Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mary Amendola-Marley

Artist Mary Amendola-Marley has used my 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves with stencils from Trish McKinney's Mysterious Wisteria Collection as well as Trish's Graceful Bare Branch.  With metallic, three-dimensional-looking results!

Now, here is an outstanding and unique work of art!

I notice that Mary Amendola-Marley has done what I do -- cut Clustered Leaves free from its outer rectangular frame.  I love the open look this gives the leaves pattern!  

This 9" x 12" stencil in its entirety looks like this--

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Using Stencils for Faux Papercasting with Paper Solvy

Today's post focuses on an old technique that I've dusted off.  

Paper Solvy is made for fabric arts and is available at as well as other places.

Note:  It's important to look for Paper Solvy -- in a package of 12 8.5"embossing 
X11" sheets -- not the Solvy Stabilizer Roll, which is a plastic-like material.  I have never tried this technique with the latter; my hunch is that it would not work.

For today's demo, I've chosen Feathers & Lattice, a 9" x 12" stencil by one of my fellow designers at, Daniella Woolf.  Below are the results:


My first step was to cover the work surface with a thick layer of newspaper.  

Next, I placed a stencil atop the newspaper layers, then placed a sheet of Paper Solvy over the stencil.

I used a mister to spray the Solvy with water-diluted watercolors, soaking each area until I could see the Solvy beginning to dissolve and take on the shapes of the stencil's openings.  

I was careful to  avoid over-wetting the Solvy; this would make it dissolve.  (But when you go to try it, you may decide you want your finished piece to have holes shaped around the stencil's openings.  You're the artist!)

Dry-time depends on humidity level.  Be prepared for a long wait.  

After the Solvy is completely dry, it can be peeled off the stencil.  Its molded shapes can then be highlighted with dry media -- Pan Pastels, etc.

These faux "papercastings" are beautiful in collages and on greeting cards.  To avoid re-wetting this fragile material, I use extra-heavy gel medium for adhering these embossed "papers" to collages.  When I add them to greeting card covers, I use a dry adhesive; one of my favorites is Tombow Mono Glue Sticks. 

Another material that might work with stencils to create an embossed result is:  Toilet tissue!  Use double-ply, and  lay down two layers, one atop the other, before spraying with diluted watercolor.  (I've read about this approach but haven't tried it myself.)

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To see my StencilGirl stencils, please visit here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gelli Arts Artist Marsha Valk Used CLUSTERED LEAVES Stencil among Others to Make Gorgeous Flowers

Some years ago, in Newark, NJ, I had the pleasure of taking a class given by Joan Bess.   This talented and generous artist went on to co-found Gelli Arts.  The rest is history! 

A subscriber to the Gelli Arts blog, I was delighted to see this post --

-- because, among the many pretty stencils used in this demo, artist Marsha Valk chose to include my 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves.  You can see the backside of this print in the photo below.

My Clustered Leaves stencil looks like this in its entirety --

-- and it can be easily customized by cutting off its rectangular border.  Several artists, including myself, have done this and have been happy with the results.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017


The 6" x 6" stencil Puddles, by Rae Missigman, has slid right into my top ten favorites!

In the artwork below, I've used Rae's stencil along with part of my 9" x 12" stencil Fantasia --

Repeated use of Rae's stencil makes up the bulk of the design, while the vertical lower right area is formed by part of Fantasia.  The largest circles are freehand drawn.

The technique I used to make this art on stretched canvas comes from two sources:  The Absentee Artist chapter of the book Creative Paper Art, by Nancy Welch, and Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form (available at Cheap Joe's Art Supplies online.)

Fantasia in its entirety (before I customize it with scissors) looks like this:

I've also used Rae Missigman's Puddles stencil to make this subtle embellishment for a greeting card --

Subtle but beautiful, because of the stencil design.  Love it!

If you'd like to see all my stencils, please visit here.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

KALEID Stencil

For this project, I chose mat board as my substrate since I needed something sturdy.

I used masking tape to secure my 6" x 6" stencil Kaleid to the substrate  (I recommend Frog Tape -- sold at Lowe's,, etc.) 

