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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Announcing 6" x 6" Mask LOOKING UP THROUGH TREES SMALL!


It was Carol Baxter at StencilGirlProducts.com who launched an idea in my direction.  

Trees! -- both of us were thinking of actual trees and a semi-realistic image of what it might look like, were I standing in a forest or park, craning my neck to look upward through a circle of majestic trees.



9" x 12" Looking Up Through Trees Large


Later it was Carol, yet again, who suggested a 6" x 6" Looking Up Through Trees Small.

Today marks the debut of exactly that --




6" x 6" Looking Up Through Trees Small

In preparing today's post to announce this new arrival, I found myself looking at these two images in a whole different way.  

They're still semi-realistic trees, of course, but I can also see them as 
a pair of metaphors for humanity, as it's meant to be:  Everyone rising from his or her roots, growing upward to stretch forth branches that intertwine -- each of us different, yet all of us connected.

I'll be using the two masks together, many times; directly below, however, are two examples of both working working in tandem to create one piece of art....




Dark bottom layer created with 9" x 12" Looking Up Through Trees Large and top layer created using 6" x 6" Looking Up Through Trees Small.  Detail in upper left was added with a permanent marker.  You can click on the image to enlarge it and better see details.  In developing this print, I used masks that I had previously cut free from their original borders.



Multiple layers developed using 9" x 12" Looking Up Through Trees Large and top layer created using 6" x 6" Looking Up Through Trees Small.  Again, the two masks have been cut free from their borders.  More about this particular multi-layered print will appear in another post, coming soon.

Altho planning lots more of these two-mask combinations in the future, I've set out, today, using the brand-new 6" x 6" Looking Up Through Trees Small by itself.  

In developing today's art samples below, I've taken advantage of the mask's intertwining branches to create abstract imagery.  

Today's focus is on one specific kind of abstraction -- a mirror illusion, the same as what you see on face cards in a deck.






I approached this project with scissors in hand, removing the bottom border of the mask.  (Later I would cut off the entire outer 6" x 6" square border.) 

The first thing I learned in making mirror images is that, after making that initial print, the next step must be cleaning the stencil or mask.

After the mask is clean -- and dry -- the next step is to flip it over.  

The flipped-over mask is lined up with the original print in a way that matches each tree trunk to its opposite.  You can click on the photo below to better see details .....




Above:  With heavy-body opaque white paint, the top print has been made and allowed to dry.  Its base is glossy black cardstock previously daubed with metallic acrylic purple paint.  The mask has been cleaned, dried and flipped over, before being secured with masking tape to the first print.  In the upper right corner of the above photo, a line of opaque white paint has been drawn across a palette tablet.  Below the paint rests a sponge brayer, ready to go to work.


Above:  A close-up showing how the mask is lined up with the first print.


After making that second print, the mask is lifted.  Below is a series of "mirror" paintings created in this way:


  

Above:  This twin image was created  with metallic gold acrylic paint on a background of glossy black cardstock.  After the paint dried, I matted the print onto a background of crumpled goil foil giftwrap.  This background is reinforced by sturdy cardboard glued to the back of the sheet of giftwrap.  Mask used:  Looking Up Through Trees Small (6" x 6").




Above:  This double image was printed on a 4-color background with white edges at top at bottom.  Mask used:  Looking Up Through Trees Small (6" x 6").




Above:  This double image was printed on a  photo from an old calendar.  Mask used:  Looking Up Through Trees Small (6" x 6").





Above:  This double image was printed on paper previously covered with my hand-drawn script.  Mask used:  Looking Up Through Trees Small (6" x 6").



Mask used above:  Looking Up Through Trees Small (6" x 6"). This was printed on a catalog page showing a stack of bathtowels.



Above:  This double image was printed on circle-printed scrapbook paper previously coated with several layers of acrylic paint.  Mask used:  Looking Up Through Trees Small (6" x 6").


