My latest ArtFoamies foam stamp designs are released today! I am excited about this grouping as some are familiar and others are newly inspired by my Stroll Through the Hood walks and paintings :)
First let me introduce some of those newbies:
First up is Row Houses – a neighborhood scene of 4 lovely houses, all lined up and full of architectural detail. This is based on my “Neo Greek to Me” painting and a spot in my neighborhood that always catches my eye.
Next up is Church – inspired by St. John’s Church in my hood and my painting “Where is Tiffany” that considers the whole story behind that building.
Next we have a familiar face – Lady Liberty – from my Stroll through the Hood rubber stamps but this one is BIG and BOLD. I am already loving how it has a street art vibe to it.
Hydrant is another that first made its debut in my Stroll Through the Hood rubber stamps. It’s such a fun design that I thought it’d be perfect as a BIG foam stamp too.
Powerhouse is another familiar one and this one I’m excited about because it is almost the same size as the rubber stamp version. You can use them together for an offset print. Pretty cool, eh?
And finally, Brownstone – another favorite from the Stroll rubber stamps too and again, similar in size to the rubber stamp version so lots of layering fun is possible!
I can’t wait to play more with these designs and share some of my projects. I’m digging how bold they are and am thinking about some future play date projects on other surfaces. In the meantime, I hope you check out the new foam stamps here and get inspired too!
This month I am doing a stencil mash-up with StencilGirl’s very own Mary Beth Shaw for their StencilClub! This is an exclusive 3 stencil set for July 2021 if you are part of their StencilClub (Info here). It’s a mash-up so it includes design motifs from each of us, combined in a new way and new scale. Here is a little video introduction to the stencils with Mary Beth and myself:
I love how our patterns work together in this set and oh my, that little elephant is pretty cute! We had fun testing these out and I wanted to share a little sneak peak with you:
Here are the details: You get all three exclusive member stencils when you join StencilClub.
The large 9×12 inch stencil is easy to use to create repeating patterns. It evolved from Mary Beth’s Leaf Diamond and my Hamilton stencils.
The small 6×6 inch pulls in elements perfect for layering to create stunning patterns.
A baby elephant completes the set as a mini 4×4 inch stencil, open, so you can paint one color and then slide another stencil underneath and paint with a contrasting color.
You also get a Project video and PDF that Mary Beth and I made especially for you that you can download and keep.
The set ships out to members on July 15th. Can’t wait to see them in action!
Every couple of years, I tend to reorganize my studio – mostly the flow of my studio – by rearranging the furniture. It usually happens alongside a shift in priorities with my art. As you probably know, my work and income streams are diverse. From teaching workshops on and offline to consulting, painting, and licensing my creative designs, there’s a wide range of ways my studio must function for me.
When we moved to our new house 1 ½ years ago, my plan was to hold large workshops at home. I made room for workshop tables and chairs in the middle of my studio, but of course, with the pandemic, in-person classes came to a screeching halt for us teachers!
And like many, I had to pivot to make sure that I could still make a living with my art. Suddenly my work came to consist of more computer work, more filming, and more painting, so the flow of my studio wasn’t working with my workflow anymore!
My desk was facing the wall and the only window in the room was to my back. Spending more time at the computer made me realize how much I disliked this setup. For filming, I discovered that I needed permanent space for a camera on my workbench if I didn’t want to painstakingly take the equipment up and down all the time. And yet somehow, I still left my studio in pre-pandemic mode for a long time.
First, the pandemic itself was a reason not to change it. Then I dreaded the thought of going through all of my stuff and creating a new setup. *Then* there were so many other things to do that I thought would be more important. But I finally found a desk which I absolutely love and thought it would be great to put it in the middle of the studio – facing the window this time – and use it as a divider between the seating and entrance area from the painting and filming area.
Once I had a plan on how to rearrange the furniture, I started going through my supplies and surprise, I had a total blast doing it! I reevaluated which of my art supply organization worked and what needed to be adjusted or could use a new solution. I sorted all of my collage paper and made a commitment to use it. What I didn’t commit to, I threw away. I donated a ton of books I hadn’t looked at since before we moved to an art student. I gave art supplies away that I hadn’t used since the move so that someone else could enjoy them before they become useless.
I found so much fun in adding some new things too, like a little old sewing table that hosts my printer on top and cables in its yarn drawer or the little magnet on my pegboard that displays my palette knives for easy access. My letterpress cabinet stayed pretty much the same, but now it’s right next to my workbench. Some drawers host my stamps and stencils, some host wax bars and other fun stuff.
Wow, and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the changes! Not only did going through all my art supplies during the shifting and reorganization spark a lot of inspiration, but it gave me a renewed spark going into my work. Tackling this task reminded me how being stagnant can be a hindrance for a creative outlet.
Now, will these be the last changes I make to my studio? Probably not! Times change, work changes, needs will change and so will my studio, but for now it is my sacred happy place and it works well for me.
Sale ends TODAY, July 5th at 11:59pm EDT, 2021, so hurry hurry hurry into the Online Shop! You can save 20% off qualifying physical products (stencils, rubber stamps, foam stamps, Moonlight Duo ink pads, Boundless Brooklyn cardboard models, and more!) – just use the coupon code BONANZA20 when you check out, while supplies last.
Guess who has a birthday coming up… Yours Truly! I’d like you to all come for a celebration – my Birthday Bonanza Sale in my online shop :) It’s kind of a tradition at this point, and a pretty nice one I think. Here is the deal:
You can save 20% off physical goods (stamps, stencils, books, Moonlight Duo ink pads, Boundless Brooklyn cardboard models, and lots more) from now through 11:59pm EDT July 5th, 2021. Just use the coupon code BONANZA20 when you check out and qualifying purchases will be on sale for you. Easy as birthday pie!
