Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Curmudgeon

Confession time. 
I am a Christmas Curmudgeon this year. 
I think part of it stems from the fact that I have been crazy busy, and this is my first chance at 'down' time, whatever that might be. I have an idea I would like it - down time - ya know? The pace of life has become a tad unmanageable or is it just me? Is everyone spinning along with me?

So the Curmudgeon thing, what's up with that....
I haven't decorated.
Now this (the lack of decoration) relates to the fact we were having work done on the house. It is hard to get whipped up about Christmas decorations when you have cases of wood planks covering the living room floor, when power tools are strewn throughout the dining room, when stencils supplies have over run other parts of the house and when all members of the household have tiny pieces of Mylar stuck to their shoes and fur. My husband is like the Pigpen character except instead of a cloud of dust, he is surrounded by a cloud of scrap Mylar.
I am working on the house, room by room, compelled to get this done; ok, I am obsessive. 
My office is finished - here are some snippets......
it is organized for the most part. There is expansion room, for books naturally, hahaha. I now know where my things are. It feels girly and pretty and soothing and calm. I absolutely love how it turned out. All that I am lacking is the slip cover for my easy chair (not shown here due to ugly factor), necessary because my cherished kitties have ripped the crap out of the upholstery, an unsavory byproduct of cats with claws that sometimes occurs in spite of all our best efforts with cat scratching toys, towers, etc. Ugh, those little critters (Jasper, I know it was you), good thing I love them so much. And lucky for me, I actually like the look of slipcovers.
The Curmudgeon hasn't made Cookies.
I always make cookies. Perhaps I will kick into gear next week? Grandma's Thumbprints are whispering to me.
The Curmudgeon has however bought gifts. 
Yes, I have managed to get that done, thank goodness for the Internet. As much as I prefer to support local stores, I simply didn't have time for 'the hunt.' It was easier and quicker to do a quick search and the ole One Click.
How are all of you doing this Christmas?
Any other Curmudgeons out there?
In other news, I have updated my Workshop page......if you wonder where I am going to be in 2014, check it out. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

StencilGirl and Sizzix Artist Trading Blocks Blog Hop

WINNER!!!! TheaM!!! 
I confess to a full blown block obsession. 
It has been going on for awhile as I have been trying to figure out the logistics of a class where my students would paint blocks. I have collected all sizes of wood blocks in anticipation of this moment - have cut them from fence posts, all sorts of things. But they are heavy. And they are hard to paint. Since they are 3 dimensional, you can pretty much only work one side at a time and I am basically a very impatient person so I kept messing up my paint over and over and well, you know.....I gave up the class idea.
So imagine my excitement when I heard that Eileen Hull had designed a template to create boxes using the Sizzix machine. The machine (I think this is how it works, I have actually never even used one, but I sure wanna own one now!) cuts out mat board with scored areas. There are two pieces that easily fit together to create the box. All you do is paint or decorate them to your desire - while they are FLAT - and then assemble into a box.
And, even better, they come in different sizes. Here are a couple I have made so far. 
I had to stop because I had to write this blog post. And bathe, cook food, etc. It is really that addictive. I think Eileen is on to something here. She and her posse call the blocks ATBs for Artist Trading Blocks

Those Artists on the Block are rockin' it out over on Facebook. You simply must check out their page (be sure and look for the clever Thanksgiving post) to see what all they are doing.
Be sure and go around our Blog Hop to check out all the wonderful creations using the ATBs. And remember to leave comments everywhere so you can be entered for the giveaway. Your comments (right here on my blog) will be entered for the give away on StencilGirl Talk and also for a special giveaway right here. I am giving away both of my brand spankin' new DVDs. Yippee!! If you want to take a look at previews of them, click here. And then be sure and make a comment so you are entered in all the drawings. Enjoy the Hop!!
Blog Hop Order

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Creative JumpStart 2014

I'm excited to announce that I'll be participating as a JumpStarter in Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2014, run by Nathalie Kalbach. If you're not familiar with CJS, it's a one-of-a-kind community event to inspire your creativity. 
Need help getting your creative mojo going in 2014? CJS can help.

