Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Greetings Artistcellar Folks,

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I love using soft rubber brayers and silky smooth acrylic paint, such as Dina Wakley Media Acrylic.

I love to use magenta in my art.

I love to make marks with found objects, like corrugated cardboard.

I love to look at my messy color palettes.

I love the Marked Series stencils designed by Lynn Krawczyk.

I love subtle contrast and well, circles.

I love to use yellow paint. Yellow + Magenta = Orange (not shown, but always in my heart of hearts).

I appreciate good design and the work of artists. I love new art supplies, like this eye stamp designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer for ArtFoamies.

What do you love? What causes a “revolution in your heart”?

Sending Love and Blessings,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

Hello my lovely Lovelies!

For this weeks post I would like to share what I have been working on for the last (about) 2 weeks! I decided I would challenge myself to be part of the #100daysofart that so many people are participating in. The only problem that I had was being inspired on a daily basis! So I decided I would do some animal art, but I do not choose the animals, I have been letting the wonderful people who follow my art give me lists of animals and I use that list every day! The biggest challenge? I do not practice before I do a live stream on youtube, so you can see how I work through the challenges!

I have created all of these watercolor painting in my Jane Davenport Hot Press watercolor journal, using my Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch box, a white gel pen, posca pen, Generals Scribe all, Jane Davenport Incredible pen and colored pencils, and though you may not see it, in most of them I also used Artistcellar stencils!

To create a bit of fun and random bits of color on most of them I would lay down my stencil and use them to add some color in the pages before I started the piece. I then painted the animals letting some of those fun and whimsical colors show through. Above and below are some of the animals I have created, and at the end will be the link for the Raccoon I created yesterday! There is nothing more challenging than challenging yourself! Keep creating! xMwah!

To see the Raccoon Live stream:

 

RESTORING THE BALANCE

“Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”
“Big Yellow Taxi” - Joni Mitchell

Why is that song stuck in my head? Like me, have you ever wondered how a fragment of a melody started what seems like a never-ending loop in your brain?  Did a memory trigger the earworm? Perhaps it was a date? I started working on my latest collage on Earth Day…so it’s no wonder Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” became my musical imagery repetition inspiration.

And here my collage begins. I really like my Strathmore Visual Journal. The spiral binding allows me to place the book flat on my work surface. This makes anything I want to do to the page easy. There’s no holding back a cover or other pages getting in the way.  It’s such a time saver, especially when working entirely conventionally.

The collage began with a discarded page from a dictionary I found in my box of unbound books pages.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the listing included the word “taxi”.  I attached the page to the Journal using matte medium…a quick coat to the paper and back of the dictionary page.

When dried, I started the work from the outside in. I painted the border of the page with Dina Wakley heavy body acrylic paint in Lemon. For the center I mixed Dina Wakley Ruby and Lemon and created a glaze using the Golden Glazing Fluid. It’s a great product. The Fluid allows you to hold vibrant colour, yet produce a lovey transparent effect.

Now it was time for the part I love best…the stenciling. I started with the Artistcellar Blocks Series-Open Work which mirrored the checker board pattern on the taxi perfectly. I wanted an organic shape to compliment the patterns I created on the page. Artistcellar Playful Pod’s Petite Pods fit the bill. It complimented the design just as I had hoped.

I’ve rediscovered how much I enjoy using Dylusion Sprays. I have to admit Bubble Gum Pink is my favourite. The pop of colour is exciting, especially as the hue stays true…no fading when dry.

All that was left was the ephemera and texture techniques I wished to add.  It’s been fun working with Seth Apter’s “low-tech” materials. In this piece I created the textured lines with corrugated board and gesso. I had a piece of anaglypta wallpaper. The flower pattern worked well with the gesso technique…subtle but effective. I even added a few words from transfer lettering I had in my collection. From a selection of old newspapers I found the headline: "Restoring the Balance". Perfect.

As collage and mixed media artists we embrace the mantra of reuse and recycle.  For us everything old is new again. In our work, our life, the environment:  Aren’t we all trying to restore the balance? And often balance is not perfection. “Give me spots on my apples, But leave me the birds and the bees.” Let’s hope it’s not too late.

