Thursday, September 21, 2017

Printing Plates made with Stencils

Some time ago, I made printing plates with scraps of matboard, molding paste and stencils.  

Using each piece of matboard as my substrate, I covered it with a stencil, then used an old credit card to spread molding paste thru the stencil's openings.  

After each stencil was lifted, it was cleaned.  I don't clean stencils if I've used them with thin layers of acrylic paint. But when they're covered with any thick medium, like molding paste, I clean them with Windex and a soft cloth or paper towels.

My way of printing with them was to brayer a layer of slow-drying acrylic paint* over a Gelli Plate, then to press the plate -- with its 3-dimensional pattern down -- onto the acrylic paint.  

After I'd lifted the printing plate, an impression remained in the still-wet acrylic paint.  

Next, I placed paper onto the plate and burnished its entire back surface with my hands, before pulling the print.  Prints made this way have been incorporated into my collages.

The plates themselves became so pretty with their accumulations of paint that I've decided they themselves will eventually get cut up to become collage elements.  I've posted them today, before they go to the chop-shop.  They delight me as much as the papers that I printed with them.  

The printing plate above was made with my 9"X12" stencil Mimosa.

Above is the printing plate made with my 6"X6" stencil Trivet B.

Above is my favorite printing plate of the three, made with my stencil 6"X6" Mimosa

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*open acrylics by Golden 

Monday, September 18, 2017

HERON Earth Did I Miss Your Birthday?

That's the blurb I used on the cover of the greeting card below.

Using a pink and blue monoprint as my background, I made a heron print with a Sofft Sponge, Payne's Gray acrylic paint and my 6"X6" stencil Heron.


While the stencil was still wet with acrylic paint all around the edges of the heron shape, I turned the stencil over, placed it on a sheet of foreign newsprint, and rubbed it with the heel of my hand.  That made the ghost print below...


Above is the 6"X 6" stencil itself; to see my full line of stencils, please visit here.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

5 Stencils used with The Gelli Plate and Distress Ink Pads

A technique that I learned from the UK's Barbara Gray is quick and easy --  

First, you ink a Gelli Plate with one or more inverted Distress Inkpads.  Distress Ink appears to be faint on the Gelli Plate, but despite this, the prints will come out beautifully.
Today's post uses these stencils --

Silhouette of a Wildflower Bouquet

Quilted Flower Garden

Palm Fronds Silhouette Small

Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini

Fern Fronds Silhouette

-- and the first three images below are 6"X6" greeting cards. 

Stencil used above and below:  Silhouette of a Wildflower Bouquet

Stencil used above:  Quilted Flower Garden

Stencils used above:  Quilted Flower Garden, Fern Fronds Silhouette and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini.  The solid purple background was created with an inverted Distress Inkpad applied directly to the paper.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

CLUSTERED LEAVES Stencil Used in a You Tube Video by Kathy Adams

My 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves was used in this You Tube video tutorial with the Gelli Plate to make layered backgrounds for art projects.  

The artist here is Kathy Adams -- who has joined many of us who've cut off the outside borders of this stencil, making it more versatile and (in my humble opinion) more beautiful.

Clustered Leaves -- before its rectangular border is trimmed off -- looks like this:

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

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Black and White Art-Making with Stencils

Despite undergoing cataract surgeries this past summer, I took an online class in black-and-white with Jane Davies.  (I'd paid for the course before knowing I would be having the surgeries in the same time-frame!)

I can't share the methods we participants used in art-making since that's part of Jane's class ... but I'll share the two pieces I created for one of her assignments, along with a few comments of my own.

Hot Air Balloons, made with my 9" x 12" stencil Facets.

I started with a mix of white gesso and matte medium and used the subtractive/reductive technique to lay in the stenciled area.

After the first piece, above, I switched to zinc white acrylic ... and liked its results much better:


These stencil-patterns of smaller vases in the upper left and lower right were created with my 9" x 12" stencil Vases.

 These stencils in their entirety look like this:



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To see all my stencils, please check here.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Scraping Paint over Stencils

I sometimes find myself using leftover acrylic paint, before it dries, to scrape across paper that has stencils underneath.  Below is my work surface covered with (upper left) Borders #2 and (upper right) Trivet A 9 and (lower left) two of my 6"X6" Kaleid stencils.

Below is a sheet of glossy paper taped over these stencils; I have used a credit card to scrape leftover paint across it, picking up the patterns of the stencils underneath.

 Below is a close-up:

 Below are two more examples created with other batches of leftover acrylic paints. 

