“When you know better you do better.” – Maya Angelou
My background is from papers where I had used my Art Deco Fairview,Art Nouveau Wallpaper , and Art Deco Empire stencils and Moonlight duo ink pads with a blending tool. I attached them with double sided tape and then GASP when I reorganized my studio I cut up a painting – just the part I liked and added it to the art journal – can you believe it?!?
The quote was written with acrylics marker on watercolor paper which I cut out and then adhered.
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Robin Seiz sharing her love of layers with us and creating a dreamy background paper who’s destiny is TBD :) She’s using my Mini Motifs rubber stamps and my Art Nouveau Wallpaper stencil and our theme: My Creative Playlist – Your favorite mixed media supplies are like your favorite songs: they lift you up, inspire you and just feel good to groove to. What are your favorite supplies? Use them in a project – YOUR Creative Playlist that always gets you going.
Layers and Layers and Layers
Hi Friends, Happy February — the month of LOVE! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE putting down layers; all that yummy texture and color! It’s so fun see what peeks through in the end.
My studio is overflowing with materials so I wanted to use what I had right down to some heavy 12×12 paper from a beautiful paper pad sitting on my shelf. When I first started out in mixed media, I used my paper pads a lot to make card backgrounds, but now, I tend to make my own papers so all those beautiful paper pads are not being unused. We can’t have that! Pull out the old stuff and infuse new life into it! I started with this sheet of paper:
I put a light coat of Golden Absorbent Grounds on the page because I wanted to mute the background and I knew that I would be using acrylic stains; I wanted the page to have both texture and “tooth”. There were some patterns that I knew I wanted to peek through in the end, so I applied an extra light coat to those areas.
Most of the materials I used are shown in this picture. I did end up adding a few more materials (who doesn’t when you get going!) I’ll mention those when we get to those steps.
Once the Absorbent Grounds were dry, I randomly stamped Nathalie’s Mini Motifs rubber stamps on the background. I used both the Mission Motif and the Craftsman Motif. I knew that I wanted just a “hint” (or you might say a “kiss” for February) of these to be shown in the background in my final piece.
I love the look of splatters on a page. I think it adds so much and is easy and fun! I used watercolors, (Phthalo Turquoise, Nickel Azo Yellow, and Quinacridone Magenta) although I could have just as easily used acrylic paints. Use what you have in your stash and just tap your brush against your finger to create the splatter.
To create even more interest, next I applied Nathalie’s Art Nouveau Wallpaper Stencil and sprayed Distress Spray Stain by Ranger. I used stains (Old Paper, Mustard Seed, Hickory Smoke) that would pick up the background and would give the page a vintage look.
Once the Ink Stain was down, I wanted to pull everything back just a little. Gesso is the perfect medium to do that, however, I’m notorious for not letting things dry long enough; that’s exactly what happened. OOPS! But that’s why I said, this project was about layers and layers and layers. I applied a second coat of gesso to the areas that I smeared, and chalked it up to just another layer! I’m not a perfectionist and really like the process of creating as much as the outcome. My motto is, “When all else fails, just add another layer and begin again!”
Now that the gesso was down, I wanted those splatters to show through more — again another layer of splatters! There is something so satisfying about these, so I never mind giving it another go!
Next, I’m sure you can guess, I applied another layer of the stencils with the spray stain. This time I also used Spun Sugar because I wanted more pink to show up on the page.
As you can see, Nathalie’s original motif stamps are peeking through the background as I had planned, but I also wanted to use the Jugendstil Motif, giving it more prominence. I used Versa Fine Clair Charming Pink and stamped it on top of the stencil pattern. (I was going to use Purple Delight and Warm Breeze as shown in my materials picture but changed my mind at the last minute. Again, I wanted to pick up more pink.)
And finally, I pulled out my watercolor pencils and a few pastels and went over the butterfly and the flowers where I wanted to bring out the pink. I also used some 100 Proof Press postage stamps at the top, to stamp over what was already there.
