Sunday, September 29, 2019

Klimt in the garden with Rumi : September art card

It's time to share my next art card inspired by Effy's A Year of Rumi online class. The quote for this month is "Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop". Since we were given all the quotes at the beginning of the year, you may remember I already created my card for this quote when it was Autumn here in New Zealand.   
Autumn is a good time of year to think about releasing what's no longer serving you. Spring is also a time for release, but instead of leading to rest, I feel called to new actions. I needed my own quote for this month and had saved a couple of extra ones at the beginning of the year in case I needed them. This is my chosen quote for September : "As you start to walk on the way, the way appears". 
Currently I am watching the free Life Book Summit series and was inspired by the session with Cathy Nichols which was to make oracle cards with supplies selected at random without looking. I thought it might be a fun way to do my base gatherings this time. My piles to select from were my klimt-inspired fabric, paint (one each from Golden transparent, fluro/iridescents and general paints), and my collection of bird themed serviettes. I closed my eyes and picked
A different colour palette for me for sure. Believing my quote, I started with what I know I love - stencil plus thinking the fluro will be nice in the background as glow. 
Then applied the transparent yellow iron oxide (perhaps my least liked and used colour ever!) with a baby wipe and happily the stencil paint worked as a resist. 
Added a little more of the other paint through circle stencil for edge texture before applying the serviette bird and some fabric.
Is it cheating or creative to use the dots from the selvedge of that pink patterned fabric that didn't fit the rest of colour scheme?....yes I agree - creative! Needing to add the quote next because it may not fit on the card otherwise (5 3/4" square). Decided I would glue this time and add some hand stitching. The other fabric that needed to be included stitched by machine with metallic thread as the other pieces were. This is a recurring element across this art card collection.
I found a bit of leftover sari ribbon from another project lying on my desk and that fit very well before adding the hand stitching.
I like the staggered stitching along the bottom of the words - like footprints. You can also see in this close-up that I did use the melon green paint- had to add it to a bit of gel medium to thicken it for stencil shape.  Click on any photo to see it larger for these details.
I decided I should attach the back now as the machine stitching may help me decide whether to add more to that left hand side - 3 rows of stitching on that left side is nice.
Dated, trimmed 
finished?...not quite
After I took some photos of the card with the rest of the collection, I realised it needed some more texture (the heart hangs freely on the thread - only attached to the card at the top by the beak) 
Now it's finished
Following the quote to make the card proved its truth. As you walk in the direction toward which you feel pulled, doors will continue to open. Follow your joy. Follow your heart. Follow your intuition.
And here's the set so far this year - 3 more cards to go ♥
Find out more about the "A Year with Rumi" class with Effy Wild HERE. Check out the rest of my art card series HERE.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Stenciling techniques class

Today we start 2 weeks of school holidays before we head into our hectic Term 4 to end the year. I hope you'll see lots creative from me in the next fortnight as a result. I promised I'd share some tips from the Stencil technique class I recently taught. 
I LOVE stenciling. It's one of my go-to techniques when I start a page or when I get stuck or when I just need a final finishing touch. 
First some useful general tips : I always put masking tape on the middle journal seam, particularly when using inks or sprays. This stops seepage of paints through to other pages in your journal. And I always place Baking paper underneath the current pages so I'm protecting journal pages behind 
We talked about favourite stencils and having fun with different sizes of the same design
You can get a lovely background with lots of patterning without being too overwhelming by using a monochromatic palette
I love how you can get multiple prints from a stencil and one spray of ink. You can of course spray on one page and then print to the other side
Spray through a stencil to your paper. Do not move your stencil, but instead place another piece of paper on top and smooth over. I did this recently with watercolour paper folded into cards. When you remove the top ones, you have the opposite print revealed
And wet wipes are not just for cleaning your finger. Lift off your still inky stencil and lay it inky side up on another paper, then wipe the colour into the gaps and around the edge...even when you think you're done, that same wet wipe can even get a bit more off (some will now be ink transferring from the wipe not just the stencil) for a watercolour look ♥
Also check out this Youtube clip by Dina Wakley for some more cool techniques with stencils and baby wipes : 
My favourite way to apply acrylic paint through stencils is with a cosmetic sponge. The secret is to dab in the paint, and then dab off before pouncing up and down over the stencil. This ensures you don't have too much paint so you get a controlled application and well-defined without bleeding under the edges. Since you couldn't see me in class, watch Stencil Girl do this on YouTube - the less paint = better effect
Reminder - don't forget to use a baby wipe to clean wet paint from the stencils onto another paper. I kept cleaning off during the night and ended up with this watercolour page for later uses 
You can also apply acrylic paint as a layer, and then wipe that wet paint away with a baby wipe within the stencil design to reveal beneath (also demonstrated in Dina's YouTube above I think)
Another Stencil Girl demonstration on YouTube HERE with step by step sponge and that baby wipe technique
You can add gorgeous raised texture by applying modeling paste through a stencil with a palette knife 
You can tint it before or add colour on top after of course
You can also use gel medium or clear gesso as a resist - sponge or apply with palette knife through your stencil and then spray or apply glaze (thin layer of paint) over top, rubbing the wet off to reveal the resist pattern :
Above on the night, below a whole page
Use white gesso or titanium white paint through a stencil followed by a glaze to give you a different colour effect in a space : below I added white hearts within the body before applying a thin layer of blue. See the finished spread with additional stenciling HERE.
As an alternative to paints and sprays, you can use your distress ink pads with a finger blending tool 
You can also use stencils to create patterning with foils or embossing - again check out this YouTube from Stencil Girl 
or put gel medium through and add glitter
Also fun to use with sandpaper
I loved teaching this class and being reminded of fun techniques. Very cool to see the effects on the student work :
Even discovered that you can purcahse a few fun stencils at Mitre 10 (a local hardware store) 
I worked my demo straight into my current altered art journal and this is what I ended up with by the end of the night. 
No plan as I went, but can you see a face shape on the left page? Afterwards, it evolved into this spread which I am very happy with : 
You will guess from my sharing of YouTube above, my most recommended person for Stencil techniques and inspiration is Mary Beth Shaw - Stencil Girl : Stencil Girl Blog and videos on YouTube. Also search her name in YouTube
I took wonderful classes years ago from Mary Ann Moss and Roben-Marie Smith but sadly they don't offer them now. Julie Fei Fan Balzer's FREE stencil class is still available HERE
This is a great class and contains information about using stencils with different mediums. Great for beginners but I also re-watch it periodically and am re-inspired.
I hope you've been inspired to play with stencils. If you're in the Wellington area in October, there's a day out you might like : event info on FB HERE.
Looks like lots of paints, sprays, inks, stencils for sale....May see you there! 
If you've got other recommendations for links for stencil inspiration please add them in the comments. Wishing you a creative weekend and talk to you soon.
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