Above:  this example was created with my Kaleid stencil (lower half) and my 6"X6" Mimosa stencil (upper half.) 

Below are three close-ups of papers that were paint-scraped as a first step.  After the paint dried, I re-positioned the papers over the same stencils and made new imprints, this time using Art Bar crayons. 

Using crayons is the original way to make imprints called rubbings.  I like doing one set of rubbings over another set, and using paint for the first layer makes this easy.  This layering results in a more complex/interesting look in the finished product. 

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To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kymona Tracey with FEATHERS 6 Stencil

Please check out this issue of StencilGirl Talk featuring Kymona Tracey.  She's delighted me by using my Feathers 6 stencil on the cover of a journal --

Make It Matter strikes me as a perfect title for a journal!

To keep up with Kymona, check out the links below --

-- and to see all my stencils, check here.

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Thanks for looking here today!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

PRAYER FLAGS 9" x 12" Stencil

Because of the sharp angles in their designs, I've sometimes paired my 9" x 12" stencil Prayer Flags with another 9" x 12" stencil of mine, Mimosa.  Below are three close-ups showing imprints on stretched canvas; in all three, Mimosa was used first, then Prayer Flags was imprinted over it.

These first three, above, were created with a technique demonstrated in the Absentee Artist chapter of Creative Paper Art by Nancy Welch; also it's shown in Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form (available at Cheap Joe's Art Supplies.) 

Below is an imprint using the full Prayer Flags stencil.  My substrate was an old calendar page which I first painted with translucent green gold acrylic paint.  After that dried I placed the stencil over it.  Then I loaded a sponge brayer with heavy-body gray paint and ran that over the stencil.  

Today's post closes with two more close-ups of Prayer Flags imprints on stretched canvas.  This time, I used the subtractive/reductive technique to make prints.  I've posted step-by-step directions for this technique, with photos, here.  

To see all of my stencils, please visit here.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Young Artists and Words of Wisdom for Every Art Class or Workshop

Gymnastic friends and budding artists, Candace Kieya and Olivia Alexander are the young beauties whose art is featured in today's post.

Pictured here (left) holding up art made with a stencil by Jessica Sporn, Candace says,  "I really like the ancient effect with the dark colors, designs and different stencil prints.  I would definitely do this again!"

And Olivia (right) says "that my plan really wasn't to make beautiful art but to just have fun and learn from my mistakes."

Olivia, I would like to engrave your words in stone!  Your statement should be the motto of every person who participates in an art class or workshop.  To use a trite phrase, you are wise beyond your years!  

Olivia above is posing with art she created with my 6" x 6" stencil Heron.

My sincere thanks to Lisa Dobry for this photo and for her kindness in getting parental permission as well as the girls' comments for posting here.  Lisa, you rock!

I'm also indebted to Lisa for her own thoughts about this art-play-date the two youngsters enjoyed --

What Lisa loved about this whole process with the girls was the creativity of their pieces. 

Candace had never Gelli printed before, so Lisa offered a tutorial on that. 

Suggesting they start with 3 colors, Lisa moved the stencil collection closer to them and let them do their thing. 

Occasionally one would express a desire for something specific like, "I want to put something here."  Lisa then would ask the young artist whether she were thinking something random, or something else that would be more repetitive of what was already there.

Lisa told the girls they could use paint or spray ink; she also explained the difference between water-soluble media and acrylic media. 

The two girls made their own choices on everything. 

Below are photos of the projects after embellishments had been added --

It's always a joy to see young artists in action and to hear their own comments about art-making experiences.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

MIMOSA 6 Stencil and Artist Kyriakos Pachadiroglou

Earlier this summer, StencilGirl hosted a blog hop featuring a number of artists with a wide range of great ideas.  My last post came from that blog hop and so does today's post.

Artist Kyriakos Pachadiroglou has used my 6" x 6" stencil Mimosa 6 in a fantastic way -- I love the creativity shown in detail here, as well as its results!

My thank-you to you, for stopping by today; if interested in following this blog by email, please use this option in the upper right sidebar.

To keep up with Kyriakos and her beautiful projects, please check here.

To see all my stencils, please visit here.  Many thanks!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

To see my 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves used to make collage paper on a coffee filter, please visit

Artist Karen Gaunt has done what I do -- liberated the stencil from its outer borders.  Doing this is a quick and easy cutting job.

Thank you, Karen, for having chosen one of my stencils for this project!

And thank YOU, for stopping by my blog today.  To follow by email, you can use this option in the upper right sidebar.

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

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--

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

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Thanks for your visit today!

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.

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

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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.