Monday, August 31, 2015

Another Way to Use Stencil-Prints ...

Here is an old post that I'm re-running, during this crazy-busy couple of weeks ...

I started today's project with a dark background on a sheet of 140-lb. watercolor paper slightly larger than my 9"X12" stencil Facets.  The background below is not identical to the one I used, but it's very similar.

Next, I altered the background paper with Titanium White acrylic paint.  I applied the paint using a cosmetic sponge (lower left corner, below) thru the Facets stencil, which I'd secured with green masking tape.

Below is the background paper with the stencil lifted off.

Below is the same paper, after I added an overcoat of translucent pale green acrylic paint.

Below is a close-up of a section of this paper, where I've followed the original lines to mark off several rectangles and one circle.

My next step was to cut along those outlined shapes.  Then I assembled them to form a flower. 

I auditioned several new background papers to see which I liked best as the base of the flower collage.

My favorite is the middle one.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Marbling Paper (or Fabric) Using Stencils as a Resist

Over a year ago, I did a series of marbled pieces using stencils as a resist.   

Besides stencils, my other supplies were 140-lb. hot-press (smooth) watercolor paper, Japanese dyes (Boku-Undo), a marbling comb, and water in a plastic basin.

(What I liked about Boku-Undo is that these dyes are so easy to use -- even for me; I don't have much successful marbling experience, yet even I could do it with these!) 

Lots of Internet information is available, showing how to marble paper and fabrics. 

So I won’t repeat here the basic starting steps, and optional additional supplies, involved in marbling.  (With Boku-Undo, there are no supplies needed in addition to what I listed above.)

What I will do, however, is start at the point where (1) you have cut the paper or fabric to a size that corresponds with the size of the stencil and fits easily into the basin holding the floating fluid; (2) the marbling pigments have been floated atop the floating fluid; (3) the pigments have been stirred with a tool to create a marbled pattern. 

At this point, float the plastic stencil on top of the floater liquid.

Place your fabric or 140-lb. hot-press (smooth) watercolor paper -- face down – over the stencil floating on the fluid. 

You will see enough thru the paper or fabric to know when full contact has been made.

Once you see this, carefully lift off the paper or fabric.

Having lifted it and turned it right-side-up, you will see that it has picked up the imprint from the stencil.  Don’t expect picture-perfect results – there will be some (or a lot) of differences between your print and the stencil image.  That’s part of the fun – never knowing exactly what will happen. 

Set aside the print to dry.  Add more dyes and start again.  Or start anew with a fresh basin of water.

Here is one finished print of mine; it’s been immortalized by Bing, which now includes it among its collection of images to illustrate marbling with stencils.  This print was made with Maria McGuire’s stencil Stitch a Doily, available at

Here are more prints that I made in the same way, still using 140-lb. hot-press (smooth) watercolor paper:

Above:  This print was made with my 6"X6" stencil Kaleid.

Above:  This print was made with my 6"X6" stencil Feathers.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Brigitta Budahazi's Gorgeous Artwork

This dazzling artwork was created by Hungarian artist Brigitta Budahazi, who beautifully showed off my 6"X6" stencil Silhouette of a Wildflower Bouquet.  Thank you, Brigitta!  
Above:  the stencil used by Brigitta in creating the main illustration.

Brigitta Budahazi

To follow Brigitta's step-by-step process in creating this beautiful spread, visit

Hello, from Hungary,
Brigitta Budahazi

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Title Suggestions, Anyone?

Above is a new piece, just finished, on 12"X12" stretched canvas.   My left arm isn't recovered enough yet for me to take step-by-step photos, but one helpful tip is that I used Art-C's Groove Art Tool to apply each layer of heavy-body acrylic paint as I worked my way thru the piece.

Below is a photo from an older post where I showed this tool, with its brush attachment, when I was using it with Kae Pea's 6"x6" Illegible stencil --

Above:  Before I used the red acrylic paint.
Above:  After I used the paint, before I lifted the stencil.

I like the tool because it helps me achieve an even application of paint, which in turn results in less bleed-under.  I also like the fact that it speeds up the application of paint, and does so without my having to apply any pressure.  The traditional method of applying paint thru a stencil means a lot of repeated pouncing movements.  That's generally not a problem for younger artists ... but things change as finger and wrist joints start to age ... enough said about that!

To create today's artwork, I used a lot of masking tape -- taping off each section of the canvas where I wanted to add paint, layer by layer -- as well as two of my 6"X 6" stencils, Mimosa



Monday, August 24, 2015

About the Tote Bags at

I haven't yet had time to poke around at to see if there is a way I can add a more helpful description of their merchandise bearing my designs.  As far as I know, doesn't provide this information on its own. 

Having ordered tote bags of my own, I can say this:  

The tote bag is made from sturdy polyester.  The fabric exterior is bonded with a layer of flexible plastic on the inside of the tote.  I suspect the inside is waterproof because it looks that way, but I haven't tested this to see.   


Sunday, August 23, 2015


I've been working on an old piece, a 12"X12" stretched canvas, with my Crop Circle stencils (the June StencilClub 3-part stencil set) ...

And this is the stage it's reached, at the moment --

The vertical strip of circles is paper I've collaged onto the piece.  Still have a long way to go on that one...

Another piece I've been working on, also 12"X12", used my 9"X12" stencil Boxed Vines...

... and that art is here:

And below is a close-up of one area:

Very hard to get good photos since I'm still doing passive exercises at PT; my left arm can't lift very high, nor can I hold it still.  But active exercises start next week.  Progress is being made!