Throughout January participants get 23 videos from 21 featured artists. I'm proud to be one of those artists. It's an amazing event where you can learn new techniques, discover new materials, and connect with other Mixed Media Artists and Scrapbookers. 
Head on over to Nathalie's site to sign up and for more details: . CJS costs just $20 for the 3.5 hours of video content. That's less than $1 per video -- a great deal. 

Here's a short video for more details:
Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2014 Teaser from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2014 Teaser from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.
So join me and 20 other artists this January for CJS 2014! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I am grateful for many things this year. 
First and foremost, my husband's health. He is doing absolutely great! We are so blessed.
And family. You know who you are. I love you all, near and far.
And Maria, my assistant. I've never really had an assistant before and I feel like she must certainly be raising the bar for assistants everywhere.
Beautiful card that StencilGirl received from Jean Marmo
And my Art.
 Which has brought me friends and students, all who share the love of art with me. 
Art has transformed me. I know I have been given the gift of ART for a reason. The chance to connect and share with so many of you. 
And for that I am forever grateful.
And finally. My company.  
StencilGirl Products exceeds my wildest expectations. I have the best business partners a girl could ever have, my hubby and my son in law. We have a team of amazing artists who knock us out with their designs. And the most talented creative team and guest artists I could ever imagine. 
We are very very lucky indeed.  
Thank You.

Monday, November 11, 2013

StencilGirl and Foam Board Express Blog Hop + a Giveaway!!

Welcome to the StencilGirl Foam Board Express Blog Hop.
I like Foam Board.
In fact, I *love* it and use it all the time.
How do I use it you might ask?
Well........for my doodling. I don't Zentangle per se, I just tend to doodle or draw, In fact I don't even consider it anything special except I enjoy doing it. It is definitely a Zen-like pursuit as I really kind of 'check out' when I am doing it and lose myself in the line work.

I like to keep it easy though (and small, as in easy to travel with) and the Foam Board helps me do that. Several years ago, a friend of mine showed me some Foam Board doodles that she had made and I was instantly smitten. Ran out and got some Foam Board that exact same day and trimmed it down to a 6x6 size using a fresh knife blade. I also bought the fantastic IDentipen.
I like this pen because it has two different ends which means you have two thicknesses of line. The simplicity pleases me. If I travel, I simply grab one board and one pen. Done! I am good to go.

And there is something about the black of that pen against the smooth glossy finish of the board that is really gorgeous. It looks more important than it is, you know what I mean?

Recently I have used stencils to help me create Doodle patterns. This is a project in my book, done either on a plain background or painted one.
In celebration of Foam Board Express, I would like to offer a GiveAway.......and it is a good one!
You get a copy of my latest book, Stencil Girl, which has the Doodle project in it. Plus you get the custom stencil that comes with the book. Plus I will personalize and sign the book to you. And you get the stencils I used in the project along with a couple boards and a pen to get you started (yes, you get a pen too, I forgot to put it in the picture).
Woo hoo!!!!

Anybody ready to DOODLE? Just leave me your name below and I will select the winner on 11/15. If you want to see where you can easily buy some Foam Board, click below. Easy peasy.....
Foam Board Express
To follow us on the blog hop, here is the order:

Friday, November 08, 2013

Jane LaFazio Sweet Gum Balls!

