Café Cards using Jessica Sporn Designs Stencils 

Hi friends, hoping everyone has been having a wonderful weekend so far. Friday I was working in my art journal and just not really feeling it. Seemed like no matter what I did just didn’t come out. So instead  of continually trying to force it I just left it and went to enjoy some sunshine. Later that evening I sat down in my art studio again and thought I’m not even picking up my art journal I’m going to just play with something different. So when I was shopping the other day I found these cards at Target for $1.00 in their back to school section. 

I have been seeing on Instagram people creating altered playing cards but the larger ones. I haven’t been able to find them so when I saw these I thought why not give hem a try for a dollar you can’t beat it. They have 36 cards in them. 

So I stared by applying white gesso to one side of 6 cards then I just randomly added a layer of paint in various colors. 

I have been playing around with Mark making so I pulled out a piece of cardboard that I had kind of forgotten I love the marks it made and applied some paint with my finger again changing the color for some of the cards and alternating the lines some vertical and some horizontal. 

Then I added some drips to them.  Here I used an ink and a fluid acrylic. 

I dried them after this step so I didn’t ruin my drips. 

I used these 3 stencils by Jessica Sporn for the stenciling in the next step. I know the one is a Christmas or Holiday stencil but look at the parts and pieces that you can use of your stencils. That is how they become a very versatile tool don’t always just look at the big picture 🙂

The last step I did, was use my new favorite mark making tool this cardboard straw to make some fun marks on each card 

And the completed cards. Thanks for stopping by. Your comments me so much to me if you have time please leave me one. And have a fabulous evening 💕💕💕

Cecilia Swatton – Artist

Today I’m sharing a link to a Fabulous artist and Designer of stencils for Stencil Girl.  Cecilia has featured my artwork here in this post and it is such an honor.  Be sure to check out her blog and all of her fabulous stencils here.  Have a wonderful day everyone !!!



StencilGirl Voices – Healing Art Mixed Media Canvas

Hi everyone, I am once again thrilled and honored to be asked for a second month in a row to be a part of the Amazing StencilGirl Voices.  This month’s stencils are designed by the Owner and “Stencil Queen” Marybeth Shaw.  There is only one way to get these amazing – exclusive stencils and that is to become a part of Stencil Club, if you haven’t heard of StencilGirl Club???  OMG then you so do not know what you are missing …..take a minute to check out the most amazingly fun Stencil Club around.  Just click on this link for all the details:  Here

I have quite a heartfelt story to share with all of you and how this artwork came about.

So for months now I haven’t created any “real” art and what I mean by that is any art that has really come from my heart.  And I have been in a sort of “creative slump”.  Well having a creative slump couldn’t have come at a worse time when I’m faced with needing to create something spectacular for StencilGirl Voices and all that kept running through my head was I don’t want to let Marybeth down when she was kind enough to give me this amazing opportunity.  In the mean time I’m looking at her fabulous stencils thinking okay well she has flowers in the 9x 12 so no problem I can play it safe and create something fun and whimsical with the flowers right ???  Um not so much.  So this is what my canvas started out like .

I felt I wanted texture in it so as you can see I have some black sand texture paste and added some black seed beads that I pushed into it to give it even more texture and just lumpiness I guess lol.  I stenciled the flowers and some book text as well as some pages that I got in a swap that I stenciled on.  The more I added the more I hated the colors.  I was just not “getting” it.  Because I realized that I wasn’t being true to what was going on inside of me.

My heart has been broken since my dad passed in early April.  My already broken heart broke even further with my mom having dementia which was a lot worse than any of us had known.  I ended up having to be a main player in getting her in a Memory Care Home and I have felt as if I lost both my parents at once.

I let this canvas sit for days and days thinking OMG what am I going to do.  Finally I thought I’m just going to go to the products and colors that I’m being drawn to instead of fighting it and playing safe I’m just going to paint the dark space that’s inside of me and let it out.

As I started back at my canvas I added lots and lots of black and then some white and more black and I added some course molding paste,

and more black sand texture paste, and I just kept going with it adding layer after layer after layer until it truly felt as if I was painting my sadness away. I added a black tag that had stenciled and ripped in half symbolizing my heart being torn apart.

I let drips of white paint fall over it which symbolized my tears.

here I used the center of the large flower with some crackle paste on top of a layer of black sand texture paste that I had painted black.

Once they were dry I used my black archival ink pad with my finger to make the cracks pop more.

I had created a flower from the large stencil using some paper clay.  Once it was dry I decided to break it in half and added a piece to the top and the bottom of the canvas. Added some black paint and then accented it in white.

And as I created and just let my self be free with this canvas I thought of all the times, my now fragile mom was so strong.  I thought of my mom losing my dad who somehow was able to hold her together (they had been married for 60 years) and for her, losing him was everything.  She had lost her “True North” as in the Nicholas Sparks book :  Message in a Bottle.  I thought of how in this world today “true love” seems to be a thing of the past, but although it wasn’t perfect, they still had it, together to the end.

When going though some of my moms things I came across a stack of letters.  The kind that you read about in movies and love stores.  There in her cedar hope chest a stack of letters written from my dad to my mom before they were married tied with a red ribbon.

With the letters was this painting that was done of my dad way back when he was still in the Air Force, it was done on this really super think canvas paper and yet is still in amazing shape.

As I finished up my canvas I knew it was lacking a quote of some sort so I started to flip through a couple of magazines. I found the quote that fit just perfectly, and so reminded me of my mom:  “STRONG IN THE SOFTEST OF WAYS”

here is the final piece:

As I sat and thought about whether or not I would share this story along with the “dark” art I had created I thought about all the words I hear Marybeth share when she is on her videos and that is to be true to your art and yourself.  She would say something like …..You can’t grow as an artist if you never push or challenge yourself – and do things you normally wouldn’t do.  So beyond being honored to have this opportunity to share my art and story with all of you , I am thankful for Marybeth as she is so very inspiring to me.  I am thankful for Stencil Club it’s where lasting friendships are made and it is such a fun and safe place to share your art.  Here is the link again for anyone who wants to get signed up so you can get this this month’s gorgeous stencils in the mail just after the 15th.  Wishing everyone a peaceful and fabulous day!! 🙂