“A dream is your creative vision for your life. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”I love the quote above, it really resonates with me when it comes to having a vision for something. I wouldn’t say that I am completely comfortable working with stencils but I am becoming pretty comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. I didn’t use stencils for a long time because the word “perfection” kept coming to mind and that word is not even in my wheelhouse.
I have come to love stencils for the tools they are, doorways to new exciting adventures, paths to the unknown and discoveries for the unfamiliar. I can’t imagine not using them now and the thing I love most about them is not knowing exactly how my vision will turn out and what journey the stencils will take me on.
I created two journals using stencils for both the front and back covers on each of them. On both journals my vision took different turns and I love where the stencils took me on both of the covers.
For the first Journal, “Sweet Bird Sing with Me” I just started with some background color, using acrylic paint. Then I dabbed on some white paint with my brush and some red acrylic paint. I took another brush and made random marks in acrylic teal. Next, I took my pencil and made random marks. Putting something down on paper is a good starting point even if I don’t end up using it. For this journal cover, I used a stencil designed by Artist Judy Wise, called Sister Stencil L051. This stencil is a 9” x 12” size. I placed the stencil in the center and starting at the top, I mixed some white and black paint to place a little gray where her eyes are on the stencil... Next I used black acrylic paint and dabbed it on with a brush in her facial area, eyes (over the gray) and hair. Leaving the stencil in place, I took a little darker blue acrylic paint and dabbed on the rest of the stencil, except her legs where I used a black Posca Pen.
Once the stencil was lifted, you could see the first layers of color which gave her a dress and because I am messy, a few of the splotches on her chest began to take shape and one of them looked like a bird to me, so that’s what I made it.
This is where you can change the look to your own vision. I saw a bird, but you might see hands holding flowers or something else. I added wording to the blue area that outlines her arms because writing gave it more depth and interest for me. On either side of her, I made random brush marks and later used my pencil and pen to outline a few flowers.
I set it aside to dry and cut off the sides to fit my back cover. Next I added a torn piece of collage paper for some color and to get me started. Then I added some teal blue acrylic paint. After adding my colors, I used a stencil designed by Mary Beth Shaw - S575 called “Layers of Scallop”. Before placing it over my colors at the bottom, I gave the bottom of my paper a coat of black paint (over the layers of colors) then I placed the stencil down over it. Using a baby wipe, I wiped off all the black in the exposed area with the stencil still in place and this allowed the bottom layer of colors to show through. Once I lifted the stencil the only black showing was the stencil design.
I love how it turned out, messy, imperfect, a vision of another time. On the sides, I wrote the words: “Sing your Song today. . . before the sweetness fades away”. This is a good example of breaking out of your comfort zone and becoming comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.
For my second journal cover, I chose the 6” X 6” Hearts and Flower Stencil by designer Margaret Applin - S069.
I started by placing random pieces of paper on my cover that I may or may not end up keeping. Next I chose the colors I wanted to use for the background using acrylic paints. Before the paint was dry, I took the end of my brush and made marks through the paint. I ended up covering up most of the paper I glued down except the face which I thought would look fun peeking through the heart. Next, I placed the heart stencil over my background.
Using a brush I applied a couple layers of paint over the different areas on the stencil, starting with the red acrylic paint first. I did not put it on heavy because I still wanted the markings to show through the paint and the face to peek through. For the face, I used a baby wipe to gently remove some of the paint. After lifting off the stencil, I used a brush and added little details to the flowers. Once this was all dry, I used some alpha stamps and stamped the word “Love” on the blue flower petals. On the bottom, I added some contrasting colors and then used a black Posca Pen for some random scribbling.
On the back side of this journal, I wanted my colors to be bold so I painted teal on the cover and then added a torn image from my stash. Once it was dry, I used purple acrylic paint and some magenta acrylic over it and then used the end of my brush to leave some scribble markings.
Next, I added a stencil by Cecilia Swatton called Mikki’s Flowers - Mask S605 to the side of the cover and painted over it with purple and magenta acrylic paint. The mask allowed the teal flowers to remain on the cover.
Next I painted some Magenta acrylic paint over red acrylic paint and added a flower to the top of her head using white paint and a white Posca Pen to make lines on the flower and writing scribbles at the bottom. The writing says: “She always showed up”.I hope my post has inspired you to check out all the amazing stencils and tutorials over at StencilGirl®. You can view my post HERE and while you are there grab some stencils, break out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you!
You can see more of my art on my Blog @ www.KimCollister.com and connect with me on FB and Instagram.