Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Putting marks, paint, ink, and color on paper is one of my favorite things to do. As
a mixed media artist or dabbler, you might feel the same way, too!

Over time, I have learned that I am not into perfection. I much prefer play and experimentation.

Today, I invite you to play with copy paper or drawing paper as your substrate.

It’s easy to assume that such paper is not up to the task for mixed media play. However, through trying things, I have learned that I love thinner paper for the following:  collage (it’s easier to cut and glue), handmade envelopes (it’s easier to fold), and book making (more pages fit into a signature with thinner paper).

Tips for Using Copy or Drawing Paper

Tip No. 1:

Starting with a scraped or brayered layer of acrylic paint adds some durability to thinner paper.

Tip No. 2:

When using a stencil, brayering over it makes for a messy result. I would recommend using a cosmetic wedge or a stencil brush for applying the paint, even with larger stencils like this Chakras 2-Om Crown, 12 x 12 stencil.

Tip No. 3:

Spray inks work great for large stencils, like the 12 x12 Coral Series, as well as the Chakras 2-Om Crown, 12 x 12 stencil.

I envision some lovely handwriting/journaling in black ink, to the right of this OM symbol.

In summary, there’s a lot you can do with “regular” paper. Acrylic paint makes for a great base layer. From there, adding stamps, stencils, handwriting, ink, markers, and watercolor are just some of your many options.

May you give yourself the privilege of playing with copy or drawing paper sometime soon. It’s quite fun! And who doesn’t need more fun in their life, right?

Sending Blessings and Gratitude to you all,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

"Life is a minestrone
Served up with Parmesan cheese
Death is a cold Lasagna
Suspended in deep freeze. -10cc – Eric Stewart, Lol Creme

Who doesn’t like soup? Warm, comforting, encouraging you to release your creativity with each new recipe, it is just the thing to lift my spirits. And as we trudge through more cold and snowy winter weather the smiling woman in the vintage ad carrying home her paper bag of Campbell’s soup and an article in a local magazine inspired me.

I have participated in a charity postcard exchange for the last several years. I knew my mind was set on the image I wanted to use for my next design. If you are like me, you know when an art supply is “just right”. The incredible range of Artistcellar stencils always help me find precisely what I am looking for in minutes. Spreading out my stencils, my eye was drawn to the Quasicrystals and Blocks Series. Yes…they were “just right”.

The card came together fairly quickly. I lightly coated a postcard size piece of cover stock with gesso. Using my sponge with the most texture, I applied several shades of Dylusion Paint. Working wet on wet I sponged the wonderful Dylusion Ink Spray to build the background. I wanted to create a sensation of warmth and happiness. Using the Dylusion products never disappoint. The colours are as rich and vibrant dry as they are wet. Again…they were “just right”.

Cutting out the image of the woman from the ad, I glued it to the card.

A local monthly magazine runs the most amazing food column. The recipes are carefully thought out which makes them easy to successfully replicate. This month paid homage to a rich and robust Minestrone, one of my all-time favourites. Reading through the ingredients, an old song came to mind…"Life is a Minestrone". I cut out sections of the recipe to surround our shopper.

I completed the postcard with a spray of colour in the shape of Quasicrystals Infra. Adding balance to the design, I stenciled Open Work Blocks in metallic gold.

Returning to my inspiration, I believe our lives always revolve around choosing a little bit of this, maybe a tad of that. We make the best of what we have on hand. But I am convinced that with a dollop of creativity and a dash of invention our lives can be as truly nourishing as a simmering Minestrone.

MATERIALS USED:

  • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: QUASICRYSTALS (Infra), BLOCKS (Open Work)
  • LIQUITEX WHITE ACRYLIC GESSO
  • LIQUITEX MATTE MEDIUM
  • SCOTCH SCRAPBOOKERS GLUE
  • DYLUSION PAINT: Squeezed Orange, Bubble Gum, Vibrant Turquoise, Fresh Lime
  • DYLUSION INK SPRAY: Bubble Gum
  • DINA WAKLEY MEDIA: Blushing
  • PLAID: Sunflower
  • DECO ART: Blue Harbor
  • REEVES: Gold                                                                        
  • PRO ART BRUSH: 1” Bristle
  • NATURAL SPONGE
  • 130 LB COVER STOCK
  • VINTAGE ADVERTISEMENT IMAGE
  • RECIPE FROM A MAGAZINE