When I think about Gratitude, nature is one of the first things that comes to mind. I am so grateful for the miracle of nature. Walks in the woods, gazing at clouds,  listening to birds - I love every aspect of the natural world. Nothing inspires my art more than nature. And yes, I realize I am an abstract painter, but seriously, nature is at the root (pun intended) of a lot of my art.
Jane LaFazio is a genius at her depictions of nature. I have long admired her lovely journal pages and her nature drawings.
Her stencils are beautiful representations of her work. I picked Sweet Gum Balls because it is one of my favorites (duh) and also because it is such a complex stencil. And cause they are circles.
In the stencil business, everything is based on time - that being 'time on the laser'. Many of the StencilGirl stencils are intricate and take a lot of time to cut. But Sweet Gum Balls is right up there at the top meaning it takes forever to cut. Thankfully it is well worth it.

Make sure you leave a comment below to be eligible to win the prize package from StencilGirl ProductsALL comments on ALL the blogs will be eligible. The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to be the lucky winner!!! One comment per blog please :)

Blog Hop Order
Linda Kittmer GO HERE NEXT

Monday, November 04, 2013

It is all Golden! Plus a contest!!

JANE MARTIN is our Winner, WOO HOO!!!!!
The delinquent blogger has been having a lot of fun lately.
First of all, I was selected to attend training to become a Golden Artist Educator. You know, Golden Artist Colors!?! Oh be still my heart, this was truly a dream come true. From the moment I was first introduced to their paints 13 years ago, I have been smitten.  To experience this kind of in depth training was a 'pinch me' moment.
And the training did not disappoint.
Oh my, oh my.
The workshop was held in New Orleans and Patti Brady was our teacher. We worked hard, but also played a bit (ok, maybe more that 'a bit'). Fun, fun, fun, there is nothing quite like visiting a great city and viewing it through the collective eyes of other artists. I caught up with old friends, like Traci Bautista and met new friends, Joan Fullerton and Randall Hasson. We shared a table during the training so I feel an extra special bond with them, honestly we had so many laughs there were times I thought I might pee my pants. Here is a picture of all of us.
Joan Fullerton, Traci Bautista, Randall Hasson, me
My brain is possibly on overload (it's a good thing), I learned SO much, tons of ways to use the variety of paints, from High Flow to Fluids to Heavy Body to Open Acrylic, I fell in love with all of them for different reasons. And the mediums. Whew! I will be exploring for months to come, but suffice to say you can count on seeing a lot of new techniques in my workshops next year.

You will undoubtedly hear me talk more (and more and more) about this training as time passes because it was a huge event for me. Hard to put into words really - as a self trained artist, to be part of an endeavor such as this was B-I-G. I feel validated in a way that is new for me. And I know that my artistic path is moving into new uncharted territory, I can feel it in my bones. I really can't wait to share this with all of you.
More sites, plus me with Patti Brady and a gang of us in the back of Thomas Mann's cargo van, hehehe.
So, in honor of my brilliant teacher, Patti Brady, (I adored her, can you tell??) I would like to give away a copy of her book! I have owned this book since it came out and have read it cover to cover word for word which is unprecedented for me as I often simply look at the pictures. This is a book that needs to be in the library of any serious acrylic mixed media painter. It is really that good. She gave us each a copy at the end of training and it is this new copy that I will give away to one reader.
Leave me a comment below and I will draw a random name on 11/11/13.

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's a Xyron Party!

I was playing around with some Xyron products the other day (yep, they sent them to me, how great is that) and I inadvertently fell in love.

Seriously, I didn't expect to, I was like, uh, so it's tape......and adhesive dots.....what's the big deal. I like tape, mind you, I tend to collect a lot of different kinds. This is a double sided tape and I expected it would be like a multitude of others I have tried through the years. Uh.....not so!

