Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Art-Making Tool Can become Artwork Itself

Joan Bess is the person I thank for launching in my head a new-to-me technique.  I loved the concept she introduced so much that I decided to take it one step farther.  Her recent post -- at -- demonstrates creating a textured paper to use both as a tool and as a final artwork, with the Gelli Plate.  Using a squeeze bottle of textured paint and a sheet of paper, Joan opted for a freehand-drawn approach to making this tool.  I decided to add another step, at the very start:

First, I used masking tape to secure my 9"X12" stencil Mimosa to a sheet of previously painted newsprint. Then I began to outline the design with a watercolor pencil --

Above shows the stencil in full.
The above close-up shows the blue outlines as they are being drawn around each part of the design, by tracing the open edges of the stencil.

Above: The stencil has been removed; the watercolor pencil lines remain.
Above:  The outlining with textured paint has begun.  It's just a matter of following the lines drawn with watercolor pencil.  I felt no need to be exactly faithful to each of those original lines.
Above:  The textured outlines have been completed; now comes an important step --
Waiting for that textured paint to fully dry.  Don't start printing with your Gelli Plate till you can raise your right hand and affirm on a Bible that the texture paint is DRY. 

Once I started printing with my Gelli Plate -- I used the 12" X 14" plate since my large Mimosa stencil measures 9"X12" -- the process was quick and easy.  With a brayer, I spread open acrylic paint over the plate, then pressed the textured paper face-down onto the wet paint.  When I pulled the paper up, it had collected some of the paint, and it had left an imprint.

I repeated this process several times with new layers of paint, continuing until I had pulled a number of prints. 

Having previously used the Gelli Plate with the Mimosa stencil itself -- not an outlined version created from the stencil -- I could immediately see the difference between the two in terms of results.  I'm pleased with the results I've achieved both the original way -- using the stencil itself -- and this new way.

Some of the "new-way" prints are shown below.

Above is one of the original new-way prints.

Above:  This version was made from the original green print, which I scanned into Photoshop and color-altered -- now, it will be printed out for use in an art journal alongside the original green print.

Likewise, the above pail blue print is the original pull.

And likewise, the purple version below was color-altered in Photoshop from a scan of the original pale blue print.

To show a comparison with the "old-way" Gelli Plate prints, created by using the stencil itself instead of a texture-outlined version, I'll include the images below --

For anyone puzzled by my term "the old way," I'm talking about brayering the Gelli Plate print with open acrylic, then placing an original stencil onto the plate.  The stencil is then lifted, leaving its imprint on the plate.  Next, a sheet of paper is pressed onto the plate, and pulled.  The above two images were achieved this way.  Variety is the spice of life!

Last but not least, here is the paper I had treated with texture paint.  This is how it appears now that it has been used multiple times with the Gelli Plate.  It was a tool, but now it's artwork :

My 9"X12" stencil Mimosa is available at
So is my 6"X6" Mimosa. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

TANGLED PODS -- 1 of 3 Just-Released Stencils at

I'm trotting out this "stencil-and-scrape" technique once again; it remains a favorite way of mine to create translucent papers for my large collages on canvas.

This time, I'm using the technique with my new 9"X12" stencil Tangled Pods, available here:

(Note:  In this demo, I'm using the blue prototype-stencil that's given to designers at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products.  When you order this stencil, however, it's made of translucent white plastic.)

Below is the stencil secured to the work surface with masking tape. 

The photo below shows a sheet of deli wrap taped over the stencil.  (In this demo, I started with deli wrap and later switched to white tissue paper.)

The photo above shows the way I place acrylic paint across the top of the paper.  On the far middle right is the old credit card I'll use for the scraping.

In the two photos below, I show the first scrape and the second scrape; the credit card has been pressed into the paint at the top of the tissue and scraped downward over the tissue, with enough pressure to capture the contours of the stencil openings. 

My next step was to set aside the scraped papers to dry.  While they dried, I taped another sheet of tissue atop the stencil and made rubbings, using water-soluble crayons.


Now came the need to make this rubbing waterproof, so it can later be used on one of my large collages on canvas.

The method of waterproofing I chose was to spread matte gel over the surface:

This, too, needed to be set aside to dry.

Below are the papers created with the stencil-and-scrape technique (with acrylic paint) --

 And below is the paper I made with water-soluble crayons; the matte gel has now dried, so the paper won't lose any color after being added to a collage on canvas.

 To see all three of my just-released stencils, just visit

Below are two collages on canvas made with these papers --

Sunday, February 8, 2015

One of Three Newly Released Stencils

This post focuses on my new 6"X6" stencil Swaying Grasses, one of three now released at  --


SWAYING GRASSES used with my 9"X12" stencil QUEEN ANNE'S LACE




The 2 artworks with dark brown backgrounds were created with light modeling paste and paints that I sprayed on immediately after spreading the paste across the stencil. This technique is demonstrated here--

One of these two dark-background greeting cards has a moon created with a  circle stencil, thick acrylic paint and a Sofft Art Sponge

Both of these dark backgrounds are a metallic dark brass, but the metallic sheen is not visible in the above photos. 

You can find Swaying Grasses and my other 2 brand-new stencils here --

3 Brand-New Stencils at!

My latest 3 stencils are available here:




Monday, February 2, 2015

Coming Feb. 6 --

3 brand-new stencils that I've designed will be released Feb. 6 at  Sizes will vary from 9"X12" to 6"X6".  On Feb. 6, feel free to get all the details on my other blog --

Meanwhile, here are some art samples created with my last stencil release; the top 6 were made with my 9"X12" stencil Buds.

The next 6 samples were made with another 9"X12" stencil of mine, Nosegay. 

I currently have 49 stencils, ranging in size from 4"X4" to 9"X12", at  The Feb. 6 release will bring my total to 52.  I barely ever used stencils before I started designing them.  Go figure ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A book You'll Want!

Clever, creative ideas from fourteen artists pack the 90 pages of Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Art, Vol. II, by Sherre Hulbert and Cynthia Powell.

This collection of projects -- 46 in all -- includes titles like Garden Glamor Apron, Flowerful Crocheted Hat, Gone Are the Days Altered Coffee Table, and Shop in Style Market Bag ... and this is only a sample!
Bright, large photos led the way as the book invited me to make old wooden hangers look gorgeous; to jazz a garment way up with a lush neckline of silkscreened peacock feathers under beaded lace and loops of ribbon; to create a plethora of unique wall-hanging and shelf-sitting artworks; even to create an eye-catching, weatherproof sculpture for the garden.
The ideas in this book can keep an artist productive, creative and happy for years!
To order, click here: