Nice to Meet You!

Nice to Meet You! with Tania Ahmed

It’s time to get to know an artist with… Nice to Meet You! Today I’d like to introduce you to the inspiring art and story of my newest Creative Squad member Tania Ahmed! I are so happy to have her on the team and I thought this would be a great way for all of us to get to know her :)


Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us where you live:

Hi! I’m Tania Ahmed a crafts tutor, blogger and creative from Hertfordshire, UK. I’ve been actively working in the crafts industry for over 6 years now. I am grateful to be able to contribute to the industry in my own little way. I love working with people and at the moment I produce creative content for magazines and craft manufacturers and teach at independent stores, craft shows and for local charities. I also work part time as a professional interpreter and I do financial administration for an interpreting agency. I am originally from Pakistan and have lived in the UK for 10 years. My work in the creative industry has introduced me to many new hobbies and the sweetest of people including Nat!

How do you make time to be creative?

I have to make time to be creative to flourish and function as it is so deeply entrenched in me. I have been creative all my life so I feel the need to express my creativity regularly. I can be found either crafting, enjoying (amateur) photography, writing, gardening or cooking. I try and incorporate some sort of “arting” into my daily routine. I either craft on days when I am at home or craft at night which suits me as I am a night owl!

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

All of the ArtFoamies and the Stroll Around the Block Cling Rubber Stamp Set.

Nat’s ArtFoamies
Stroll Around the Block Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I sometimes teach block printing which I adore as I love building patterns. I find it very relaxing! I am really looking forward to using Nat’s designs on fabric and stitching on them. I also love Nat’s sketch style building stamps which are perfect for colouring in which appeals to the intricate-detail-crafter in me, haha!

What is your favorite medium to work in?

Embossing powder and acrylic paints. No question! Basically anything that will make my hands looks like a rainbow at the end of a craft session, the messier the better. At the moment I am really into mixed media and papercrafts.

What inspires you to be creative?

I am inspired by nature, bright colours, good conversations, textures and trying new creative techniques. And tea … lots of tea! I also love focusing on individual products and discovering unique ways to use them. I would highly recommend Creative Jumpstart to someone looking for inspiration as it is an awesome introduction to many different artists, techniques and new kinds of art!

Do you have a favorite artist?

I have far too many favourites, but if I am pressed to name one it would be Frida Kahlo.

How did you get into art-making?

I have been crafting all my life and growing up have been surrounded by creative people. My aunts and grandmothers either knitted or sewed or embroidered. I grew up wearing dresses my mother lovingly sewed and played with a giant doll house that my father made from scratch. He is a very talented carpenter. I never thought I would pursue creativity as a profession until a few years ago when I was encouraged by friends and family to pursue my passion.

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

Uplifted, nurtured, wondrous.


Thank you Tania and a BIG Welcome to you from the Creative Squad! We can’t wait to see what creations you dream up beginning in April :) Here are some of my stamps and stencils that Tania used:



And if you had fun learning about Tania, be sure to check out all of my Nice to Meet You features on the blog – they are super inspiring! And join the Creative Squad on Instagram for weekly project ideas.

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Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Welcome Tania!
    I am not so good with embossing powder so I look forward to your projects using it.
    Love the little house.

    Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Sarah Donawerth

It’s time to get to know an artist with… Nice to Meet You! Today I’d like to introduce you to the inspiring art and story of Sarah Donawerth!

From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some 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. That’s why today I’d like to share with you Sarah Donawerth:


Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us where you live:

I am Sarah Donawerth, a writer, blogger, and artist from Orange County, CA. By day, I work in the marketing department at Stampington & Company and by night I am trying to use my creativity to make a lasting impression on the landscape of the world. I have two little dogs, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, and I love playing violin, knitting, crocheting, reading Jane Austen, and making mixed-media art.

How do you make time to be creative?