 

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

Do you ever just create that piece of art and when you are done you can't believe you even made it? Well this was one of those times for me. I am so excited about all of the parts of this piece and the finished product. I had a few snafus, but managed to work them out into the design. So let's jump on in, shall we? 

I started out with some watercolor paper and some of my caran d'ache crayons to start the galaxy base.

I then worked the top layers and side layers. I decided to add some white tissue paper with holographic flecks for funzies. It worked out well to cover the textured sides of the canvas and allowed the watercolors to lay on it nicely.

Next I got down on some stencils and distress inks along with some silver outlining and white star flecks. I used the metatron's cube stencil to create the shapes in the background.

I added some flecks of glow-in-the-dark paint as well so I had some stars that glowed in the dark as well as look pretty in the light.  I was admiring the glow on my canvas, but clumsily knocked my water jar over my canvas and washed away a portion of my design.

I also somehow managed to get a lime green paint drop on the canvas. It's a good thing I like green and managed to make the design work by adding some more lime paint drips to tie it into the design. 

Next I worked on embellishments and 3-d pieces for the design. I used my fancy pants cricut machine to cut out these luna moth shapes. I took a photo of a real moth and worked it in Inkscape to make a digital image for my cricut machine to cut. See, not just a pretty face! I was out of all of my thinner watercolor paper so I had to get creative on making an already painted on paper work. I decided to paint the moth backs in black, and metallic silver to cover up the painted parts.

Next I used some silver ink and my flower of life stencil to make the backs of my moths fancy.

On the front I was just going to do a simple design, but wound up trying to make them look more realistic. I even used some shimmer watercolors to give the wings some sparkle.

I even added a layer of glow-in-the-dark paint to the top of them so the glow as well.

I also cut out a Metatron's cube shape with my cricut machine and painted it in layers of metallic shimmers.

I wanted to add some moons too so I cut out a large full moon and 2 smaller crescent moons. I painted them all white and shimmery and then added some silver flower of life stencil outlined in black.

Oh, and I sure did add some glow-in-the-dark paint to the moons too.

So remember those accidental drips? Well you can see the first big one here, and then the rest on the full piece.

Ok, are you ready?!?! Here is the finished piece! Here is a close-up of the center with the full moon, moths, and metatron's cube.

Here is the full finished piece in all its glory.

I even took an insta video to capture all of the details. 

How have you taken a mistake and made it into a design? What is your proudest art piece to date?

Peace, love, and art,

Genea

Hello again!

This week I've been busying myself getting preorders ready for my oracle deck. In the meantime, I was going through my art studio and re-discovered Mineral Paper! Don't you just love when that happens? 

I was on vacation this weekend, so I packed up some art supplies on the go -- watercolors and stencils! I absolutely love the way watercolors work on mineral paper... and I really, really love how the paper does not buckle or have any issues standing up to the wet media. 

To begin the painting, I sketched out the girl and then outlined it in black ink. Then, I started adding color using various Artistcellar stencils (see supply list below).

Once I everything was dry I also added white highlights and additional "doodles" with the Uniball Signo UM-153 pen and Tim Holtz distress crayons.

Use your intuition and let yourself play on the page with your supplies!

I hope you enjoy this week's project - and in the meantime you can check out my oracle deck preorder at: http://bit.ly/DearHeartOracle

Supplies Used:

I had hoped to share the progress in my fabric book but it is going quite slowly so I have a different project to share with you today. Never fear, the progress in the fabric book will be shared in the near future!

This project was inspired by a portrait lesson I taught my 4th graders at school. We have been learning about facial proportions and portraiture and I knew they wouldn't be excited about drawing random faces for long. In an effort to make their art more personal I asked them to draw a self-portrait with a simple line drawing. Then I asked them to fill their faces with words that describe who they are and what they like. It was fun to see what words they chose for themselves.

When I finished my project example and as my students were busy with their own I looked again at my paper and realized I had the beginning of a great piece of artwork. I ended up creating two versions.

Here are the supplies I used:

I began by spraying water and Dylusions ink liberally on the watercolor paper. While the ink was still wet I pressed the mineral paper onto the watercolor paper and then carefully peeled them apart to see how the color transferred. Let dry before continuing.

