Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Stencil Itself as Art



I've been at it again -- cutting up some of my heavily stained stencils for use as collage elements.  To better see any of the images below, just click on it.


Above: Part of It's a Jungle Out There (9" x 12") was used in this collage.


Above:  The 6" x 6" stencil Kaleid was used in the upper right in this collage.


Above:  9" x 12" stencil Tangled Pods was used in the upper left of this collage.

None of these collages was made specifically for these stencils, stained with acrylic paints from previous projects.

But every artist has a "personal palette" -- a range of colors that are used again and again, because each artist tends to favor certain ranges of color.

Over time, my collage papers and my stained stencils have accumulated into color groups because of the preferences I have -- these favored ranges of color that I use over and over.

So it was extremely easy to match stencils with collages that I'd made maybe a year ago.  

Thanks for your visit to my blog today! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Acceptance into the Upcoming Canterbury Art Show


I'm happy to announce that one of my paintings on stretched canvas, Alive in You, has been juried in for the Labor Day weekend Canterbury Art Show in nearby Rumson, NJ.




This painting was created with Golden High Flow acrylics and my stencils Sassy Spray (6" x 6") and It's a Jungle Out There (9" x 12").  The method I used is described in the Absentee Artist chapter of Creative Paper Art by Nancy Welch and it's shown in Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form (available at Cheap Joe's Art Supplies.)

I'd been pleased with this painting even before it had been juried in at this show; I had even ordered a mug here with this artwork wrapped around it.  The mug is prettier in person than it appears in these photos, but I'll post them anyway --






These mugs come in two sizes and I ordered the smaller version, since I prefer something lighter in weight.  I'm happy to report the mug has proven dishwasher-safe. 

Today's two featured stencils look like this --


Sassy Spray (6" x 6")

It's A Jungle Out There (9" x 12")

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To see all my stencils, please check here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

In an Orange and Aqua Mood ...



Today's post parades several recent prints, made on assorted backgrounds (mostly foreign newspaper tearsheets); the first was made with my Marbles 9 stencil.  It measures 9" x 12" and has a 6" x 6" "little sister," Marbles 6.   Having coated the background with an even layer of translucent acrylic orange acrylic paint, I gave it time to dry, then used a sponge roller and high-viscosity aqua acrylic paint to add this complementary color thru the stencil:


Above:  Since I didn't have high-viscosity (heavy-body) aqua paint on hand, I mixed soft-body paint with extra-heavy acrylic medium gel, before loading the brayer with paint.

Next, I coated newsprint with a layer of translucent Titan Buff, then used another sponge brayer to add orange acrylic paint thru two borders from my Borders # 2 stencil.  As you can tell below, from the sponged borders around each border, this stencil has been cut into three strips, to separate each of the three borders it contains.  It's not necessary to cut any of my three Borders series stencils into strips, but it's my personal choice; I find them easier to use this way.
 

Above:  My Titan Buff acrylic paint (by Golden) isn't translucent to begin with; I mixed it with acrylic matte liquid medium (which is transparent) before loading my brayer with paint.  This way, some of the background print remained visible, thus creating a layered look.

I made another orange-background print with a bright aqua foreground, following the same steps as in the first print posted today.  This print was made with two of my Trivet series stencils -- left:  Trivet B stencil; right:  Trivet C.  Both measure 6" x 6" and are part of a 4-piece series that includes one 9" x 12" stencil (Trivet 9 A.)


Above:  Trivet B, on the left, always reminds me of a turning wheel.  Trivet C, on the right, always reminds me of razor blades!  I didn't design either of them with these images in mind.  It just happened on its own.
Today's final image:




Too late, I realized that I should have added more solid aqua, or a solid beige, to the background of this piece, before printing it with an orange paint-loaded sponge brayer and my 9" x 12" stencil Two Vases.  If I'd had the forethought to mute out the background printing with either of those paints, the two orange vases would have stood out better. 

But there's always a next time!

To browse all my stencils, just visit here

And I thank you kindly for visiting my blog today.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE and A Lot of Help from Artist PAT DEWS


I used my 9" x 12" stencil It's A Jungle Out There to make art for today's post:




You can buy a stretched canvas that's already black, but in this case, I started with a white one and covered it with two coats of black gesso, allowing dry-time between layers.  I applied the gesso with an extra-large spreading tool bought at a hardware/paint store.  I think the tool was made for construction workers creating smooth surfaces in plaster; it has a 12"-wide aluminum blade and a plastic handle.  I chose that tool because I wanted to create a perfectly flat surface, without brush marks or other imperfections.

