Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Closet Spirits

by June Pfaff Daley
It’s been quite awhile since I submitted art for a gallery show here in Cincinnati. However, I couldn’t pass up a call for entries for this October show: “Hauntingly Beautiful.” I actually had already started this witch series and now I had motivation to push forward and get it done by the show's submission deadline. My inspiration came after a class I had taken over the summer at Art Unraveled taught by fellow StencilGirl Artist, Andrea deMeng. Andrea taught a Frida portrait class where she shared her techniques for collage and paint on unstretched canvas. I don't frequently work on unstretched canvas, but it definitely was a dream to roll up and bring home on the plane. I created a garden girl portrait for class, but I kept thinking how eerie portraits would be perfect for my favorite holiday. I also debated how they would display. Old fashioned hangers seemed very appropriate, hence the title of the series: Closet Spirits. I started with photos of my ancestors for these portrait paintings, but the darker stories I created were all my own (Hopefully they don't mind too much!) If you look closely you can weave together your own tales from the images appearing in their bodies.

In many ways my collage process is similar to Andrea's, but I picked up many new tips and techniques in her class. Andrea is an amazing teacher who is very supportive and encouraging. I highly recommend her classes if you ever have the opportunity. I am a firm believer in taking as many classes as you can from others in order to grow your own personal style as an artist.

When I felt the witches were near completion, I added stencils. I used several for this series, but primarily my Spider Web, Traci Bautista’s Silkscreen stencil, and Mary Beth’s Little Eddy Rose. Above, I placed the stencil and sprayed a uneven coat of Dylusions ink spray in white for the misty effect I wanted to achieve.

Above is a close-up of the stencil effect. Meet Closet Spirit #1, Walburga.

Here are the other two ladies in the Closet Spirits series: Ruth (left) and Irene (right). I found the hangers in antique stores and thrift shops. I gave the hangers a little extra aging by “rusting” the metal with paint.

If you are in the Cincinnati area, you can see these ladies in person along with the rest of the "Hauntingly Beautiful" show at RedTree Art Gallery. The exhibit runs until November 8th.
Before I go, I wanted to point this out. A few weeks ago, I did a post showing how I used the same spider web stencil to make a Halloween pillow. Obviously the projects are way different, but you'll also notice how I went for crisper lines on the pillow vs. the paintings. I think it's cool to see all the different effects and applications possible with stencils. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what I did before I was introduced to this world of stencils as they have become staples in my art toolbox. I have Mary Beth to thank for that.
Happy Halloween everyone!

You can find all of June Pfaff Daley's StencilGirl stencils HERE, and for TODAY ONLY...
receive 10% off any purchase of June Pfaff Daley's StencilGirl stencils!!

Use coupon code DALEY1410

June Pfaff Daley is a mixed media artist who creates with everything from wood to fabric. She enjoys transforming thrift store treasures and favors whimsical motifs. June resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with three fantastic kids, one supportive husband, a darling dog and a charming cat. Visit her website:


  1. June! These are absolutely fabulous hangings!! I love that you used your own relatives and the magic you created with them!

  2. I really like these girls, amazing triplets.

  3. Ditto and ditto--love them. and so grateful that Mary Nasser pointed me this way on FB--somehow I missed earlier. They pull me right in.


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