Wednesday, December 11, 2013

BLOG HOP!!

Oh my heavens, am I excited about today's post!!  Back in October, the always fabulous Jill Berry asked me if I'd like to participate in a blog hop for her new stencil set, called Artistcellar Signature Series Stencils by Jill K. Berry - TEXTures, Vol. 2.  WOULD I?!?!


Firstly, I would do any art-filled thing that Jill Berry asked of me!  A little back story - Jill and I met when she was teaching her "Personal Geographies" class at Valley Ridge Art Studio in Muscoda, WI, back in March of 2009.  I had never taken an art class before, but I loved the idea of incorporating maps into one's personal history.  I had a life-altering time that weekend, meeting wonderful folks, spending a snowy late-winter weekend at a gorgeous studio, and getting to know Jill a little better.  When Jill returned to Wisconsin for the Raevn's Nest Art Retreat in Cedarburg that October, I HAD to go!  That too was a wonderful evening, and further cemented my resolve to be more involved in my art (I quit my 9-5 job to be a full-time artist the following January).

Because of this blog hop, I was also introduced to Lisa Cousineau of Artistcellar, the company who puts out Jill's designs (check out their other products, too!).  When I got the set of four stencils in the mail, I was positively giddy.  The TEXTure designs are just that - abstract designs loosely consisting of various texts and calligraphic mark-making.  I wanted to know more about the inspiration behind Jill's designs, so I rang her up last week.  Besides spending a glorious hour or more getting caught up, Jill explained that her calligraphic style was greatly influenced by Sister Corita Kent, a nun, instructor and artist. She is the author of the "Art Department Rules", which has been widely shared. She also explained that each of her new stencils is based on a different quote or art style she loves.  If you click on this link, you'll see Jill's new series on top.  They're titled, "Picasso", "Bird", "Gera" and "Miro" (I've shared links with each to a different quote or artist's website).

I focused my attention on the Picasso and Gera stencils for my two stencil projects. Here I am using the Gera stencil to carve a stamp:

Spent a wonderful afternoon gallery sitting with
friends and using the Gera stencil for my first
project!  :)  Thanks to Carolyn Brady for taking
this photo.  :)

I traced just a little (2X2"-ish) portion of the stencil, and then carved it and inked it, using two different colors:


I'm on a big blue and orange kick lately!!  :)  After it was inked, I used fine point pens to trace the outline of the image (which to me looks like an abstract map of a city roundabout, doesn't it?):


YAY! Here's the inked image and the carved stamp, showing the actual image.  (For those of you who would like to play along at home, I used the lower right-hand corner of the Gera stencil and modified it a little in the carving process.)


I suppose it could've been done at this point (it's an ATC), but wait!  I wanted to try a little finishing with my sewing machine!


Okay, NOW it's done.  :)  Isn't it amazing how versatile stencils can be? 


What I love about Jill's TEXTures stencils is that they can be interpreted so many ways! For example, as a printmaker, I wanted to highlight the different techniques one can use in this media.  In the first project, we had a relief-based idea (how fitting!).  For my second project, I did a monoprint using my Gelli Plate! Here are some of the papers that I created using the Gelli and the Picasso stencil:


I love how all of them turned out so differently!!  But I really had my eye on the sheet in the lower right, which I created by not cleaning the plate after the initial use.  Happy accidents!  :D  

Next, I took that sheet, which was printed on rice paper, and shredded it using my household shredder:


Then I hand-dipped each strip in natural beeswax:


I love how translucent they became after the dip!


After the wax cooled, I took the strips and wove them across my hardboard canvas.  I then took some encaustic wax in Yellow Ochre and created a thin layer of color over the woven strips.  Here is the final result: 


What I love about how this turned out is that Jill's beautiful calligraphy shows, but it's still a wholly unique piece of art.  My husband Brian calls it an "abstract forest".  I concur!

I hope my two pieces showed just a tiny fraction of what is possible with these amazing stencils, from my own printmaking point of view!  But I haven't told you the best part - you can win a set of your own!!!  YES!!!