I am dreadful at finding time to be creative. I am fortunate that I get to create art as part of my day job, but I also find that my creative time is sporadic. I will create for an entire weekend and then not pick up a brush for the next month. I’ve had to accept that life gets in the way, but it will never stop me from trying to make time and to make art a priority in my life.

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils? How do you love to use them?

I absolutely love the Art Deco Wallpaper stencil from StencilGirl Products. I absolutely love that it is a repeating pattern that can be used as an entire background, but the fans can also be used to decorate corners, used in strips, and used in so many ways. I have used this stencil so many times that it is completely mangled. It has been melted in one corner by a failed wood-burning experiment, it is stained with permanent ink, and it has clumps of gel medium still clinging to it from previous projects.

Art Deco Wallpaper Stencil

What is your favorite medium to work in?

There is something so satisfying about spreading paint out onto canvas. I like to collage a background so that it has plenty of texture, then rely on the paint and finishing touches to create the foreground picture. My absolute favorite materials to use in my artwork are vintage book text and the Stabilo All Marking Pencil. The vintage book text provides the perfect neutral-colored, patterned background for my work. I enjoy using the lines of text to create different designs in the background. The Stabilo All Marking Pencil is a great way to distress a painting. Just draw all over, wet with a brush, and dab away with a paper towel until the effect is achieved. It also helps to cover a myriad of mistakes with distressed, grungy goodness.

What inspires you to be creative?

I am constantly on the look out for new ideas and visual inspiration. I look on Pinterest, in magazines, on Instagram, and on blogs. I continually store information so that I can reference it later. I have clippings from magazines in folders, hanging on bulletin boards, and even taped to the supplies that I want to use for that project. My Pinterest boards are usually filled to the brim with paintings, images, and photos that I can use as the jumping off point in my own work. I also like to have my phone available while I’m creating so that I can google things along the way. Surrounding yourself with creative people is also a great way to stay inspired. With my job, I am able to share ideas with a great group of artists and also be challenged to try new techniques and ideas.

Do you have a favorite artist?

It would be too hard to name just one. Right now, I am so inspired by the work of Danita, Laly Mille, Mindy Lacefield, and Jane Davenport. I absolutely love these sort of whimsical, romantic, melancholy, and delicate images that these artists are producing right now. I love plenty of distressed details on artwork and a very free style that allows for splatters, scribbles, and whimsy. These artists are always getting my gears working to create new things.

How did you get into art-making?

I have always been creative (I was banned from taking trash out of the trash can to turn into art when I was young). I was encouraged to have plenty of hobbies when I was in elementary school, which greatly helped during bouts of illness I experienced later in life. It was my knitting and music and drawing that got me through the tough instances of life. My first job out of college was at Michaels, which allowed me to be surrounded by the latest trends and supplies. Eventually, I was teaching classes in crochet, knitting, jewelry making, and paper crafting. Every time a new class was scheduled, I had to review the materials and learn how to make the new project. It was a great foundation for my life as an artist because it exposed me to all the basic techniques I would build upon later. When I began my job at Stampington, I started making some basic jewelry projects and they asked if I had ever done any mixed-media work. I said yes, but in reality I had only done one basic class at Michaels! It was a big learning curve and my first piece of mixed-media artwork is posted on their site. I have picked up loads along the way, but it wasn’t until I was thrust unexpectedly into the job of Project Designer that I truly began to understand my journey as an artist. It was the first time I viewed myself as an artist and it was amazing to transition from thinking of myself as a hobbyist to treating myself like an artist.

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

Joyful, Accomplished, and Challenged


Thank you Sarah for sharing with us! I love all the ways you’ve rocked my Art Deco Wallpaper stencil and I just love your can do attitude – it’s something we can all use a little reminder of now and again :) Be sure to check out all our Nice to Meet You! posts to learn about all the inspiring artists we’ve featured.

Comments (3)

  • Renee Zarate

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    I have enjoyed watching Sarah’s journey through the Stampington & Co. publications. She had an amazing piece pictured recently on the cover of one of the magazines. Go, Sarah, Go!

