Monday, July 28, 2014

PanPastel Hop

What a thrill to be playing with PanPastels! LOVE these products, I've been using them for years and I simply never tire of their intense pigment. I use the pastels in encaustic work, on my journal pages and here, when trying to 'save' an ugly background.
Now, after me posting a couple of my 'mishaps',  you might be wondering why I have so many ugly backgrounds hanging around?
Good question. Sometimes I am convinced that every piece of art must go through an ugly stage. Or maybe that's just me. Plus, I experiment a lot and am often messing around with products in ways they were not intended to be used, mainly because I don't have an art degree so I honestly don't know what you are supposed to do with some products. Ahem.....Needless to say, I sometimes end up with yuck.  Here is a picture of the 'before' with just two stenciled portions.
This was one such piece. I can't even remember what I was doing, but it got super dark on the corners. And it was F-L-A-T.
So I decided to add my texture via Golden's Acrylic Ground for Pastels. Now keep in mind, this Ground is not really a texture product, it is more like a super toothy gesso that is used to prep a surface for working in pastel. Yeah, I even mis-use products that I have been trained to use.
But, I liked the idea of creating stenciled parts to use with the Pan Pastel and the Ground held up well.
I found that, by using the Acrylic Ground for Pastel, I could pretty much 'dry brush' (or 'dry sponge') the pigment over the Ground and somewhat retain my background color. Of course I got going a little more wild and wooly and ended up creating several layers of Ground. All the color shown here (except for the little bits behind the bird heads and daisy) were achieved with PanPastel.
Can you say YUM!
Here are my tips for working with PanPastels:
  1. Use the Sofft Tools, the texture of these amazing sponges is simply perfect.
  2. Keep a clean paper towel at your side while you work. Before you change color, wipe the sponge on the paper towel until you no longer see any pigment color coming off. This will ensure that you don't contaminate the next color you use.
  3. Use less color than you think you need. One swipe provides more pigment than you can ever imagine. 
  4. Don't be afraid to experiment. I have created many cool effect with PanPastel and blending them out with gesso or other mediums. Remember, they are pigment!!
  5. Check out the PanPastel website, specifically THIS PAGE, which I have found to be extremely helpful.  
We know after you see all the techniques we show you this week you are going to want to play too! Enter the GIVEAWAY to be eligible to win the prize below. Just leave a comment and tell us if you use PanPastels with stencils and your favorite technique. You can also leave comments on all of the individual posts this week on all the blogs from our team members for another chance to win! All comments within the 4 day period are eligible.

GIVEAWAY closes Sunday, August 3rd @ 11:59PM Central Time.
One comment per post please.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Introducing NEW StencilGirl Artist Traci Bautista Blog Hop

I am excited to welcome my friend, Traci Bautista to StencilGirl Products, woo hoo!!! Her stencils are so her. So Traci, you could pick them up anywhere and know who designed them, she has such a strong artistic voice. I love that about her.
I've mainly been playing in my journal with the stencil masks - because that is what many of them are, masks. It is a subtle distinction in the stencil world. For me, I think of masks as the thing you reach for to cure all your mistakes, ha! I mean look at this page:
I had a bunch of color, no direction, this page was going nowhere fast. All I did was use the mask overtop the entire spread and sponged with gesso. Instant cute. I think it would be pretty cool to go back and do some doodles in those open spots. Or even journal words, patterned collage components, stencil over top or ? What would you do?
Here is another snippet, this time a painted paper towel, this is actually part of my upcoming webinar:
It is amazing to me how changing color and using only a portion of the stencil turned this into an interesting abstract - I took Traci's imagery and made it my own. Now *that* is good versatility in design.
Here is a collage of some of my pages, you can see some DLP here too, I am on week 2.....there is also a sneak peak at a project I did for The Mixed Media Workshop TV. 
Hope you enjoyed a peak into how I have been playing with Traci's stencils. 
Ready to HOP??
Before you do, make sure you enter the GIVEAWAY!!!!
We will pick TWO lucky winners!
Each one will get a complete set of Traci's 5 new designs!
What do you have to do?
Leave a comment here and the other blogs on the hop. 
The more comments blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(one comment per blog please)
Comments close Sunday, July 27th at 11:59PM Central Time.

GIVEAWAY will be open a full 2 weeks! 
Mary Beth has a webinar on July 24th and her guest????? 
You guessed it!

Not signed up yet?
Get all the info HERE!

Monday, June 23, 2014

StencilGirl Blog Hop Featuring NEW Artist Orly Avineri

Do you believe that stencils can heal?
I don't know if I actually believe that either, I mean they are just Mylar after all. I do know that the day I used Orly's new stencils, I was working through some issues and it seemed like they had a magical effect on me because I gained instant clarity into my situation. It must have been the stencils, right?
I'll be frank. Orly's stencils probably aren't for everyone. They are intense. They are raw. They are beautiful. The symbolism is rich. These are stencils that make me think and I absolutely adore them.
Here are some of the ways I've been using them.
First of all - to make backgrounds. Those intricate bits are so gorgeous, I can see using them literally all the time.