Simply comment below how YOU would use these stencils in your own printmaking style, and I'll pick a name using random.org  on Friday, December 13 at 5 p.m. CST.  In order to qualify, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS USING THE name(at)domain(dot)com FORMAT. I WILL IMMEDIATELY DISQUALIFY ANYONE WHO DOESN'T ADHERE TO THIS ONE SIMPLE RULE. (Can you tell that some people still don't follow the rules?)  :)

You only have 2 1/2 days, so enter now!  I can't wait to hear your ideas!  :)






85 comments:

  1. Love the use of beeswax in your work. I've never done that. I'd like to use your gelli plate technique and write or doodle with fine tip marker in the positive space for a really interesting effect. ~ hobbyparent(at)creativesouljuice(dot)com

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    1. OOH!! Now there's an idea - doodling in the positive space! LOVE it! :)

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  2. I will use the stencils with spray inks to complete a set of altered playing cards I'm doing for an exchange in Feb.
    scoombe@comcst.net

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    1. Oh my gosh - that sounds AMAZING!! What a cool project! :D

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  3. Love these blog hops! I can't wait to use these stencils to make fabric for art quilts or multi-media work. Thanks for the generous offer!
    ggart1950@gmail.com
    assume you don't mean to write "at" and "dot"??

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    1. Oh, AWESOME idea, Geneen! These stencils would make a gorgeous art quilt! :)
      As for the e-mail address - yep, that's what I meant. When you use the (at) and (dot) in parentheses, the Spambots can't get your e-mail address (it's how you get on lists you don't want to get on). :) But yours will do just fine, thank you! :)

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  4. I would use these for surface design on fabric for the free form quilts I like making. Love the ideas you had in your post! Thanks!
    something_clever(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. Surface design with these stencils would be FANTASTIC!! I would love to see that, especially with the free-form quilting! :) Thanks so much for your kind words, Lisa! :)

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  5. OHH love this Mel...I would like to try this on fabric as part of an art quilt ohlala my intentions for the new year...I have a blog creative arts from my heart but I have never used it this is another project for 2014 thank you for the inspiration

    Lkayeheart@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks so much!! The art quilt is a great idea for these wonderful stencils! I hope you make one and post it! :)

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  6. I love how you altered the stencil and shared just how you did. I would use the stencils as partial stencils mostly on multicolored journal pages to soften and blend the colors but the idea of making a print to add to a page sounds like a winner for a note card idea. My email is gottamakeart(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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    1. Oh, I LOVE the idea of making a print to add to an art journal or for a note card! Imagine the possibilities! :D Thanks for the very kind words, too! :)

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  7. I will use the stencils to make a multilayered calligraphic painting, first in journal and then on canvas. Using them in a progressive group project will be awesome, too.

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    1. Multi-layered calligraphic painting!! That sounds incredible!! And a group project - how fun! :D

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  8. I had no idea that Personal Geographies was your first art class. Oh my, I love love love what you've done with Jill's stencils. An abstract forest indeed. And as for what I might do with a set. Well, if you can do a forest, perhaps I can do a desert! bo(at)bomackison(dot) com

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    1. Hi, Bo! :) Yep, that was my very first one since middle school. :) Thank you so much for your kind words! :) I would LOVE to see you create a desert with these stencils - when's the big move? :)

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  9. I'd love to try what you've shown Mel!
    I use my stencils in my journals and for gelli printing!
    gillwatson(at)mailbox(dot)co(dot)uk

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    1. Thanks, Gill! I think you should give it a go. :) These stencils are SO great for Gelli prints, aren't they? And I love the journal idea! :D

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  10. I love what you have done with these stencils, they would be fab for using in my art journaling.

    fdarling7(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Fiona! :) For your journal, do you make the pages first and then glue them in your journal? :)

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  11. Love your ideas! I think I would use the stencils on fabric.,..maybe try some decolorant in the stencil or perhaps some shiva paintstiks... I think the possibilities are endless!
    upstatelisa(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! And I never thought to use Shivas - AWESOME!! The possibilities are truly endless! :D

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  12. Mel, thank you so much for hopping! Your pieces are so creative- love that you incorporated so many mediums!
    kampysgirl@gmail.com

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    1. Gosh, Jackie! Thank YOU for leaving a comment! :)

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  13. This is soooo cool what you did here. Love visiting these art blogs and seeing the amazing projects. I am mostly a card-maker papercrafter, so I love being inspired to branch out into new areas. I would love to play and experiment with a set of these stencils. Thanks for the chance!!
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks so much, Janis! There's so much room for experimentation with these stencils - I had an absolute blast, and I know you would, too! :)

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  14. I would use the stencils with my "big assemblage project" I'm working on. Would most likely stencil some of my handmade paper to decoupage onto the assemblage.

