Hi, everyone! This is Margaret Peot, and I'm delighted to be here with a guest post for StencilGirl Talk!
I work at a costume shop painting fabric for Broadway theater and dance costumes and utilized the studio there to get creative with spraying acrylic paint thinned with water in Prevals along with the following stencils:
- Trio of Houses by Carolyn Dube
- Black Birds in Trees by Kimberly Baxter Packwood
- Spring Garlic by Daniella Woolf
I wanted to use spray texture to give the stencils I chose a sense of atmosphere. I wasn’t sure exactly sure what I wanted to create with them at first, so I played around with them on some scrap stretch fabric:
And painted a large wooden charger with two of them, using narrow tape and lots of masking:
I painted some other technique samples, and thought I was done with what I wanted to do for the blog post. But the image that stuck with me was this piece of brown kraft paper that had been part of my table covering while I played with the stencils—I had used the brown paper to protect my table, and also to test things and blot off stencils while I worked. There was something about it that seemed so evocative and lonely:
I cut it out of my table covering and took it to my home studio to think about. And decided I wasn’t done playing with this trio of stencils. I took some Rives BFK paper in to work and painted a whole set of prints with them:
I sprayed one side of the stencils, and flipped the wet stencils to make a print, spraying through the flipped stencil:
I scumbled and dabbed and sprayed until I had a collection of images, and decided to use them to make a paper diorama: a tatebanko/paper theater/collage picture. Tatebanko is the Japanese art of paper dioramas. Traditional tatebanko was popular in 17th century Japan, and the paper figures of the diorama as well as the box they came in were all made of cut and folded paper. My diorama elements are stenciled heavy-weight paper, but the box I am using is made of wood.
(Paper theater and Tatebanko images for inspiration:
12” x 12” unfinished Artists Panel, with a 2” deep cradle (I of course flipped it over, and used the “back” to be the holder of my diorama)
Rives BFK paper, white
Scotch brand Extra Strength Adhesive Roller
I set this brown paper print in the box to be the background:
I cut apart the prints that I made at work, leaving tabs on the sides of things where I could, and putting spaces on the back with scrap heavy paper to help the layers stand away from each other:
I added and cut and placed things in the box until I was ready to nail it all down with extra strength adhesive roller.
The Trio of Houses stencil and the branches in the Black Birds stencil were ideal for this technique as the negative space could be cut away in places to show depth in the box:
And of course a paper theater would not be complete without a star, so I added this running raccoon: a hinged paper doll that is drawn on the same Rives BFK of the rest of the diorama, and hinged together with small metal brads, and running through the Spring Garlic stencil!
Margaret is an artist, writer and costume painter. Margaret’s books include two shareable coloring books, Let’s Color Together, with Sourcebooks and two Color, Punch Out and Play Sets with Pomegranate Publishing: Tea Party and Museum Visit. Other books include Stencil Craft: Techniques for Fashion, Art and Home (F&W), Crow Makes a Friend (Holiday House), Inkblot: Drip, Splat and Squish Your Way to Creativity, and more.
Margaret has painted costumes at Parsons-Meares, LTD for more than twenty years. Projects include Broadway (Aladdin, The Lion King, Wicked, Turn Off the Dark, among many others), dance, circus, arena and ice shows. She has taught costume painting, presented lectures on making a living as an artist, and also led art workshops for cancer survivors, elders, children, parent and teen groups, writers, nurses and caregivers, all over the United States.
For more information, please visit her website: