Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quotation Art using Artistcellar Stencils

In 2014 we had an especially brutal winter here in New England.  I somehow ended up in bed with a cold that resulted in pneumonia.  I will be the first to say that I am not a good patient but on the bright side this gave me an opportunity to watch (translated:  sleep through) some old movies that I had missed over the years.  One that I watched several times was called “In Her Shoes”.  My favorite part of this movie is when, at the end of the movie, Cameron Diaz recites an e.e. cummings poem called “i carry your heart with me”.  Of course when I came out of my stupor I had to research this poet and read many of his poems.  This is still my favorite poem of his and it is what inspired several collages from me.  E.E. Cummings liked to break the rules when it came to grammar and punctuation.  This poem was written in lower case letters so I honored that when I rewrote his poem on my canvas.  I added hearts to the canvas to remind me how deeply this poem  touched me.  I left the machine stitched threads to represent how it tugged at my heart strings.

1.  To begin, use a palette knife or an old credit card to apply a thin layer of gesso to the watercolor paper and allow it to dry.  When it is thoroughly dry, use a brayer to apply Tsukineko’s Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves ink; blend this with a baby wipe.

2.  Choose an image of a girl out of a magazine or use a stencil to sketch the silhouette of a girl in the right corner of the canvas.  This can be done with an STABILO Aquarellable pencil which when activated with water will create shading naturally.  Paint the image of the girl in with white acrylic paint, if you would like a little color on the image just blend in some Gelatos with your finger and then paint over it.  Clean your brush off on the canvas randomly, applying the white paint where it seems to need a little brightening.  Outline the girl’s image with a Fude Ball pen in a sketchy fashion.

3.  Use the Dylusions stencil Chequered Dots from Artistcellar to apply Memento LUXE Teal Zeal dots in different places on canvas.
4.  Paint black Chalkboard paint around the image, this will be used to write on later.  Allow it to dry completely.  Write the words of the poem on the chalkboard paint using a white Gelly Roll pen.
5.  Stamp Dina Wakley’s Grunge Heart on a separate piece of watercolor paper using Rocket Red Brillance ink, heat emboss it with red embossing powder.  Tear out the hearts and distress the edges with Memento Luxe Espresso Truffle ink.    Sew straight down the middle of each heart on the sewing machine and allow the long threads to remain long and uncut.

6.  The girl’s dress was lightly colored with DWM Ruby Red paint.  When the paint dried I started applying additional gesso with stencils randomly.  I used the Artistcellar Chunky Chevron stencil in several spots.  When the gesso had dried completely I rubbed Interference Blue paint on her dress a few other spots on the canvas.
7.  Using a strong adhesive I glued the three hearts in the top left corner allowing the “heart strings’ of thread to hang down.  A heart was glued on the image and enhanced with “irRESISTible” Lady Bug colored texture spray. 

8.  The Chequered Dots stencil from Dylusions was carefully placed on the hearts and other random spots and heavy gesso was gingerly applied then the stencil lifted straight up to prevent smearing.
9.  To finish the canvas the edges were distressed with Memento Luxe Espresso Truffle ink.

Products Used

  • Artistcellar:   Dylusions Chequered Dots stencil; Julie Fei-Fan Balzer Mini Chunky Chevron stencil
  • Strathmore 140# Water color paper (measures 11” by 15”)
  • Gesso
  • IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Inks:  Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves ink, Archival Brilliance ink in Rocket Red, Memento Luxe Espresso Truffle and Teal Zeal, “irRESISTible” Lady Bug colored texture spray
  • DWM Acrylic Paint Ruby Red
  • Golden Acrylics Interference Blue
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Fude Ball black permanent pen, Gelly Roll White pen, STABILO Aquarellable pencil
  • Brayer
  • Dina Wakley Grunge Heart Stamp
  • Palette knife
  • Baby Wipes
  • (optional:  orange Gelatos)
This is a copy of the article that I wrote that recently appeared in Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Somerset Studio magazine.  If you are near a Barnes & Noble bookstore you can check it out!  I did redo the piece that is featured in the article but this is the step by step process showing how I made the original canvas .

Thanks so much for stopping by, I'll see you next Tuesday with more stenciling ideas.  Stay warm ~ Renee


  1. This is wonderful Renee,beautifully made. Love the Dina Wakley vibe to it,perfect ;)

    Hoping you feel better now

    Big hugs
    Donna xxx

  2. I always love watching your process for your creative works. This turned out beautifully!

  3. Beautiful Renee ! I love the pop of red !
    Corrie x

  4. I love this, Renee! Great story behind it, and fab instructions.

  5. You are such a pro. Love this. I love that movie.

  6. Very hip and COOL, and love that you drew her! Impressive...great color too!

  7. What a gorgeous piece Renee!! And I love the step out- you have inspired me!!
    Hope you stay well this winter! xo

  8. A wonderful canvas, Renee! The background texture and interest is bold, but does not overtake your lovely image! There's an art (pun intended) to figuring that out! Great (clear and easily understood) tute here!