Hello beautiful souls,

Who doesn't like to upcycle and wear art? This fun little project will help you give some new pizazz to your wardrobe. To start out I took an awesome tie dye shirt I scored at the Goodwill outlet here in Kansas City, Missouri. They have them all over, and I would HIGHLY recommend checking them out for some super fun treasure hunting and super cheap deals! First I took a tie dyed shirt I got from the outlet and cut the shirt across the length of it making the bands about 4".  Once you cut across the shirt you will need to cut the band up the middle to make a long strip. Wash and dry the pieces of fabric. The cotton will naturally curl over itself making a nice edge with no sewing. First I pinned my blank dread band on a hemp knotting board covered in a few plastic bags so the fabric paints don't seep through the board and make the fabric stick to it.

Next I sprayed the base with some fabric paint in water to make glittery gold sprays.

I used a heat tool to dry in between layers.  Next I used the hemp flowers stencil and used: yellow, lime green, and blue to make a nice layer of "stars" on my base layer using thin layers of fabric paint with a make-up sponge.

I added in some spatters of glow in the dark, and white to make my starry galaxy background.

I finished up the design by using the metatron's cube stencil with some black fabric paint.

Here is the finished dread headband.

The fabric paint will be dry to the touch after a short while, but it needs a full 48 hours of drying before the paint is set fully. You can wash and dry it on low heat after that, but I would recommend washing it on delicate and letting it line dry.

How do you like to wear your art?

Love, light, and creativity,

xoxo Genea

Hello friends!

After spending my morning creating amazing little pieces with plaster and molds (some homemade, some store bought) I was feeling really inspired to create. I grabbed a small canvas and set to work without really a plan of what the final result should be.

First, I used an Artistceller Blocks Series Stencil (Tiles) with DecoArt Media Mister in Carbon Black. Since the canvas is so thick, I thought it would be fun to add some of that stencil design on the sides, too.

Next, I used an Artistcellar Labyrinth Series Stencil (Crete) with Golden Coarse Molding Paste. 

From there, I glued my plaster pieces on, and started building color with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists in - Partridge in a Pear Tree, True Blood, Lava, and Iron.

I also used a palette knife and some of Finnabair's Rust paste for extra texture.

Then, to finish the whole thing off, I poured Liquitex Pouring Medium on top and let it dry. This creates a super glossy, almost resin-like effect except it's way less sticky, messy and smelly. (Hooray!)

I like to make weird art. Art that makes me think. Art that makes people uncomfortable. 

I call this one D - I - S - C - O - N - N - E - C - T, and I'm still deciphering it's message myself. 

 

Do you think of a word to focus on for the coming year? Something to remind, motivate, improve or change? If you haven't chosen one yet, here is a project that will give you several options. 

Here's what I used:

To start off I laid out about 10 tags on my work surface and sprayed both sides of the tags with water. (Having the tags damp helps the inks to flow on the surface.) Using the dropper in the cap of the inks, I dripped 3-5 drops of 2-3 colors onto the surface of the tags. Then I carefully stacked them on top of each other and gently pressed down. I used extra tags to wipe up excess ink. You can't leave them stacked to dry or they will be stuck together so carefully peel each tag off the stack and place it on a non-stick craft sheet to dry. You can use a heat gun to speed the process but not too much or it can cause the ink to bubble. 

I used only a portion of each Sacred Heart Stencil to add rays of color to each tag. Then I used a wedge sponge and the Night paint with the Pocket Stencils to add a word to each tag. As a finishing touch I also used the same wedge sponge to add the Night paint around the edges of the tags to create a vignette around the words.

These finished tags can be used in your art, as gifts or turned into a book, wallhanging or mobile. I am leaning towards a mobile and adding quotes to the backs of the tags. A Mantra Mobile!

Happy Creating!

Howdy and Happy New Year, everyone!

For today’s tutorial, I’d like to share an idea for carving your own stamps.

I happen to be taking two online classes that deal with astrology, so I chose to carve a set of zodiac signs, planets, and moon phase stamps to use in my art journals.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Steps 1-6:

  1. Print out your designs.
  2. Color in an image with your pencil.
  3. Flip the paper face down onto your carving material.
  4. Rub the back of the paper with your pencil.
  5. Take a peek to be sure the image is transferring.
  6. If so, remove the paper and get ready to carve!

