Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Guest Designer: Sandra Preston

As an abstract mixed media artist, I like to use stencils for inspiration to start to fill the white canvas. Sometimes they will be very obvious once the work is completed. Other times I will build a lot of texture on top of them and they will be barely noticeable. I also like to use stencils to finish off a piece.
I will show you how I do both in this post.
I’m using two 6-inch X 6-inch Ampersand boards that are already coated with gesso.

1. The first thing I do is gesso the other four sides of the boards so that I can extend the painting around them. I’m using gesso made by Golden. Normally, I will not have as many layers of media on the sides as I do on the top of the board. So sometimes the sides will reveal how I began the piece using the stencil as inspiration.
(In this photo the boards are sitting on top of bed risers.)
2. I’m using Golden heavy body and fluid acrylics.
3. Let the Paint dry and then add Mary Beth Shaw's Eddy Rose stencil. This stencil is a favorite of mine.
I interpret it as both astronomical and as flowers. I get the best result with a stencil when working on a flat, dry surface with a dry stencil and paint that is not too watered down.
The paint had not quite dried before I stenciled over it and this makes the pattern a bit more abstract, which I also like. I also stencil on the top side and at the top of the left and right sides of each board (not shown here).
I’m leaving the bottom side for my signature.
4. Next I add some collage elements including paper cut from the inside of business envelopes, some oriental text, some purchased paper, and some words cut from a book. I glue these down (right) using Golden’s polymer gloss medium. I use the same elements on each surface so they can hang together or stand alone.
In the end they can be moved around to find the most interesting way to display them together.
5. I add some Golden light molding paste by using a strip of heavy cloth with holes in it. Let it dry.
6. Then I added Daniella Woolf's Basket stencil and some gold paint.
I used the stencil in an area where there is not much texture.
Towards the end of this blog I will show you how to apply a stencil when there is lots of texture. 
7. Then I add a few more collage pieces of handmade paper that I painted earlier and some store-bought paper. This photo also shows how the sides are looking with only the first few steps showing.
8. I add more stencil to the sides and some additional paint to both the sides and the top.
This stencil is Carolyn Dube's Field of Eyes Layer Me stencil, and it is staple of mine.
Here’s how the sides are looking.
9. Stamps from Stampin’ Up! are used on each piece.
10. I add more paint to cover the molding paste and then I add Americana Triple Thick Gloss by DecoArt to cover both the top and sides.
11. Then using Liquitex gel gloss and a different stencil, I add a dragonfly moon to each piece. This stencil is Roxanne Evans Stout's Moon Gazer stencil. Leave the stencil on because next you will apply the paint over the gel gloss and you don’t want to have to try to get the stencil back on to do that like I had to do.
Here’s the dragonfly with the gloss gel applied. 
12. Here I’m applying iridescent white over the top of the gel and stencil. The gel helps to hold the paint within the stencil. I got this tip from Sandra Duran Wilson, in her workshop entitled Texture Trifecta, which I attended this past weekend at the Ampersand factory in Buda, Texas.
Here are the finished pieces, which can be rearranged to hang together however they speak to you.
I like using the dark lines to line them up. I think I will name them “It takes a village I and II.”

My pieces are enriched by the use of other’s designs and I’m very grateful to be able to add elements, such as Stencil Girl’s stencils, to give me inspiration, help finish the piece, and increase interest.

These pieces and more are available at my website

P.S. Here’s how a some of the sides turned out.


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