Before using the stencil I sprinkled water on the mineral paper and after a few seconds I wiped up the water by rolling a paper towel roll on the surface which resulted in the ink being lifted off the paper. I set the stencil down on the paper and sprayed it with water. Since the inks are water reactive I was able to take a soft paper towel and rub it through the stencil design to remove some of the ink. This was done on both the Mineral and watercolor papers. The subtle design it created was perfect for a background.

Using carbon transfer paper and a stylus I transferred my drawing onto both papers. I did not trace the words as I wanted the freedom to change those around if the composition called for it. 

Using a small brush and black paint I went over my graphite lines to create a bold outline for my face. I carefully painted white paint onto the face on the watercolor paper. The ink from my first layer is still reactive with wet media so I was careful not to scrub my brush too much on the surface. Some color transfer happened and it was lovely how it created a dimension to the white paint. Having an under layer on a painting always help bring more depth to the piece. For the Mineral Paper I just painted regular water onto the sections of the face and blotted the water up with a paper towel to remove the inked surface. 

From this point on I found myself concentrating on the watercolor paper composition. Using a pencil I sketched in my lettering lightly to focus on how things would fit. When everything was where I wanted it I used a black acrylic paint pen to bring out the lettering. 

Final details were using Dina Wakley acrylic paints to paint the eyes, lips and shirt. 

I am very pleased with the result and I can't wait to finish the variation on Mineral Paper. I hope you will take some time to create your own self-portrait celebrating the qualities that make you, YOU!

Hello Everyone!

I am so happy that you are here reading this blog post. Something that I feel passionate about is staying interested, curious, and present with my creative process. For me, this looks like trying new techniques and playing with new supplies.

For today’s post, I will be using the following SUPPLIES:

Let’s Begin

I am working on an easel where I’ve set a drawing board.

I clipped the Star and Cross stencil to the drawing board.

Next, I pulled out a few colors of Dylusions Spray Inks. Caution: Sometimes the nozzle gets clogged and the spray goes where you don’t intend it to go! My solution to this problem is to expect that as a possibility and remove things I don’t want to get sprayed.

Using a water-soluble graphite stick by Pacific Arc, I scribbled inside the stencil. This felt very satisfying to do.

Now, I am ready to remove the stencil and add more layers of graphite marks and watercolor paint.

I’d like to say something here about items you may deem as “precious” or “too ‘cool’ to use.” I have experienced this feeling many times. Now, I am getting to the point where I think, “Why not use it? There’s always more cool stuff to discover.” How do you feel about using your “special” items? I am curious to know how others process this dilemma.

So, I just kept playing with the graphite stick and watercolor paint. I rotated my paper. I stood far away, and got close up.

Pictured below is where I decided to stop. As a mixed media artist, I often end up tearing my painted papers to use in collage. I am not sure the fate of this one. For now, I like it whole.

In Summary

I hope this post inspires you to use some of your “precious” items.

May you explore with some new art supplies, so the creative process feels fun and exciting. May you stay curious and interested, as you play.

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

 

 

Hello My lovely Lovelies!

To start I will show you what became of the canvas I started for my last post. Originally I was going to just keep layering the 12" x 12" Water Series and Coral Series stencils until I loved what I saw, but I failed that plan miserably. Because of the stencils I was inspired to paint a mermaid. I used my Dina Wakley Paints to make her. The only bad part is I still need to create something to fill the blank space on my wall because this piece is now the wrong size.

I love how the stencils inspired me to create her! I think I will do another using the same stencils and create some fun fish. I'll keep you posted if I do.

The journal entry I created for this post was not what I had originally planned, I have a family member who it looks like is losing a battle with cancer so I wanted to record my feelings in my journal. I used my (Jane Davenport) watercolor journal, my Koi watercolor Field Sketch kit, NeoColor II's, Dina Wakley Paints, a white paint pen and watercolor markers, along with a Pocket stencil from the Steampunk Series and the Seven Jewels stencil from the Japanese Geometric series.

I love how the use of the larger stencils broke up the monotony of my plain background without any real effort and tied my pages together.

I created both pieces live on my Youtube channel, if you would like to watch how I worked you can see below!

Big hugs and mushies too you!