Carve Your Stamps:

Using a Speedball Lino Cutter or other stamp carving tool, carve around the dark areas you traced and rubbed onto the carving material. You cut away the white space, and keep the dark areas. (This can be tricky for my brain to process, so be patient. I recommend starting with a simple design, until you get the hang of it.

Make a print of your stamp, using the Archival black ink pad.

Cut away any miscellaneous areas that you missed.

Keep going until you need a break. 

TIP: ALWAYS CUT AWAY FROM YOURSELF WHEN CARVING STAMPS. Cutting toward yourself will likely get you a bloody finger or worse! Those blades are sharp!

Enjoy your collection of hand-carved stamps!

Additional Tips:

Stay hydrated.

Use good lighting.

Get up and do some yoga stretches or shoulder rolls to keep your back and neck healthy.

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

There is wisdom in the saying “One person’s trash is another’s treasure”. For a collage artist, the aftermath of the Holidays brings with it the immense potential of discarded materials.  There’s a lot to be said for scavenging through the rubbish to find an inspirational gem or two. It was there I found the start of my next Design Team project.

My substrate is a piece of thin corrugated board that surrounded a picture frame.  Using an inexpensive one inch brush I applied gesso with a light touch. I liked patchiness and bristles left behind as the gesso dried. You can still see a little of it through the brushed and sponged acrylics. My stencil choice this time was Open Work from the Blocks Series. Rather than spray, I used a wet sponge to dab on Bubble Gum Dylusion Ink Spray. I liked the watery finish as it bled under the stencil.

Greeting cards are a wealth of ephemera. The gold foil was peeled from the inside of an envelope. Next to it I layered sewing pattern paper, a price sticker, a stamp and a line found in a magazine: “If You Are Reading This”.

My final bit collage work included a clipping from a book page that I infused with beeswax some time ago. Many of us have hailed the end of 2017. With the start of the New Year, my waxed paper seems timely…quotes about the qualities of the word “smile”. My continued goal for 2018 is to live mindfully, to slow down, and to enjoy the wonder that surrounds me. This is the reason I inverted the waxed paper quote. If anyone is reading, perhaps they will pause and enjoy the moment…and hopefully it will encourage them to smile as well.

The Quasicrystals’ Infra stencil applied in a variety of contrasting Dylusion Paint colours completed the work.

The New Year is here. I am filled with hope. And is there any better way to make the world a beautiful place than with a smile?

MATERIALS USED:

  • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: QUASICRYSTALS (Infra), BLOCKS (Open Work)
  • LIQUITEX WHITE ACRYLIC GESSO
  • LIQUITEX MATTE MEDIUM
  • SCOTCH SCRAPBOOKERS GLUE
  • DYLUSION PAINT: Squeezed Orange, Bubble Gum, Vibrant Turquoise, Fresh Lime
  • DYLUSION INK SPRAY: Bubble Gum
  • DINA WAKLEY MEDIA: Blushing
  • PLAID: Sunflower
  • DECO ART: Sky Blue, Blue Harbor, Sea Glass
  • RUBBER STAMP                                                                    
  • PRO ART BRUSH: 1” Bristle
  • NATURAL SPONGE
  • CORRUGATED BOARD
  • WAX INFUSED BOOK PAGE
  • VINTAGE POSTAGE STAMP, PRICE STICKER, DRESS PATTERN PAPER, MAGAZINE CLIPPING, GOLD FOIL

Hello beautiful souls,

Don't you just love those serendipitous designs? I had one of those experiences for this work of art I am sharing with you now. When I use my Dylusions sprays through a stencil I will usually grab a 4x6 piece of watercolor paper and rub the wet stencil on it to use all of the left over ink. I will set it aside for another project. I was creating a little stenciled card for my boyfriend's sister's Christmas gift so I didn't want to waste the excess ink. I began my piece with using the wet sprayed through hemp flower stencil with dylusions sprays: bubble gum pink, and vibrant turquoise. I layered some distress inks with the flower of life stencil and made what my friend told me was called "flower of life 2" (which is the flower of life layered with the hemp flower pattern). I did some outlining with a uniball white pen to make the layering stand out.

I had originally planned to create a circle to make a face, but my face turned out kinda silly so I painted over it all white with some fluid acrylics. I originally saw a moon, so I guess this is the direction I was supposed to go with the design.

