Blog: Buenos Aires

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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Live Like It’s Spring – Marsha Valk

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today Marsha Valk is officially ushering in spring with a collection of gorgeous collages using a whole bunch of my stencils and the monthly theme Live Like it’s Spring – Springtime is when Mother Nature kicks it into high gear. It’s the time to wake up and approach life with renewed energy.  Let’s join Mother Nature in this reawakening and create some things in the Spirit of Spring!


When it’s Spring again I’ll bring again… Tulips from Amsterdam! They’re actually from my craft room about 50 km east of Amsterdam… but that’s near enough I think ;-).

I started with mono printing a bunch of greenish, reddish and yellow/orangey prints on copy paper with my Gelli plate and Nathalie’s Buenos Aires, Manhattan, Mesa Verde, Santiago, and Toledo stencils. Once dry I cut them up into tulip leaves and stems.

I wanted to use Nat’s ‘Amsterdam’ stencil, with the tulip pattern, for the background. To achieve a softer ‘ghost’ print, I had to pull four prints: I applied paint onto the Gelli plate, layered the stencil on top and pulled two prints to remove most of the paint.

Then I removed the stencil and pulled another print to remove even more paint. And then for the final print I applied white paint onto the Gelli plate and pulled a last ghost print. And this last print is what I used for the background.

The last step was to collage the tulip parts onto the Gelli printed backgrounds.


Thank you Marsha! I love how you combined all those different stencil patterns with those gorgeous spring colors. In addition to some white copy paper, Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Kind Heart – Fierce Mind – Brave Spirit

Pretty much how I want to feel right now with everything!

This spread started out as a demo page at my workshops in San Jose in January . I actually showed how to use spray paints with stencils and we used some Montana water based spray which I really fell in love with. They have a matte finish – and the look is so different from the look of the more shiny glossy finish of my Liquitex Spray paints. Plus…they come in those mini spray cans! I am still debating if I should buy those…because I do have…enough …spray paint…but ….you know ;)

I used the Versailles Stencil on the left and the Buenos Aires Stencil on the right. I added some of the background color and added it with my finger to the middle top, smoothing it out and bringing both sides together by journaling over that part.

This page makes me happy – happy memory from the process of making it and my awesome students , happy colors and good message :)

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread – some links are affiliate links



Wishing you a wonderful day!

Comments (4)

  • Julie B

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    Thank you for the inspiration to integrate two very different pages into one whole piece (God only knows how many of those pages i have; now i just need to carve out some time). I love this page…it makes me very happy two and brings back fond memories of your visit. Thank you, thank you!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you like it Julie! Go get your time :) Even if it is only 10 minutes a day- I am always surprised how much you can actually do in just 10 minutes ….the downside is …many paint splatters on clothes that are not meant for painting “oh ….I am dressed for going out but hey…only 10 minutes and I should not get paint on my clothes” yeah – sure ;)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    You can never have enough paint as it gets used up…just saying. Enjoy your day Nat.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hehehe- I know ;) I bought it …ahem ;) Enjoy your day too Sue and have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

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Return to the Light – Marsha Valk

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Today, Marsha Valk from my Creative Squad is sharing a wonderful and illuminating project using my small Santiago, Toledo, and Buenos Aires stencils for this month’s theme: “Return to the Light.” As we pass through the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, the ever lengthening nights turn to ever lengthening days. This ancient marker in the calendar has always been a celebration of light and the promise of a new day. Let’s Return to the Light with some bright and luminous mixed media projects!


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I do not like the dark days of December. I mean: it’s OK when the sun comes out for a couple of hours, but here in the Netherlands December weather is mostly gloomy and grey… Candles and fairy lights are a must, because they make even the greyest days a bit brighter.

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These votives do not take long to make and chances are that you already have everything you need to make them. They look cute on a festive table, but they will also keep until after the holidays!

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Choose two colours of StazOn ink that when blended will make a third colour. In my sample I chose teal and pink and those two colours together make a purple shade. Darker shades will ensure that your stenciled pattern is still visible once a tealight is lighted inside the jar.

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Use a cosmetic sponge to apply StazOn ink through your stencil onto a sheet of vellum. I used Nathalie’s Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Toledo stencils.  Just dab the cosmetic sponge onto the ink pad and then lightly dab the ink onto the vellum.
Tip: Use rubbing alcohol to clean your stencils afterwards.

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Find three small jars and cut the vellum to size so you can wrap the vellum around the jars.

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Add a strip of double-sided adhesive to one side of the vellum, remove the backing and then place the vellum around the jar.

