Nice to Meet You!

Nice to Meet You! with Mary Thoma

Hello and welcome to a blog feature I call Nice to Meet You! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some pretty fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do with my designs. Sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing the pattern or a new technique to try on my own. Today I’d like to introduce to you Mary Thoma:


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

My name is Mary Thoma. I am a native Oklahoman, making art in my own home in the small rural and diverse community of Spencer, Oklahoma. I am a recreational activities director at an adult day center and I am called on daily to use my creative energy.  I consider myself an artist serving other artists living with dementia or other cognitive disorders.  Many times, the artists I serve just don’t know they are artists until they are engaged in creative opportunities.

How do you make time to be creative?

I am an early riser, before the phone, TV, food or even coffee some mornings. 4AM many days I can usually get 3 good hours of standalone art time even on work days. There are mornings I barely have time to get my hands washed up before it’s time to run out the door. I get lost in “artistic flow” and the time just rockets by. Recently a Facebook follower asked me to illustrate a children’s book she had written so I will be adding illustration to my creative time as well.

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils?

Urban Scribble Foam Stamp Set
Buenos Aires 4×4 Stencil
Ornament Stencil
Art Deco Stencil

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I usually stamp with acrylic paint, not ink so Nathalie’s foam stamp designs hold up well in that application. I love using the stencil designs with my abstract work and with texture paste for incorporation into collage work. The structure of n*Studio Designs are beautifully and perfectly repeated so I don’t have to reinvent or recreate these dynamic elements to add to my own work.

 

What is your favorite medium to work in?

Mixed Media, graphite, pastel pencils, markers, color pencils, acrylic paint, Marabu Art Sprays, Ink and spray inks, texture pastes, watercolors, and collage. My art combines representational work with abstraction and Nathalie’s designs add a structured accent to my compositions.

What inspires you to be creative?

I will say it’s hard to beat Creative Jump Start. I also start running through emails and social media, I listen to audio books about great artists, I watch You Tube documentary videos on art and artists, and also manufacturers’ and retailers’ demonstration videos. I am very blessed to have a job that calls on my creativity. I take art tools like stencils and stamps to work with me to help my Adult Day Center Participants create artwork.

Do you have a favorite artist?

Presently, I am studying the work of Francis Picabia. It’s likely I am just too fickle to name just one favorite artist. I find the mid-century modern artists awe inspiring and continue to be highly motivated to study them and their work.

How did you get into art-making?

I think it might be the same way I started breathing. I must make art, it is sustenance for my soul. My parents encouraged my talent. Around 1959, I watched an advertisement for a mail order art course and drew the subjects demonstrated from memory.  My father said, “You didn’t do this, you traced it” I reacted viscerally to his accusation. He finally concluded I did the work. He and my mother provided me with art supplies. My mother was quick to take me to art exhibits.  I saw Jackson Pollock’s work in person on a national tour in the 1960’s. Western art by Catlin, Remington and Russel were introduced via the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center right here in my home town. I was a smart kid, but, not a very good student.  My public-school arts education kept me engaged academically sufficient to get me to graduation and into college with a major in fine arts. Otherwise you would be interviewing a high school dropout. I do not suffer “artist’s block” everything blank looks like a canvas to me.  I am looking forward to working full time as an artist and teaching artist. I have my very understanding family to thank for my artistic encouragement, now that my parents are gone, I have my husband, siblings, children and friends to cheer me along on my artistic journey.

In three words, how does art-making make you feel?

Art-making, makes me feel like an “artistic living fountain” flowing deep and wide.


Thank you Mary for sharing your art and story with us! Stay tuned for more Nice to Meet You! posts to learn about other artists!

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Nice to Meet You! with Keren Tamir

Hello and welcome to a blog feature I call Nice to Meet You! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some pretty fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do with my designs and sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing the pattern or a new technique to try on my own. Today I’d like to introduce to you Keren Tamir!


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

I live in Thornhill, Ontario which is in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada. I’m a true suburban girl and I love it. I live with my husband and two kids; one 16 year old teen and one 10 year old girl. Although I love to travel, I’m a true homebody and love spending time at home.

How do you make time to be creative?

I make some time every day to be creative in my studio. I have a few hours to create after I drop off my kids at school, I love working in the morning as it gives me a few solid hours to design and create a project. Although I would love to create every minute of every day, weeknights and weekends are mostly spent with my family. Of course there are also those days where I do have to do some computer work and social media sharing. Those days might not be creative days but without them I would not be able to do what I love!!

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils?

My favourite n*Studio products are the foam stamps. I specifically love the BirdElephant and Urban Scribble sets. I’ve used all three sets in several projects and I just love how the stencils and stamps combine so nicely together.

Bird Foam Stamp Set
Elephant Foam Stamp Set
Urban Scribble Foam Stamp Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I love experimenting and trying new techniques with the stamps. I’m always trying to find ways to use them differently than the norm. I love using them with other mixed media mediums, not just paint and ink.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

I love all mixed media mediums but if I had to choose just one then it would have to be gel medium. There’s just so many ways you can use it and so many techniques to experiment with. Of course that without the other mediums like gesso, paint and texture paste it can be limiting. I love the formulas, mixing and combining mediums together. Makes my heart so happy!!