As you can see in the above example, I failed to exactly line up the two prints on the right side.  Later I came back with a white acrylic marker  and faked a better line-up of those tree trunks.  Below is a different print which had likewise come out mis-aligned; but this example shows how my white acrylic marker has fixed the trunks to match on both sides of the image:







More art samples with today's newly-released mask will appear here thruout the month.  Thanks for letting me share them with you!  Here's one preview of an upcoming post about working in a series:







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To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl masks and stencils, please start here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Last in the Birds Series


The exquisite elegance of swans has always captured my attention.  I was drawing swan silhouettes for years and years before the happy day that I discovered StencilGirlProducts.com.  So of course when the idea for ATC Mixup Swatton # 2 came along, I wanted to work from one of my many swan silhouettes....



ATC Mixup Swatton # 2 (9" x 12") -- 9 stencils and 2 bonus masks in sturdy Mylar


... hence the stencil and matching mask in the lower right corner above.


As I worked with these two artist-trading-card-sized art-making tools -- the swan stencil and its matching mask -- I found myself making some refrigerator magnets.  Below are two of them, both created with the swan mask.



Above:  This imprint was created on a thin sheet of translucent plastic using a technique in the Absentee Artist chapter of Creative Paper Craft by Nancy Welch.  After the paint dried, I cut out an irregular paint-stained "frame" around the swan; next, I used Super Glue to add a round magnet to its back.  I placed the magnet where the paint was the darkest to keep the magnet invisible from the front.



Above:  This is the mask itself, painted and re-purposed as a refrigerator magnet.  After the paint dried, I used Super Glue to add a round magnet to its back.  I placed the magnet where the paint was the darkest to keep the magnet invisible from the front.



Next up:  An example of swan imagery created by my having first traced inside the stencil's opening with a watercolor pencil; then, with fine detail scissors, I cut around the outline to release the silhouette from its original background  of blue foil laminated paper that came with its own imprinted texture.  The new background, shown below, is novelty paper that came marbled with rich metallic copper, gold and silver.  Surrounding this marbled paper is a thin border of metallic bronze cardstock.






Pictured below, a 5" x 7" greeting card cover of two layers.  To create the top layer, I placed the Artist Trading Card-sized stencil atop glossy black cardstock.  With a sponge dauber, I applied acrylic interference paint thru the stencil.  After the paint dried, I cut out the image using Fiskars Paper Edgers.  (The paint color was labeled as "red" but because Interference paint's reflective quality, the imprint appears as pink in some lighting environments.)







Today's final two swans, below, were made in the same way:  Sponge daubers applied heavy-body acrylic paint through the stencil.








Above:  The background is glossy black cardstock previously dabbled with metallic red and blue acrylic paints.  The foreground swan was added with heavy-body Titanium White acrylic paint.

Bouquets of thanks for stopping here today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Still More Birds from Stencils


I've always admired the graceful silhouettes of all birds; today, my focus is on parrots -- in particular, art I've created using my 6" x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots....




Since I love making greeting cards, I traced the shapes of my two Pair O' Parrots onto dark blue paper, cut  out the traced silhouettes, and glued them, one each, to two cards previously printed with Garden at Nemours, a 6" x 6" mask of mine.  In making those two prints (with yellow-green acrylic paint onto blue greeting card blanks) I used Garden at Nemours on one side, then on its opposite side.  I was pleased with the way that a simple flip so greatly changed the overall image, despite both of them being the same size and made of the same two colors.









I took off in a new direction when I used my 6" x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots stencil in making the below print on paper torn from an old encyclopedia.  I chose this page because it formed a ready-made bird-themed background --






More prints made with Pair O' Parrots  (as well as my 6" x 6" stencil Heronwere included in this recent post, which contains a step-by-step tutorial on combining bird imagery with abstract imagery.


And to close out today's post, here are 3 additional greeting cards made with Pair O' Parrots....