With an old credit card, I spread heavy matte gel through my stencil.  Immediately after lifting off the stencil, I cleaned it.  

Once the gel had dried completely -- several hours, give or take -- I rubbed Pan Pastel across the ridges.

The image above is a close-up detail.  Kaleid stencil in its entirety looks like this --

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To see my full line of stencils, please visit here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Striking Gold ... with Stencils

For this project, my substrate was 140-lb. hot-press watercolor paper.  I brushed it with a coat of a rich deep gold made by Golden --

After the paint dried, I added stencils with masking tape to hold them secure --

Stencils shown above are (on the far right) my 9" X 12" Borders #2 stencil, 

-- and (bottom left) part of my 9" X 12" Boxed Vines stencil;

and my 6"X6" Mimosa stencil (upper left)

and my 6"X6" Kaleid stencil (top row, middle.)

very lightly pounced thru the stencil openings with a Ranger alcohol ink applicator and just a few drops of Ranger alcohol inks, pictured below.  

Note at the top of this photo:  (L) Bottles of Ranger alcohol inks and (R) the applicator

Below is the sheet of gilded paper after the stencils were lifted off.

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To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Paint-Scraping over Stencils

This technique is a "wet" version of the crayon-rubbing technique that's been around forever.  The old-style technique calls for dry crayon or other soft media such as pastels or charcoal; but what's used here is acrylic paint.  I've found that heavy-body acrylic paints work better for this application than the liquid versions.
For this technique I always choose stencils with large openings, rather than stencils with intricate, fine details.  

Below are the six 6"X6" StencilGirl stencils that I've used today:
Top row, L to R -- Trivet B (my stencil), Mimosa (my stencil), and Curvie Lattice (by Mary Beth Shaw)
Bottom row, L to R -- two copies of Kaleid (my stencil) and Intersections (by Wendy Aikin) 

Below:  One sheet of Lineco tissue has been secured over the stencils with masking tape.   

Below:  Wet acrylic paint (blue, taupe and orange) sits atop each column of stencils, ready to be scraped downward over the paper.  You can click on this photo to enlarge it and better see detail.

Above:  I've spread the tools I typically use for scraping.  The shower-wall-cleaning "squeegie" did a better job than the Princeton Wedge (altho the Wedge is great for other projects.)  The paint-covered credit card and the white rigid-plastic wedge (from a home supply store) both work well, too.

Above:  Paint has been scraped down across the stencils; then more paint was added and scraped down in the same way, using slight pressure as the scraping tool was pulled downward.

Important tip:  If using Lineco tissue paper, remove the paper from the stencils as soon as you have finished the paint-scraping.  If the paint is allowed to dry first, the paper will stick to the stencils and will be more difficult to remove. 

I used both Lineco tissue and dry-wax deli paper for this project and found that the Lineco tissue will expand and form wrinkles as it is being scraped by the paint-loaded tool.  This does not happen with the deli paper.  However, deli paper is more resistant to the paint; prints on it may not show up as well.
After these first scraped paints had dried, I turned the tissue over and repeated the same technique on the other side.  I used different colors of paint on the second side so that, when finished, the paper would be printed on both sides, with non-matching prints.
After the paint had dried on the second side, the tissue paper was ready to be cut for use in collages, greeting card covers, scrapbooking, art journaling, etc.
Important note:  Doing both sides of the tissue makes the finished product stronger.  When cutting up the finished paper, make sure to check both sides before making the final cuts.  Sometimes you will like the "top" side of one section and the "bottom" side of another section of the printed paper.

Below is a greeting card collaged with a variety of tissues that have been paint-scraped to pick up the designs of stencils under the tissue.  The most prominent piece (background yellow) was made with my Kaleid 6" x 6" stencil. 

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Jill McDowell's Art Journal and OSPREY WINGS Stencil, Among Other StencilGirl Stencils

Jill McDowell has once again given me an ear-to-ear smile.  Among other StencilGirl stencils, Jill chose my 6" x 6" Osprey Wings to create this two-page spread in her tassel-decked art journal --

To better see details, you can click on the above photo to enlarge it.

