Hello from my Creative Squad. Today we have a beautiful collage and stencil project from Linda Edkins Wyatt to inspire you. Linda is using my Manhattan, Ornament Wallpaper, and Versailles stencils and this month’s theme: Mirror Mirror – A mirror can be a reflection of many things. We look into them every day and can see who we are outside and in. But they can also just be a fun visual tool to play with as we flip and reverse images and patterns. Play with reflection this month.
I adore playing with mirror images! But, when I pulled out my Nat Kalbach stencils, I had a Homer Simpson “D’oh!” moment. They were all geometric and already in a mirror image layout! I freaked out a little. I had to move my orderly Virgo mind outside the box to tackle the mirror image theme in a new way.
I didn’t really have any idea of how to create a mirror image with stencils that were already in a mirror image, so I calmed myself by gelli printing in a rainbow of colors, plus black and white.
An interesting aspect of the gelli plate is that after you pull the first print, the image left on the plate is the exact opposite. I got a bit excited when I saw my pile of printed deli paper growing and started thinking about the mirror image using both color and the reverse images.
I love portraits, so I decided to try a face…after all, that’s what you usually see in the mirror, right? I sketched out a face shape, slightly off center, and added marks for the features and hair.
I decided to make her clothing a mirror image. I used both the positive and negative gelli prints and cut them to fit the space I had sketched in pencil.
Next, the background. I again used a positive/negative, but this time one on the left and one on the right.
My concept was that society often sees things in black and white, but inside my head there is usually an explosion of colors and shapes and ideas. To convey that, I decided to have the hair made up of a rainbow of deli paper gelli prints.
When the hair was done, it was time for a face. First, I painted a skin tone. Next, I chose some Jane Davenport washi tape with eyes and a mouth. I added extra paints, colored pencils and posca pens until the face was complete and the washi tape sections blended with my own colors. I tend to subconsciously make my women look like me, so I tried to do a “not Linda face” and went for a deeper, multicultural skin tone.
Once the gelli prints were all on the canvas (I used both a glue stick and Golden heavy gel gloss to adhere the cut paper to the canvas), I wanted to add words, lines and dots. The words were printed on Avery clear mailing labels; I carefully cut them to fit in the white swirls running through her hair. (Be sure to have very clean hands when handling the printed words. Also, using tweezers helps get the words exactly where you want them.)
I also added colored deli paper circles floating in the hair to add visual interest and to spot the colors around the canvas. Since deli paper is sheer and I wanted the circles to pop, I glued the printed deli paper to white cardstock first, then cut the circles and placed them around the canvas.
For the center of the body, I added a pink “button” with the words of encouragement for both the soul and the world: peace, hope and courage.
Thank you Linda! Love that you were able to interpret the theme in a way that inspired you to create such a striking canvas – looks awesome!
Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share? I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me or tag me #natkalbach how you used my stencils and stamps – I would love to share your projects in my next “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.