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Add LED tealights and enjoy the lights!

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Thank you Marsha for brightening these dark winter days!  I love this idea – it is simple and yet so beautiful.  It’s definitely something I’m going to make. In addition to some small jars, Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:

supplies


Play along with us! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (6)

  • Michelle Rydell

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    what a great project! The candles look beautiful Marsha!

    Reply

    • marsha.

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      Thank you Michelle!

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    Really fun and darling Marsha. j.

    Reply

    • Marsha

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      Thanks Joi!

      Reply

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Return to the Light – Cheiron Brandon

cs-december-theme

Today, Cheiron Brandon from my Creative Squad is sharing a beautiful art journal spread using my Buenos Aires stencil and this month’s theme: “Return to the Light.” As we pass through the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, the ever lengthening nights turn to ever lengthening days. This ancient marker in the calendar has always been a celebration of light and the promise of a new day. Let’s Return to the Light with some bright and luminous mixed media projects!


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Hi there, Cheiron here with my December post on the Return to the Light theme. I am not a big fan of winter at all, and the only thing that gets me through is waiting for summer! I don’t look forward to the sky growing dark before I even leave work, and I look forward to any sunshine I get. I certainly don’t mind bundling up in some warn winter clothes and heading out for a walk in the snow just to get a little sun. My journal page this month reflects just that…a bundled up gal enjoying some sun while the ground is covered with snow.

 

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I started this page by creating texture and warmth with a lot of stamps and stencils in bright colors.

 

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I added a coat of snow to my page by adding white matte paint mixed with a bit of pearl and mica flakes to create a snowy scene.

 

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I hope this page gives you a bit of warm for the winter if it is cold where you are!

Thank you Cheiron for reminding us that winter is tolerable – as long as the sun is shining ;)  And I just love those bright colors all layered up using some of my stencils!  In addition to her art journal, a magazine cut out, and some alphabet stickers from her stash, Cheiron also used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:

supplies


Play along with us! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (2)

  • Michelle

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    I love how you used the stamps and stencils to create such beautiful color and texture! It makes me feel warmer just to look at it!

    Reply

  • Gerrie Johnnic

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    Ohhhh, luv this spread! Color, texture and such a great feeling! Thanks for posting!!

    Reply

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Upcycled , Recycled: Stenciled Coasters Project

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These coasters were so much fun to make. A couple years ago, someone had given me those coasters, which were pretty, but not quite my taste. Time to upcylce and recylce!

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I painted all coasters in the same color  mix of two different blues with acrylic paint and let them dry.

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Then I grabbed the Buenos Aires, Santiago and Toledo 4×4 stencils which fit exactly onto the coaster. For some coasters I simply placed the stencil on top of the surface and stenciled with a different acrylic paint color through.

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For some I layered some color directly on top of my blue background and then placed the stencil in the wet paint surface and removed paint through the stencil with a baby wipe.

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Once all the stenciling was done and the paint was dry, I coated the coasters with Pouring Medium. I let everything dry overnight and gave them another coating with Pouring Medium to seal the surface off and also to give the coasters some depth and sheen.

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And here you go – the different coasters

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I gave those to my sister in law and she really loved them as they are in her favorite colors. Now …time to make some for myself…maybe for Thanksgiving .

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Here are the supplies I used to make those coasters – some are affiliate links:

supplies



What have you put aside to upcylce or recylcle, but haven’t gotten around to do it yet?

Comments (2)

  • Joi@RR

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    These turned out so much more YOU Nat! Perfect way to showcase your stencils. Xj.

    Reply

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Good Things Just Keep Happening – Marsha Valk

cs-november-good-things

Today, Marsha Valk from my Creative Squad is sharing two gorgeous prints using this month’s theme: “Good Things Just Keep Happening.” I invite you to join me and my Creative Squad this November, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, to remind ourselves to be thankful for even the smallest things.  Every once in a while it feels nice to slow down and recognize the good stuff that’s all around us.  What Good Thing happened to you today?


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I already had a long and hard thought about the theme before it occurred to me that the answer had been staring me in the face each morning:
One of the smallest things that I’m thankful for nearly every single day is the pot of tea that my husband prepares before he leaves to go to work. So each week day morning, when I get up and go into the kitchen, there’s a warm pot of tea sitting there to greet me. Just for me! It’s the small things that count and I know this is just one of those things that will be etched in my memory forever.

 

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So the idea for my project formed in my head and I wanted to use the Gelli Plate to execute it. That meant that I needed a mask of the teapot. I decided that the easiest way was to just take a photo, print it and then use the print as the mask.