MERMAID LIVESTREAM: 

JOURNAL PAGE LIVESTREAM: 

 

A DAY AT NATHAN'S

"Coney Island is and always will be 'the people's playground.' It's a place where people of all backgrounds come to have a good time." Harold Feinstein, Photographer

It could be the incredible weather. Eighty degrees in April?! Really? Or maybe it was the Pink Full Moon. Or maybe I was just hungry. Nevertheless, my thoughts were drawing me to Coney Island. And one of my favourite places was, and still is, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.

Established in 1916, immigrants Nathan and Ida Handwerker spent their life savings of $300 to pursue the American dream. Still standing on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Brooklyn, Nathan’s was always a great stop on the way home from a day at the Beach. The huge white sign with the “Nathan’s” green script is forever a welcome mat to every Beach weary traveler. 

I found a great vintage photo taken in 1947 of a hungry crowd waiting to be served. And there in the foreground was the object of their affection…the famous Nathan’s hot dogs and buns marking time on the rolling grill. 

Grabbing my Strathmore Visual Journal I started the design. I brayered layers of acrylic paint on to the stock. I wanted colours that screamed beach, summer, and joy so I selected hues of yellow, orange, red and pink. I especially love the Dylusions sprays. Bubble Gum Pink is outstanding. It really gave the background the pop of colour it needed. But rather than spray it on to the paper, I sprayed my palette, coated the brayer and rolled it on to the surface. The hot pink colour stays true even when dried. I love it!

But what is the Beach without the Ocean? Part of the charm of eating at Nathan’s is feeling the grit of the sandy sidewalk under your feet and the salt in the air. That is why the Artistcellar Water Series is the perfect complement for my composition. I chose to use the 12” x12” Surf stencil. The movement of the stencil is a wonderful counterbalance to the straight brayered patches of colour.  In addition to my Visual Journal I also have a digital counterpart. From this collection I chose two watercolour versions of the Artistcellar Halftone Dots Series. Stenciled on to Mineral Paper the samples had just the quality I was looking for to complete the work.

But what is Nathan’s without people? With a bit of digital manipulation the image was ready to become part of the final composition. 

And that’s what I love about Art. Even though I couldn’t be at Nathan’s physically, by working on the collage I was able to travel through time and visit a location near and dear to my heart. It allowed me to remember an exceptional, blissful time with my family.

But Nathan’s isn’t just somewhere to eat. For me it is the embodiment of all that is truly American: our spirit of entrepreneurship, our willingness to hope for a better future, a place where young and old, rich and poor can mingle. In essence, it is a microcosm of the tolerant and diverse city I am proud to call my Home.  

As a Nation there may be times we seem to go off track. But I firmly believe our collective soul thrives on compassionately embracing ideas that are different. And most of all offering a warm welcome to those who want to make this Nation their own.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls!

Birthdays are the best time to make art for gifts. I ended up creating this awesome 12"x12" piece for a friends birthday the day of. We got invited over last minute so I spent the evening making his gift. He told me his 3 favorite colors were: green, blue, and purple. Score! They all look gorgeous as galaxy colors and fade into each other nicely. It turned out so pretty I wish I still had it for our wall. 

I used the 6x6 flower of life stencil and 6x6 metatron's cube stencils for this piece. The moon and some of the galaxy stars also glow-in-the-dark.

I also took the time to play around with some more of the awesome Deco Art crackle paste , the 12x12 Sri Yantra stencil, and the 6x6 golden mean stencil for this piece. I had a lot of fun with the bottom layer using some stencils, and splashes.

Next I layered the crackle paste. I love watching the little crackles form as the medium dries. The inks like to show through the white layer and it looks pretty awesome.

Next I started layering the sprays and things to create the metallic gold look. I used some dylusions ground coffee spray, some glimmer mist, and some other sparkly sprays.

The first layer looks like snake skin. Pretty cool. Then I added some Viva Decor Inka Gold to really give the gold some nice highlights and depth. I even took a nice little video on my Instagram to show off the finished piece since a 1 minute video can capture way more than several photos. 

I create one last piece literally last night just to get some art time in. This mini art is 4"x4" and will be backed on a flat canvas. I used the flower of life 6"x6" stencil and the third eye chakra pocket stencil. I really dig this little piece celebrating the awakening of the third eye.

What projects do you like to create when you only have  a short amount of art time?

Love, light, and creativity,

xo Genea