    Reply

  • Jeanette Ross

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    Love the article and the artist!!! You are the bomb Sarah Donawerth! You keep on creatin’ and making the world a better place.

    Reply

  • Laura Weed

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    Super loved seeing Sarah on the blog today since she’s a dear family member. Her family always loves, appreciates and cherishes her art (yes we do, Sarah!), and she is so generous in sharing it with all of us. Very exciting to see two people I value highly get to meet each other. What a small world!

    Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Dana Tatar

It’s time to get to know an artist with… Nice to Meet You! Today I’d like to introduce you to the super creative Dana Tatar!

From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some 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. That’s what I’d like to share with you today. Let’s meet Dana!


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

My name is Dana Tatar and I am an artist who creates paper crafts, mixed media pieces, and DIY projects inspired by music, poetry, pop culture, and current events, in an eclectic style. I was a biochemist before I decided to stay home full-time with my daughters and my analytical mind is always present when I’m crafting. I really enjoy playing with wet media; mixing things together, heating and drying things out, and trying to find creative uses for products.

How do you make time to be creative?

I’m very fortunate to have the majority of my days free to create in my studio. When home and family life becomes stressful, time in my studio helps keep me balanced and is a great stress-reliever.

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

I like to include birds in many of my art pieces, so I reach for the Bird Foam Stamp, Cling Rubber, and Stencil Set a lot. I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, so I also love the Urban Scribble Foam Stamp, Cling Rubber, and Stencil Set, and I use it when I miss the bustle and grittiness of a big city. Nathalie’s new City Streets foam stamp collection is also amazing! I love the round designs and that the sets include both a positive and a negative foam stamp.

Bird Foam Stamp Set
Urban Scribble Foam Stamp Set
Valley Road Positive Negative Foam Stamp

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I use Nathalie’s stamps and stencils primarily for mixed media and altered art projects to help create texture and fun prints, but I also use them for paper crafts.

What is your favorite medium to work in? 

I love to try new things and stretch myself as an artist. I work with a variety of materials and don’t really have a favorite medium, although I do really love patterned paper. A fun mix of supplies helps ensure that no matter what mood I’m in I’ll have something that catches my eye, and oftentimes short, attention span.

What inspires you to be creative?

I’m greatly inspired by song lyrics, quotes from my favorite authors, and pop culture references. Often times I’ll hear a verse, or read a line, that I relate to and immediately want to run to my studio to create.

Do you have a favorite artist?

My favorite contemporary artist is Ralph Steadman. If we’re talking about the masters, I’d pick Rembrandt.

How did you get into art-making?

I started my journey into the craft world after the birth of my first daughter as a way to preserve memories. I had an almost obsessive need to document every moment and milestone. Having a second daughter a little more than a year later forced me to reevaluate the high and unrealistic expectations I set for myself. There are only so many hours in the day! Over time I started to create less traditional scrapbook layouts and began to explore other forms of art. What started out as memory keeping has transformed into artistic expression that I need to do, mostly for my own enjoyment.

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

One With Myself


Thank you Dana for sharing your story, art, and outlook with us! Be sure to check out all our Nice to Meet You! posts to learn about all the inspiring artists we’ve featured.

Comments (2)

  • Jackie P Neal

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    Awesome to learn more about you Dana! And I love your creative space!WOW!
    Thanks for sharing this Nat!!
    Merry Christmas!
    Jackie xo

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It is such a cool studio – loved getting to know Dana more too!

      Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Maura Hibbitts

Hello and welcome to Nice to Meet You! Today I’d like to introduce to you the very talented Maura Hibbitts! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some 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. That’s what I’d like to share with you today. Let’s meet Maura!


Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us where you live:

Hi, I’m Maura Hibbitts. I love to work in mixed media and play with color! I especially like to use my imagination when creating my art, and am often inspired by books I’ve read or places I’ve traveled. I live with my family in upstate New York in a small rural village on the border of the Adirondack Park. I am blessed with a beautiful view of the mountains outside of my studio area (a corner of our living room).