My stencil had already been cut into pieces; the original stencil looks like this:




I used these stencil-bits following directions given in Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form.

My media included Titanium White High Flow acrylic, blue and aqua acrylic paint, and violet interference acrylic paint.

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Thank you for your visit to my blog today! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

More Black, White and Grey Prints with Stencils


Since my online black-and-white class with Jane Davies will be starting soon, I've been making more black-and-white prints.  I'm thinking that these will be torn and/or cut to go into collages for some of her class assignments.  But if it turns out my guess is wrong, I'll brayer or brush over the prints with translucent acrylic paints, to add color to the white areas and interesting tints to the black and grey areas.  Then they'll end up in my own independent collages of merged colors.

To make today's prints, I used the sponge brayer method that's so quick and easy for me.




I had no black papers on hand, so I created some with black gesso.  After those papers dried, I switched from black gesso (pictured above) to Titanium White heavy-body acrylic paint.  

The first image below appears to have a brown tint but is actually dark grey.  The uppermost print was made with my 9" x 12" stencil Blooming Where Planted (which I've cut into three separate sections.)  Beneath this print is an earlier one made with another 9" x 12" stencil, Prayer Flags.  Clicking on the photo to enlarge it, you can better see subtle results from the earlier print.



Above:  another print made with Blooming Where Planted.

Above:  a print made with Fantasia (9" x 12" stencil).  An earlier print made with another stencil lies beneath this top layer.

Above: an experiment -- printing on a sheet of foreign newsprint with my 9" x 12" stencil Vases

Above:  This subtle imprint was made with another StencilGirl stencil, 6' x 6" Puddles, by Rae Missigman. 

Thanks for visiting my blog today!  If interested in following it by email, just sign up in the upper right sidebar.

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Friday, July 7, 2017

PAIR O' PARROTS teamed with Other Stencils


 Mary Ann Russo has made another iris-fold artwork, this time using watercolor paper as the sturdy background for the iris-folded papers.  And this time, she has filled in the area around the parrot with watercolors, using the subtractive technique and several of my other stencils.



   

If you think this artwork is stunning, then you and I are on the same page!  Please feel free to enlarge the image by clicking on it, to better see details.

Stencils used:

Mimosa Stencil

Clustered Leaves

Pair o' Parrots

The subtractive/reductive method is the same, whether the medium is watercolor or acrylic paints.  To learn this technique step-by-step, go here .

To see these and all my stencils, please visit here.

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Thanks for checking out my blog today!  And if it's not too late by the time you read this, keep this sale in mind --



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Iris-Folding and Stencils by Mary Ann Russo, Continued from Yesterday


Step 10:

Turning to your stack of foldable papers (scrapbook paper or anything similar), choose colors that correspond with the color-plan-diagram that's been established with lines, numbers and colored pencils.

Use the paper cutter to cut strips from the foldable papers.  Notice in the photo below that these paper cutters have inbuilt lines to enable accurate measurements.  Cut strips 1 inch thick if working in the same size as Mary Ann's sample piece, which is 8.8" x 11" and fits a standard-size 11" x 14" mat with an opening of 7.5" x 9.5".

If you have decided to enlarge your artwork beyond Mary Ann's size, take the added step of measuring the width of the lines in your color-coded diagram.  Mary Ann's lines were 1/2 inch wide, so she needed paper strips 1 inch wide.  If your enlargement has color-areas 3/4 inch wide, for example, then your paper strips need to be 1.5" wide.  The width of the paper strips is always double the width of the individual lined-out areas in the working diagram.





Step 11:

Fold these papers in half, lengthwise, as shown below.  Each folded strip, when working with Mary Ann's dimensions, should be 1/2 inch wide. 



Click on the above photo to enlarge it and better see details.

