As a mixed-media artist and nationally recognized workshop instructor, Shaw continually experiments to create stenciled artwork with new techniques and media, including decorating Gatorfoam® and Fome-Cor® boards by 3A Composites USA (http://www.GraphicDisplay.com) as rigid-substrate pages in an art journal. A follow-up to Shaw's second book entitled "Stencil Girl Mixed Media for Making and Using Stencils," this new North Light DVD (http://www.NorthLightShop.com) provides step-by-step instructions for creating five uniquely layered art journal pages and an embellished wooden cover.
"Stencils are an accessible artistic tool because you can create a beautiful pattern without having to draw," said Shaw. "We even offer stencils that you can use to draw a face," said Shaw. "By using stencils as a template, you can easily create something pretty."
Shaw founded StencilGirlProducts in 2010 in order to offer her workshop students and other art hobbyists the opportunity to incorporate high-quality artist-designed stencils in their mixed-media artwork .
The journal provides a sort of brag book "to show off your stencil work," according to Shaw.
White Fome-Cor board in the 3/16-inch thickness was utilized to create two journal pages – one decorated with stencils and PanPastels and the other with paint and dry inclusion techniques that feature stencil designs carved into the Fome-Cor board surface with a stylus. Two additional journal pages were created with white Gatorfoam in the 1/2-inch thickness – one decorated with stencils and PanPastels and the other featuring stencils in a magazine collage. A fifth page features stencils and alcohol ink on scratchboard. Wooden covers are embellished with wood-burning techniques and metal.
Original Fome-Cor board consists of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between various high-quality papers that feature a smooth surface for decorating. Fome-Cor board is lightweight, rigid, warp-resistant and easy to cut. Gatorfoam consists of polystyrene foam bonded between two layers of wood-fiber veneer laminate – a unique construction that makes this substrate rigid yet lightweight and warp-resistant;
Shaw cut both the Fome-Cor board and Gatorfoam into 6-by-6-inch square journal pages with a sharp artist's knife and straight edge. She prepared the surfaces of both the Gatorfoam and Fome-Cor boards with black gesso, including using it to seal the graphic display boards' exposed foam edges.
"Fome-Cor board is a really cool substrate; it makes really interesting fun pages in the journal," said Shaw. "You can do a lot with it that you can't do with substrates that artists might regularly use – such as paper, wood, or clay board. ... Fome-Cor offers a slick surface and is very lightweight."
In one journal page, Shaw chose a fern stencil to carve fern impressions into the Fome-Cor board's paper surface, followed by paint dropped into the depressed carved areas to create the first layer in this multi-layer piece.
"I would stick to more dry painting techniques with Fome-Cor board and avoid water colors," said Shaw. "I would apply straight acrylic paints in thin coats. Fome-Cor also works well with rubber stamp inks."
Shaw chose to incorporate 1/2-inch Gatorfoam pages in the journal to create pages with a board-book look.
"Gatorfoam is really sturdy and thick," said Shaw. "It's cool to create fat board-book looking pages. When you bind the pages together as a book, it creates a really interesting look. Gatorfoam can be used as a stand-alone substrate for other artwork because it doesn't warp. I like the fact that Gatorfoam is sturdy and rigid but ultra-lightweight compared to wood."
Shaw selected Gatorfoam to serve as the rigid-substrate base for one journal page that featured a multi-layered magazine-image collage glued down with gel medium and decorated with stencils.
"Gatorfoam is a more robust substrate," said Shaw. "It can tolerate more layers of mixed media."
Shaw developed the "StencilGirl Mixed Media Sampler Journal" to encourage art hobbyists to discover new substrates and decorating techniques to use with stencils. In addition to mixed media artwork, Shaw has used stencils to create everything from embroidery patterns to decorative iced cupcakes.
"Using stencils traditionally suggests using paint," said Shaw. "I want viewers to think beyond the stencil."
StencilGirl stencils are laser-cut from Mylar polyester film in sizes ranging from 4-by-4 inches to 9-by-12 inches and are sold worldwide directly to consumers and through arts-and-crafts retail stores. To view the complete line of StencilGirl stencils, DVDs, books and tutorials, visit www.StencilGirlProducts.com. To learn more about Shaw's mixed-media paintings and workshops, visit http://www.mbshaw.com.
For more information and images describing this StencilGirl art journal project, view this original article at: http://www.graphicdisplayusa.com/
For more information about Gatorfoam and Fome-Cor boards by 3A Composites USA, visit http://www.GraphicDisplay.com.
About 3A Composites
3A Composites USA specializes in the manufacturing of leading substrates for the graphic display market in North America, South America and Central America. With manufacturing facilities in Benton, Ky., Statesville, N.C., and Glasgow, Ky., and sales and marketing offices in Statesville, N.C., our industry leading brands include Fome-Cor® , FiberMate(TM)
®Gatorfoam, Fome-Cor, Sintra, Gator and Dibond are registered trademarks of 3A Composites USA.
®SMART-X is a registered trademark of 3A Composites GmbH.
(TM) FiberMate is a trademark of 3A Composites USA.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photos by Christine Polomsky courtesy of North Light Media.