I stamped some gray flower of life pattern onto the moon and used some pastels and charcoal pencil to make some dark around the moon. I had remembered that the 1st of the year full moon was in cancer so I had the brilliant idea to take my already cosmic design and work it into the new year full moon. I am a cancer as well so I was pretty excited to create this design idea. I cut out a crab shape with my cricut machine on watercolor paper as well.

I was already really digging the background so I had the idea to make the crab all galaxy colored spattered with stars with some watercolors and acrylic paint. I decided to add the cancer constellation on top with some gold metallic marker and a black outline with a molotow marker.

I wanted to make some of the stars on the crab pop so I added some extra pearly white drops with the white viva decor pearl pen. When I was finished with the crab I bent the paper and curved the body and legs to give them some more dimension and life. I added some big white drops to the center of the hemp flowers and then a few smaller dots to make little stars for the background. The pearl pens absorb some of the super saturated color of the dylusions inks. The inks are seriously one of my very favorite supplies. They are so super saturated, they bleed and blend really beautifully and they have such cool reactions with other mediums. You will want them all, I swear.

I had remembered I had some super sweet little wooden stars that Christian had picked up for an art project awhile back so I sprayed those with several shimmer mist sprays  and hot glued them to the background piece. The stars were SO amazing I decided to also add them to the back of the crab where the stars were on the constellation taking special care to add a large star to Cancer's brightest star.

Since my crab was so curved I needed to find something big enough to lift it off of the paper so I cut 2 make up sponges at the thickest part and used those to raise the design and hot glue it to the base paper. I was thinking I really wish I had a way to enhance the design on a more solid background since it was getting so 3D and realized I had the perfect size piece of wood on which to back the paper. I painted all the sides gold and used some shimmer mist sprays to incorporate the metallics. I added a little saw tooth hanger and a little felt circle to the back to hang the piece. Here is how it looks on our big art wall in our family room.

What are some serendipitous designs you have come up with from extra art scraps?

Love, light, and creativity,

xoxo Genea

Wow! It is a little hard to believe that we are right on the edge of 2017. Where did that year go? I don't know about you, but I am excited about closing the chapter of this year, turning the page, and starting anew in 2018. 

With the New Year right around the corner I have been doing a lot of planning and goal setting and thinking about what I want to focus on. One of the goals that I have set is strengthening my knowledge and practice with tarot and runes! 

Runes are very, very new to me. A friend just recently gifted me my very first set! Today, I wanted to transform a little canvas pouch into a nice rune bag. You could also use it for tarot cards - or even things like pencils, pens, makeup... anything you could ever need a little bag for. 

I knew I wanted the bag to be really brightly colored, so I reached for Marabu Art Spray in "Red Orange" and Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in "Marmalade" to pair with my well loved Artistcellar stencils.

Stencils used: 

To finish off, I incorporated some DecoArt Media Mister in Carbon black with the Sacred Geometry 2 stencil and the Third Eye Chakra stencil. I like that the black adds some nice contrast against the bright background.

Then, for extra shine and GLITTER (!!!) I added Ice Stickles Glitter Glue in "Orange Peel". 

I LOVE THIS BAG! How can one resist taking a peek at what's inside?

What are your goals for 2018? Is there anything new you want to learn? (Perhaps you would like to join me in a year-long exploration of Tarot/Oracle and journaling? I'm teaching in Pull Pen Paint 2018! For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/PanArtPPP18)

I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. Past experience tells me I am no good at them. It could be that I find them too rigid or myself swayed often by weaknesses that refuse to become strengths. 

With that said and for whatever reason I can't help but ponder at this time of year of things I would like to change or to make happen. Call me a sucker for a new beginning with the thrill of unknown possibilities. Like that crisp, clean white paper in front of me begging to be transformed to share my dreams upon it's surface. 

I suppose that is why I love art so much. The projects vary in size and scope but there are always possibilities and dreams to be explored and shared.

I'll keep today's post short and sweet and leave you with this beginning of a page in my art journal. 

I was drawn to the Sea Foam stencil from the Water Series because it conveys the best to me of what the thoughts in my brain look like right now at the cusp of the New Year. They vary in size and importance but they are bubbling to the surface preparing to make themselves known to me as time progresses. I will write them down in the bubbles and see what the year brings. Perhaps this page will serve as a reminder to me in the future because it is good to be reminded of your dreams.

Happy New Year Creative Souls

(paints used are from Dina Wakley Media Acrylics)