Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
Hello fellow creatives! Have you checked out Artistcellar's brand-spankin' new stencils? They have quickly become one of my favorites because of their versatility and deceptively simple design that work with just about any type of project.
Since I enjoyed making a paper quilt last time I decided to explore that technique further by choosing a larger canvas and making smaller squares. The result...FABULOUS.
Set up your gelli printing spree and have fun mixing colors. I used a brayer to "paint" color onto the scraps for an initial layer and then followed it up with more layers using the Blocks stencils. I made sure I had a few scraps that only had a few simple layers and others that had three or more. Keep to the same 3 to 5 colors to make sure your finished prints are consistent.
For the next step grab your trimmer and some scissors, turn on a favorite show or blast some groovy music and get cutting. I cut down my scraps to 1x1 inch squares. Look at all that inchie goodness!
Now it is time to start adhering the squares to your canvas! Working in small sections and using an old hotel key card smooth a semi-thin layer of gel medium onto the surface of the canvas and place your squares in rows. You'll get in the zone and pretty soon you will have the entire canvas surface covered in your gorgeously patterned squares.
For a finishing touch, use a dark color like Umber or Night and make a glaze with glazing medium and paint it to the surface of the canvas (again, working in small sections at a time) and then wipe off the excess. The following picture shows a glazed section next to one that hasn't had the glaze wiped off yet.
Finished project! Another beautiful paper quilt that is both relaxing to create and interesting to look at. I hope you make one for yourself!
Hi Everyone, I want to encourage you to play in your art journal this week with the NEW Block Series Stencils and a Gelli Plate. I am using a 4” Round Gelli Plate, which I adore!!
First, get your journal out. Next, using a soft rubber brayer, roll out some acrylic paint on the Gelli Plate.
Third, place a Block Series stencil on top of the wet paint on the Gelli Plate.
Press lightly on the stencil so that the impression of it can get onto the wet paint on the Gelli Plate. Lift the stencil off and print both the wet stencil and the Gelli Plate in your art journal.
Move the Gelli Plate around the journal page to get several prints from it.
TIP: Depending on how thick your paint is, you might not see a clear print of the stencil impression. Expect a blurred impression and mostly a circle of paint to be seen. Try using many different colors of paint, including black, if you wish.
Use the journal page you created as a background for some creative lettering, expressive writing, or simply leave as is.
The most important part is to invite the spirit of play into your life and art.
Hello My lovelies! This week I played with Artistcellar's Blocks series of stencils! I felt like being wordy while playing, I did these 1st 2 pages using layers of 1st Dylusions sprays, then gesso to mute the colors. I then topped it with one of the Labrynth stencils
The words were inspired by the time I spent with my Mum last week. They are a few key phrases that sum up what my mum has always been trying to instill in me.
For the 2nd page, I wanted to put a face on a page for this week. I also put another phrase to live by on this page. For this one I used the DecoArt Media line fluid acrylics through the stencils, creating a pretty patterned background with plenty of nice white space which is a weakness of mine.
I love how easily these stencils can be combined or used alone to create a background with interest, I will definately be using these in additional pieces and am thinking I may use it in a focal point in a page to come!
Big hugs and mushies!!
- Shana Banana
"You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow." – Janis Joplin
I was just a kid, making my bed and listening to the radio on a Saturday morning. The opening notes of a song caught my ear, but it was when I heard the raspy, passion filled voice, I knew I was experiencing something exceptional. At the time I didn’t know who was singing, and I didn’t know the name of the song. But the vocalists’ raw emotion, the way she held a note…releasing it at just the perfect moment...captivated me. The song was “Piece of My Heart” by Big Brother and the Holding Company. The mesmeric voice belonged to Janis Joplin. The memory of the first time I heard her sing will forever stay with me.
We all know her story…leaving Port Arthur, Texas to discover who she was as a woman and an artist, of her addictions and her need for pushing the limits of her rock-and-roll lifestyle. But rather than dwell on the tragic I want to celebrate all that was triumphant.
As a confirmed letter writer myself, I loved reading Janis’ correspondence to friends and family. This Janis is the one that inspired me through my awkward (are they ever anything but!) teens and into my twenties. Janis kicked open the door for women in the arts. She showed us anything is possible if we follow our dreams to our authentic self. Her drive to succeed on her own terms…caressing the vulnerable and the beautiful…lead to many mishaps but also to great discoveries.