What inspires you to be creative?

I love thinking out of the box, I like being original. I love creating pieces that have movement and that inspire others. Everything that I make, I make from my heart and soul and so that’s why I originally chose the name of my blog to be called: “Expressing from my heart and soul”

Do you have a favorite artist?

All kinds of artists and styles inspire me. I find inspiration from the masters and also from artists who have just begun their journey. I truly find inspiration everywhere as every person who creates from their heart inspires others and so I get inspired from them all.

How did you get into art-making?

I always loved art, since I was little. I used to always doodle during class and draw things on my notebooks, I took some art classes in high school but never pursued it after that. I tried painting, sculpting, watercolors in my 20’s but It wasn’t really my thing. Then in 2003 I started scrapbooking just for fun and it opened up my world to so many products. Scrapbooking lead me to Mixed Media and I started combining art products with scrapbooking. Finally I felt like I found my calling, as if I found what brings my heart joy and then I never looked back. When I found mixed media it’s as if everything in my soul became alive.

In three words, how does art-making make you feel?

Peaceful, Happy, “Full of Light” (pretend the last one is one word, LOL)


Thank you Keren for sharing your story and the wonderful ways that you’ve been working with my foam stamp sets! I hope everyone will watch Keren’s videos to see some of the super cool techniques that she uses :)

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Nice to Meet You! with Frieda Oxenham

Hello and welcome to another edition of Nice to Meet You! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some pretty fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do with my designs and sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing the pattern or a new technique to try on my own. Today I’d like to introduce to you Frieda Oxenham!


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

I am an award winning artist working mainly in textiles and mixed media. My work has been exhibited widely both nationally (here in the UK) and internationally and has won many prizes. I also love photography. I am very lucky to live in the beautiful Scottish Borders, some 15 miles south of Edinburgh. Originally I’m from The Netherlands.

How do you make time to be creative?

I’m a fulltime studio artist. I used to make a living giving talks and workshops about my textile work,   but now I’m fortunate enough to dedicate myself entirely to making the art and exhibiting it.

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils?

I totally love Nathalie’s Batik stencil as well as all of her patterned ones, especially Mesa Verde and Hamburg. It’s great to have some patterns available as art foamies too. Her new Stroll through the Hood 1 is a favourite stamp set (after my visit to New York last year), and her Marks stamp set is a must as far as I am concerned.

Batik Stencil
Mesa Verde
Hamburg
Stroll Through the Hood #1
Marks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

They all make great backgrounds and thus become an integral part of my own art. I like to use bits of them, rather than the whole so that the patterns and images peek through. One of my favourite techniques for doing this is to apply paint to the pages of my journal, and then remove it with a baby wipe through one of the stencils.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

It’s getting very hard to answer this question. A few years ago I would have answered without hesitation: making my textile hangings, but I’m spending more and more time working in my art journals. Fortunately I don’t have to make a choice and can do both. I’m also hoping to make that final step into painting on canvas soon too.

What inspires you to be creative?

I’ve been making art for almost 30 years now and can’t imagine not doing so. My head is full of ideas and I’m only afraid I won’t have enough time to execute them all. Colour is probably my greatest inspiration.

Do you have a favorite artist?

It would be almost impossible to choose only one. Or even just two. And it would vary depending on what day you ask me! But here goes: Klimt has always been a shining example with his love of decoration and gold, as far as my quilts are concerned. For mixed media Basquiat is a great inspiration and it was a wonderful moment to come face to face with his actual work for the first time during my visit to MoMa last year.

How did you get into art-making?

When I was young it was expected that I would go to university as I was quite good at studying, so I did. It took me quite some time to realize that what attracts me to art is the making of it. Back in 1990 I accompanied a friend to an exhibition of contemporary embroidery, fell in love instantly and that has proved to be the start of an enduring love affair. All the other art I also make springs from there.

In three words, how does your art-making make you feel?

Fulfilled, joyful and excited.


Thank you for sharing your artwork and your story Frieda! I loved hearing about your own transition into artmaking and how your work is still evolving over the years.

Comments (3)

  • JoAnn

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    Wonderful to be able to do what makes you the happiest! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  • Lenna Y Andrews

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    What a wonderful article! Although Frieda and I have been friends for many years, your questions helped me learn more aboout her creative process. She has been an inspiration to me for over 12 years! Thank you, nathalie.

    Reply

  • abby lazar

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    I’m so happy to see Frieda recognized yet again for her amazing art. Thank you for exposing her gifts and talents to a wider audience. Well done article!! :)

    Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Sherry Canino

I’m introducing a new blog post today that I’m very happy to share with you – a feature I’m calling Nice to Meet You! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some pretty fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do with my designs and sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing the pattern or a new technique to try on my own. Today I’d like to introduce to you Sherry Canino to kick off this new series :)


Please introduce yourself to our readers:
Hi I’m Sherry Canino of Canino’s Artistic Café and I live in Upstate NY in a town called Liverpool – this is about 5 hours from NYC so I am not a city girl, where I live is very much suburbia.

