Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Real Deal - a mixed media artwork by Sue Plumb

Hello stencil lover!

It's Sue Plumb here today to share my latest project created for the StencilGirl® Creative Team. This time around the team was challenged to "Frame It or Fill It With Circles". I decided to go with "frame it" and create a lovely mixed media piece with the intention of framing it to display in my home. 

The artwork I created was a good example of how plans can change once you start working on a piece. Initially, my intention was to create something that was A4 sized; but through the evolution of my process, I ended up with a finished piece that was 12x12" instead. That's what happens when you follow the creative flow!

I began my project with one particular stencil in mind - Strength Face by Pam Carriker. I knew I wanted to create something that featured a face as the focal point, and after looking through all my stencils, this was the one I kept coming back to. Every time I looked at it I immediately thought of John Lennon (I think it is the circle around the eye that makes me think of the glasses he used to wear); so I knew that I wanted to capture that by incorporating something musical into my piece as well. 

I started with my background, using Distress Oxides to create a watercolor effect. I simply swiped the ink pads onto my non-stick mat, spritzed with a little water, and then placed the cardstock over the top to absorb the ink. I started with 'Faded Jeans' then repeated the process with 'Iced Spruce' over the top. I love the moody, mottled effect I got on the page.

Next, I turned my attention to the "frame it" theme, choosing to frame my page with a matching border, also in "Iced Spruce" Distress Oxide. I chose the 9x12" stencil from the January 2019 StencilClub set designed by Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter. I used the section of the stencil that features a long row of soft-edged squares and stenciled the pattern around each edge using a sponge dauber.

Next, I reached for a music paper stamp and used black ink to lightly stamp the motif randomly around my page; taking care not to press too heavily (I didn't want a "perfect" image).

I then turned my attention to creating the focal point of my page using that amazing face stencil designed by Pam Carriker, aptly called Strength Face. I continued with the black ink and stenciled the face in the lower right corner of my page, again using a sponge dauber. 

I then added the third Distress Oxide color I had chosen - "Seedless Preserves", by mixing a little with some water and then using a small brush to paint some contrasting color across and around the face. 

Once I had the focal image in place I knew my page needed some texture. I wanted to keep the texture subtle however so I chose the Starlight 6x6" stencil designed by Lesley Riley and used it to apply some gold texture paste using a palette knife. The combination of this stencil and the paste created stunning, fine golden details; which I cascaded down and across from the top left corner of the page. I also moved the stencil around to add some extra randomly placed detail.

I was extremely happy with how the layers were looking together at this point, but it was right about now that my plan for this piece took a bit of a turn. To further reinforce the "Frame It" theme, I decided to mount my existing A4 sized piece onto a sheet of 12x12" colored cardstock. I wanted to keep the frame size consistent around though, which meant that I had space alongside left to fill. I found a sheet of music paper from my stash and tucked it underneath the edge to balance the page. 

To finish off, I found a pack of die cuts that featured lots of floral pieces in colors that matched, as I wanted to use the flowers to bring some softness to the piece. 

The die cuts in the pack also featured some gold foil pieces, which tied nicely in with the stenciled gold details I had added earlier.

I couldn't resist popping a few butterflies on there - three of them (of course, I must have balance!) Finally, to finish off, and smooth the transition between my original A4 piece and the additional sheet of music paper, I added a clear floral sticker and I was done.

I popped the completed piece into a white 12x12" shadow box frame and now it proudly adorns a space in my home.

Thanks for stopping by so I could share this with you today. Until next time, happy creating!

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