Hi, everyone! Nancy Curry here! Every once in a while I showcase my art and stencils here, but this time I’ve gone in a different direction. Yes, I love all my treble designs and use them on a regular basis <shameless plug>, but I am fangirling at a high frequency over JaneDunnewold’s arrival at StencilGirl. I already have an array to showcase, but once I saw Neighbors in my stash, I knew I wanted to take just that one design on a few spins very similar to a magazine feature I used to enjoy. So with that, I am calling this “With One Stencil” and off we go to my background scrap pile.
I am sure I’m not alone in admitting I have quite a stash from long forgotten play days so that’s no problem. I am looking for choices that have interesting patterning on them as well as varied media use to act as a base for the showcase stencil. Writing this after the fact, I will confess that I made one bad choice that didn’t work well for this type of stencil, but the rest I was really pleased with. But that’s what test drives are for anyway. For variety, I also headed to my deli paper stash and pulled out a hamburger patty sized sheet.
Its no secret that I am a fan of gesso (or secret sauce as I call it) so it became the unanimous choice for medium of the day on all of the samples. My Sofft art sponges are my usual go tos for this type of application, but they seem to have walked off and are now residing in someone else’s studio so I substituted a basic cosmetic sponge. Why I chose gesso over white acrylic is really because I have more control with how much contrast I want by building up layers. All but the hamburger patty deli have 3-4 thin, pounced layers of gesso with a dry time of 5 minutes in between and a final dry time of about 30 minutes. The deli only needed two coats.
Once the gesso was dry it was time to see if the vision in my head would work on my paper choices. I began with the teal National Geographic page already transformed with CitraSolv (I’m obsessed with this process so there’s a plethora of work on my site). I love the stark contrast between the organic background and Jane’s gessoed design and feel that they work well together because of their modern feel. To finish it, I used an old solid stamp to add some paint to the space between the houses and then added my stamp design, betwixt. I layered it onto white textured paper and it’s now in a 10” x 10” square frame from my favorite place, IKEA.
From here I moved onto my ode to pointillism on the hamburger patty deli paper. I do this technique all the time, but this is the first time I added media with the stencil in place. Why the change? For this design I wanted a big contrast between the open parts of the stencil and the remainder of the houses in the closed area. I made some spray dye up from reinkers (but you can use any commercial dye spray) and used two colors, Wild Plum and Raisin (a lighter and darker pink/red) and Walnut ink.
Once dry, I removed the stencil and mounted the deli paper to white cardstock with ScorTape. I began detailing by adding some greenish brown Distress Antique Linen stain to represent foliage with my fingers and a tinge of the more opaque Green Gold Golden High Flow. Toothpick detailed flowers in white and yellow, a yellow- centered flower between the houses, and my handwritten musing made this one come alive for me.
I am comfortable creating in the whimsical genre so this one was a no-brainer. In my head it’s a fun walk through the posies on the most perfect day ever. I think that mood translated to this piece.
The glossy black cardstock that had at one point been distressed with splotches of gesso and other renderings was a bit of a challenge because of the amount of white already in the background. I chose it just for that challenge. I adore black and white anything so I decided to nix the pop of color and just add stamped verbiage in the center. I needed a gift for a special gal (and fellow creative) so this was finished off and spiral bound as a small journal befitting a new high school graduate. This one was hard to let go so I hope she enjoys it!
The other dark background paper I chose was a mixture of browns and some teal sprayed onto matte poster board. I think that this one was the best out of all of the choices from my stash because the dark had a lot of visual interest that still was dark. The gesso pops off of this page and is the perfect backdrop for Lori Franklin’s Choose Joy sentiment (Rubbermoon). I finished this one off in a card format, layering with teal and brown coordinating paper. I wonder who the recipient will be.
Even on a blog post I didn’t play it safe. You need to know what works well, medium well, and what doesn’t showcase designs before you really “know” your stencil. My final test drive and biggest challenge was to use the very rainbow-like watercolor paper. I made a conscious choice to keep most of the rainbow color by not gessoing the center portion of the stencil. That made it harder to get the contrast I wanted so I used a Sharpie to delineate the other halves of the houses. It did take a couple of layers of the Sharpie to equal the gesso, but I did finally get what I wanted.
To finish it off, I added one of my stamps and an all time favorite quote in black below. I have not decided how I will finish it off. The color queen and purveyor of play herself, Carolyn Dube, would know. I’ll need to audition some choices during my next play date. For now, it’s resting comfortably in the number one position in my UFO pile.
I cannot tell you how much fun I had immersing in this one design. It’s modern, playful feel really lends itself to varied interpretations. These were just the tip of my iceberg. A shout out to Jane who really set the bar with these releases. I hope my imagination did them justice.
For more of my wanderings, follow me on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @ Nancy Curry Art.
If you want the whole enchilada, you can find me at nancycurry.com and that will link you to social media, classes, and lots of galleries to inspire.