See that ribbon, above? It's not a ribbon - that is TAPE! This tape tears by hand, you don't need scissors. It is a very thin tape and has a nice look. And it is S-T-I-C-K-Y. In a good way, not in an out of control omg somebody get this off my hand way. Yes, it is High Tack, but reasonably so.
I used it with pigments and powders, Primary Elements Artist Pigments by LuminArte. They are really gorgeous colors and I sprinkled a little bit of powder on a deli sheet and used one side of the tape to pick it up. When you peel the back side of the tape off, you can do it carefully and the tape will easily stay in a straight line. I was playing (of course!) and pulled it off really quickly and the tape is so thin it corkscrewed up into a completely cool shape which I then taped to my art. Once it is down on the art, you can then manipulate the tape with your finger into shapes. I am not kidding! It is really cool. And since its tape, it, well, sticks.
Another use for the tape - this is in my new book, Stencil Girl, you can make your own painted tapes. Just stencil and paint whatever you want, deli sheets are great for this, then stick the tape on the BACK side of the painted area. Use a paper cutter to carefully cut the tape out and when you are ready to use it, just peel off the backing paper. Easy! You still need to buy the book though. Just sayin'
Anyway, back to Xyron.
The Adhesive dots also were great with the powders. I dipped them into the powder and then used tweezers to peel the dot off its backing and place it on my art. They hold their shape nicely. Very fun I have to say. I bet you could make a pile of them or organize them into different configurations.
Cause you know I never met a circle I didn't like. I imagine an entire piece of art with little adhesive dots on it, but perhaps that's just me......

And finally, here is my final piece. Party on!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pam Carriker Book Launch

I am really proud to be part of my friend Pam Carriker's new book. She is such a superstar. I mean very talented! But, at the same time, she is completely down to earth and authentic. Yeah, now you know why we are friends!
So, she is launching her latest book (which is awesome by the way!) LIVE on Facebook. Here is an INVITE.
I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Map Stencils by Mary Nasser

My love affair with maps is many years old. The first series I ever did, Windows, involved collage using maps; my second series, Common Denominator had maps; Community used maps; One, a solo show I did incorporated lots of maps. I think you get the idea that I like maps, eh?
They are symbolic of so many things for me - land, soil, grounding - but also family, history, place.
Imagine my thrill when Mary Nasser told me she wanted to make map stencils for StencilGirl Products, I mean WOO HOO in all caps.
I had so much fun playing with her new stencils.
The Latitude and Longitude Stencil is a stencil I know I will reach for frequently, I can already tell that - it is map-like but also celestial. And check out those ittby bitty carved claybord parts. That is Map Stencil.  You can see the sweet little Compass too!

Planetary Sequence by Mary Beth Shaw
And guess what?
Every blog comment gets entered for a give away of a set of all 4 Mary Nasser map stencils. So be sure and leave me a comment below. 
And then, hop along and go see what everyone else made.....

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge & A winner

Kate is our lucky winner of my House painting, woo hoo!!!
And......I am the hostess of this month's Sketchbook Challenge. I would love it if you play along. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge

Today you will find my post on Houses and Hideaways over at The Sketchbook Challenge. I share some photos from my studio and a few sketches, you can check it out HERE.
And.......if you would like a chance to win this mixed media painting that I did, please enter your name below. Leave some way for me to get in touch with you too, ok? I will draw a name on 9/30/13.

A House is not a Home without its People by Mary Beth Shaw

And don't forget to check out all the other terrific posts during The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop.  
Sept 9 - Gina Lee Kim 
Sept 10- Jacqueline Newbold 
Sept 11 - Sue Bleiweiss 
Sept 12 - Jackie Bowcutt 
Sept 13 - Kristin La Flamme 
Sept 14 - Jane Davies 
Sept 15Lyric Kinard
Sept 16 - Terry Grant 
Sept 17Carol Sloan 
Sept 19 - Lesley Riley  
Sept 20 - Traci Bunkers  
Sept 22 -  Desiree Habicht  
Sept 23 -  Jamie Fingal 
Sept 24 - Mary Beth Shaw 
Sept 29Jane LaFazio

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pam Carriker Stamps!