The quote is a favourite of mine. Before words like “mindfulness” became part of the lexicon, Janis was already a believer. As I’ve recently been working with the wonderful Artistcellar Labyrinth series, my heart and my work have found a brilliant resting place in being fully present and not destroying my “now”.
The newest member of the Artistcellar family is Blocks. I couldn’t wait to start creating! The variety within the four piece set is excellent. I was especially drawn to the Open Work and Cross T designs. I wanted to give my work a 1960’s vibe so I chose to stencil with the colours of the era: hot pink, purple, acid green. It was fun to dab my acrylics through the stencil and see the combinations. I even stenciled a single colour knowing I could add it to my art. As with all of the Artistcellar products, clean up was a snap leaving the stencils in perfect condition.
I enjoyed building the collage. I wanted to give the work a vintage feel and started with a tintype background. I added the layers including the stenciled images, newspaper clippings, date stamps, painted dryer sheets, and finally the image of Janis. I chose this particular photo because she looked fearless, happy and ready to take on her next adventure.
It is easy to be drawn to the heart-rending story of a creative who died before their time. But if there is one thing I’ve gained from following Janis’ much too short career it is this: Be true to yourself, as a woman and an artist, and you will find authenticity waiting to be discovered in that special piece of your heart.
Hello beautiful souls,
Did you know how hip it is to be square? Well let me let you in on a little *secret* it is when we're talking about the new Blocks Series stencils that have just been released by Artistcellar. There is something magical about the geometric shape of a square.
So let's take a look at these babies in action! Remember when I made my first 4x6" mini masterpieces? ("Genea goes on a creative streak") I used the "Deco" stencil and did a nice psychedelic echo design.
I even talked my friend Zack into coming to play with me in the studio. He worked on his very first watercolor and did an amazing job!
I'm excited to talk about celebrating making mistakes because they make you learn and how mistakes lead to things like "happy little accidents" as my highschool art teacher used to say Let's take a look at my "Passion and Vision" piece I created as a gift for a friend.
See the mistake? Oh you don't? Well this is what we call a "happy little accident". What happened is that my black paint pen smeared when I was outlining the LK Os stencil. I was so bummed! I tried wiping off the few more blurby spots with a wet wipe, but you could still see the mistake. I remembered that I had used some black hearts in my "Minds Eye" piece to create some layers and decided that was EXACTLY how to work with my mistake.
The design didn't seem finished so I added my signature swirl eye to the hearts in gold to finish off the design. I love all of the layers the piece creates starting with the layer of the Cross T stencil all the way to to the finished piece.
For my next designs I am combining the fun of being a kid and the new Block Series stencils. How does that all work out, you may be asking yourself? Pretty freakin' sweet if you ask me! Let's take a look!
So first I started with a cute little 2 1/4"x2 1/4" square shrinky dink.
Next I did some layering with some inks and paint markers
I just love seeing a piece come together. Now for the BEST part....
OMG! Isn't it SO cute?! I mean who doesn't like cute things?! Well you know how that goes when you make something super cool, right? Yep, MORE cool things! So off I went to do a cute little series of 4 with the awesome new Block Series.
Here they are in their full size. I tried a few different things because I have been noticing that the white paint pen is a bit more delicate. So this round I thought I would try putting the white accented dinks upside down and even dropping my gas oven temp to 275 degrees. Well.... that didn't exactly work. I had to bake the shrinky dinks WAY longer than their 3 minute suggested time.
As you can see I did burn my poor little babies. It looks like the white paint is just a bit delicate to work for these pieces, but the others held up really well. Luckily I did few different styles to see what worked well including one of the designs using a colored ink instead of gold like I did with most of the blocks. I also used a silver metallic ink to do outlining. Just look at how pretty this one turned out with the colored ink and silver metallic paint pen.
*Swoon* So I bet you can guess what I am working on the second I get back into my studio! What are you favorite pieces to create with these fantastic geometric stencils?
Love, light, and creativity,
Yay! We have a new series out! This one is nice and square and blocky and makes great texture and backgrounds! I've been playing with these for awhile, beginning with my gelli plate (naturally!) Here's what they look like:
Aren't they pretty? Of course I couldn't just show you the designs. You can see those on the Artistcellar Website Stencils page.
So you know how you can have a half finished canvas laying around and it's saying to you "meh." Well, I grabbed one of those canvases and just started some layering with the Blocks Stencils. And since I loved how the design team kept using crackle paste through stencils, I tried that too. Boy did I have a hot mess at the end. Now it screamed "MEH!!" But I did a little trick that my friend reminded me of... I tied it all together with Nickel Azo and Burnt Umber glazes. This is what happened.
