Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello my lovely lovelies!!! I realized something the other day! I have been a design team member for about a year with Artistcellar now! How lucky am I that I get to create with all of the awesome supplies and stencils and share with you! This experience is AWESOME! And to be part of a group of such wonderful artists makes me ecstatic! Here is the first journal page I ever did using items from a DT box. 

I used the Dina Wakley paints along with the Dye-na-flow and a dip pen to create this fairy then I went in with a couple of the pocket stencils then sparkled it all up with some stickles! I was so tickled to create this page that it still makes me smile!

For the page I have this time I decided to use the opposite page in my journal and create something using completely different mediums. I was inspired to do this page by the wonderful prompt from Journal 52 week 4, "listen" and my want to take part in a Faces of February challenge this month where I will create a face every day this month. This was my 1st face of the month.  

Read below for a brief written description of my process or further down a link to my video to watch it unfold!

The whole time I was creating I was thinking of the word "listen" from the prompt and my reading of the other insights that Effy puts with the prompt. My train of thought was traveling through my hand creating the emotion on my princess's face, the colors of the page and finally the words I chose to put on my page. I like how she turned out, she does not fit the "norm" of how I usually do faces so I am happy that I did not lean so heavily on comfort for my 1st face of the month!

I created this page using multiple washes and layers of watercolor from my Koi Watercolor pocket field sketch box, then blending the colors with a bit of Dina Wakley paint in white. I also used my Faber-Castell Pitt pen in white to add highlights and blending of color (it does wonderful smudgies!) For some more fun shading I used an 8B sketch pencil and smudged the color with my finger and used water to blend it out some more. I used the totally cute crown from my Steampunk pocket stencils and some Dina Wakley paint in yellow to make it pop, along with some of the yellow in the hair. I used a non water proof pen in black and my Uni-Ball Signo pen in white to add additional shadow and highlight! 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading!! Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!

Princess Shana Banana

WE RISE TOGETHER

“You will rise by lifting others.” - Robert G. Ingersoll

When times are bleak we seize the smallest glimmer of hope wherever we can encounter it. I find myself in the midst of such times. For me, turning to my Art is a way of trying to make sense of what is clearly chaos.

I started my journey in Art as a printmaker. The mechanics of cutting a woodblock or prepping a stone always fills me with the comforting feeling of whispered anticipation. Working with the Speedball Lino Cutter and Speedycarve block was like visiting an old friend. And the timing couldn’t be better.

I drew simple butterfly shapes on to the Speedyblock as I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to carve. I must say, it was like pushing a warm knife through butter. Now that I am familiar with the block, I am looking forward to using it again on more finely detailed work. I tried both a conventional stamp pad and acrylic paint to print the image. Both were successful, but I preferred the acrylic paint finish. When dried, I coloured the butterflies using Twinkling H20 watercolours. I love their shimmer and rich hue…keeping true colour even when dry.

I love the variety and durability of the Artistcellar stencils. Adding to my Strathmore Journal, I grabbed the Halftone Dots and Seafoam stencils. I wanted to create a feeling of randomness. I allowed the stencils to drop to the paper without positioning them. My selection of acrylics was as accidental.

When all of the elements were complete, I scanned and began the final composition.

It is impossible to ignore the events surrounding us. The implications are global. But through it all, my spirit is renewed.  Each time I see a new group of concerned individuals lifting their voices in unison, I know we are seizing the essence of what makes us truly American. Like soaring butterflies, our differences are celebrated. And we will only rise when we support and lift each other.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

It's always exciting to go visit a friend's or family's studio and create together.  My mom invited me over awhile back to come create with her in the studio. We even had some studio helpers along with us, my dog Leeloo and mom's dog, Lucy.

I decided to teach her how I do my little 4x6 watercolors.

First we did a layer of watercolors as our base. Here is mom's watercolor piece.

I chose some nice bright pinks, oranges, and purples for my piece.

Next we did some inking and stencils with some distress ink pads. I used the chartres stencil for my piece and mom used the seven jewels stencil. 

For the finishing touches I outlined my piece in black and mom did hers in gold.