It is a lot of fun having friends who develop products, especially when they share. Naturally I was thrilled when Pam Carriker asked if I wanted to play with some of her new stamps. 
Well, duh!??!
I got to pick the stamps I wanted to use which was a pretty hard decision in and of itself because I like them all. Geez......
I decided to go with these two, which I picked because they fall into a category I call
"the great integrators" 
a phrase I use for stamps and stencils that add that little bit of 
sumpin' sumpin' to our pieces.
Thoughts of Courage stamp by Pam Carriker    (you can buy it HERE)

Sketched Background stamp by Pam Carriker    (you can buy it HERE)

 I like both of these stamps quite a bit and know I will be reaching for them again and again because they definitely add a little extra bit of interest to my art.
 So, here's what I made......first of all, I picked a substrate and I will admit to a wee bit of cheating on this part cause I have an enormous box of sample boards from classes and such. Things that are already started but need to be finished. I just grabbed one at random. 
In this case, it was a small Claybord that had been prepared with collage circles surrounded by carving. Plus Wood Icing texture created with a stencil and also with a palette knife.
I selected my materials - Porfolio Oil Pastels, Derwent Inktense Pencils, and two colors of paint, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. Plus White of course. I randomly worked a bit of color into the carved and textured areas. 
The composition looked a bit spare to me, so I decided to add some collage elements, basically more things in a circle motif, using Wholey paper I got when I was at Random Arts. This stuff is really cool. I glued it down with Regular Gel Medium, underneath and on top of the collage elements. 
And then I started painting, mixing the 2 paints together to create nice neutral colors, lots of white. I smeared the white into the Portfolio (that's the green part) and rubbed it with my finger. 
With the Inktense pencil, I dipped it straight into my water and 'painted' directly onto the circles at the top, er, that is now the bottom as I flipped the piece, those brown parts.
And finally I used the stamps to add accents with paint and a Staz-On ink pad. Along the bottom, I used Sketched Background with white paint. Then I used Thoughts of Courage around the circle area, wiping away in certain areas so it looked like it was both behind and on top of the composition. 
See what I mean? Great Integrators!!!
Well done, Pam.
You can check out all of Pam's stamps HERE. 
And, in case you haven't been following along, here are the Blog Hop participants/dates.

Thursday Sept 5th: Seth Apter
Thursday Sept 12th: Traci Bautista
Thursday Sept 19th: Mary Beth Shaw (you are here now)
Thursday Sept 26th:Dina Wakley
Thursday Oct 3rd: Jen Cushman
Thursday Oct 10th: Christen Olivarez


Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop

The sketchbook challenge is hosting a very exciting 21 day blog hop event to celebrate this months Houses and Hideaways theme!  Each day, beginning on September 9, 2013you’ll find a new post on the sketchbook challenge blog related to this month's theme that will also include a link to the artist's own blog, where you’ll find tutorials, video’s, studio tours, exciting giveaways and more! 

Take a look at the line up of posts below and follow them all for continued inspiration!

Sept 9 - Gina Lee Kim 
Sept 10- Jacqueline Newbold 
Sept 11 - Sue Bleiweiss 
Sept 12 - Jackie Bowcutt 
Sept 13 - Kristin La Flamme 
Sept 14 - Jane Davies 
Sept 15Lyric Kinard
Sept 16 - Terry Grant 
Sept 17Carol Sloan 
Sept 19 - Lesley Riley  
Sept 20 - Traci Bunkers  
Sept 22 -  Desiree Habicht  
Sept 23 -  Jamie Fingal 
Sept 24 - Mary Beth Shaw 
Sept 29Jane LaFazio 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Paint - Shadow and Highlights

This has got to be one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time. The opportunity to crawl into the head of an artist fascinates me, I am so grateful she shared her process. The result is stunning.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Sketchbook Challenge