How do you make time to be creative?
The evening is when I make sure that I carve out a little time for myself in my art studio – I am fortunate to have a large space in my home that is set up as a studio, which makes it easier to have that creative time. I really like to have an hour or 2 (although sometimes it’s just 20 min) in the evening to just chill out in my studio and work on something for me – it might be art cards, a journal page or just dabbling and trying out new products or techniques but this is my “me” time and I don’t force having to finish a project or even make something that I like, I just allow it to be what it is and that is my “down time”. 

  

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils?

Chicago
Santiago 4×4
Amsterdam 6×6
Batik

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

How do you love to use them?
I love to create fun gelli prints for collage elements with my n*Studio stencils, I also love to use them as backgrounds on art journal pages and the mini 4×4″‘ stencils I love to use as focal points in my journals. I also tend to have an eye that picks apart a stencil and I love to use just bits and pieces of a stencil especially in not the typical way and the n*Studio stencils are amazing for that.

  

What is your favorite medium to work in?
I started out working in an actual art journal and I do still sometimes but I find it more flexible to use individual sheets (especially because you can choose your substrate – mixed media, watercolor paper etc) but also you can turn the paper around and work on it at all angles a bit easier without the bulk of a book. I love my acrylic paints I probably have some of every brand out there. My newest love is watercolor crayons and lately I have to add a bit to almost everything I create.

What inspires you to be creative?
Sometimes watching others create is a huge inspiration to me but mostly it’s just something inside of me, a passion that is constantly screaming to get out (yeah I know sounds a bit odd lol) but it’s true. I really love to share my passion with others – social media has allowed for more of this. I have recently started what I call “Stencil Crush Tuesday” Videos on my YouTube channel and this has allowed me to express and share my passion for creating. I like to say, “the more I create the more I want to create”.

Do you have a favorite artist?
It is really hard to have a “favorite”- there are many who have inspired me throughout the years: Back in my scrapbook days Julie Balzer’s uninhibited approach to doing her “own” thing, also Donna Downey and her change and growth from scrapbooking to other forms of art has been amazing to watch, and about a year ago I learned of Flora Bowley who has had the greatest impact on me in teaching me to be “authentic” and finding my own style (which by the way I’m still not sure I have one lol) by studying other artists, practicing their style, and then using bits and pieces that you have learned from each one to “Create Your Own Style” and I have really heeded that message.

  

How did you get into art-making?
I have been a creative since I was a kid although I never thought someday “I am going to grow up and be an artist”. I started scrapbooking about 14yrs ago and slowly transitioned into art journaling about 10-11 years ago. Then with things in my life changing, my son grown up etc, I was allotted more time to decide “what do I want to do when I grow up?” So I started Canino’s Artistic Café in 2014 and although it’s been a ride to say the least, I have met so many amazing people and artists since I started this journey, that in itself has been “worth its weight in gold”. I also work as an Art Therapist with individuals who have eating disorders in an Out Patient Clinic here which has been a blessing for me to be able to use my art to help others. All in all I’m not where I want to be yet but I am happy where I am and I have learned to enjoy the journey.

In three words, how does your art-making make you feel?

Peaceful, happy, blessed


Thank you for sharing your story with us Sherry! It’s wonderful to hear how you’re using your art in your community and I cannot wait to see what you do with that Amsterdam stenciled fabric.

Comments (13)

  • Gill K

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    I really enjoyed the demonstration, thank you. I wondered if it would be possible in future to leave the text on the screen for longer, as in some cases I did not have time to finish reading it.

    Reply

    • Sherry Canino

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      At this time the editing program I use only allows me up to 7 seconds max but I am in the process of exploring and learning a couple new editing programs that will all for for more features ❤

      Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Gill – you might wanna let Sherry know since that was her video :) – I am sure she will appreciate the tip. Thank you for coming by :)

      Reply

  • stephanie

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    Great profile!

    Reply

    • Sherry Canino

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      Thank you Stephanie ❤

      Reply

  • Tammy Cooper

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    Yay Sherry! I love watching you progress. xoxo

    Reply

    • Sherry Canino

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      Aww thank you Tammy. Miss you ❤❤

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Yeah Sherry! So nice to read this new feature and to see that you’re the first person to do it.
    Nice new feature Nat.
    Sherry is a very creative person who does wonders with canvas and flowers.
    She is also kind and friendly.

    Reply

    • Sherry Canino

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      Awww thank you so very much Sue you are so sweet ❤❤❤

      Reply

  • Deborah Smith

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    This a wonderful feature to your blog!! I enjoyed it very much. I’m new to using stencils, so following you two talented ladies I look forward to seeing what you post.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      yeah – you will love playing with stencils- they are so versatile!

      Reply

  • Sherry Canino

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    Nathalie thank you so much for allowing me to share a bit of myself with your readers and with you. You are beyond inspiring and the more I watch you and your team with your stamps and stencils well you know how that goes I want them all haha. Thank you so very much for this opportunity it’s been a huge honor ❤❤❤

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So wonderful to have you and cannot wait for more of your Stencil Crush Tuesday videos :)

      Reply

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