Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Life in Bloom – Emilie Murphy

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful final post from Emilie Murphy who will be moving on from the Squad at the end of March. We have loved having her on and sharing her gorgeous style and talent for illustration with you. This month Emilie is using my Art Deco Summit, Art Deco Wallpaper and New Orleans stencils and our theme: Life in Bloom – It’s been a long winter where we are and I’m dreaming of flowers and gardens and spring. Indulge us all in a project that focuses on one of Mother Nature’s most exuberant symbols of life: flowers flowers flowers!


Hi there!

Can’t believe that we are already in March. Time flies, for sure, despite the long and pretty cold winter we had this year. I can’t wait to see the first flowers blooming. Let me show you, today, how I made my art journal page to illustrate the “Life in bloom” theme of this month.

To start my project, I used my Gelli plate with my favorite warm colors using a sheet of 8.5×11 white cardstock. I first applied the paints by mixing them a little bit with each other, I then laid down the Art Deco Summit stencil and pulled the print. I mixed acrylic paint and ink to get a kind of washy look.

Next, I started to build my background by applying white paint through the Art Deco Summit stencil again.

Then I did the same thing with the New Orleans and Art Deco Wallpaper stencils.

I kept adding layers with my warm colors, alternating between the pattern stencils.

I added some dots with the rubber tip of my pencil.

Once I was happy with the look of my background, I doodled some flowers and foliage.

I covered all my background except the floral pattern with a cool color to make it pop out. I absolutely love this technique. It allows seeing through the different layers of the background, making it more interesting.

I once again used the Art Deco Wallpaper stencil and applied some white paint through it in order to add some texture to this plain background. I just love this pattern.

I toned down a little the white paint to embed the pattern to the background.

I added some splatters with yellow, black, and white paints. It’s not really visible on the picture but I also traced my quote with a pencil.

I outlined my quote with a permanent black pen and I finished coloring the checkerboard pattern with white gel pen. I reinforced the whites with a white posca pen when the white was not opaque enough.

I added some depth and shadow to my floral pattern and to the letters of my quote with a PITT pen marker.  I also added some extra pink splatters.

I could have stopped there but I found my art journal page too flat, so I decided to use some Glossy accent to give some dimension to my floral design. I didn’t put it everywhere. I just applied some on the center and inside petals of one of my flowers and on the leaves. I let the glossy accent dry completely.

I finally finished my art journal page by bending and folding the paper in different directions, where I applied the glossy accent in order to create some cracks. Isn’t it cool? I think it gives an interesting look. Be sure to apply a generous layer of glossy accent to get some nice cracks.

Hope you enjoyed this project, which ends my collaboration as a Creative Squad member. I just can’t thank Nathalie enough for giving me this opportunity to be a part of her team. It has been such a wonderful and pleasant experience in my creative journey. I really enjoyed working on every project I made using Nathalie’s wonderful products. The possibilities playing with them are endless. Of course, I will still be around on social media for the next coming of team member’s projects. Hope you will do, too!

Have a good rest of the week!


Thank you Emilie for this beautiful reminder to be a bit more patient! And, thank you for all your posts over the past year. We have loved seeing you style and learning more about you as an artist :)

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Emilie used:

Follow Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

Comments (1)

  • Robin

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    Emilie. Another gorgeous spread! I love all the layers you used in this project. We are sorry to see you go, but we’ll stay connected through social media for sure.

    Reply

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Stencil Layering Fun- Art Journal

“If you can’t fly, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But move!” MLK

This was an art journal spread I did for StencilGirl here on their blog that I’d like to share with you today. It is with my Art Nouveau Wallpaper and Art Deco Summit stencils and spray paint, showing how to layer them up with cool dimensional effects.

Check out the video I made:

I designed these stencils with just this layering possibility in mind – they share the same fan design and scale and can be used together nicely. They also both include open areas for adding more of your own personal style through stamping, colors, or hand drawn elements.

Here is a close up of the page:

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Perfect vs. Great – Art Journal

Perfect is the enemy of Great  …something to keep in mind when you are struggling to get something just right. Maybe it doesn’t need to be perfect…

My background was a bit of a struggle on this one. I had added leftover acrylic paint from another project to my art journal since I do not like wasting paint and in the process the background just became a bit wild and dull. In order to push the background back – well where it belongs :) I then  added my Art Deco Summit stencil and that began to bring it together. Next I stamped one of my Mini Motifs stamps with the white side of a Moonlight Duo pad – it fits nicely in the stencil pattern – and then one of my Fan-Fare stamps. I finished off the pattern with some new Posca markers I am loving – you can see the link for those below.

It’s a pretty wild background! I added gesso in the quote area and finished it off with a signo and fude pen.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • JoAnn Campisi

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    Love the colors🌿

    Reply

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Unheard – Art Journal

St. John’s church has played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement here in Jersey City and is a  historic landmark boarded up and falling apart. I couldn’t think of a better symbol to paint in my art journal while thinking about the events of the last week and present. 

I know that some of my readers will criticize the usage of  Martin Luther King jun. quote because they will point out, that the destroying of property has to stop. To those I would like to answer in anticipation of this reaction, that yes, it is sad and horrible that property is being destroyed – it is not right, but the killing of innocent black men and the systematic racism in the U.S. and the world has to stop. Let’s set the priorities right. 

I am – as hopefully a lot of you – still trying to listen and learn. I want to hear the voices …and this much is clear for me: I want change! 