Pair O' Parrots 6" x 6" stencil



Above:  After the acrylic paint had dried on the greeting card above, I drew in a flower and a bow-tie so this card can go out to a newly engaged couple.

Below:  Here I flipped the two bird images around, in making a second greeting card--



Pair O' Parrots 6" x 6" stencil



A third greeting card was made on dark bronze metallic cardstock (JAMPaper.com).  For this card, I used metallic silver acrylic paint:





Pair O' Parrots 6" x 6" stencil

A sincere thank-you for taking time to check out my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

More Birds Art Made with Stencils


Birds are taking flight....





I developed the above painting, on stretched 12" x 12" gallery-wrapped canvas, as a take-off from a technique in the chapter Absentee Artist, from Nancy Welch's book Creative Paper Art.  The speckled look (my last step in making the painting) was achieved by wetting the surface and dropping in Brusho pigment powders.

I used masks that I'd created by tracing inside the cut-out shapes of the bird silhouettes included in my 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings.



6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings

At the time I made that painting, I hadn't yet developed ATC Mixup Swatton #2 --



ATC Mixup Swatton #2 

-- which contains an Artist Trading Card-sized stencil, as well as a ready-made bonus mask of an osprey.

If I decide to launch a new version of this 12" x 12" painting, I'll gladly work in the use of this smaller osprey, since the variety in size will enrich the overall composition. 

Besides making art with 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings and its homemade masks, I've also put my other bird stencils to work.... 



6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings



Above:  Made with 6" x 6" stencil Heron in addition to 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings.



Above:  Made with 6" x 6" Pair O' Parrots stencil alongside a photo I've taken of live parrots.


Above:  Made with 6" x 6" stencil Heron





Above:  Made with 6" x 6" stencil Heronworking on a surface previously painted red with an overlay patch of metallic silver acrylic paint.


Above:  Made with 6" x 6" Pair O' Parrots stencil, used atop a photo taken from an old picture calendar.

An upcoming post will highlight a marriage of mica to stencil-prints; here's a quick glimpse into the future:



Made with 6" x 6" stencil Heron and 9" x 12" mask Loopy Ladders.

Many thanks for stopping here today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

DANCE OF THE COURTING CRANES 6" X 6" Mask and Stencil Set from StencilGirlProducts.com


For me, the gracefully exquisite shapes of all birds is epitomized in cranes in all their variety.  Since I can't claim to tell one kind of crane from another, I've created one StencilGirl stencil-and-mask set to honor all cranes; its title:  Dance of the Courting Cranes (6" x  6".)



Dance of the Courting Cranes (6" x  6")


In a recent post I showed one way that I use a silhouette stencil like the one above:  I secure it to paper with masking tape, then use watercolor pencil to trace around the outer edges of the stencil's open areas.  

However,  Dance of the Courting Cranes  provides the extra option of using the bonus mask that comes with the stencil.  

My next photo shows that I've placed this mask atop a sheet of paper that's plain red on the back (as shown below.) 





Above:  Here I'm using a Sharpie marker to trace the outlines around the cranes.  When I trace a silhouette stencil on the "right" side of the paper, I use watercolor pencil since that can be easily removed after the silhouette has been cut out.  (My watercolor-pencil "eraser" is a cotton swab dipped into water,then squeezed of excess water.)  Since this project is being done on the "wrong" side of the paper, I feel safe in using a Sharpie permanent marker.  Its outlines won't show in the finished project.

Below:  I use fine-detail scissors to cut out the outlined silhouette.










Above:  The paper has been flipped over to show its "right" side.

Below, the cut-out is auditioned on the front of a greeting card blank.  (I buy these 6" x 6" fold-over cards from JAMPaper.com.)  In the lower right is a heart-shaped paper-craft punch.)






The finished card, a Valentine, is below:






Nancy Sanderson Curry has done me one better -- actually two or three or four times better! -- in having used  Dance of the Courting Cranes    in creating the gorgeous image below --



Click on the above image to better see all of its breathtaking details.



