Monday, August 10, 2020

Art Journaling Summer Memories with StencilGirl® Stencils

Hi there! It's Marsha Valk, and I have a new column to share with you today!

As you know, English is not my first language, and sometimes I come across words that do not seem to mean the same thing in Dutch (anymore) or for which we have other, more frequently used, words.

The word 'passage' seems to be such a word.

When I think of 'Passages', the current theme, I first and foremost think of either an excerpt of a book/poem or a specific kind of mall. And, secondly of a murder trial in the Netherlands, the passage trial.

The Dutch dictionary tells me you could also use it in terms of crossing water by boat, however, maybe I don't go on enough boat rides, because in Dutch I would never use 'passage' in that context.

Lastly, there is the meaning of traffic and traverse. Again, in Dutch, I would never speak in terms of 'passage' here, however, somehow the idea of people passing by or passing through something (a narrow passage?) stuck with me.

Funnily enough, searching for images of the mall type passage online lead me to pictures of mountain passes, alleyways and archways in the digital archives of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. And that's how I came up with the journal page I eventually made!

Passages like that always make me want to know what lies behind it. And, when I find one on my path, I'm bound to photograph it, especially when I get a glimpse of something stunning through the archway!

I only had to leaf through one or two photo books to find a splendid example. And, because I took the photo in sunny Spain a couple of years ago, I felt the urge to dig out an older but not completely filled art journal that I had used one summer.

One of the things I enjoy is gel printing directly into an art journal. The way I go about it is that I mount the gel plate onto an acrylic block or a sheet of mylar and then basically use it as a giant stamp.

In this case, I'm using the photo (printed on computer paper) as a stencil and the gel plate as my stencilling tool.

However, I'm starting with collaging torn book pages to the page in an attempt to tone down a bit of the neon orange that was already there.

Then I'm gel printing through the mask onto the page. Sometimes with a stencil in between, sometimes without.

Please note: I turned the photo face down on the page. This mistake means that I will end up with a reverse image of the original photo! Oh well. It happens.

Next, I'm using the cutouts to mask the already gel printed sections.


I had to add a couple of neutral coloured print layers before I was happy with the coverage.

Then I added lines. My reverse gel print was driving me nuts at this point, so in the end, I also printed a reverse version of the photo help me figure out where the lines should be.

I stencilled in the light and dark parts of the image, this time with the help of a cosmetic sponge.

Lastly, I retraced the lines and added colour, shading and a couple of details with coloured pencils, paint marker and acrylic paint.

That's it!

I loved making this art journal spread. It transported me right back to that moment vacationing in Spain! What summer memory or summer dream would you like to record in your art journal?

Until next time!

Marsha Valk

Stencils used:
Oval Grate by Mary Beth Shaw
Brilliant Start by Mary Beth Shaw
Fragmented Line Columns by Cynthia Silveri
Stone Tilings by Valeri Sjodin
Mid Century Modern Rocks and Leaves by Jennifer Evans
Layers of Scallops by Mary Beth Shaw
Diamond Facets 1 Small by Carol Wiebe 
Face It by Daniella Woolf

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