But check out this texture! I wasn't sure if my crackle paste would even crackle, with the humidity being 423% (or so it felt) but it turned into crackle on steroids!
And hidden in between the texture-y goodness lay more blocks.
I sorta like this piece now. I call it "Cracked, not Broken" The original piece was inspired by a huge sidewalk crack I took a picture of, the end result is a little more metaphorical and reminds me of that poem about "cracks letting the light in."
This morning I was visiting Diana Trout's blog and saw this little tutorial on Twinchies. Well, these were tags that failed at paper marbling so I stenciled over them, cut them square and decided to try Diana's method. I first glued some book page words on the squares and covered the entire square in an Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. I ended coating them twice to get a nice thick gloss. I then dipped the edges in a flat gold embossing powder and melted them smooth. I grabbed another half-finished canvas I've had laying around for YEARS and gave it a fresh coat of paint and stenciling with the same Tiles stencil, and mounted the little tile in the middle of the canvas. I coated the canvas edges in the glass bead gel to give it a little bling. The funny part is that the "Beautiful Exasperation" cracked when I tried to straighten it. I love delicious irony.
But wait. Didn't I mention in the Newsletter something about a GIVEAWAY? Yes, yes I did! I'm giving away a set of stencils and a beautiful book called "Art Journal Your Archetypes" by artist and author Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli. It is a gorgeous book filled with artwork and interviews by your favorite artists like Nathalie Kalbach, Orly Avineri, Sarah Trump, Jessica Sporn, Mary Beth Shaw, Seth Apter, and Tamara Laporte. Yours Truly has a little piece of artwork in there, representing my main archetype "Nature Girl."
It has a section where you can answer questions to figure out what archetypes you most identify with, and half the book shows you how you can use stencils and other mixed media methods to create journal pages to honor your archetypes. It really is a unique book, with a fascinating subject, you will be sure to learn something about yourself and then want to create art about it!
Gabrielle and I also got the chance to talk a little bit over at Google Hangouts and she recorded it for everyone to see. (eeek!) We talked about archetypes, art journaling, running a business, and other "stuff". Enjoy!
Now for the details of the Giveaway! Just leave a comment here about what you think your archetypes are. Or just leave a comment about what you think about the Blocks stencils and artwork. Or just say hi :-) I will pick a random winner on October 8th, after the Design Team has had a chance to show off their creations. You have to come back to THIS post to enter the giveaway. Only one entry per person, duplicates will be eliminated. I am giving away a brand new book and a set of stencils. And if I have more than 50 comments, I will be giving away another book and set of stencils! So share this post and encourage people to enter. Good luck and...
Have a fantastic week!
This week I've struggled with a bit of a creative block. It doesn't happen often -- but when it does it hits hard! For some reason, everything I went to work on turned out horrible -- really, really horrible. I realized the correlation between the projects was that they were all quite small... so for this project I pulled out the big guns! A large piece of watercolor paper.
I prepped it by grabbing some inspiring ephemera and used matte medium to "glue" them down. Next, I added a shabby layer of gesso just to push some of it back and help it not be so crazy.
True to my nature (especially lately) I grabbed a DecoArt Media Mister in "Carbon Black" and the Adirondack Color Wash in "Butterscotch" along with the Labyrinth stencil set, and one of my favorites from the Diamond Series Set.
After the sprays, I added another light shabby layer of gesso, and then used Dina Wakley "Black" paint to doodle on the page. I started with a portrait, and then decided to go ahead and add in a lotus flower as well.
Next, I used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Black, Payne's Grey, Titan Buff and Titanium white to paint the portrait. These are some of my favorite portrait colors (especially the Payne's Grey and the Titan Buff combo -- yum!)
I also added bits of metallic gold, because I love the way it pops off of the painting when paired next to the Black and Payne's Grey.
To finish off the painting, I added some white highlights with a Uniball signo UM-153 white pen and Inka Gold in "Gold" throughout.
I also added some song lyrics that inspired me as I painted -- "Eleanor Rigby" by ... *drumroll* The Beatles!
The paper I used for this printmaking adventure are 4.25 inch squares of Canson mixed media paper.
After a whirlwind printing session where I didn't clean my brayer at all and just layered paint color over paint color on my palette as I worked I was left with almost 20 squares of color and texture goodness.
I picked out my 12 favorite squares and arranged them in a grid. Using regular scotch tape I taped them together on the back side. Then, using spray adhesive, I mounted my grid onto a large panel and then trimmed the panel down.
