Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Just Released! 9" x 12" FIRE CHERRIES MASK

Peace.  Tranquility.  At your fingertips.  Wall-to-wall inside your head.  Sound good?  Let's start with imagination.

Picture yourself meandering thru trees, either in a city park, or in sun-dappled woods tucked away in the countryside.  You pause to watch a chipmunk stuff his or her cheeks; a few steps later, to blink as a butterfly flits across your face to show off its colors.  

Then from a distance you glimpse tiny wildfruit clusters reaching for the sun from beds of sensuously curved leaves.

The image lures you closer.  You focus on it while birdsong lifts your heart and woods-scented breath glides over your skin like silken scarves.

To imagine nature's peaceful imagery feels good, right?

But to make your own personal art with any of these images -- oh!  Much better yet!

When you include 9” x 12” Fire Cherries Mask among your art-making tools, you have in your hands a passport to peace.

Now let's get technical. 

Because Fire Cherries Mask scatters delicate details across its face, dimensional media (acrylic gels and pastes) may not work too well with it.  Likewise, I doubt that liquid media (watercolor, ink, high flow acrylics, etc.) would work.  

However!  This mask pairs beautifully with art crayons, art pencils and and other dry media, including the "near-dry" medium of heavy-body acrylic paint, applied with sponges or any similar tools like stipple brushes.   Note:  I've not yet tried this brand of stipple brushes myself, but they come recommended by others -- Dynasty Stencil Brushes

An optional tip:  If you don't mind using stencil spray adhesive, you can use that on the back of Fire Cherries Mask.  After the adhesive dries, attach the mask to a smooth substrate, and carefully apply spray paint -- one light layer at a time, allowing drying periods between sprays.

When starting my own play with this mask, I skipped past most media to choose two kinds of sponges dipped sparingly into heavy-body acrylic paints.  One type: puffy cosmetic sponges.  Another type: natural sea sponges -- but only ones with soft surfaces.  Stiff, rigid sea sponges are fine for other painting adventures, but with masks and stencils, this hard and inflexible applicator disappoints me.  

In my earliest play dates with Fire Cherries Mask, my first step usually meant establishing a background with Winter Berries Mask L677 or Longwood Florals Mask L675.  At times I laid my foundation using Golden High Flow acrylics.  Other times, I developed backgrounds with the traditional pouncing method, dipping my sponge lightly into heavy-body acrylics.

After creating backgrounds, I limited myself to that gentle pouncing technique that's been popular for ages.

Above:  I started this double-width background using watercolor paper with Golden High Flow Acrylics and Winter Berries Mask L677.

Above:  a close-up detail of the original background.

Above:  Because that early background looked more like a party than any kind of peaceful setting, I decided to soften it by brushing on a layer of liquid zinc (translucent) white acrylic paint.

Above:  Today's first Fire Cherries Mask print.  I see this as a gentle image that coaxes me to relax, breathe deeply and daydream.

My goal behind designing Fire Cherries Mask was to celebrate a view of the natural world, just one view among countless others.

Anyone reading this blog knows that -- or hopes for -- the easing of spirit that's inherent in the art-making process.  Everybody has reasons for wanting to heal; and the artist in me feels that the inner calm of creating art can help lead us toward healing.  Art-making can be experienced as a kind of tai chi -- moving meditation -- and/or as prayer.

To me, in my happy position as one of the many StencilGirl designers, I see botanically-themed stencils and masks as tools that invite us to move toward serenity.

If you're frazzled by all that's happening in today's world, here's a big slice of peace.  Help yourself!

Today's second art sample is an art sample that has a near-twin, since I started both on a double-width of watercolor paper previously splashed with magenta, gray and white acrylic paints.  These two came out quite differently.  The one directly below is titled A Drifting Mist....

Note:  Zinc white acrylic paint (also called "mixing white" by some companies) is translucent.  Its fog-like layering quality can be thinned/reduced even more by using acrylic matte  medium liquid or gel, or gloss medium liquid or gel, plus a little water.  Go easy on the water if you want an archival piece of art.  A slightly different veiling effect can be achieved with water-diluted white gesso and some artists prefer that approach. 

Its near-twin will appear in a future post.  

For 9 consecutive days starting today, I'll be adding one post daily to explore more art samples built with today's new release, 9” x 12” Fire Cherries Mask.  I'll show variations of today's technique as well as completely different techniques.

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

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