How do you make time to be creative?

The short answer is, I retired from many years of teaching science, LOL! The longer answer is, I have always tried to live a creative life. I would bring art  and creative projects into my science classes at work. When my sons were growing up, my creative time was late in the evenings when I stamped out cards, sketched, colored, embroidered, and worked on scrapbooks. It was important to me, so I found the time for it.

Now, I usually go to exercise classes in the morning and work on my art in the afternoons.

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

I love the Elephant – the stamps and coordinating stencils are great! Another fave is the Wired set. I also really like the Batik Art Foamies and Batik stencil, and the sketch stamps from around the Stroll through the Hood sets, like the Brownstone.

Elephant Set
Batik BIG Stamps
Batik MINI Stamps
Batik Stencil
Stroll Through the Hood #1
Stroll Through the Hood #2
Brownstone Stamp

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I find myself reaching for Nathalie’s stamps and stencils most often when I am working in my art journals or creating an altered piece. I also like to use a lot of them for mark making when I am creating a layered piece.

What is your favorite medium to work in? 

Hands down, acrylic paints! A few years ago, I had never used acrylics, then signed up to take some classes with Nat, where she opened the world of possibilities that acrylics offer. I learned so much in her classes and have been working in this medium ever since.

What inspires you to be creative? 

I draw my inspiration from the world around me – colors, shapes, designs and ideas from nature as well as the human world. I often will take photos of details, like an interesting door, or a pattern in the water, and use these to jumpstart my art. I love to read, and books often inspire me to use my imagination. I am a lifelong learner, and I get a lot of inspiration from classes I take and the amazing teachers out there, both in person and online, like Creative Jumpstart each January.

Do you have a favorite artist?

I like a lot of artists, from old Masters to contemporary, and I truly admire so many mixed media artists today, but don’t really have one favorite.  Rather, I have a favorite painting – Fumee d’Ambre Gris (Smoke of Ambergris) by John Singer Sargent. This painting just seems to speak to my spirit, and I love to view it at the Clark Art Institute.

How did you get into art-making?

I set a goal for when I retired from teaching, and that was to develop my art and the right side of my brain. I had taught classes at my local scrapbook store which got me started working with different product lines and challenging myself to see what I could create with them. I wanted the challenge of working with a design team, and I can proudly say I now work with three, and I think really pushed my art-making forward.

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

Joyous, Fulfilled, Balanced


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

Comments (3)

  • karen bearse

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    Wow love the pages!! Can’t wait to see more!

    Reply

  • Maura

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    Nat, I am honored! Thank you so very much. Hugs, Maura

    Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Jenny Rohrs

Hello and welcome to another 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 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 Jenny Rohrs from Craft Test Dummies  and cohost of Hands On Crafts for Kids on PBS.


How do you make time to be creative?

Being creative is part of my flow for the day. Generally I get my “mom” duties and chores done in the morning so I can spend a few hours after lunch every day for doing reviews, crafting, and blogging.

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils and how do you use them?

I lived in Manhattan last year, so I really was drawn to the Brownstone and Warehouse stamps- they are perfect for watercolor techniques, which is one of my favorite things to do with markers. I also am in love with the Kassel and Hamburg stencils! I have been on a gel printing kick as of late, and I  reach for these over and over.

Brownstone Stamp
Warehouse Stamp
Kassel Stencil
Hamburg Stencil

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite medium to work in?

I couldn’t possibly answer this- I use multiple mediums every day! Some days it’s liquid oils, another day I’m pouring resins, and yet another I’m playing with collage or polymer clay. I think that the quest for novelty and new techniques is just part of my creative process.

What inspires you to be creative?

As strange as it sounds, doing product reviews for my website actually sparks my creativity. I like to see how a product or medium works, how I can push it’s limits, how it will respond. By swatching and testing I get new ideas all the time. I also love to travel- new places, foods, music, and architecture make my brain bubble with new possibilities.