Step 12:

With scissors, cut the folded strips to lengths that correspond to the cut-out shape.  In this case, the Pair O' Parrots shape calls for narrow strips, starting at the head, moving down over the narrow body, and ending at the tip of the long tail.  So the folded paper-strips need be as long as the width of the cut-out -- plus enough gluing area on each side of the cut-out.  The exact measurement is up to you; once you've cut the first piece, you'll be able to just "eyeball it" in sizing the lengths of each paper-strip.

Again, keep in mind that you are working from the back-side of the cardstock that contains the cut-out area.

Step 13:

As shown below, add glue to the edges of the cut-out.  Don't add glue to the entire cut-out shape, all in one go.  With each glue application, add just enough to secure a few folded strips of paper.

At this point, that clear plastic page protector does its intended job -- keeping the pencil-colored diagram free of glue.






Continue adding folded paper-strips -- making sure to slightly overlap each paper-strip with the next.  Alternate glue applications with paper-strip applications.  Follow the color-guide-diagram that was mapped out by number and by color pencil.

Step 14:

The "iris" is a piece of paper cut to fill the small empty space that remains after all the paper-strips are in place.  It is added as the last step, with a gluestick.  

Below is the back-view of a finished piece, when all the paper-strips and the finishing touch (white) "iris" have been added.  Now that the demo is over, we return to the original project, in which white cardstock is used, not orange.



Notice in the photo above that the finishing touch, the white "iris," has been cut from a separate paper and added with a gluestick after all the overlapping strips have been added.

Turning this paper over to the right side, we see the finished work of art, below.  It fits into the standardized pre-cut mat of 16" x 20" that comes with an 11" x 14" opening.






The stencil Mary Ann used to launch this project is Pair O' Parrots --






To see all my stencils, just visit here.

Please join me in hearty applause for Mary Ann Russo letting me post her project on my blog!

To follow this blog, just use the "Follow by Email" option on the upper right. 
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Using Stencils with Iris-Folding!


Thanks to my friend Mary Ann Russo, a whole new way to use stencils has opened before my eyes.

I will share this iris-folding technique over a space of two days.  This post is the first segment; it continues tomorrow.   

This artwork of Mary Ann's measures 8.5" x 11".  It fits into a standardized mat of 11" x 14" (which comes with a 9.5" x 7.5" opening.)







Feel free to click on the above image to enlarge it and better see details.

How did Mary Ann get from my 6" x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots --






-- to the gorgeous full-sized artwork at the top of this post?

First, the supply list:

the stencil above (or any other silhouette stencil, like Heron, Cats, etc.)

a light table (but a window will do)

a regular pencil -- plus colored pencils

one or more sheets of sturdy (not lightweight) cardstock

a stack of foldable papers such as scrapbook papers -- these papers need to be sturdy enough to hold a fold but not as sturdy or thick as cardstock 

copy paper

masking tape

a gluestick

scissors 

a clear plastic ruler such as a quilter's ruler

an Exacto knife and a cutting board (or a paper-cutter, either rotary or guillotine

a clear plastic page protector 

(optional:  a pre-cut mat in the standardized size of your choice)


Step 1:




As shown above, trace the silhouette of choice onto copy paper.

Step 2:

Use your photo-processing PC program or a copy machine to enlarge the tracing to whatever size you want.  

But bear in mind that the measurements in this write-up correspond with a figure that fits into a standardized mat of 11" x 14" (with a 9.5" x 7.5" opening.)

Step 3:

With your ruler and plain pencil, draw in lines.  Space each line no larger than ¼ inch apart.  As you draw the lines, number them, as shown below.  These numbers will guide you in placement of your paper strips. 



Click on the drawing above to enlarge it and better see details.

You may want to write out a color-to-number key to this drawing.  An example is below.  It lists individual colors with their corresponding numbered areas.






Now, if you haven chosen to enlarge your parrot beyond the size of Mary Ann's, it's time to make a few enlargements of different sizes.  Then place your chosen mat over each of these enlargements, auditioning them to find the size that fits to your satisfaction.  


It's important to do this after you have drawn the lines shown in the step above.  This will determine the width of the paper strips you will be cutting in a coming step.

Step 4:

Use colored pencils to color in each area as designated in the drawing (and in the key, if you choose to write one out.)  





Step 5:

Using masking tape, attach the drawing to a lightbox, as shown above; or use a window.  

Step 6:

Place your sturdy cardstock atop the drawing.  Here -- only for the sake of this demo -- orange cardstock is used.  (For the final image, shown at the top of this post, the cardstock was white.)