Here is what I have so far, a paper quilt!
I wanted the squares to seem more integrated with each other and so I used some vine charcoal and scribbled on the seams and rubbed the charcoal to blend it.
This created a subtle shadowing and I felt it brought the different squares together as one big happy family.
I am going back and forth about either adding a quote, layering more pattern (dots!), details or color, or just leaving it as is. What is the story I want to tell?
I come to this point often when I work and I find my creative brain needs me to set them aside to let them simmer. Right now it is propped up on the side of my work table patiently waiting for me to tell the rest of its story. If you are ever in this situation just trust the process. Keep the artwork out where you can see it everyday because your creative self will be inspired and you will know what to do next.
What do YOU think I should do next?
Greetings Artistcellar fans!
I hope life is treating you well.
Today I have a stepped out tutorial of a layered art piece to share with you using the following supplies:
Before I get into the step-by-step process, I have to tell you something. The NEW Mineral Paper Pad is really, really awesome! The paper is made from rocks, not trees. The paper feels smooth, thin, yet sturdy for both wet and dry media. You neeeeeed to check out this paper!
Try different ways of applying the Dye-Na-Flow. Pictured above, the right corner was done using a paintbrush. Then I flipped the stencil over (bottom left) to make a print and rubbed a little color around with a paper towel. All of these variations make for an interesting background layer.
Complete the page with one more use of the stencil. (I used the cosmetic wedge again).
Choose a contrasting color of acrylic paint to dab through a different stencil. (Here I am using the Sun Flower stencil from the Kaleidoscope Series.)
Continue playing with placement of this second stencil.
Next I pulled out the Dylusions Paint. One thing I love about this paint is that it is semi-transparent, which makes it perfect for mixed media layering techniques!
Grab the first stencil you were using and place it slightly off-center on an area where you previously used that stencil.
When you remove the stencil you will see the following results:
Pretty cool, right?
Do the slightly off-center technique one more time. You might want to choose a new paint color, or a variation of your contrasting color.
And here you go!
So, that sort of looks like a jumbled mess now, would you agree?
This is all a part of the creative process and the layering process. It’s sort of like the “teenager” stage.
Let’s tie things together.
Add a unifying color (I used yellow Dye-Na-Flow) to part of your piece.
Add a focal image or symbol. (I painted a red spiral using a ½ inch paintbrush and Dylusions Paint).
When I finished this piece, I was pleased with the lightweight Mineral Paper. The piece could easily be framed or turned into a flag on a banner (you know, with ribbon or string and multiple “flags” hanging down). Of course, there is always the possibility of cutting and tearing for your mixed media collage creating pleasure!
In Summary, I hope you’ll try the NEW Mineral Paper Pad from artistcellar. It is quite amazing stuff! Also, try to remember that there are many stages when creating a layered piece. It’s normal to have a stage that you really don’t care to look at. Usually, more layers will take care of the issue, as well as adding a focal point.
Have fun and enjoy your art supplies!
Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com
Oh! My lovely lovelies!
I am so happy to be back with you this week! I played a lot the past couple days! And I made a piece that I adore!
I decided I wanted to go out of my comfort zone a lil bit, and try to use mostly items or mediums that I hadn't used before! so I decided I would use DecoArt Crackle Paste, something I have been avoiding, mostly because I had no clue what I was going to do with it, DecoArt Gesso, its really thick so hadn't had a real reason to get it out, my Inka-Gold, my steampunk gears stencil set, they are just new and I love them and some fluid acrylics I got on a clearance rack. I also ended up using one of the Sacred Hearts stencils and a ranger paint dabber along with some other craft acrylics.
For the background gears I just used 1 stencil thickness layer of the the crackle paste, I found that allowing it to air dry produced more cracks than if I tried to speed the drying up with a heat gun. For the heart and the key I first used a stencil thickness layer of the thick gesso, allowed it to dry then applied a 2nd layer using the crackle paste.
For the color on the background, I used fluid acrylics and dark spray ink applied with a paintbrush. I then went over it again with color, did some sanding to rough it up and then applied the inka-gold with my finger or a paint brush. I love how the inka-gold looks, on some of the pictures it looks like a light is shining on the piece, but its not! It's just the Inka-gold doing its thing! love the stuff!
I then decided I had to add a face, so I went in with the thick gesso to create a face shape and cover up some of the background gears, I then just did a very simple face, using the background gold as pseudo hair.
I am totally in love with the crackle now! I cant wait to try it out again on something new. I have all kinds of ideas!