Blog » Stencils (Wednesday, 13 May 2020)

I'm working on a new seires: When Wise Women Whisper. I've been fortunate to be selecetd for an 'at home' artist residency called Tough And Tender Beauty - my project is to create a series of imaged portraits of wise women, along with a poem sharing their wisdom.

So far all the pieces I've worked on include some stenciling. Stencils are a go-to for me - they're fun, fast and when used in a variety of ways, can create beautifully layered effects. I'm yet to teach an art journaling class where everyone doesn't love the stencil lesson.

What's to love?
A few things. As well as being loads of fun, instant gratification (who doesn't love some instant gratification?) and a great way to overcome the terror of the blank page, the quality of mark you get with a stencil is different from other marks, so the contrast they provide can be a great design element.

They’re versatile. Stenciling, masking, adding colour through the stencil, removing colour through the stencil - you can get a lot of cool results with just one stencil, treated a couple of different ways.

Make your own

I like to take stencils one step further and design and cut my own. Then every element in the piece carries the mark of your own hand - it’s authentic - and you can create shapes and patterns that are meaningful to you and the piece you're creating. Also, there’s no concern about misappropriating someone else’s design, which could be an issue with purchased stencils.

This blog post goes into a little more detail about cutting your own stencils, and if that piques your curiosity, I teach stenciling in more detail in my online class, Making Friends With Muriel

Here's a quick timelapse of a stencil I'm making to use in my next piece in the series. I'm thinking about nature and how during COVID 19 isolation people have been either seeking comfort in nature, or craving to get out into it; and the noticeable changes to smog, haze and pollution as the world's population became stiller and quieter... I'm curious to see where that leads me...



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