Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal page from Maura Hibbitts that presents a really cool way to look at life’s challenges and changing circumstances. She’s using my new Triple Play foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!

I have always been a firm believer in the adage “When one door closes, another door opens.” Maybe it is a part of my optimism, and maybe I have been lucky in this life, but even in the times I have struggled the most, whether physically, emotionally, or financially, new opportunities arose that led me forward. During my teaching career, I worked at opening doors for my students, so they could follow the path they chose. It has always been a joy to hear how they are doing, and which doors they have opened. Keep yourself open to the possibility of doors!

I started in my large art journal, layering paints. I started with my darkest green and blue, Prussian Blue Hue and Phthalo Green Yellow, and scraped the paint across in broad swathes with a silicon brush. I painted only on the right page, then closed the pages to spread to the other side. I repeated this step with Green Gold and Primary Cyan, then another layer with Turquoise Hue and Quinacridone Magenta. Final layer was more Magenta along with Titanium White and Gold.

After I heat set the painted layers, it was time to stamp with the oh, so awesome, Triple Play Art Foamies stamp set. I like to use my gel plate and a brayer when I am using foam stamps, it acts like a giant ink pad, and gives a nice layer of paint on the stamps. On the right side, I repeated the stamped pattern several times.

On the left side, I stamped the hexagon and the triangles on the outside this time. I first did it in black paint, but it didn’t show up well, so I went over it with white paint. Again, I added paint to the gel plate and smoothed it out with the brayer, then stamped into it, to transfer a nice image to the paper.

To create more of a focal point on the left side, I added some water to the white paint left on the gel plate, mixed it to create a whitewash, and brushed it around the design. Now it stands out more.

I also whitewashed around the design on the right, dried it completely, then added doodles and details with Posca paint pens. I also doodled a door, and added the words around the image on the right – “When one door closes, another door opens.” I also smudged Prussian Blue with fingers and a baby wipe around the edges of both pages to tie them together. I thought I was done.

I slept on it, and decided to make a different door for the left page, so I pulled out some leftover paper from last month’s project, and stamped the entire Triple Play with Moonlight Duo ink. I cut it out, cut it in half, drew on a door handle, and inked the edges with black ink. My original idea was to have the door open, but with the hexagon shape and the orientation I had, I decided against it and adhered it with adhesive tape.

All of those background colors pop through the designs, even in the whitewashed areas. I think sometimes toning down areas makes the rest of the page pop.

I realized at the end what I had been working toward on my pages…pulling out memories of beautiful and colorful doors I had seen in India. I remember ones with colorful columns of tiles, like the right page, and others with intricate mosaic-like designs, like the left page. Isn’t it interesting when you are creating that your muse knows where to take you, even when your brain does not? This year, I also feel that we think very differently about doors opening…waiting for the reopening of our special places once again. Be safe, stay healthy and open the doors!

– Maura

Thank you Maura – loved learning your process and how you came back to the page to add that amazing door. Beautiful spread and beautiful ideas to keep in mind :)

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

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 03 & 04

We’re recapping Day 03 and Day 04 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

April 3: Jump – Still timid in my ledger but getting used to the thought of printing right into it -using my Buenos Aires and Mini Toledo stamp both inspired by traveling to those cities (Toledo Spain) I thought having the tilted stamp in the end adds the jump effect. Hey a challenge is a prompt …I do not have to make this literally jumpy!

Here is a look at the April 03 page:

And then April 04: Inspired – The Triple Play stamp is actually a stamp created by my friends Birgit Koopsen, Marsha Valk and me specifically for our Beyond the Paper workshop which starts today. You can sign up any time but it is on Sale right now- so if you want a good deal and get inspired …come and check it out. The stamp is so inspiring to me because it contains designs by my friends and mixing the designs or using each by itself is really a lot of fun. Inspiration is often time found in playing with other people! 

And a look at April 04:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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New Online Workshop AND New ArtFoamies!

Super happy to announce this very special workshop that I am releasing today – Beyond the Paper. I’m teaching along with my amazing friends Birgit Koopsen and Marsha Valk in this 3 week online workshop that goes on sale today and begins on April 4th.

Let’s go Beyond the PaperJoin Nat Kalbach, Birgit Koopsen, and Marsha Valk for an online workshop that goes Beyond the Paper! We’ll be exploring exciting and original substrates to create on, that will invigorate your idea of art journaling and mixed media in general. Cardboard, Dura-Lar, Fabric, and more will be the foundation of our creations and we’ll discuss how to make the most out of these unique surfaces with techniques including foam stamping, printmaking, collage, stitching, and image transfers to name a few. To wrap things up, each teacher will bring some pages to completion and then show you a binding technique for pulling it all together. Learn more and register here.

The goal of Beyond the Paper is to inspire interesting, new ways to think about mixed media and to learn from the perspective and artistry of three different teachers. Also a special NEW foam stamp set, Triple Play will be used in the lessons and is newly released TODAY – for more on that, keep reading :)

Sign up TODAY for Early Bird pricing: Today, March 19th – April 5th, 11.59pm EDT this course is just $89 USD. After that, the course will be its regular price of $139 USD. Sign up now and get a fantastic deal.

Check out the promo video below:

Beyond the Paper includes 21 downloadable video lessons: 7 lessons by each of our teachers. The workshop will begin on April 4 and run for three weeks. Students will have access to a virtual classroom where they can comment on the lessons, ask questions, and share examples of their own work. A live webinar with the teachers will take place at the end of the workshop and students are encouraged to attend to learn more about the teachers, ask questions, and participate in some light-hearted activities. 

Sign up HERE.


NEW ArtFoamies set – Triple Play!!!

I’m also excited to announce the new Triple Play foam stamp set!!! Birgit, Marsha, and I designed this 7 piece ArtFoamies set to be used alongside the Beyond the Paper workshop, but of course this versatile set is perfect for any of your mixed media activities :)

Each of us designed two of the triangle stamps that fit nicely inside the hex border. Can you guess who designed what? I’m sure some of you may recognize our signature style.

For a while I have been obsessed with creating patterns with stamps (remember April Patterns?) and this set really allows you to explore that like crazy. You can use just one triangle to make all kinds of designs within the hex…

Or try combining two of the triangles for a cool field of pattern…

And how about layering it up a bit?

And then just look what happens when you really pull out all the stops?

I hope you join us for Beyond the Paper, with your Triple Play foam stamps in hand! I always love teaching with Birgit and Marsha and this time we all bring so many different ideas to the table that I know everyone will be inspired to think waaaaaay Beyond the Paper!

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