In step 6, use a regular pencil to draw around the outlined shape, as shown above.

Below, this outlining is finished --



Click on any of these images to enlarge them and better see details.
Step 7:

Place the cardstock on a cutting board.  With the Exacto knife, cut along the outlined shape.

(Avoid trying to use scissors for this step.  An Exacto knife is the tool that will retain every fine detail.) 

Keep in mind that you are working on the back side of the paper.  This will matter, in the end.







Above, the cut-out is complete.

Step 8:

With masking tape, attach the colored diagram to your work surface. Using more tape, overlay this paper with a clear plastic page protector. The photo below, in the middle top, shows light reflecting off this plastic.




Step 9:

The photo below shows the cardstock, minus its cut-out, placed over the plastic-protected color diagram --






What you see above, is the back-side of the cardstock.  This is important to keep in mind for the next step.  

Tomorrow's post will continue today's iris-folding project.

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Announcing--!



In case you missed yesterday's announcements --




MaryBeth will be livestreaming on Facebook on July 7 at
7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Standard Time.


And please check out my blog here on July 5, 6 & 7 for a special demonstration of a new-to-me way to use silhouette-style stencils!  Step-by-step photos and directions are part of the three-day package.  

To follow this blog by email, just sign on in the upper right sidebar.

Many thanks!   

Monday, July 3, 2017

JULY 7 & 8 Only -- A Sale and Livestreaming to Celebrate MaryBeth Shaw's Birthday!


MaryBeth will be livestreaming on Facebook on July 7 at
7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Standard Time.


And --



Yes, our beloved founder of StencilGirlProducts is having a birthday and celebrating with a sale!


This may be especially exciting for those of you who do what I do -- buy several copies of one stencil (such as Clustered Leaves, shown above) so that, with at least one of them, you can remove the rectangular outer border -- for a whole new look (and in my opinion, a more versatile stencil.)  

For stencil-altering, I use Joyce Chen scissors.  These scissors are perfect for this since they have short blades and will cut thru stencils with ease. 

Thanks for checking out my blog today!  

To follow this blog by email, just sign up for it, in the upper right sidebar.  

July 5, 6 & 7 -- Something Special Coming!


A special technique, with step-by-step photos and directions, will appear here July 5, 6 and 7.  Hope you can come visit!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Special Announcement followed by New Black & White Stencil Prints


A special technique, with step-by-step photos and directions, will appear here July 5, 6 and 7.  Hope you can come visit!  And many thanks to my friends Mary Ann and Julie, whose talented hands will appear in these photos!

Today's post focuses on my own black-and-white prints made for a black-and-white art-making online class with Jane Davies.  

Note:  If you haven't yet bought Jane's new book on abstracts, burn rubber to get it!  The book covers topics valuable for both representational and abstract artists.  Jane writes in a lucid way that's more easily understood than what you may find elsewhere.

This new book of Jane's concentrates on color, but today's prints are black and white because that's what I think we students will need for this particular online workshop.  (Jane offers a wide variety of workshops, both live and online.  Check out her website.)

For my prints today, I started with white paper.  I used a sponge brayer and black gesso to convert some of the papers to black.  Then, with either black gesso or Titanium White acrylic paint, I used the brayer to make these prints with stencils --



Above:  Most of the prints are shown here.  A few more are included in the close-ups below.


Above Left:2 prints with 4" x 4" Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini.  Right: Sassy Spray

4" x 4" stencil Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini. 

Above Left:  6" x 6" Palm Fronds Silhouette Small. Right: 4" x 4" Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini. 

6" x 6" Ferns stencil.
6" x 6" stencil Sassy Spray.



6" x 6" stencil Swatton Grid.

6" x 6" stencil Swatton Grid.

 6" x 6" stencil Swatton Grid.

6" x 6" stencil Swatton Links.

I think that in this workshop of Jane's, we may be creating additional black-and-white patterns, then cutting or tearing them for building collages.  

If it turns out I'm wrong, I'll be brayering over these prints with translucent acrylic paints to fill the white areas with rainbows of color.  The black areas will appear different, too, once they've been coated with translucent color.  Then they will become fodder for collage.

To see all my stencils, please visit here

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!