Do you have a favorite artist?

Not really- different artist’s work rotates in and out of resonance with me. However, I am ALWAYS struck by one piece by John Rogers Cox (contemporary American painter, 1915-1990.) This piece is in the Cleveland Art Museum (where I lived for 20 years, until last year) and it strikes me every time with those golden fields of wheat and roiling grey skies. Breathtaking!

How did you get into art-making?

Years ago, as a newly-minted board certified Music Therapist, I would come home after a day of playing instruments and singing. I craved quiet and needed a way to process all of the emotions and issues that I had experienced with my clients. I turned to painting and quilt-making to “squeeze the sponge” so to speak, and it really helped me cleanse myself for the next day of work.  After I “retired” from Music Therapy, I started crafting with my kids and I created my blog as a way to inform and connect with other artists/crafters. I’m still on that journey today.

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

Present, energized, validated.


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

Comments (1)

  • Deb

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    Thanks for sharing Jenny Rohrs with us! Always nice to hear about others’ journeys.
    Love the variety of your blog posts. I eagerly await them and am always learning.
    Thank you soooooo…. much!
    Deb

    Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Judi Kauffman

Hello and welcome to another 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 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 Judi Kauffman. Judi’s projects are easy to find with a quick online search, but she prefers to stay below the radar and isn’t on any social media at this time. She teaches now and then at The Queen’s Ink in Savage, Maryland, and you can look for her classes in their calendar.


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

I’m a freelance designer and writer, born and raised in Washington, DC, and after moving around the country we’re now living in a close-by suburb. For the last three decades I have worked for manufacturers and publishers within the craft and needlework industry, before that I was a graphic designer and illustrator. I’ve always taught as well, either full- or part-time for almost fifty years, most of it at the college level.

How do you make time to be creative?

Because it’s what I do for pleasure as well as for work, it’s not a matter of making time to be creative. The challenge is making time for laundry and groceries and the rest.

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

I hate to play favorites, but the elephants and allover patterns always top the list.

Elephant March Stencil
Elephant Foam Stamp Set
Elephant Parade Stencil
Embroidery Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I like to get out the paints and make collage cards, but they’re fun for embroidery as well.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

I always joke that I like to do everything but tatting. It’s hard to choose. I love yarns and fibers and every aspect of paper crafting. Acrylic paints, iridescent watercolors (Twinkling H2Os are always at hand), markers, air dry clay, inks…Whatever I’m using on any given day is my favorite medium.

What inspires you to be creative?

EVERYTHING! Treads on a tire or the sole of a shoe, a stack of salad bowls, shadows cast by a chair, mesh bags from Costco, vintage hankies, Wilson Pickett and Bruce Springsteen, blank sheets of paper, a handful of markers or colored pencils…

Do you have a favorite artist?

That’s even harder than choosing favorite stamps and stencils! If you insist: Will Barnet.

How did you get into art-making?

My parents were both artists. It’s in my genes and always part of my life. My first memories are of being in a stroller at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (where my mother had been a student and where I later taught!). No one ever handed me a ball and said, ‘Go outside and play.’ They covered the walls in my room with big sheets of paper and handed me crayons. I stayed indoors at recess to decorate my teachers’ bulletin boards (anything to avoid going outside to play).

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

Happy. Fulfilled. Energized.


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

Comments (4)

  • Susan

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    I’ve known Judi for almost 25 years and she’s always been a great inspiration. She’s ahead of her time with mixed media and collage experience. Happy we’re friends😊

    Reply

  • Paula Lewis

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    Love this interview. And the art interspersed. Great answers to great questions.

    Reply

  • Nathalie Kalbach

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    Judi, I love this photo of you so so much ! Thank you for the interview and your beautiful work !!! Loves, nat

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    What a most delightful interview!
    The photo says it all…fun fun fun and with style.
    Nice to meet you Judi Kauffman.

    Reply

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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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