Friday, August 21, 2015

All Art Lovers in Central Coastal NJ are Invited...

You are cordially invited to attend St. George’s-by-the-River 4th Annual
                       Canterbury Art Show -- 

            A Tapestry of the Arts 2015 Art Show and Sale

*********All proceeds benefit St. George's and and the many local charitable organizations to which it contributes *************

 Friday, Saturday and Sunday     September 4, 5, and 6 
$10 general admission

For further information, visit

St. George’s church is located at 7 Lincoln Avenue, Rumson, NJ 07760

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gingko Stencil Re-Visited

In taking another rewarding online workshop facilitated by Jane Davies, I had an assignment to do something in a monochromatic color scheme -- my least favorite scheme.  I floundered around for quite awhile, before my eye fell on an old Gelli Plate print that had not turned out well.  I had used my 6"X6' stencil Gingko --

-- and as you can see, the resulting blue print was anything but sharp; I have had trouble all along with the paint drying too fast on my Gelli Plates.  But I tried to improve this particular blue print by spraying it with droplets of monochromatic blue.  (You can better see this by clicking on the top image to enlarge it.)  

When this old print caught my eye, I decided in relief to use it as the basis for a new greeting card cover.  (My 6"X6" blank greeting cards come from JAM.)  

With deckle-cut Friskar scissors, I clipped off edges from the original print, before gluing it to the greeting card cover.  Then I added the cut-offs as narrow strips across the upper left of the card.  Below that, I added two more collage elements, blues in two shades, cut from old catalogs and calendar pages.

The final artwork is far from a masterpiece; I was happy enough to finally come up with something that meets the requirements of this segment of Jane's weekly assignment-list.  As many of us know, the words "masterpiece" and "workshop" go together like oil and water.  The goal of a workshop is to equip ourselves with knowledge that will serve us in the future.  

What I personally learned from this segment of an assignment is that I will most likely never choose a monochromatic color scheme for any of my artworks.  Others can pull this off beautifully ... and my hat is off to those artists!  :-)   

Monday, August 17, 2015

Before I Wash It and Erase these Colors ...

Normally I don't clean my stencils, but some projects necessitate being able to see thru the stencil, to get the exact placement desired.  So my 9"X12" Boxed Vines stencil will be dunked into a bath of Windex, which I think will bring it back to its original translucency, with the help of a handful of soft terrycloth.  Before that, tho, I decided to scan it to capture and preserve the image of this color-play ...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I've surprised myself in having come up with a way to take photos of a few recent artworks.  I can hold the phone between my hands without lifting my arms, if I work from a sitting position with the artwork on the floor between my feet!  This way, my recovering shoulder isn't affected because I can brace it, from shoulder to elbow, against my side, leaving enough of the arm free to hold the phone where it needs to be.  I admit a lot of the photos were shaky and had to be deleted.  But here are the 3 that survive:

Above:  For this, I brought out my 6"X6" stencil Kaleid and my 9"X12" stencil Facets. 
 I used those 2 stencils over and over on this 12"X12" stretched canvas, layering with Golden High Flow Acrylics.  My last step was to bring out highlights with a white Sakura Solid Marker, a type of crayon that hardens soon after application.

Above: I used a similar approach to create this larger artwork on stretched canvas.  My main stencil was my 9"X12" Mimosa.  A granulated effect (to see this better, click on the image to enlarge it) was achieved by my having first prepared the surface, adding Liquitex White Opaque Flakes, a gel medium that contains small flakes of plastic.  After using Golden High Flow Acrylics and multiple layered stencil applications to build up the surface, I came in with zinc ("mixing") white acrylic paint to subdue the outer areas of the image.  Then I sprayed some edges of the main image with acrylic inks, to achieve a blend-into-the background look.

Above:  On this 12"x12" stretched canvas, I used my 6"x6" Mimosa stencil.  This time I added a metallic gold with other Golden High Flow acrylics.  My secondary stencil (used on the upper left) was my newly released 9"X12" stencil Prayer Flags.  Again, after achieving the main image, I came back in with acrylic paint to block out unwanted areas.  This time I chose an opaque black to dramatize the red, white, black and gold combination.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ghost Print -- New Life for an Old Collage

Below is a ghost print made with one of my 3 June StencilClub Crop Circle stencils -- for its background, I used an old collage.  I call it a "ghost" because I pressed the still-wet stencil to the old collage as an afterthought, just to clean off the excess paint after having used the stencil in another project.

StencilClub members can still order the Crop Circle set; to become a member, just check out the right sidebar here:

I've worked on a number of stenciling projects over the last 5 weeks, but since I'm recovering from shoulder surgery, I can't take any photos yet.  It requires being able to lift both hands, to use either my phone or my camera.  That's beyond me, now.  But around mid-September, maybe sooner, I will be taking photos of these projects and posting them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


My Aug. 3 post, below, is the first of a series that I created in similar ways.  The background for the Aug. 3 print was an old watercolor.  The background of today's image is a print-out of a photo I took several years ago; the photo showed one of my old collages.  This new print was created by adding white acrylic paint to random areas of my 9"x12" stencil Boxed Vines, then pressing the painted stencil to the print-out.


Monday, August 3, 2015


June's StencilGirl StencilClub featured my Crop Circle stencils:

-- which can still be ordered by anyone joining the StencilClub ... (to join, see the right sidebar here --
I used these stencils in making this new artwork --

This is a print made with the paint-brushed stencil.  The background supporting the print is an old watercolor painting created with the spill method ... which is exactly what it sounds like ... spills of wet color allowed to blend, then set aside to dry.