Comments (3)

  • Debbie in AZ

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    I’m so glad you are speaking up/standing up for what is the ethical, moral, human thing to do. Thank you for amplifying our voices for justice, compassion and change!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice page and quote. Seems hard for folks to hear that the rioting may be wrong, but the protesting is so right.
    I don’t have any easy answers, just hoping for some change.

    Reply

  • VIVIAN ZELLERS

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    THANK YOU for speaking out. We ALL need to consider the WHY not just the WHAT that is happening! We must
    demand the change that is needed. THANK YOU

    Reply

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No Feeling Final – Art Journal

“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke. This quote really lifted me up the other day when I needed some lifting.

I used some collage paper in this one – deli paper and magazine paper which I layed over my Art Deco Summit and Art Deco Fairview stencils and then rubbed with sanding paper to reveal texture and pattern.

Along with acrylic paint, gesso, the collage paper, and gel medium, for my background I also stamped with my Triangle Love rubber stamps.

I added the quote in black and white to help give it some dimension.

Here are some of the supplies I used:


Join me today, May 1st, at 12noon EST for a Kaffeeklatsch LIVE chat from my studio. Tune in to my Facebook page for the broadcast and say Hello. I would love to hear what is going on with you these days :) See you soon!

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Motivated in March – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a tag and envelope project from Judi Kauffman using my Art Deco Summit stencil and this month’s theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.


I love this month’s theme; “Motivated in March” really resonated. I thought a lot about what motivates me as well as parts of my life where more motivation is needed. To that end, I picked what I’m calling a “Magic Number” for the month: 37! And I designed a tag in a pocket to help me remember and focus on the number.

I’m going to spend 37 minutes a day on the treadmill.
I’m going to help my neighbor register 37 new voters!
I’m going to do 37 different creative projects during the month and will document them on the back of the tag and in my Traveler’s Notebook.
…And I’m going to imagine that I’m only 37 to keep myself feeling younger.

YOUR TURN – A CHALLENGE

Before we get into the how-to portion of this tutorial I’m issuing a challenge: 
Pick your own “Magic Number”!
Write down at least 3 things that it represents.
Make a tag with a pocket like mine or start with an envelope, folder or box. Add the number to the tag, envelope, folder or box.
Document your intentions for the number and then chronicle how the month plays out!

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Dry-brush a sheet of royal blue cardstock (or a color of your choice) with two or more acrylic paints. Shown: Black, teal, medium blue. When dry, randomly scribble with dimensional paint in one or more coordinating, equally dark colors. Allow to dry.

2. Dry-brush the reverse side of the cardstock with black.

3. Die cut the pocket shape.

4. Using teal paint, stencil Art Deco Summit pattern on the portion of the inside of the pocket that will show when it’s folded. Allow to dry.

5. On the right side of the pocket use copper metallic paint to stencil Art Deco Summit pattern on the two angled sections. Use newsprint to mask the areas where you don’t want any stenciling.

6. Fold on score lines, assemble the pocket.

7. Cut a 4.75” x 6.75” rectangle from scrap portion of 12×12 cardstock. Stencil Art Deco Summit pattern in two colors at an angle, masking between colors – copper metallic on one side, teal on the other. Trim corners and punch a hole to make a tag.

8. Edge the pocket and the tag with paint.

9. Hand- or die-cut the “Magic Number” and a hole reinforcement from another scrap portion of the 12×12 cardstock. Adhere to the tag. Add fibers in coordinating colors.


Thank you Judi – what a nice idea of activities that we can do now that we are all spending more time at home.

Want to give Judi’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies she used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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 next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Jean Marmo

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    Judi – this is so inspiring! I love the idea and you have created such a gorgeous tag!!

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Alive – Art Journal

“Go where you feel most alive”

I created my background with water based spray paints, acrylic paint, and my Art Deco Summit stencil. I went back in with one of my Hex Small rubber stamps for the black lines, and used my pencil eraser for the dots.

This was a neighborhood scene study, and I sketched this block of row houses with acrylic markers.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Petrin Diaz

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    Dear Nat: I love the combination of colors, which remembers me of historical buildings here in San juan, P. R.

    So long time i have not contacted you, because had a big problen with Internet after H. María. Now i cannot reach my classes! My identification with your company: elenajuga2015 – Grandscraperona. Can this be fixed? Hope the personnel in charge can do something about, because i need to revise those classes!… Thanks in advance, hoping everyone is healthy around!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I so love these colors Nat. The rich tones of the building and the pastels on the right hand side that scream beautiful spring day to me! Thanks for all your inspiration!

    Reply

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Whistling – Art Journal

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush!” It hasn’t been much of a winter yet here but I am always more excited for warm Spring weather than the cold :)

For my background I used gouache paint and a cosmetic sponge with my Art Deco Summit stencil. 

I went back and forth with the two colors. I like this stencil because it combines some fine detail with larger areas of color.

My Fan-tastic rubber stamps fit in there quite nicely. Here I used one of the small Fairview stamps.

For my quote I used a Derwent watersoluable pencil and then went in with a wet brush to oomph up the lettering.

I added some dots with the back of my pencil.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Stories – Art Journal

“In the end we’ll all become stories.” – Margaret Atwood

I used Liquitex spray paints with my Art Deco Summit stencil for the background. I also found that my Fanfare rubber stamps fit nicely into that stencil pattern to give a little more detail to the pattern.

For the house I used a handmade stencil and then went back in with a fine tip Molotow marker for the sketchy lines and doodle marks etc.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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