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    1. OOH! Sounds intriguing, Betsy! :) Can't wait to see! :)

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  15. Love what you've done! I'd use the stencils on some hand made paper and then use that paper to make pieces of copper and fiber mixed media jewelry. fiberdance@gmail.com

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    1. Kathi, you are SO inventive!! I love how your mind works. :)

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  16. Positively giddy! :D So glad to take your photo for ya! I would use the stencils for sunprinting on fabric, of course! Thanks for the opportunity! cmbrady(at)wi(dot)rr(dot)com
    (that's double dippin' dots and a lotta exclamation points! ;)

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    1. Hee hee! :)

      SUNPRINTING on fabric! Of COURSE!! Mind if I 'steal' your idea, Carolyn? ;)

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  17. This would be the perfect time to try stencils I have never done it. I find it fantastic but not the courage to try them out this would give me the push to do so. You work is great. pussycat3337@hotmail.com

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    1. Maria - you have the courage!! The great thing about art is that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do it, so you have nothing to lose!! :) You just have to go for it! :)

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  18. I'm a new fan of the gelli-plate, so that's probably how I would use the stencils right off the hop . . . but I am getting SO many great ideas from this blog-hop. I love, love, love what you did with the wax. Encaustic is the next thing on my to-try list!
    My email: tangledinklings(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Be prepared to be addicted to the Gelli Plate, Carol!! It's SO fun and some of my favorite pieces were created on it! I hope to incorporate it into a lot of my relief printing, too! :)
      Encaustic is also highly addictive and FUN!!! Go for it! :D

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  21. Fantastic. I really like these stencils. I would use these stencils on my gelli plate to make some handmade papers for collage inspiration. My email is tcroberts@adam.com.au. Thanks for the opportunity.

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    1. Three cheers for the Gelli Plate! :) Lots of fun collage exploration, for sure! :)

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  22. I would use the stencils with my new Gelli plate and print on deli paper. A brand new box of 500 sheets of deli paper await my imprint.

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    1. OOH!! There's something I haven't tried yet - deli paper!! How exciting! :D

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  23. I LOVE what you did with the ATC! I am part of an ATC group and am always looking for new things to do with them. Not only do I love that you created your own stamp, but I really like how much "extra" the stitching around the edges added. I would definitely try those techniques with the stencils...they have the greatest texture.
    I just got a Gelli plate...would most certainly use the stencils with it. I am amazed that you thought of shredding your paper and using wax with it, very creative. thanks so much for sharing. =D
    love2colorinaz@hotmail.com

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  24. Peek a boo with my photography! Would love to try it! Pick me pick me! carol_toepke@yahoo.com

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    1. That would be awesome, Carol! :) What interesting designs that could happen, you creative lady! :)

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  26. Hi Mel!!
    I would use these stencils to create lino blocks then print onto monoprints made by the good ol Gelli Plate!!! katina(at)iodea(dot)com

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    1. OOH! Taking the printing idea one step further! I like it! :D

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  27. Oh my goodness... so many ways I could use them. I'd for sure start with my art journal, I layer stencils a lot, I don't usually use the entire stencil so it has my spin on the finished piece. Then, I'd try it with my Gelli plate and do some mono printing, these Textures.... would work so well with collage... I just tear the pieces and mix in tons of other papers and yarns etc. They are great textures. I'd love them. donalee(at)donaleedesigns(dot)com I think I did it right???? Yes? LOL

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  28. I mean to tell you what a great tutorial this was too by the way! Enjoyed your style very much. Thanks! donalee(at)donaleedesigns(dot)com :-)

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    1. Thanks for both messages, Donalee! :) I can see your idea wheel spinning in your head! :D

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  30. I love how you used the stencils! Just love it. I would use these stencils in my art journaling. I can think of so many uses for them. And I want to try to use them the way you did in this blog post. Thank You! mmpm88(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much!! I was totally inspired by the calligraphy - and the quotes behind them! I want to do LOTS more with these stencils myself! :D