While I was at mom's I decided to make her a few prints with my carved stamp from last weeks post. The first ones turned out so pretty until I used my heat gun to speed up the process of drying the ink and melted the yupo paper, OOPs!

I did another one since I melted the first one and left this one to air dry. 

What friend's or family's studio is your favorite place to go create? 

Love, light, and creativity,

Genea

Hello again!

This week I wanted to experiment with something I've never tried before -- I know, risky, right?

Many years ago I inherited a pendulum from my husband's grandmother. At that time, I didn't really understand what it was so I put it away for safe keeping.

At this stage of my life I'm getting so intrigued by tarot and divination, I decided to pull the pendulum out!  But... I needed a pendulum board. Sure, I could buy one -- but what about an Artistcellar inspired board?!

I started out with a a few small pieces of drift wood from the local craft store and practiced with the wood burning kit on some simple runes. With my background in tattooing, the soldering iron reminded me of a tattoo machine... a little bit different, but same concept right?

Once I felt a little bit confident I moved on to a big chunk of wood, and used an ink pen and the Metatron's Cube from the Artistcellar Sacred Geometry 2 stencil set. 

When I finished inking the stencil design I added a little bit more doodles and then pulled out the soldering iron once again. 

Wood burning for the first time is a bit difficult, and I made quite a few mistakes... however when finished I decided I liked the grungy, not-perfect look of my board and couldn't wait to use it for learning how to work the Pendulum and as a backdrop for tarot pulls!

I find Artistcellar stencils so mystical and inspiring for so much of my work. Another example of this is the Weird Girls Tarot Project that I have been collaborating on with Sarah Trumpp. Together, we are creating a tarot deck one by one. Creating the artwork has been joyous and I have used Artistcellar inspiration in many of them. 

How do you infuse Artistcellar into your magic?!

(To follow along with the Weird Girls Tarot project, click here: https://www.facebook.com/weirdgirlstarot/)

I am also a teacher in an online collaborative art course all about journaling and creativity through Tarot and Oracle! Check out more  about Pull * Pen * Paint, here: http://bit.ly/PanArtPPP

(Edited by Lisa: If you would like to purchase prints of Cristin's tarot card art, you can find them HERE.)

I've been making some little art in a little book and it's been fun! It's supposed to be a daily art practice (it's a daily planner by Moleskine so there is a page per day) and while I am a little behind I am enjoying the challenge. Some days I just fill several pages with stenciled backgrounds or solid paint colors to give me a nice little jumpstart for more little layers. Can you tell I'm having a little fun?! ;)

The stencils I used for these pages are the Rouen from the Cathedral Series and Sea Foam from the Water Series. The paints are Dina Wakley Acrylics. Other supplies I used are black and white acrylic paint pens and water soluble crayons. 

I ended my mini art session with words I cut out from an old children's book. I feel like this will be a good thing for me to do this year and I hope you are inspired to make a goal to implement some little sort of daily art practice!

Good Day Artistcellar Readers!

Here’s Today’s Supply List:

Have you heard that even artists need to do a little warm-up exercise, just like athletes and performers? Sometimes I remember that little tip, and sometimes it sort of naturally happens. Like preparing for this post, for example. On my art table, I had a piece of newsprint with some black painted lines.

I thought it might be cool to put a stencil over the top. I tried it, I liked it, but it wasn’t where I wanted to go, so I called it a “warm-up”.

What this warm-up did for me was helped me start a new art journal spread as I cleaned off the “Brain Coral” stencil with a baby wipe.

I am just getting several page spreads into the large 9x12 inch journal by Jane Davenport, sold at Michaels.

Feeling inspired by the work of Artistcellar design team members, I decided to take out the awesome 12x12 “Om” stencil.

Tracing and painting in something usually feels too fussy for me, but I tried to push my limits a bit.

So, I traced “Om”, using a black Sharpie paint pen. It was a little tricky to go over the middle of the journal spread, but I did it.

Next, I filled in the stencil shape with the same black Sharpie paint pen. The results were a little too scritchy scratchy for me, so I used black India ink and a paint brush to smooth things out.

Third, I added some colorful spray ink spots.

Since the black India ink wasn’t all the way dry on that “O” it ran a little. I like it, though.