I'm up over at The Sketchbook Challenge. You can read my post about my travel journals HERE.
And while you are over there, mosey around and check out some other posts. Not that I am picking faves (they are all good) but I really enjoyed the gorgeous project by Gina Kim which you can see HERE.  And the very interesting post by Frances Holliday Alford about attending the Festival of Quilts. Such eye candy, you can read it HERE. 
Something for everyone over at TSC! You are going to want to make it a regular stop on your Blog Journey.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

If Fishes were WIshes

I have had a lot on my mind lately. More than usual. To the point where I have had trouble managing it all and I am not behaving properly in some instances. For instance, a couple weeks ago, some friends were helping me at Art Unraveled (you know who you are, Deb & Marilyn) and I yelled at them. Yes, I yelled at my friends. No excuse for this, I mean seriously....
Because I am strung out with a variety of business and personal things. My business is growing like crazy (ok, that's a good thing, not a problem) and my husband has cancer (yes, it was caught early and it's a curable kind, also a good thing).
And I don't get enough time to make art. There I said it. The truth is out. Managing a busy art career reduces that actual time you spend making art.
Go figure, huh?
Anyway, I was asked to participate in a show called Inspirations, sponsored by Chesterfield Arts. The gallery gathers amazing artworks created by kids in the special needs program, Kalaidescope. The professional artists (me & others) select a work and respond by making another piece of work. All the pieces are sold to raise monies for the program. The opening was this past Friday night.
Flash back a few weeks.
I got the painting, a lovely piece by a girl named Samantha.

I liked it a lot, it reminded me of a Georgia O'Keefe and I was attracted to the fluidity and movement in the piece. I later found out that Samantha had learned about O'Keefe and that the painting was about her!
So I started to paint.
Ugly stuff, it was like I had never held a brush before. Geez. The deadline was looming and I had not a thing to deliver. Called the gallery, begged for more time, yes I have apparently turned into "one of those' artists. Ahem. 
Finally, I started to play. Yes, just play, messing around with Scribbles and pretty origami papers. Cutting out pieces here and there, pulling random text I had collect. Somehow the text started to look like FISH to me.
close up of text
close up of texture
I kept working, I mean I like fish. Sure I had been going for flowers, but fish are good, right? I worked wet in wet, allowing the Scribbles to provide linear interest. The colors layered up in intriguing ways and I started to like the piece, it wasn't like anything I had ever done before, but I really liked it. Of course it was soooooo wet that it had to dry for about 12 hours before I could do more work on it. Ha!!
And finally it was done. I varnished it and celebrated that I had something I liked. I mentally thanked Samantha for her inspiration.
As I wrote up the statement for the piece, I realized that it had taken me on a journey. Truly, one of those things I never could have planned. I examined the piece one last time and that is when I saw the message, something evidently meant for my husband in light of his upcoming surgery. I didn't even realize it was there.
I think the painting wrote it really.
 "dear heart, grow well. expect hope. delight, soul spirit"

Friday, August 09, 2013

Twinkle twinkle little starfish stencil


We have a winner!! Congratulations:   Kathy Gayhart Carter

As a Moon Child (a person born under the sign of Cancer), you gotta know that I love the moon and the stars. But Cancer is also a water sign (The Crab) so I love me some water. 
Especially starfish. 

Until earlier this year, I had never seen a starfish out in the wild. February is always a cold and yucky month in the Midwest and that is when we like to escape for a vacation. This past February we went to Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. If you grab this month's Somerset Studio, you can read my article about journaling during the trip.
Starfish collage, Mary Beth Shaw
But I digress.
I saw starfish all over in Roatan! In fact, I could see them right off of our dock, red ones. I didn't even know starfish came in red.
During that trip, when I was working on my journal, I so wished I had sea stencils with me. StencilGirl didn't have any at the time. But NOW we do and woo hoo are they ever great! June Pfaff Daley has designed some awesome stencils that include some of my very favorite things related to the sea. I want to talk her in to doing Sea Urchins next, don't you think that would be special? celebrate the introduction of the Starfish stencil and to (of course) honor my love of starfish in general, I am going to give away a Starfish stencil. 
Right here on this blog. 

