Monday, February 11, 2019

Monoprinting a Still Life with StencilGirl® Stencils

Hi there! It’s Marsha Valk here today, and I’m excited to share a new column with you!

This month’s StencilGirl® Creative Team Inspiration theme is Stencil on Food. Which is a lot of fun and it reminded me of Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography, a current exhibition at FOAM Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam.

Ouka Leele - Peluqueria, Limones at FOAM, Amsterdam
Food in photography and food in art, in general, is hardly ever about the food depicted. It’s about symbolism. About culture, rituals and tradition. It’s about social class and current affairs. It’s about health and indulgence. It’s about identity, image and lifestyle.

Floris Claesz van Dijck - Still Life With Cheese at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Just think about the food photography you see on social media. That’s as much about sharing/showing off (the pretty part of) a lifestyle as the still lifes of sumptuous meals the wealthy commissioned the old masters to paint in the 17th century.

Even cookbooks aren’t about cooking. Not really. They are about hopes, dreams and perspective. Cookbooks published after WOII were full of photos of food and feasts, while in reality people still had to deal with food shortages.

And, I can personally say that when I buy a new cookbook or a food magazine, it usually is because I want to change my eating habits because I want to hold on to vacation memories, or simply because the styling and the photos inspire me.

Cookbooks not only inspire me to cook food, but they also give me photography and colour palette ideas. I’ve even used recipes to inspire, and I’ve used cookbook pages as collage material.

I also keep a couple of retro ones because I love the illustrations.

For my project, I had two things in mind. The first thing was that I found quite a few fun food-related stencils and masks in the StencilGirl® collection and I wanted to create a still life with them.

The second was that I wanted to see if I could monoprint with the masks the ‘old fashion way’, using block printing inks and without the help of my gel printing plate. Watch the video to see me create!

It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Block printing ink takes longer to dry than acrylic paints. I had to be very careful not to smudge and smear anything.

It was a super fun experiment though and, I hope you give it a go too. Don't forget to share your still lifes with us on Instagram by using #stencilgirl. We would love to see them!

Until next time,

Marsha Valk

Stencils and masks shown in the video:
Slices 6 Stencil by Terri Stegmiller
Deconstructed Cabbage Rose Stencil and Mask by Traci Bautista
Deconstructed Della Robbia Cluster Mask and Stencil by Traci Bautista
Sea of Grapes Stencil by Rae Missigman
Angelic Angel Fish Stencil by Jane Dunnewold
Line Waves Stencil by Trish McKinney
Pomegranate Seeds Grape Apple Flower Mask by Valerie Sjodin

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