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Art, Business and Balance + 3 Amazing New Stencils in the Shop

 

Can We Talk?

Nothing like starting out with the truth. After last weeks post, I had some second thoughts that I should have told you how I was being paid for featuring Heidi and her shop. Um, I’m NOT. I did that feature (and will do future ones too) for FREE. Nothing, Nada. Zero.

I spent my time and effort all for the fun and joy and humanity of doing it. Interested in having your own feature? Just send me a note and we’ll get started. Now, that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about some more true things.

The weekly newsletter is from today going to be a monthly newsletter. (If you haven’t, you can sign up here.) It’ll be a little longer and include goodies for you like free product downloads, subscriber discounts and early product releases the first week of the month. If there’s something super exciting in the studio in the meantime, you may get an interim quick update as well. Of course, those are likely to be more random, but there’s the fun of it!

Wondering why the sudden change? The true reason is the toll on my own art and creativity is too high. I committed to weekly mailings for a year and I’ve done that and more but my studio time and artistic output has suffered greatly. So, I’m making the decision to cut back the schedule and focus on making more art. That means more creative stuff to share with you!

If you want to keep up with the new projects and behind the scenes, let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to see you there!

Taking the time to really look at art and business and personal time balance and telling the truth of it is how we all make creative progress – whether it’s purely personal or as a tiny business. It’s no good if it’s not fulfilling.

New Things in the Shop!

I know you’ve been eyeing these NEW stencils – I have too! They’re heavy duty, easy to clean Mylar, made in the USA and ready to ship from the studio. I especially love these gears and have an idea for a journal cover. See how fancy they are!

Thanks for taking this walk with me…

Monette

PS Long made short: Have your own shop feature (NO payment required!); the newsletter becomes monthly to make more time for art; NEW stencils in the shop; you’re awesome!

New Stencils in the Shop

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Stencils for Fast and Easy Effects – Video Demonstration

It’s no secret that I love and use stencils in my mixed media paintings. While many are my own custom designs, I also studio trial stencils from the shop to make sure they’re going to make your art more beautiful too.

These tag shaped stencils are a lovely discovery. Because they’re graphic and distinctive, they really add a nice sharpness and clarity to a project. I sometimes find my mixed media projects going a little fuzzy and a dose of graphic contrast is a great fix for that.

Here’s a quick demonstration of the Dress Form Tag Shaped stencil from the shop. The stencil design is 6 inches long  by 3.25 inches wide – a good size for smaller projects. They also work well either as a standalone design or as a supporting component where you use only parts of the stencil elements.

There are three designs in this series and they all play well together!

 

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Shine On Shops: Introducing CreateJoyGifts on Etsy

Hey! I Found a New Shop You Might Like


Introducing: CreateJoyGifts

You know I have my own shop (OK, shops, plural) but, another thing I love is helping other shop owners. So, I’m starting a series of shop features to bring you even more great creative supplies and materials. Our first Shine On Feature is Heidi Parmenter of CreateJoyGifts.

Like so many of us, Heidi came to starting her shop after other pursuits including business and momhood. Now, she’s reclaimed her artistic side and founded CreateJoyGifts to share her creative joy with the world. She makes fabulous handmade journals and offers a carefully curated collection of repurposed and upcycled supplies to inspire your creativity.

Check out these Travelers Notebooks – with inserts! – from her shop. This bold floral is my favorite, but there are several to choose from and everyone of them is completely unique and handmade. I’m pretty sure she worked over the weekend to get them
ready, so take a look at all this gorgeousness!

Another awesome thing about Heidi is that she discovers and thoughtfully collects vintage and unusual materials and puts them together into unique and interesting collections. I really love this nautical themed set she’s put together. That’s not all either, she has a knack for finding interesting things like this set of vintage game materials – think Clue and those Yahtzee score sheets that you never used – that you can use in your own mixed media and journal projects.

Head on over to the CreateJoyGifts shop and see what wonderful goodies Heidi has for you!

Do you know someone (how about you?) who should be featured? Let me know and we’ll talk about it!

Shine On: CreateJoyGifts






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Easy Stencil Solutions to Boring Art

How do you feel about stencils? Personally, I’m a fan!

Artful Stencils

Stencils add amazing complexity and patterns to your work without hours of numbing effort. By choosing your stencils carefully, you lay the foundation of a coherent and beautiful finished work. Patterns and textures work together to allow you to build on your own personal imagery and express your distinct style.

So, how do you combine different stencils so they work together instead of being a hot mess?

Choosing

I limit myself to three stencils and usually only one or two. Too many patterns – especially if they’re distinctive – starts to look mechanical instead of artful. Sometimes one really nice pattern is all you need. I like this brocade pattern and use it frequently.

When combining stencils, look for contrast in the sizes of the elements and the quality of the patterns and textures: linear vs organic, regular vs random, etc.

 

Placing

I like to use only parts of the stencil pattern on the paper. I’ll usually choose a portion of the pattern and place it carefully. Then, shift the stencil and use another part somewhere else on the paper. I seldom stencil the entire surface with any one pattern because it’s more interesting and visually appealing to have the patterns appear and disappear.

As you place your stencils, look for chances to highlight the focal point of your work and parts of the stencils your eye is drawn to. If you’re layering contrasting stencils, test the layered effect before you commit to your work because it doesn’t always look like you expect!

 

Painting

My experience is a lighter hand applying paint is best for several reasons. One is that it helps keep the stencil edges crisp. More than that, I like to keep my stenciling subtle, both in color and depth of paint. The muted low-key background effect adds a lot of interest without standing out. My favorite tool for paint application is the humble cosmetic sponge.

As you apply your paint, try for a sheer application so that the background is barely covered. Choose colors that are similar to the background or a little lighter or darker to help sink the stenciling into it. As you stencil, you can even wipe away part of it while it’s still damp to help blend it even more.

 

Stencils: Your Secret Tool Kit

I use stencils extensively in my mixed media work. And, I’m currently experimenting with ways to incorporate them into watercolor artwork and even three dimensional works like art dolls. They really are a secret treasure to solve boring art!

Here are some of my favorite stencils from the shop. All of these are sturdy, reusable Mylar, made in the US and in the studio, ready to ship.

 

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Splashy Paint Water Mug Prevents a Nasty Surprise!

Let’s set aside all that sensible advice about not eating or drinking when you paint – because, really, who does that?

How many times have you almost dipped your brush in your drink mug? Or, maybe you’ve even grabbed the wrong mug to actually drink from? Me too…

Here’s your solution – a splashy, happy mug especially for your paint water.