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  31. Wow, i'm learning so much from this blog hop - the best one yet. I would love to carve some stamps now. cooper(at)swva(dot)net

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    1. It really is a great blog hop - I'M inspired by the other artists for sure! :D And you should totally try carving a stamp! I'll warn you, though - soon it leads to carving other things, like linocuts. And woodcuts. And before you know it, you've bought yourself a press. ;)

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  32. Wow, I would just have to give this a go, making a stamp. I have carved several, but never using a stencil. Very cool idea. Would love to win a set of these, too. Did you mean like this - hgoldsmith@gmail.com or like this hgoldsmith(at)gmail(dot)com? ;-)

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    1. Hi Heather! I'd love to see the stamps you'd carve using the stencil! It's such a versatile tool! :) BTW, either way is acceptable, so thanks for doing both addresses! :)

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  33. How a great idea carving the stamps nice work!!!
    rockycrossstudio@gmail.com

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  34. Wonderful ideas...so unique!
    renmead@earthlink.net

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  35. I just received my newest and largest gelli plate in the mail today. I would use these stencils to make all sorts of prints. Love the Picasso one. Really great work on all of them
    Vicki at vloichinger@comcast.net

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  36. Maybe I can't follow directions, so just incase I will try this again, I would gelli plate with these till there was no paper left in the house and then go buy some more. vcki
    vick(at)vloichinger(at)comcast(dot)net or vloichinger@comcast.net

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  37. Some good ideas here and I love these stencils! I would use them in my mixed media work. papillonarts@hotmail.com

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  38. HOORAY! We have a winner, and it's Geneen Granger! YAY!
    Thanks so much to everyone who everyone who wrote a comment - yes, even those of you who I couldn't include because you forgot your e-mail address! ;) Geneen, I hope you enjoy your stencils! I'll be e-mailing you shortly! :D

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  39. Great project!!!! Love the beeswax! Lots of great inspiration. Who would have thought of shredding paper in the shredder for added dimension!

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  40. Love these stencils! I would use them for collage, art journals and Gelli prints. Have a happy day - Heidi. Hjmedhurst@shaw.ca

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  41. I am having so much fun following this blog hop. So many creative ideas. Your is amazing! I have never carved my own stamp. I will have it give it a go. I have tried encaustics but without much success. You have inspired me to try again. Thank you pambi7atyahoo.com

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  42. LOVE LOVE LOVE these stencils! And love your use of them Especially the shredded paper with beeswax!So creative! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  43. omg! This is an amazing way to use stencils! Love it!

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  44. Fabulous ideas. I would use them with my Gelli Plate ;)

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  45. I would use the stencils with molding paste to create texture. I'd also like to try them with crackle paste with ink on top.
    my email is: gjpcoach(at)gmail(dot)com
    Thanks
    Gillian

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  46. I never would have thought of using stencils to create a stamp for a relief print! brilliant idea & love what you did! Would love to win a set of these terrific stencils :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Diane - but the contest ended last Friday. :)

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  47. Holy cow - making a print block? Shredding and dipping in beeswax? Amazing.
    If I won, I'd like to try some rubbings with my kids. Thanks for the chance to win! 2peaches(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    1. Whoops. Just noticed that I missed the deadline, but I stand by my comment :) I'm following you on Bloglovin' now. Great inspiration.

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  48. I love your beeswax piece with the weaving and the stencilling. amazing

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  49. Love the idea of shredding than the beeswax, will have to try, love using the gelli plate or paint to add them to my journal.

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  50. That is such a process! Thanks for all the info... a wonderful way to use the stencils.
    jo.murray.art@gmail.com

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  51. great idea to make a stamp using part of the stencil. also liked the encausitc idea.
    gjeneve@gmail.com

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  52. Wow - I love your unusual creative techniques...got my mind going! Love Jill's new stencils too! Laura (at) Joyfulbusiness (dot) com

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  53. wow you really made this your own!

    congratulations to the winner!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jamie! I had such a blast! :D

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  54. I am way past your time for any contest but still want to let you know how much I enjoyed visiting this blog today. Nice finished piece and process. Thanks for sharing. Paula Decker Haynes at potterclod@gmail.com

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    1. Oh, thank you Paula! I appreciate you commenting anyway! :D

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