Art Techniques Inspired by Life

Artists love to express their interests and experiences in their artwork. Vacation photos, textures from nature, even a walk around the block in your neighborhood can inspire an artful adventure. Given the right tools, just about any experience can translate into art. Nathalie Kalbach’s Artful Adventures Collection has everything you need to start the fun: Nathalie’s book: Artful Adventures in Mixed Media: Art Techniques Inspired by Observation and Experience, StencilGirl Products Mesa Verde Stencil, designed by Nathalie, and RubberMoon Art Stamps Stroll Through the Hood Stamps, Set 1, also designed by Nathalie. When Jeannine and I saw this collection, we decided we had to check it out further.

Artful Adventures

Inspired by Nathalie’s Blotted Line Drawing demo, I chose two ink colors, and got to work. Nathalie used an image transfer for her demo, but I decided I just had to use her cool Stroll Through the Hood stamps.

I opened a sketchbook to a clean spread, and added small puddles of acrylic ink, adding them only to the left page. I tipped the page a bit so some of the ink spread a little further onto the page, and then closed the book, which allowed the inks to spread even more and also print to the second page. The ink print reminded me of the sky.

Kalbach

Using a black permanent ink pad, I stamped 2 buildings, which fit nicely tucked within the color. I love the detail! Then I added some graffiti, using the graffiti stamps included in the set. I couldn’t resist adding the Statue of Liberty, also part of this set, and that inspired the words I added next.

Kalbach

I wrote “Make your Mark” with a bit of a graffiti vibe in mind, using a black brush pen. I think this phrase fits with the idea of graffiti, but also with the idea and values of the Statue of Liberty.

Last, I added ink spatters, dipping a paintbrush in the ink and tapping the brush over the pages to tie everything together.

Kalbach

Nathalie’s book will help you see how simple experiences can truly inspire all kinds of art. And, with her cool stamps and stencil, you can look forward to plenty of fun adventures this summer.
~ Barb


Jeannine decided to take Nathalie’s stencil for a spin . . .

When I saw Natalie’s Mesa Verde stencil, the motif immediately reminded me of spending time with my mother in Arizona. I loved seeing the huge saguaro cactus, and the sheer expanse of desert and mountains was a sight to behold.

For this tag, I started with a vintage cactus image from The Graphics Fairy. I transferred it to the tag using a Chartpak AD Marker colorless blender.

Kalbach

Because I knew I was going to stencil over the image, I created a mask by cutting a second image out and placing it on top, securing it with a little low-tack tape.

Kalbach

Natalie’s book is filled with so many great techniques, including a section called Monoprinting Basics. I borrowed a couple of the ideas for this tag, starting with rolling out some coral acrylic paint onto a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate with a brayer. I then blotted most of the paint off with a baby wipe, which left a great texture.

Kalbach

I pressed the tag onto the plate, pulled it off, and removed the mask. Here’s the very cool image I got:

Kalbach

The mask was placed back on the tag for the second layer of printing. This time I brayered Payne’s gray paint, then placed the Mesa Verde stencil on top. Using a baby wipe again, I removed all the paint not being covered by the stencil.

Kalbach

After removing the stencil, I pressed the tag onto the gel plate again, and removed it. To finish the piece, I added a label and a small fabric ribbon at the top. I am mad about this tag and can’t wait to include it in my art journal.

Kalbach

What you’ll find about this fantastic kit is that it’s incredibly versatile—with ideas from Natalie’s book, you’ll never run out of ways to use the stamps and stencil. I hope you have as much fun as I did! ~ Jeannine

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