I will most likely use this as a journal cover, but it could certainly be used for a background page or journal page. Of course, every time you try this process, you will get a completely different result! Isn’t that the beauty of mixed media! No matter what — have fun putting down layers and layers and layers. Remember, it’s not done until you are satisfied with it… you could go on and on!
Thank you Robin – love all the subtle layering and love that you were able to share your oops moment with us too :)
Grabbed this art journal which I hadn’t used in a while and found this page which had a transfer which wasn’t that great (the initial photo didn’t have enough contrast). It seemed like i had given up on that one, so I figured it was time to take care of it again.
I used acrylic paint in teal and lime green as well as gold gesso by Daniel Smith to color in the background, then layered my Art Nouveau stencil on top and used a baby wipe to take away some areas.
I used Honsell soft pastels into the still wet acrylic paint for some scratching and color, and also used a soft pencil to add some obscured writing. I let it dry and then painted it with clear gesso to add tooth but also to seal the pastels that did not dry into the wet acrylic paints.
I then used Derwent art bars and Neo Colors II to paint over the face – using a water brush to blend the wax bars but also leave some dry wax marks for texture.
Lastly I added some stamping with my new Mini Motifs foam stamps and acrylic paint and journaled with a posca marker and white signo pen.
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 Priscilla Read!
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 Priscilla Read:
Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us where you live:
I am a mixed media artist living in San Ramon, California. I want to do it all. I love working in all kinds of media, but especially love using fabric and quilt making techniques in my artwork. I continue to learn by taking classes and was lucky to find Nathalie’s online classes through Sketchbook Skool and her recent Time Traveler class.
How do you make time to be creative?
I make it a priority to do something creative, even just for a few minutes every day. People say, “you’re so creative”, but I believe that creativity is a practice that anyone can learn and become more creative. Classes like Nathalie’s help to open our minds and hearts to our own creativity.
What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils? How do you love to use them?
I only have a few of her art deco stencils so far, but plan to get some of her foam stamps. I used the stencils to gelli print fabric for my Deco Wallpaper quilt and for the cover and pages of the journal I made in the Time Travel book. I also used some in fabrics printed to add to my stash for future projects.
What is your favorite medium to work in?
Fabric! So many possibilities from surface design techniques like dyeing and printing to sewing and quilting.
What inspires you to be creative?
I connect with others through my art. I belong to a couple local quilt guilds and Studio Art Quilts Association (saqa.com) which connects me with like minded artists and exposes me to new ideas and opportunities.
Do you have a favorite artist?
Faith Ringgold. I first learned about her through my interest in quilting and wanted to learn more when I saw her story quilts. I am inspired by her originality and fearless depiction of social justice issues.
How did you get into art-making?
I was drawn to the crafts and making things from childhood when I learned to knit and sew. I didn’t really know much about art until high school when I took a humanities class in my junior year and an art class in my senior year. I wanted to become an artist, but the only other person who thought it was a good idea was my art teacher. I continued making art and taking classes whenever possible.
In three words, how does art-making make you feel?
Connected. Grateful. Joyful.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring artwork and perspective Priscilla! Love to see my stencils used in your gorgeous fiber art and a peek into your personal workspace is always so fun to see.
Be sure to check out all our Nice to Meet You! posts to learn about all the inspiring artists we’ve featured.
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.
“Art is the highest form of hope.” – Gerhard Richter
I used a round Gelli plate and versafine ink pads. I stenciled on top with my Art Nouveau Wallpaper, Art Deco Fairview, and Art Deco Empire stencils, used deli paper on top, then printed onto my art journal. For some like the yellow ones for example I then added a solid yellow layer to the plate and then pressed the still wet surface of the before printed deli paper back on top and got then the pattern into the yellow – kind of going back and forth a bit.
I painted black gesso around it and used a white signo pen for the journaling.
“Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse for some!” – an interesting quote from The Handmaid’s Tale which I have read several decades ago and also watched now the show.
For my background I used my new Art Nouveau Wallpaper stencil along with a blending tool, Ranger Distress and Distress Oxides Inks. I love how these inks blend so nicely and they are a wonderful companion to stencils.
I added my quote and this sketch with a Fude pen and sumi Ink.