 Deli Paper anyone? I had some extra paint on my palette and made a collage bit.
And here is the spread that I did. I used several of the stencils and love the way they work together as well as separately. The drips are pretty darn fab if I do say so myself. You know with 'real' dripping you lose control.  (I mean duh, rigth?). This is different because you can place it exactly where you want. Does that make me a control freak, wanting to 'place' my drips? 

Take a visit to everyone in the Hop and be sure to enter comments for our contest. And if you don't win a set of the stencils, just hurry over to StencilGirl and get them for yourself. I think you will be pleased. You can see all of Orly's new stencils HERE.

Monday, June 02, 2014

StencilGirl, Linda Robertson and Enkaustikos Blog HOp

Last year I was fortunate to attend encaustiCON in Santa Fe, a meeting of the International Encaustic Association. I had been invited to present a demo/class on 'Addressing the Substrate' and felt truly honored to be among some of my encaustic heroes like Linda Robertson. She was so authentic and down to earth, I instantly liked her and felt a connection. Naturally I gave her stencils because I knew she liked them and wanted her to use ours.
Enkaustikos Linda Robertson set
Flash forward.  Linda was working with Kathryn Bevier from Enkaustikos to create a kit of materials and wanted to include a stencil, ultimately she picked Pippin's Dragon Flower.  
Imagine my delight when they went this awesome kit for me to try! Wowzers!! In addition to all the items shown in the picture above, this Set includes video downloads from Linda. And I am here to tell you they are awesome. She is a terrific teacher and her Set is well worth the money. 
Here are some shots of the project I made. 

I started out with the fantastic cradled substrate that was furnished (nice!!) and randomly use the Enkaustikos paint and medium to build up a background. These paints are SO loaded with pigment, they really go a long way and I enjoy the Snaps format, you can snap off a bit at a time so nothing is wasted. 
Being the abstract person that I am, I decided to use Squared On, a stencil of my own design that is a real 'go to' for me. I placed the stencil on top of my piece and painted the encaustic paint over top the piece, moving the stencil several times and fusing in between each layer.

Next up was the Pan Pastel. Oh my is this blue ever a gorgeous color! Once again, I place my stencil and used the Sofft sponge to apply the Pan Pastel right on top of the wax. It simply 'grabs' the wax in and a quick fuse is all you need to add this delicious pigment. LOVE using Pan Pastels with wax.

 I then played with the other tools furnished in the kit, namely the pointy tool and the scraping tool. These both allow you to pull back some wax and create interesting texture effects.

 Here is a close up of some of the texture I obtained.

And finally, here is the completed painting.

In my opinion, this kit is a wonderful value. It includes everything you need to obtain fantastic mixed media results with your encaustic work. The paints and tools are super high quality - no corner cutting here!! And you are going to love Linda's instruction. A class and supplies, what more could you want?
Before you leave, make sure you comment to win the prize from StencilGirl Products and Enkaustikos!

Giveaway includes:
(4) 9" x 12" Stencils from StencilGirl Products Retail Value $56
(3) Online Lessons from Linda Robertson ( Valued at $45
(1) Collection of Wax Snaps and Hot Sticks from Enkaustikos Valued at $75
All to ONE lucky winner!!
Giveaway will close on June 8th at 11:59PM Central Time. Every comment in the hop is eligible for the giveaway. The more blogs you comment on, the more changes you have to win. One comment per blog please.

Blog Hop Order

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Art Journal Love

OK, OK, you already know I have become obsessed with Art Journaling, in fact, you might be tired of me talking about it, I hope not though. 'cause I can't help but share. Journaling has seriously changed my life and provided me with an easy artistic outlet during this time when I haven't been able to be in the studio as much as I would like. I would normally be grumbling something fierce, but my journals (yeah, I am working across several these days) have saved me. 

Today my pages take advantage of new stencils by Terri Stegmiller. They are pretty darn awesome (the stencils, I mean). And you know what? I have never met Terri in person! She has been with StencilGirl for a long time, contacting us quite early in our journey. I am so glad I brought her into our li'l family as I love her aesthetic. You can find her new designs (and other new ones too! ) on the 'What's New Page of our website. 
But back to journals - they allow me to try products that I might not use in my paintings. Like GELATOS!!! Made by Faber Castell, I have known of them for a long time, but since they are water soluble I never bought any because I work so darn wet in wet when I am painting. I figured they would be wasted.
Guess what? They are absolutely PERFECT for journals! Oh.My.Gosh. I bought this little pack on a whim, when I was at Dick Blick last week, Assorted Reds (includes pink and purple though, yay!!!) and I also got a Double Scoop Mango. I am smitten in love with these Gelatos.
Fabulous results, they are so creamy and gorgeous, I can easily layer up color on my painted pages. They are just so-so yummy.
I also used irResistable Texture Spray. I heard about this from my friend Seth Apter and of course I had to get my hands on some too. If you enlarge the 1st and 2nd picture you can see where I sprayed some in the corners - it dries super fast and leaves a splattered texture which is very cool. I used it on some of my labels too (3rd photo).
Needless to say, I had a wonderful weekend. I pulled back from StencilGirl duties for a few days so that I could have a chance to relax and refresh with my family. I journaled to my hearts content, even journaled with my friend Mary Nasser on Saturday. FunFunFun and the Journaling is good.
I feel restored.
How about you?