Tuesday, March 9, 2021

"Enchanted Garden" - a mixed media pastiche by Sue Plumb

Hi Stencil Lover!
Sue Plumb here today to share my latest project for the StencilGirl® Creative Team. For today's project, I was tasked with the theme "Pastiche". If you haven't been following the team projects that have come before me, then you may not be familiar with the term? Simply put, a pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, theatre, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.

I began by choosing the work of an artist whose work I find not only beautiful but also incredibly inspiring. Being Australian, I couldn't go past picking a fellow Aussie, so the artist I chose was Clair Bremner. Clair creates paintings that are inspired by nature, and she uses an amazing combination of both color and form to translate the things she sees into stunning works of art. I had long wanted to try working in Clair's style, so this provided me the perfect opportunity.

Here's a sample of Clair's work from her online gallery so you can see her style...

I chose this example of Clair's work, as I decided to use a similar color palette and materials. I chose watercolor paper for my substrate (A3 size), and like Clair, I worked with acrylics.

Here's my piece, I entitled "Enchanted Garden"...

I used a combination of brayer, silicone spatula, and brush to apply my base colors to the page. I worked in a random fashion, but unlike Clair's piece, I left some white space as I like the balance between busy and clean. 

With the base colors down on the page, it was then time to begin building the layers. The first stencil I chose was 
Bouquet Greenery by Wendy Brightbill. This 9x12" stencil features large leafy branches, which I thought would work for trees in the scale I was working in. I used Naples Yellow paint from Monte Marte to provide a contrast to the background colors and applied the paint using a stippling technique with a brush.

Next, I moved onto some Dusky Pink paint and the Playful Petals stencil designed by Jennifer Evans. I masked off a small section of the stencil and used the same stippling technique to add some groups of petals that I thought would make great bushes. 

At this point I felt my painting needed a little more "light", so I chose white paint for my next layer. The stencil I used was June Pfaff Daly's Inspired by Frida stencil. Once again, I masked off a small section of the stencil, this time a leafy branch, and used it to add some branches into my layers, making sure to overlap them with other portions of my design to help add depth to the piece. 

While I was using the white paint, I also added some sweet little fern branches in the foreground using the Maidenhair Fern stencil by Rae Missigman. I adore the whimsical style of the fern branches on this stencil and thought it was perfect as part of my tribute to Clair's work. 

The final stencil I used was the super cute Daisies 6 by Terri Stegmiller. In order to be able to be very controlled with my placement, I masked off a single daisy and used Marine (a very dark blue) to add a few flowers around the page. (Because this stencil design was a little more delicate, I simply painted through the stencil with a small flat brush rather than stippled with the larger brush.)

Once all the painted layers were in place, I used a black Sharpie, white Sharpie, and a Stabilo All pencil to add the finishing touches to my page. This was simply a case of adding a combination of small marks and lines over the top of the paint. (Make sure the paint is totally dry before doing this, or you will completely ruin the tip of your pens!)

I am so happy with how this piece turned out, and I really hope I did justice to Clair's amazing style. You can view more of Clair's work on her website: http://www.clairbremnerart.com/

If you would like to watch me create this painting, I have a video of my process available:

IF the video does not show up on your phone, please try:

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

You can also find me on my channels here:


  1. I really enjoyed watching you at work in your video. I love how you incorporated elements from so many stencils. And I love your finished work. Thanks for sharing your techniques!

    1. Thank you so much Terry, I really appreciate your feedback and am so glad you enjoyed the video.


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