Finally, I added a border of one of my hand-carved stamps, using Staz-On ink.

This was a good experiment for me. And where is the best place to conduct such experiments? I would suggest an art journal is the best place. There is freedom in playing without fear of “messing up.”

In conclusion, Artistcellar 12x12 stencils are awesome! Creative warm-ups are good to do. And, an art journal is a place for artful experiments. Let yourself go!

Thanks for reading this post!

Blessings to you, and Happy Creating!

-Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

Hello My Lovely Lovelies! Today I am sharing just two little pages I did- one on hot press watercolor paper and the other on Yupo paper. These are by no means wonderful works of art, it is simply me having fun. Being a professional artist sometimes causes me some anxiety! I give myself a creative roadblock worrying whether or not the people who read this blog or watch my videos will like my art. I decided TTHHPPPPTPPTT with that today!

 I got out some stuff I hadn't played with in a while and went to town! On the hot press watercolor I played with my Gelatos and used my Ranger Archival ink pad for some stamping along with Dina Wakley and Dylusions Paints and 2 stencils from the Traditional Japanese and the Japanese Geometric Series. I ended up with this silly fella! 

For my 2nd play time I again used the Ranger Archival ink and did some dimple stamping on Yupo with some hand-me-down stamps I have of trees and grass, I then pulled out my Twinkling H2O's and created this lovely little piece. I think I'll put it in a frame in my guest room! I had fun today playing!

Get out some supplies you havent played with in a while or get some new ones and just slop the color around until you smile!

Big hugs and Mushy stuff my sweets!

If you would like to see the process of my owl check it out below!

- Shana Banana @wisccheeto

 

SING FOR ME A LITTLE

"The singer is the life of the soul
The sick man hears him and gets better…
And he clears away the darkness of night
Letting light into the eyes of the lovers
A little, a little” - “Ghannili Shway Shway” (Sing for Me A Little).

Have you ever started work on a project and for a variety of reasons it never finds its way to completion?  Perhaps you became too busy or had other commitments. Or, as I like to think, the time just wasn’t right for you to connect with the work. That’s the story of this collage.  Partially finished, I knew it needed something more. But what?

I found the photo of the Egyptian Lady included in a lot of postcards I purchased. Reminiscent of the haunting Lehnert & Landrock images I viewed in their shop in Cairo, I wish I knew more about her. How old was she? Where did she live in Egypt? Was she contented with her life? If only she could speak! I can’t think of Cairo without remembering the blissful feeling of being enveloped by music.  From the latest pop tunes to the classics, music filters through the frenetic streets from taxi cabs, apartments, markets, and cafes. It is the heart and soul of the city and its people. And one voice speaks for young and old alike: Oum Kolthoum. “The Star of the East” as she was known, Oum Kolthoum’s inimitable musical interpretations united the Arab world as Egypt declared her a national treasure. But her music reached far beyond, enthralling audiences around the globe. Regardless of nationality, those who heard her sing could see a little of themselves reflected in her passionate performances.

A favourite song of mine is “Ghannili Shway Shway” (Sing for Me A Little). It was Oum Kolthoum’s first hit and was featured in the 1945 film “Sallama”. The lyrics, forever timeless, pay tribute to the captivating power of song.

I started the collage by photocopying the postcard on to a piece of very thin white tissue paper. Taking sheets of watercolour paper, I soaked them overnight in a bath of tea with a touch of instant coffee. I was surprised, but happy to see the paper dried to a warm auburn hue. I printed the lyrics to the song in Arabic and tore the edges to give an uneven look. Because I was concerned about the ink bleeding when I attached the elements to my canvas, I sprayed them with a fixative. I was now ready for the moment of truth. I primed the canvas with gesso and attached the paper with lyrics first. There was minimal bleeding and good adhesion. I was hoping it would be the same with the tissue photocopy. I placed the paper in position and covered it with a light coat of matte medium. Luckily it didn’t tear and was translucent enough to allow the lyrics to show through.

