Tuesday, October 29, 2013

StencilGirl: Mixed Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils -- and Other Learning Opportunities

I had barely started to read Mary Beth Shaw's brand-new book --

StencilGirl: Mixed Media Techniques for Using Stencils

-- when I learned a wonderful new trick:

Here you see the first step in a new project:  I have brushed matte medium gel across an 18"X24" gallery-wrap canvas and applied two sheets of tissue paper which, if I remember correctly, were dollar store purchases. 
Now for anyone who has ever tried to handle large sheets of collage paper -- if it happens to be tissue paper to boot -- you are already wincing because you know how difficult this is.  Yes, I know the technique:  Press down in the center of the paper first, then spread outward from there; use a resist-material cover sheet of freezer paper with a wide brayer to remove wrinkles.  Okay, but that is NOT all there is to it -- am I right, fellow collage artists out there? 
Mary Beth Shaw's new book arrived just in the nick of time.  (But I wish I had ordered it from her, at the above link, instead of pre-ordering from Amazon.  Ordering from STENCILGIRL(TM) gets you a free stencil -- and it's a really good one that I wish I had!)  Anyway, page 24 informs me that this large-sheet collage process becomes much easier when the paper is first lightly misted, with a water-filled mister bottle, on both sides; this allows the paper to stretch before its touchdown onto the matte gel brushed across the canvas.  Oh what a difference! 
I did a happy dance which so impressed my office manager that she yawned and looked the other way...
After the collaged tissue papers had thoroughly dried (no longer feeling cool to the touch), I used masking tape to add three STENCILGIRL(TM) stencils.  More about this in my next post. 
Meanwhile, in doing this step, I learned another lesson.  I found another reason to be glad that I store my stencils in plastic protector-pockets in 3-ring looseleaf notebooks.  (My 6"X6" stencils are in a regular-size looseleaf notebook and my 9"X12" stencils are kept in a scrapbooker's jumbo-sized notebook.)  When I slid my 9"X12" stencils out of their plastic pages, static electricity clung to the stencils -- then the stencils clung to my collaged canvas.  Altho I went ahead with using the masking tape, as noted above, there was really no need; this was simply a precaution.
This is less important for artists who work on flat surfaces.  But I work on a vertical surface, an easel holding up whatever project is at hand.  Therefore I had been automatically using the masking tape to hold my stencils in place, safe from the tug of gravity.  I will still do so when I plan to use a stencil brush for applying paint thru the stencils.  But this time around, since my plan is to use a Pat Dews mouth atomizer  (Cheap Joe's Art Supplies) to apply ink through the stencils, the static electricity is all that is actually needed.  It works as well as temporary stencil adhesive -- but without the follow-up need for adhesive removal.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips, I learned something new today about tissue paper sure.