Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Mimosa 6 is one of my pet favorite 6" x 6" stencils, along with its "big sister," Mimosa Stencil, which measures 9" x 12" . Below is bronze metallic cardstock that I've imprinted with the 6" x 6" version, as a background ...

In the foreground, atop a narrow strip of netting, sits the large embellishment -- mica that has been shown in an earlier post, when I first imprinted its edges with Loopy Ladders, another 9" x 12" stencil of mine.  To see this imprint somewhat better, you can enlarge the above image by clicking on it.

Below are the two stencils used here:

Mimosa 6

Loopy Ladders

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

... Can't Be Said ...

Without ever having found the exact words to suit me, I've long tried to describe a certain conviction of mine that is -- without doubt -- shared with numberless others.

I've now found those words -- beautifully yet briefly expressed in an excellent and intelligent novel, The Lion's Heart, by Dena Hunt:

" 'Art exists because there are some things that can't be said any other way.' "

These words come from the mouth of the novel's protagonist, the director of an art gallery.  

I'm indebted to Dena Hunt!

copyright 2016 Cecilia Swatton

Above:  Athirst, a mixed-media collage, was created with my 9"x12" stencil Prayer Flags as well as Daniella Woolf's 6"x 6" stencil Seoul Night

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Canterbury Art Show -- Coming September 2, 3 and 4! -- Part 2

Labor Day weekend, in nearby Rumson, NJ, St.-George-on-the-River Episcopal Church will host its annual 3-day special event, the Canterbury Art Show, a fundraiser for many local charities.

I'm happy to be one of the contributing artists; in addition to the juried-in artwork already shown in an earlier post, I'll be bringing 5 pieces of wall-hanging art and 10 portfolio pieces, all available for sale, as well as 5 pieces of wall-hanging art to be donations.

In the non-juried section of the Canterbury Show, I'm entering a series of 5 small artworks, each created with StencilGirl stencils:

Some of the above stencils have appeared in earlier posts -- some, in early stages before moving into completion.  This 5-piece series was created with a number of my stencils, as well as one by another StencilGirl designer, Daniella Woolf, who I think has had an experience I greatly envy -- a trip to Seoul, South Korea:  Seoul Nights.

The stencils of my design used in this 5-part series include:

Prayer Flags  (9"x 12")

Palm Fronds Silhouette Small  (6"x 6")

Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini   (6"x 6")

Mimosa Stencil (9" x 12")


Mimosa 6 Stencil (6"x 6")

Monday, August 22, 2016

Coming September 2 Thru 4 -- Part 1

Labor Day weekend, St.-George-on-the-River Episcopal Church will host an annual 3-day special event, the Canterbury Art Show, a fundraiser for many charities in the Rumson, NJ, area.

I'm happy to be one of the contributing artists.  

One of my artworks was accepted into the Juried Section of this show -- Twist and Shout, a painting on gallery-wrap canvas, which I created with a lot of help from a 9"x 12" StencilGirl stencil: 

The stencil I used is Line Waves, designed by a brilliant and hugely talented artist, Trish McKinney.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bren Thebeau!

Canadian artist Bren Thebeau has a wide range of painting styles, handling all of them like the pro she is.  I'm honored to say that one of her works-in-progress makes use of my 9"x 12" stencil Vintage Script.

Clicking on the image above, you can better see the areas where Bren has worked in subtle gold imprints using selected parts of this stencil.  It thrills me no end to see other artists use my stencils in such creative ways!  My sincere thanks to Bren for letting me post this artwork-in-progress here!

The stencil Vintage Script itself looks like this:

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 15, 2016

For the Love of Trees: GINKGO and MIMOSA

Some time ago, MaryBeth Shaw did a video demonstrating a variety of ways to use stencils, most of which used paint; at least one, however, was a dry technique.  As always, her video shot up a flock of new ideas.

Below I'm showing two separate pieces, each with a tree-related theme.  Each of them was created on sturdy, glossy paper "liberated" from old publications...

Please click on the above image to better see the paper in the lower left.

In the lower left corner is part of a magazine page originally printed with bare trees.  

Using MaryBeth's dry-sanding technique,  I created a "sandwich" that had my 6"X6" stencil Ginkgo as the bottom layer (held in place with masking tape.)  

Over that, I placed the magazine page, securing it, too, with masking tape.  
The top "sandwich" layer was a sanding block (available at hardware and home supply stores.)  A plain sheet of sanding paper could work, but I prefer the block because it saves the fingers!  

One quick sanding session (using firm strokes) resulted in the over-print of ginkgo leaves that you see above, a faint imprint over the orange and black magazine page.

Behind the magazine page is a larger, whitish background paper that
had started life as a calendar page, a photo that originally contained a lot of dark green.  

Under it, I placed a stencil as the bottom layer -- this time, my 12"X12" Mimosa stencil -- again, I secured both the stencil and the paper to my work surface with masking tape.  

As a last step, I used a credit card to scrape zinc white (also called "blending white") acrylic paint across the paper, moving with the same firm strokes as needed for the sanding technique.  It's important with the scraping technique to go over each area of the paper one time only.  That second swipe is tempting, at least for me, but it never improves the looks of the piece.

The small sanded piece will be a greeting card cover, but it could just as easily become part of a large collage or part of an art journal page.  The larger, whitish paper will be cut into smaller pieces to become gift tags, greeting card backgrounds, and collage components.

The two stencils themselves look like this:

Mimosa Stencil, 9"x12"

Ginkgo Stencil, 6"x6"

Many thanks for visiting ... and if anything above rings a bell with anyone, it means you've been reading this blog for a long time.  :-)   This post is a "summer re-run."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Message Boards by Aleta Jacobson

Ages ago, as a brand-new designer at StencilGirl, I drew inspiration from my collection of pressed flowers.  One stencil that emerged was Swatton Flowers Version 1 (we didn't have fancy titles back in those earlier days) and it makes me happy to see this stencil still being used by artists.  Aleta Jacobson delighted me with these three message boards --

Clicking on the image above, you can enlarge it to better see details.  The center message board is the one where Aleta used pale green paint over a monochromatic blue background to create a stunning piece of art.  The above photo shows the message boards before clothespin-like clips are added in a vertical row, down each of the boards.  Once each board has its three clips added, messages can be easily inserted for display. 

My 6"x6" stencil itself looks like this:

Be sure to click this link to visit Aleta and ask about the message boards that she sells!

And check out her artwork in these books: Incite 1, 2 , and 3 from F&W Media.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Michele White, Elise Buskey and Janet Daily with CROP CIRCLES!

Artist Michele White says she has more work to do on this foundational piece; here, I'm showing what she did as her first step, using a stencil from the 3-piece June 2015 stencil set, Crop Circles:

Janet Daily, another member of the StencilGirl StencilClub, used the same stencil to create this:

And -- last but certainly not least -- here is a close-up detail from a larger artwork created by artist Elise Buskey:

See what differences can arise when the same stencil is placed in the creative hands of individual artists?!

These June 2015 stencils can be ordered by visiting and using the right side bar to become a StencilClub Member.  Once a member, you can purchase past stencils at your regular membership price.  Email citing the month you want to buy; then StencilGirlProducts will provide you with a invoice through PayPal.

Or, you can go to ... click on Products ... and scroll down to StencilClub.  Here too, you'll find directions.