Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Stenciled Poetry Art Journal - The Raven - by Jennifer Gallagher


It's Jennifer Gallagher here with you again, this time with a thematic art journal page for this month's theme 'Stenciled Poetry'. I found this theme quite intriguing and rather difficult. I don't usually create pages in my journal that are based upon anything other than my imagination. Even though it was out of my comfort zone, I was up for the challenge. 

One of my favorite poets is Edgar Allen Poe. After glancing through my ever-growing stencil collection, I knew I had just the right ones to create an homage to 'The Raven'. I did work a little differently than usual, as I found myself going back and forth adding layers in a rather haphazard fashion. I think this was because I was working with a theme, visually speaking. So I'll break it down for you in a way you can follow. Let's get started.

First, I prepared two pages in my journal with a thick coat of clear gesso to prepare it for many layers. After the gesso completely dried, I sprayed both pages with Marabu Art Spray in Reseda and Mint. I smeared it around a little with a wet paintbrush.

Moving quickly before the sprays could dry, I laid down the Dangled Pod Stencil and removed color with a wet baby wipe. I repeated this on both sides. Be advised! You need to move quickly.

I cut out some curved shapes to mimic hillside out of cheap kraft cardstock. I laid it down and with some green paint I mixed from olive and black, I painted some hills onto the left side page.

With Liquitex Basics Acrylics in Bright Aqua Green and Light Blue Violet, I darkened the dangled pods stenciled area to bring it to the foreground. I chose this stencil because it is an organic shape that will create movement across the page.

Next, I laid down the Windswept Tree Mask and the four-inch stencil from the November 2018 club set, I applied vintage photo distress ink all across the left page. 

I had leftover paint from the olive and black mixture that I used earlier. I added more black to it and then placed the tree mask back down and applied the darker paint around the borders of the page.

This six-inch stencil from StencilClub February 2019 set had the perfect section for a winding walkway. I applied Liquitex Basics Quinacridone Magenta through the stencil. I used this color because so far the page is very dark and green. I wanted to add some color that would allow it to pop off the page and be slightly translucent to allow background design to shine through.

On the right-hand page, at the bottom, I added a stone wall with the olive green mixed paint and the September 2018 StencilClub release Caves and Ladders. Next, I added a Window (Window Ledger Stencil) and another stone path in magenta. You'll also notice that at this point I went back over the two pages with the dangled pods stencil and additional layers of Liquitex Basics Light Blue Violet.

I added a raven at the bottom right-hand page with the Three Crows Stencil and black acrylic paint. I then added a touch of black to darken the window design too. I added a layer of vintage photo distress ink to the right page, being sure not to get any on the window as I'll be adding yellow highlights there later.

To add another little background detail, I spritzed a fine mist over the pages. I let it sit for a few seconds and dabbed it carefully with a paper towel. It leaves behind this speckled appearance.

On both pages, I added half a medallion from the StencilClub July 2018 set: Ceramic Tiles in white acrylic paint. I went over the medallions and window with Marabu Art Crayons in sunshine yellow and chili. Next, using white and black gelli roll pens, I added outlines and doodles around most of the images and shapes.

Then on the computer, I printed out a stanza from the poem and fixed it to my pages with matte medium. Then to age it a bit, I rubbed some vintage photo distress ink over them.

That is it for this month. I hope that you find this walk-through inspirational. I know a lot of us tend to stick to what feels safe and comfortable. I do it, too! I would like to encourage you, however, to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe play along with us on this theme and use stencils to create something inspired by poetry. Until next time!

If you would like to see more of my work you can visit my blog or Instagram feed.

Happy Creating,

Jennifer Gallagher


  1. Brilliant! You combined the stencils wonderfully to create the poem”s mood, and chose such a cool poem! Love the way the raven stencil is outlined; it both pops and blends in

  2. I'm delighted you chose Dangled Pods to include with these other StencilGirl stencils, and love the way you used Dangled Pods -- in way that beautifully goes far beyond what I had imagined when I was designing the stencil! :-)

  3. Ah, I love this! “The Raven” is one of my favorite poems. I am glad it isn’t dark and depressing like so many interpretations are. Great job Jennifer!


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