I love embroidery and stitching as an added element in mixed media. A while back I even designed a whole set of rubber stamps along those lines called Embroidery because I think faux stitches are pretty great too. One of those stamps became a real favorite of mine because it is just so simple and perfect for expressing love: my Love Knots stamp.
Just a line of embroidered xxxooo says it all, in a nice sweet and sincere way. I of course use it a lot for cards because hey, that’s a place that usually calls for some love, right? In my Deck of Cards Challenge I created this little number using Love Knots and Running. You can check it out here.
Another card I made a bit more grungy – definitely my style – using the Love Knots stamp. Even if you’re not so good with lettering, you can just throw a little xxxooo onto a card and ta-dah! Instant message :) Here’s the post.
Tags are another go-to surface that works perfectly with the smaller details of rubber stamps. I combined the Love Knots stamp with some real embroidery here in this post. Very fun to follow stamp designs with actual stitching.
If I’ve got a dark or intense background going on, I like to use a white ink pad like the Moonlight White with Love Knots. In this art journal page I needed some unifying marks to pull things together and the stamp was the way to go. You can see the entire spread here and why I chose this particular stamp too.
And I will wrap this up with some of my favorite cards from Creative Squad alum Marsha Valk who was inspired by her town and it’s connection to the artist Mondrian. Read the story and see pics of her town here in the original post. I love how Marsha uses Love Knots as a border element in these cards, filling them in with my E-train, Hydrant, Running, and Torn Layers stamps too.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my Love Knots stamp in action :) xxxooo
Happy 4th of July to all my friends in the US – a little early! I know I am certainly ready for some outdoor activities and bbqing and such this year with friends and family – enjoying the summer holiday and getting out and about now that things are beginning to look better.
I thought it would be fun to do a whole montage of posts and projects to get you in the spirit :)
“We rise by lifting others.” How perfect in this time of coming together? In cities and across the world we are doing it. Original post is here.
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” Love this card from Creative Squad alum Cheiron Brandon – she made a trio of different designs in the post here.
I think bravery has been really important for everyone this past year and this ATC from Creative Squad alum Tina Walker really gets me – she made a suite of them that you can see here.
Stand tall! Another incredible project from Tina. This one really moved me – you have to see the full book here and all the pages with very powerful messages.
On the lighter side, how about some wine charms to help celebrate? I made these with shrink film and my rubber stamps. If you haven’t used shrink film since you were a kid, I assure you it is still a blast. Here’s the tutorial for these charms.
Are you watching fireworks this year? Love this card from Creative Squad alum Josefine Fouarge with the cityscape, flag, and celebratory burst in the sky. Here is her post for the project.
Leaving you with this card I made back in 2017 and truly hoping everyone can enjoy their days with friends, family, and hope for the future!
Happy 4th of July!
And if you’re thinking you might want to make some cards, wine charms or other festive projects, here were my go-to stamps for the occasion:
I love getting to turn some of my design ideas into stamps and stencils and sometimes, I crush hard on one or the other. Lately I’ve been feelin’ some serious love for Art Deco Empire – a stencil who’s story began with some photos of manholes and grates around NYC and Jersey City, evolved into a circular foam stamp set, then a fan shaped foam stamp set, and finally morphed into the Art Deco Empire stencil. I love how a design or pattern can flow through so many forms and in the end it becomes a suite of tools for me to use in my artwork. But today I am giving you an ode to Art Deco Empire :)
I think what I love most about the design is the classic art deco feel and how it reminds me of some of those building and architectural motifs from that era. I am a big fan of that time period when it comes to art and design.
But enough of my love letter lol – let’s just look at this guy in action:
Here are a couple pieces I made for Creative JumpStart 2020 using Art Deco Empire as my background with acrylic paint on cardboard. I oriented it two different ways and I think it gives a different feel for each.
Acrylic ink and gouache also work great for creating a background with Art Deco Empire as you can see in my art journal page from this post. The pattern can stand on its own for sure.
My Creative Squad has also showed just what it can do:
Maura Hibbitts created a series of super happy cards in this post using a rainbow of acrylic paint.
And here is a mini book and the start of an art journal page too:
Creative Squad member Jordan Hill also reaches for Art Deco Empire for backgrounds and pattern elements too:
In this mini book she chose it for the inside covers as well as a more subtle element on the front.
In this post by Jordan, she uses the Art Deco Empire stencil both for her background and a really cool top for her character – love it!!! Can I have a sweater like that? LOL
Thank you for hearing about my current stencil crush with Art Deco Empire – I hope it gets you in the creative mood! Here is one last look ;)
Do you love a good chuckle? How about strange and unusual old paintings? Every Wednesday on Nat’s Creative Hood we make classical art memes with sometimes weird, sometimes unexpected, sometimes just plain goofy paintings from the depths of art history. We post the picture, you post the caption in the comments, and EVERYBODY gets a good laugh out of it. It is definitely a highlight of my week reading those – you always get me laughing!
“Try wearing your palette around your neck. It is always right at your finger tips that way!” – Pat
“Dude, this is EXACTLY how I see you!” – Nat
“This may not be what they meant by “biting his head off” when he complained about the cooking.” – Sue
“Who? No, we haven’t seen him.” – Anne
We have so much fun with this and even if you don’t want to add a caption, just reading what everyone has come up with is a pretty great way to get through the mid-week doldrums :) Here is how to join Nat’s Creative Hood.