For me, I love the sea because it restores me and washes my soul clean. 
Why do you love the sea? 
All you have to do is leave me a comment about why you love the Sea. I will do my drawing on 8/11 at midnite, same as the Big drawing over at StencilGirl Talk. Entering here will get you into both drawings. But don't forget to hop all over to see the other Blogs and comment on them too, that was way you will have more chances at winning.
Blog Hop Order

Friday, July 12, 2013

Doo-Dad Mania

I love doo-dads, don't you? I've recently been working on several commissions and spent nearly an entire day looking for a teeny tiny hammer. Wouldn't you know I couldn't find one. Now that the piece is completed, I feel sure one will pop up.
Here's a peak at my 'stash'. Really just a portion of it. All these little parts are very appealing to me for some reason. Go figure, huh?

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Re-discovering Italy

Over the weekend I finally got a chance to unpack my art supplies from Italy. Yeah, seems crazy doesn't it, but consider that a glimpse into my over-active life, I mean Italy was 2 trips ago, haha.
So anyway, I had a big ole bag of 'stuff' on the floor of my studio. I truly had no idea what was in there and my feeble mind, being what it is, was like Christmas.

This first shot is the tiny bag I took with me for journaling. Prior to the trip I made a batch of handpainted paper, my favorite kind for journals, that being Fabriano Hot Press. I painted and stenciled very randomly on both sides (using Matisse Background colors, but any colored gesso or matte paint would work). I tore my pages and made teeny weeny journals for each section of my trip - four total. I also carried a pencil, pen, a few stencils, sponge, glue stick, scissors, tapes rubbing block (kid's crayon) and Peerless watercolors plus a tiny contained or white gesso. That was it. I finished the art in the journals, but still have some writing to do and hopefully I can complete them this weekend.

Look at this!!! What a treat to find the packages of pigment I purchased in Florence at Zecchi. I loved my visit to this famous art store and was delighted to find a gentleman (and yes, he was truly a gentleman) who spoke beautiful English. He helped me select the items on my wish list, that being pigments and a hand made crystal Muller. There were so many stunning pigments, it was nearly impossible to make a selection, I could have gone broke in that store. Seriously. But I chose carefully and ended up with pigments that instantly transport me back to the magic called Italy. And that Muller! Simply gorgeous, it feels so wonderful in my hand, cool and smooth, I imagine all the artistic history of Florence vibrating through this Muller.
In a completely spontaneous gesture, I bought a set of Honey Watercolors. Why? I have no idea, must of been a "when in Italy" moment because I rarely use watercolor and don't even have the knowledge to handle this set appropriately.  I might have to take some lessons with my friend Carol Carter. Taped there to the side of the watercolor box is my Silver point. Oooh la la.
Remains to be seen what sort of madness I will conjure up with these supplies. I feel sure they possess special powers of some sort, you know what I mean?
A girl's gotta dream.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stencil giveaway

Last week I had a chance to play.
Yep, I really did.
30" x 24" Mixed Media, Mary Beth Shaw
And it was so darn awesome I realized just how much I had missed playing. Fingers and hands and feet and hair (oops) with patches of paint. Because that is what I do, I am a bit of a pig. I was playing with pattern, which is one of my very very favorite things ever. I used Michelle Ward's stencils, all different sizes of her Marrakech stencil to be specific. This global inspired painting was the result of my play.

I used the stencils both as a painting tool and a cutting guide for collage parts. I used other smaller stencils to create pattern on top of the Marrakech bits. Layer after layer after layer.

So, over at the brand spankin' new StencilTalk Blog, we are having a giveaway. This is your last day to enter. It is pretty fab if I do say so myself, we are giving away a Gelli and a package of 10(!!!!) stencils. Scurry on over, you need to enter before midnight. Cause I know how you all love stencils.