’t decided if I am going to cut this page up into Artist Trading Cards or Journal Cards, or use it as a journal cover, etc. Right now, I simply enjoy looking at it, and don’t mind that it’s also looking at me.

May you enjoy the NEW Tibet Series Stencils. May their symbolism stir your heart and soul to experience more wisdom, compassion, connection, and knowing. May our human consciousness rise up and our oneness continue to be shown. May it be so.

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

Hello My Lovely Lovelies!

It's my turn again to share what I have been doing for the past 2 weeks! 

I have continued to do more of the fun watercolor animals on my live stream using my Koi Traveler Watercolor kit here  are a few of my favorites:

But I also wanted to do something new for todays post! I Really REALLY wanted to use the stencils that are being released on the 15th but AHHHH! I can't! Lol!

SO, I asked Lisa for a bit of inspiration and she led me to Lynn K, (who just released her newest book "The Hand Stitched Surface") the person behind our Artistcellar Marked series stencils. How have I not Cyber stalked her before? It is crazy, I am in love with her work! it is so outside of what I usually create that I was immediately inspired!

I looked at her work on her website and loved her style, but I knew I didnt want to copy it, I just wanted to bring parts of it into my piece. 

This canvas is probably the truest MIXED media piece I have ever done. I sewed a little on it, I used papers, Dina Wakley Acrylics, Inks, white gel pen, black ink pen, I made marks, used hot glue and I used some of my button stash! I had so much fun! I started the piece planning on only using her Marked Series Stencils but I ended up grabbing the Labyrinth set to add some drama to the piece!

She inspired me to allow straight lines to show, for some reason I usually get rid of straight edges, I used little marks and doodles, and BUTTONS! I love using my buttons! whenever I felt a lull in my flow I would just look at her work, she is amazing. Thank you Lisa for opening my eyes! AND Thank you Lynn for sharing you beautiful work with us!

If you would like to watch my full process take a look below! It was a fun one!

Big Hugs and mushies to you!

Shana Banana!

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”-Georgia O’Keeffe

Do you journal? Or are you like me, jotting thoughts and sayings on random bits of paper? I have often purchased beautiful journals fulling intending to fill them. I just never do. I don’t know if it is the fear of the blank page, or what seems like the vast the number of pages that puts me off. But whatever the reason, there they sit, on my bookshelf, spotless as the day I purchased them.

Some time ago I bought a pack of inexpensive Ace playing cards. The flying biplane on the backs won me over! Who wouldn’t want to fly off to a new adventure in that wonderful plane? It was then I decided to use them as a journal. With a deck of 52, completing one card a week didn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. To kick off my venture I knew the best place to start was with the Artistcellar Pocket Stencil series Creative Words: Believe, Trust, Seek, and my favourite, Create.

Have you ever noticed the lovely sayings tucked away on the inserts of your Artistcellar Stencils? To me the stencils alone are creative cake…the inspirational quotes are the icing. Creative Words were just that…the catalyst I needed.

The playing cards have a plastic finish. To allow the media to attach, I sanded the cards and applied a quick layer of gesso. I didn’t want to totally cover the suits and numbers, so I removed some of it with a paper towel. On my work table, I assembled my stencils, acrylics and stamps. I wanted to have a bit of fun and see where my journey would take me. I revisited an old technique: applying rubber cement through the SEEK stencil.

I tried a new idea as well: dabbing Dye-Na-Flow colour through the TRUST stencil.

When dried I positioned the cards in a row and completed the backs. Though not identical, they have the same “feel”…a record of a time and place. In the end I was happy with the results. Best of all, the stencils stood up to everything I threw at them. Clean up was a snap and they were back to perfect condition.

The cards are now part of my new journal project, safely tucked away in a pocket page protector in a three ring binder.

Time seems to be racing by for me. Is it the same for you? Journaling is a wonderful way of capturing the essence of who we are. The perfect journal format is whatever suits you best. We owe it to ourselves to take the time to make our unknown known. Not only to ourselves, but sharing it those we hold dear. Right now. Right here.

MATERIALS USED

Hello beautiful souls,

I've been busy creating art for gifts for friends and having a blast. I also pulled out a piece of art that had sadly been neglected for many months and decided to work on it again. The new "Tibet Series" stencils are set to hit the shelves May15th, and I couldn't be more excited to add them to my newest piece of artwork.

Speaking of pulling out older work and re-working the design I did a little bit of that too. So let's jump on in and take a look, shall we?

I did this flower of life and heart chakra piece awhile back and added some new design elements with the pocket chakra 2 series stencils.

I added the little pocket heart stencil sanskrit symbol and added the flower of life stencil in gold on the sides of the canvas as well. They were just plain black before. I love working on watercolor paper over canvas so I generally cut a watercolor paper large enough to fit my canvas, work my piece, and then back it on a regular canvas. I really love the finished look and flow of the design onto the sides. I like to keep someone's eye moving around the art when I create my pieces. So when I created some new gifts I took this same design style and put it to work. Here are some pieces I created for 2 of my friends.

I also discovered a little "art hack" as  well. I used the new Tibet Series stencil on this last gift I made for a friend so I will just show you the first parts and follow up my next blog with the finished piece. I will tell you it's pretty BA and I can't wait to gift it to my friend that will be moving to Cali this next week. So what is this little hack? Well my friend's favorite colors are green, blue, and orange. As you know adding orange on top of its complimentary color will make brown. Not really what I wanted to do on this piece so I had to get creative. I like to use distress inks and those are distressed by water and more transparent than opaque. I took a layer of white ink and inked through my throat chakra stencil first and dried it. I added my first layer of orange distress ink, but it was still too pastel looking to me.

I went for another layer of orange ink and decided to even add some red to really make that orange intense.

Next I moved onto an older piece of art I started and put down. I was working on a self-portrait "new skool art selfie" and decided this new series of Tibet stencils would be incredible, BUT... I needed to make lots of layers before adding on the new series as the top design. So my idea for this piece was to do a self-portrait of myself sitting inside of a lotus with the chakra designs. If you remember my very first lotus I created when I first joined the AC design team you will start to see my vision.

So my vision was to create a 3-D lotus on the bottom of the art to make it look like I was sitting inside. So before I can get to that part I had to get to work on the base. I started out with using chartres labyrinth series stencil and some black fluid acrylic in a spray bottle. After spraying through the stencil I used the wet spray on the top of the stencil and pressed it in a few places on my piece.

Next I wanted to add some colors so I layered stencils with distress inks. I started out with using the Japanese Geometric series stencils.

I LOOOOOOVE how the hemp flower design turned out with the shifting of the cool colors.

I finished up with using the Sri Yantra 12x12 stencil and this is where I am currently on my piece. I will start adding more 3-D elements at this point and really get more colors and layers going.

What pieces of your artwork have you decided to "upgrade" with some new design styles?

Love, light, and art,

Genea

Hello! Today we are making crystal grid boards using Artistcellar's 12x12 Flower of Life stencil. 

I hope you enjoy the video I created for you!