The Osprey Wings stencil itself looks like this --

To see my full line of stencils, please visit here.

My thanks to Jill McDowell for granting me permission to display her eye-catching artwork, and to you ... for taking time to check out my blog today.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Resisting in Black and White

I decided to re-visit the resist technique, which is nearly as old as dirt, but I hadn't yet done it with these two pencils.  The top photo shows a white Caran d'ache, which I used to fill in leaf-shaped openings on my 9" x 12" stencil Ivy Frame.  My substrate was a sturdy sheet of white paper.

Below:  With the same stencil, on a new sheet of sturdy paper, I used a white grease pencil.  These are also called China markers and the brand I happened to buy was Phano.  If you click on the photo below, to enlarge it, you can better see that the pigment stick broke.  I was bearing down too hard!

After filling in a number of the ivy leaves, I poured some black gesso into a disposable foam plate and got out an old credit card.  I dipped the card into the pool of gesso, then scraped the card across my substrate, as shown below.

A close-up of that paper:

Above:  grease pencil as a resist.

Above:  grease pencil as a resist.

Above:  grease pencil as a resist.

Above:  Caran d'ache as a resist.

Above:  Caran d'ache as a resist

Ivy Frame comes in two sizes, the size used today (9" x 12") --

-- and the 6" x 6" Ivy Frame 6 Stencil, which looks like this --

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Netherlands Artist Marsha Valk and CLUSTERED LEAVES Alongside other StencilGirl Stencils

This issue of StencilGirl Talk shows step-by-step photos, with directions, for a beautiful multi-page project by Netherlands artist Marsha Valk.  I'm delighted that, from among the many fantastic StencilGirl stencils, she chose to include one of mine, Clustered Leaves.

Besides her stunningly bright colors, I love her creative use of this stencil, in using its design as a frame for circled script --

In its entirety, this 9" x 12"  stencil looks like this --

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To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Juried in at the 2017 Canterbury Art Show in Rumson, NJ

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

CLUSTERED LEAVES -- in the Talented Hands of Artist Nathalie Kalbach

Check out StencilGirl Talk here -- to see a full-length write-up, with step-by-step photos, showing the artistry of Debi Adams with stencils by Seth Apter and Nathalie Kalbach, alongside my 9” x 12” stencil Clustered Leaves.

Here is just a small sample:

To see more work by Debi Adams, visit her blog.

To see my full line of stencils, please visit here.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

I Love Orange with SASSY SPRAY Stencil!

Below is an early version of a painting that has now been re-worked ... and still needs more final touches.  This "start" was made with my 6" x 6" stencil Sassy Spray, following directions given in Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form (Cheap Joe's Art Stuff.)  

(Note:  I altered my stencil -- only a little -- with Joyce Chen scissors.)  

The reason I'm still working on this piece is that I decided it needed more contrast as well as an introduction of complementary color.  Since the piece is only 9" x 12" (on stretched canvas) I had at first thought one color family sufficed.  But since then I've changed my mind.

Below is another piece created with the same stencil; I've decided that it, too, needs more development.  I'm still mulling over what to do ...

Sassy Spray looks like this before it gets scissor-altered --

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, July 10, 2017

TANGLED PODS and DANGLED PODS 9" x 12" Stencils

I created today's artworks with Tangled Pods stencil (9" x 12") on stretched canvas.  In making most of them, I followed directions given by Pat Dews in her DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form.

Using the same stencil -- and sometimes adding the opposite-image stencil Dangled Pods -- I've created other artworks, including:

The above collage was not made with the same technique as the other pieces shown here today.  It was made with Gelli Plate prints.

The last artwork here, shown directly above, is one of three similar pieces (all made with these two 9" x 12" stencils) that hung for a month in the gallery at my local guild, before being chosen to hang as one of our off-site locations.  In this case, it was Central Jersey Blood Center.   Having been a donor there myself, I know it's nice to have distractions of artwork to enjoy during the process.

Thanks for visiting today!

To see my full line of stencils, just click here.