 

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I wanted the backdrop for the teapot to look like wallpaper, so I printed solid colours on the background first and then I printed over those colours using n*Studio stencils.

 

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To get a (fairly) crisp edge I masked off the edge in the middle before placing the stencil on the Gelli Plate. I also stuck the teapot mask to the already printed paper before I pulled the stencil print and I used the lines on my glass mat to line up the paper.

 

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Once the printing was done I sketched in the details with graphite pencil and I used a paper stump to create the shadows. I also added a little bit of colour with Inktense pencils. That’s it!

 

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Ohh , I love this – thank you Marsha!  Looks wonderful and is such an awesome idea.  I love the teapot!
Here are the supplies Marsha used to create her prints – some links are affiliate links:


supplies


Play along with us!  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Sorry Not Sorry or … In my Art Journal Today

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“I’m sorry for the things, I said when it was winter”

I am just preparing myself for the winter ….I am a grumpy winter person – LOL .

For this art journal spread I used my brand new Buenos Aires 9×12 Stencil.

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I really love this stencil – I mean …I love them all but this one is probably one of my super faves. For the spread I had scraped off left over red and yellow paint to the background during a workshop and it really wasn’t looking too great. I added some stamping with black ink and while that was looking interesting it still wasn’t really inspiring me to do something. But when I saw my new stencil I know it would look great.

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I used some blue acrylic paint spray (you can of course also use acrylic paint) and sprayed over the stencil I love how the red and yellow as well as the intricate stamping is peeking through.

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Finished off with an overpainted magazine image and a grumpy quote and there you go …winter can come ;)

Here is a list of the supplies I used- some of those links are affiliate links:

SuppliesCJS

What is your favorite season of the year?

Comments (4)

  • Sandra

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    definitely not winter! I’m with you, Nathalie!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL – we have to bundle up soon …yikes :) Stay warm, Sandra! hugs, Nat

      Reply

  • nancy

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    Hi Nat!

    Great page! My favorite season is FALL, especially in New England. The colors are amazing, the crisp air, cozy sweaters, outdoor walks.

    Thanks again for the fabulous class at The Queen’s Ink.

    Nancy

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Nancy, thank you so much for coming to The Queen’s Ink-that was so much fun! I love fall too- actually I also find the ocean kind of cool in fall – the light is so amazing :) – huge hugs, Nat

      Reply

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Good Things Just Keep Happening – Cheiron Brandon

cs-november-good-things

Today, Cheiron Brandon from my Creative Squad is sharing three wonderful cards using this month’s theme: “Good Things Just Keep Happening.” I invite you to join me and my Creative Squad this November, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, to remind ourselves to be thankful for even the smallest things.  Every once in a while it feels nice to slow down and recognize the good stuff that’s all around us.  What Good Thing happened to you today?


 

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Hi there! It’s Cheiron with my post for November and we are playing with the theme of Good Things just keep happening. I am thankful today that I finally have my own studio in my house where I can create and I get to relax there every night even if its just for a small amount of creative time. I couldn’t wait to try out Nat’s new stencil release and wanted to try out all the patterns. You know I am a card maker, so I cut a bunch of card panels, took out the stencils and made 3 cards with 3 different techniques.

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For my first card, I wanted to do some basic ink blending through the Santiago stencil, but decided that I wanted to keep the squares in the center white…so I masked them off with some masking paper.

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Then I blended my inks through the stencil with the foam blending tool.

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Once that was done I removed the masking paper

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And then adhered the panel with foam tape to a card base:

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For my second card, I played around with some Distress Paints in Fossilized Amber, Aged Mahogany, Gathered Twigs and Spiced Pumpkin and pounced paint through the Toledo stencil. Then I sprayed the entire thing with a bit of Tarnished Brass Distress Mica Spray. This one will be perfect to send as a Thanksgiving card!

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For my last card, I pulled out my Gelly Roll Moonlight pens and colored through the Buenos Aires stencil, I have not played with these in a while and forgot how good they look on black paper.

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I am thankful today that I got to play with these fun new stencils and that I get to create something almost every day! 

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Thank you Cheiron for those amazing cards! I love them all so much – the Gelly Roll – Card blew me away though – it looks like stained glass- yum!
Here are the supplies Cheiron used to create her cards- some links are affiliate links:
supplies



Maybe you will even play along with us -I would love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“..

Comments (1)

  • Joi@RR

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    Love them. So fun, cheerful and unique. j.

    Reply

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