Having shown this stunning artwork of Nancy's, I nearly hesitate to continue with more art samples of my own.....



Above:  A print on black glossy cardstock, using a sponge dauber loaded with heavy-body acrylic paint  applied around the mask of Dance of the Courting Cranes (6" x  6").



Above:  A print on bronze metallic cardstock, created with white, water-thinned acrylic paint sprayed around the mask of Dance of the Courting Cranes (6" x  6").


Below:  a print created with the 8-inch round Gelli Plate and the mask from Dance of the Courting Cranes.







Thank you for coming to see my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl masks and stencils, please start here.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Birds Stencils


Our backyard bird feeder seems busier than ever this summer!  

All my life, I've loved birds of every kind.  I'm fascinated by that (admittedly idealistic) idea of soaring upward into blue freedom ...

So today, inspired by my backyard beauties, I'm posting some art made with my bird stencils.  But first, a quick backstory: 

During painting projects, when I've finished using a brush, I wipe it free of excess acrylic paint before dunking it into water; that's to minimize the amount of paint that ends up going down the drain, which ultimately harms the environment.

The result of this practice is a build-up of papers smeared with oddly assorted colors, layered and blended.  I call them my "catch-all" papers.

 Below are two of my catch-all papers:







What to do with these papers?  Why not grab some stencils? -- with an eye to picking designs with openings large enough to make for easy tracing along the edges that define each image.

Starting with my 6" x 6" Heron stencil, I place it over some paint-smeared paper.  To make the next step easier, I use masking tape to secure both the stencil and the paper --




6" x 6" stencil Heron 

To trace around the design, I use watercolor pencil, since that can quickly be removed after it's no longer needed. With Heron I use a white watercolor pencil to do the tracing --








Above:  The heron has been cut out with fine-detail scissors and placed on the cover of a white blank greeting card (these blank greeting cards come from JAMPaper.com.


I enjoy making greeting cards, but these cut-outs can be used in all the paper arts -- from art journals to scrapbooks to book arts.  Below is the finished greeting card cover....




Above:  Made using 6" x 6" stencil Heron 



I used the same idea in creating the giftbags below; but instead of catch-all, paint-smeared paper as my base, I used an assortment of stencil-printed papers that I had preciously cut up and glued randomly to a lightweight cardboard backing.

Sidestepping to another short backstory:

Because I have a nearly endless supply of stencil- and mask-printed papers, I send some of them to the chop-shop, as shown below --







Then I use a gluestick to randomly add them to cardstock; after gluing down each scrap, I go over it with a soft rubber brayer, just to make sure it's going to adhere evenly....







Below:  an example of one scrap-combo sheet after its cardstock support is full --













Above:  I'm auditioning a variety of my silhouette-style stencils, altho for this project, my focus is on birds alone.





Above:
After doing a watercolor pencil tracing inside the Heron stencil, I've cut it out, using an X-ACTO
 knife and a self-healing cutting mat.  This 
Heron cut-out is one of several that I'm making.

Next, I tie ribbon around the heron's neck and, with the same gluestick and soft rubber brayer, I secure it to the side of a giftbag:



Full-view of the giftbag.


Below:  a close-up of this giftbag; blank giftbags are available from several vendors, including this one.  This batch of giftbags has previously been sprayed with a barely-visible sheen of metallic gold watercolor --




Above:  Made using 6" x 6" stencil Heron.



More bird cut-out-decorated giftbags....





Above:
Made with one of the two osprey from my 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings. This bird silhouette is also available in Artist Trading Card size here; on that same 9" x 12" Mylar sheet, more of my bird friends appear-- a swan and a penguin.



Above: Close-up of one of the two osprey from my 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings on a gold-sprayed giftbag.


Below is a full-view as well as a close-up of another giftbag, this one decorated with one of the two bird silhouettes included in my 6" x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots....










Thanks for visiting my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.  To subscribe to this blog by email, please use that option in the upper right sidebar.