I wanted a dramatic background. The perfect choice was Artistcellar’s Arabian Nights series.  Inspired by the star patterns of Arabic geometry is there any better way to celebrate the music of “The Star of the East”? I chose “Celestial” and added it to my collection of backgrounds in my Strathmore Mixed-Media journal beginning with sponging Rose Red acrylics and building layer upon layer as each dried. On aqua tissue I dabbed a variety of metallic acrylics through a stencil that reminded me of the windows in my hotel, evoking the blur of colour and light of an early Cairo morning.

Where inspiration left me the last time I worked on this collage I was now energized and ready to complete the image. The elements seem to fall into place. Where would the love of music and a beautiful song take this woman? I pictured her dreamily gazing at a view of feluccas on the Nile. Perhaps she was wondering what the future would bring, all the while waiting to wish on the first evening star.

I truly believe music, as well as art, have the power to unite us. Regardless of language or genre, one thing is constant. We all search to find our one special star in the night sky. And when we do, we rejoice in letting our light shine, reflected in the eyes of those we love.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello beautiful souls,

Wow this round was a big learning curve for me, but I am so excited with what I've learned and the confidence that was built after the experience. I haven't done a block print since my high school days and I graduated in 1997.  I will say this new speedy carve block is so much easier to carve than the old school linoleum blocks! The new speedball lino cutter is especially awesome too since you can store all of the blade tips inside the handle.

So let's take a look at my learning process so I can share with you what worked, what didn't and how to handicap your way around making things work with a few different programs and some creativity! I must admit design isn't one of my strong points even though I used to doodle all over my pages. Zentangle was a big help on figuring out some different design patterns to repeat for my block. I knew I was going to do an eye since eyes have been my obsession my entire life. I even sign my work with an eye next to it. I also love hearts and love, so a heart was going to be in the design as well. My signature eye has a swirl center so I used that style for my block. To start I grabbed a piece of paper and drew a rectangle the same size as the block so I knew how big my design needed to be.

As you can see from the first drawing the block design changed a few times before I settled on the final design. The first design wasn't quite it, the second design was too complex, and the 3rd drawing was just right! Next I outlined the drawing in black marker. Before I finished the other side of the drawing I had the amazing idea to take a photo, upload it into photoshop and mirror the image so that my design would line up more evenly.

As you can see the mirror messed up my swirl eye. I used the paintbrush tool in photoshop to fix up my image. I had just downloaded the program called inkscape that does image editing to use with my cricut machine so I used that program to refine my image and turn it into a vector image.

I just LOVE how the program smooths out all of the jaggedy lines and makes it look awesome! I aldo decided to do an inverted image to see if that would be easier to do for the block carving.

The lines looked easier with the first image so I went along with that taking care to carve out the white spaces instead of the black. Now how the heck to get this image transferred to the block?! I only have an inkjet printer not a laser jet that works for super awesome image transfers so I had to get creative. I tried to use alcohol on the block and press the marker inked image over it to transfer the image with little luck. I did some searching for help and found out you could run parchment paper through your printer and try to transfer the image that way. I taped parchment paper to cardstock and sent it through the printer. Hooray! I was able to get some ink on the parchment to transfer to the block! My first transfer didn't go so well and when I tried to remove the ink with  nail polish remover it smeared like this.

Well poop! This means I have one more chance to get it right so I could carve my block. So I flipped my block over and carefully tried again.

The image transferred, but it was so light. I took my marker and drew over the block to make the image easier to see for carving.

Next I went to work carving my block.

Oh man the block turned out so awesome! I did a test print with some pigment inks on  yupo paper.

If you haven't tried out this paper yet, its pretty awesome. I would say it's almost like using photo paper for art paper. The paper has a glossy finish to it and it does take a little while longer for it to dry since the inks seem to sit on top of the paper before being fully absorbed. Next I used some distress inks to do a few more prints.

I had an idea to do an awesome mandal a piece so I gessoed a piece of wood, water colored on top of it and then used my block to do some prints with inks on top.

Next I added some larger painted spots with some dina wakley paints in Fuchsia and Ocean. Here is the finished piece that I am calling "Infinite Possibilities".

What artistic hurdle have you overcome and how did is make your design stronger and build your confidence?

Love, light, and creativity,

Genea

Hello! Today is all about mixed media layers and inspiration from the Om symbol. 

I hope you enjoy the video I made as a result:

 

Supplies Used: