Hello everyone, Ann here today, sharing my new painting entitled “Holding Onto Hope” that incorporates StencilGirl® stencils, paints, copper leaf and patina.
These days it seems, any way you turn there is chaos; so many terrible things happening around the world. Sometimes it's overwhelming and all encompassing; it is during these times that I do my best to get a firm grasp on Hope; hope for a brighter future, hope for peaceful understanding, hope for a more compassionate world. The one constant that I comprehend fully, is that all of these attributes must originate within ourselves; this is the inspiration behind my piece.
Perhaps it is due to my Irish heritage, or maybe it is simply the fact that the stencils are rich in detail and represent the timeless design of stone carvings, but either way, I simply love working with StencilGirl® stencils from Tina Walker. They are based on her travels to Ireland and contain some fabulous images. I have combined two of her stencils, Stone Face and Stone Statue, with Wing Stencil designed by Pam Carriker for StencilGirl®. My vision is to layer these three different stencils to create a whole, and then, experiment with metal leafing medium and copper leaf through the stencils to create an angelic appearance. This is what I consider my "plan".
I begin with a large sheet of Bristol and experiment with layering the pieces, trying to understand what sections will create the foreground and how I will fade into the background. I have a "thing" for scale, and I realize that the stone head is a bit small for the statue and wings; however, by adjusting the placement, I believe I should be able to make it fall into place. Using ink and a foam blending pad, I ink through the stencils to create my initial layout.
Once I have the layout correct as I envision it, I go with it. Over my inked concept, I create a background of layers of paints and collage. Then I use the paints to highlight the areas beneath where the focal image will be. Once the layers have dried, I begin to add the stencil images back onto the page with paint and a foam wedge. I am careful to add the buff paint sparingly, and set aside to dry completely.
The next layer focuses only on the wings. Shifting the stencil a bit off of the painted images previously applied, I apply metal leaf medium (adhesive) through the stencil's openings. Once the medium is tacky, I lay pieces of copper leaf over the medium and burnish. Next I use a stippling brush to remove the sections of copper leaf that are not adhered, and brush them away from the surface.
I want to give the copper on the wings a subtle patina. To do this I add a bit of patina solution onto the copper details using a paint brush.
The result was a bit more aggressive than I anticipated; however, I like the way that areas of the copper remained among the patina covered areas.
I repeat the leafing process through the stencil once more, focusing on the areas where the patina solution completely dissolved the leafing, to add back a bit of shine.
I also "draw" lines with the adhesive to create a halo effect, as well as draw a bit of attention to the carving at the top of the angel's head and add the copper leaf in the same manner as initially.
When I have achieved the desired effect, I add some of the lines from Emily Dickinson's poem "Hope" along the top of her wings.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
I am thrilled to be sharing this piece with you today. When StencilGirl® asked if I would like to do a guest post, I was truly honored. My name is Ann Barnes, some of you may know me from my blog aksbarchitectCREATES. I am an architect and an artist, as well as a mom. I currently design for a few design teams and love experimenting with different mediums and finding unexpected outcomes. In addition to my blog, you can find me on Instagram (@aksbarchitect) and Facebook (Ann Sullivan Barnes). Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today. My heartfelt gratitude to StencilGirl® for allowing me this opportunity.
StencilGirl® stencils used:
Stone Face (S696) by Tina Walker
Stone Statue (L737) by Tina Walker
Wing stencil (L065) by Pam Carriker