Artist's Prayer

Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stenciled (FUN) Art Anyone....?

For the longest time I have considered the term 'Senciled Art' as nothing more than an oxymoron in relation to the fine arts.... my most frequent association of employing stencils was related to home decorating projects and occasionally to crafts. Well, all those old ideas were first put to a creative test and then thrown out the window.... I can happily report a permanent change of heart about this wonderful tool. Instead of mis~perceiving it as being limited in its repetitiveness of a single pattern to a 'linear dullness,' I uncovered a rich springboard of creative challenges, provided one is open to test new limits of self-imposed creative boundaries. 
My journey in re~discovering stenciled art begun with a spring brochure from Dick Blick which featured curiously stimulating patterns presented in a series of books. During my trip to the store I was drawn to the prominently displayed books, kits and accessories raising the stenciling fever ever so higher.... My heart was stolen by a treasure titled 'Stencil 101 Decor' by Ed Roth which contains not only step-by-step projects' instructions that made my already exhilarated imagination flooding my mind with more projects' ideas my brain could process in a week. However, most importantly this wonder of a book/kit contains a set of 10 12x12 re~usable plastic stencil patterns. Once I brought the book home, I thought to myself 'I guess if I start using the stencils I may have to eat all the words and loud opinions I, at one time, so cherished... Oh, what to heck, maybe instead of eating them, I'll just stencil something.... pronto!'

Thankfully I didn't have to look far for a stencil~ready surface.... the painting I've been slowly working on (refer back to the previous post) was calling my name. Not so long ago the idea of bringing a repetitive, structured, linear pattern to an expressive painting which, up until now, has been meandering along a very intuitive path, would have resulted in its very vocal and final dismissal. But somehow, as I'm trying to practice quiet consciously the process of letting go and surrendering to the unknown, I was attracted to embarking onto further experimentation with stencils and particularly by introducing a set of circular patterns to my painting.... with some vague hesitation I decided to give in.... here's what followed.

Once I was set on a particular stencil pattern, I found a center within a painting and used a Prismacolor White color pencil to gently draw the outlines of the circles.

My overall intention for this 'leg of the journey' was to develop a tactile texture while preserving some of the background composition. In other words, I felt that a medium which exhibits both translucent and textural properties would be an ideal candidate. That's how Golden Acrylics Glass Bead Gel 'came into the painting' ~ one messy application at a time....

Because of the size of the stencil, I had to work in a somewhat haphazard manner while applying the Glass Bead Gel, letting some circles dry completely, before moving along onto the next set. I washed and dried the plastic stencil in between each subsequent application (a good practice in strengthening the will power and patience for someone who possesses neither!)....

Once all the elements were dried I realized that there is such thing as 'too much translucency' ~ yes, once you can't see the element itself, you might have gone a tiny bit too far. To remedy this state of affairs I turned for assistance to a diluted application of Golden Liquid Acrylics Iridescent Silver (Fine).... afterwards there's a 'frosty glass' effect to the stenciled shapes and the irregularities of the glass bead gel come even more to life. For the time being the painting feels almost complete, there's a chance though, for a short, unexpected encounter with a thin application of Self-Leveling gel..... just enough to bring out that glossy 'pop' of texture. FYI the dimensions of the painting are 22x28 

Should you choose to bless your creative Self with an XXX~Large serving of delicious stenciling here's the book/kit that stole my heart....


  1. Always wanted to stencil my concrete stairs, oh and maybe the block walls above it and then...

  2. Your experimentation turned out beautifully. I've also wondered about the use of stencils in art as well. But it sure looks great!

  3. I have enjoyed my visit to your blog so much....
    It's very inspiring....I'll definitely be back.