Hi! Thanks for visiting the StencilGirl® blog and checking out my first official post as a member of their Creative Team!
My roots are in cloth...I started sewing as a kid, making doll clothes out of old socks, mending and embroidering my own jeans and shirts, then moved on to making my own clothes when I was about 11. My mother was a quilter and basket maker, and my sister a home economics teacher, so they were both strong influences on me. I became a fabric designer and worked in New York's Garment Center for many years, then later transitioned to newspaper layout design.
For as long as I can remember, during school classes, business meetings or long phone calls, I have always doodled. I usually end up with swirly, leafy shapes and dots. Time permitting, I add some checks and diamonds and turn my little 3-inch sticky-note drawings into Zentangles.
For my StencilGirl® Design Team debut, I decided to embrace my roots and instincts, work with my favorite colors and shapes, and create a giant, doodle-inspired geometric painting. I pulled out a 12"x12" canvas, my drawing pencil, my favorite colors, and got to work.
First, I sketched out the basic design: a giant doodle similar to the sticky note doodles taped in my idea journal. Knowing that the paint would obscure the pencil lines, I went over them with a magenta non-watercolor colored pencil, which would get covered by paint but still be slightly visible--a trick I learned from a Jane Davenport video.
Next, I mixed up my favorite acrylic paint colors and started filling in the shapes. I didn't pre-plan where I would place the colors, I threw caution to the wind and went with my instincts. Along with my favorite shade of turquoise, I added a darker and lighter turquoise, a lime green, and a buttery yellow. I debated about adding other colors but decided to keep it harmonious. Here are some of my painting process steps:
|Step by step process of adding color to the design.|
When the colored shapes were in place, the overall effect was nice but very flat. I decided to add some freehand yellow brush strokes and spots of color to liven it up.
|The painting, before any stencils were added.|
Next, I looked through my StencilGirl® collection to find just the right designs to enhance the painting. It was hard to choose! I wanted to add texture, contrast, and visual interest to my painting with stencils.
|An assortment of StencilGirl® designs were considered for adding interest to the painting.|
Using blue painter's tape and deli paper, I masked off around the shape I wanted to fill, then slowly and carefully applied black Archival Ink through several StencilGirl®stencils using a finger dauber. Sooooo much easier and neater than hand-drawing the tiny squares, diamonds, and dots on my little sticky note Zentangles!
Here are a few photos of my stenciling process:
The last stencil I added was a little circle with an x through it that was part of the Stencil Club January 2019 set, called "Mash Up"
designed by Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter. It's amazing that such a tiny little shape, spotted around the painting, was the stencil that really tied the whole painting together!
|The almost finished painting|
After all the stencils were added, it was almost done. But... the painting looked like it still needed some more texture. I have long admired the abstract paintings of Danish artist MiMano. Her paintings have bold, splashy color and great detail made with tiny dots and lines. Thinking of MiMano's style, I decided to add some small dots by hand with a Bic white-out pen, green and turquoise TomBow markers, along with black, lime, and turquoise Nuvo drops. The small accents of Nuvo add some shine and dimension and made the final painting sparkle. Here are some detail shots of the dotted and stenciled areas:
|Detail shots of the stenciling and hand-painted dots|
While searching through my files, I discovered one of my first textile designs, made in my senior year of college (quite a few decades ago)! I had made my own silkscreens--carefully lining up the screens for each of the three colors--and printing them on white cotton with thickened dye. It bears a striking similarity to this painting, which makes me think that the next step will be to send the design to Spoonflower, print some yardage, and make myself a summer dress!
Mixed Media & Fiber Art Blog
Stencil Club, March 2019, by Ann Butler, large stencil
|One of my first textile designs (left) bears a striking similarity to my latest painting (right)|
Stencil Club, January 2019, Mash Up by Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter, medium stencil
Stencil Club, April 2013, Stitchery by Mary Beth Shaw, medium stencil
Grove Street by Nathalie Kalbach
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