Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sharing Shiva - a Stencil Girl Tutorial

Last week Stencil Girl released 3 new stencils of Hindu Deities.

In my last post, I introduced the Krishna Stencil.

Today, I want to tell you a bit about Lord Shiva.   If Krishna is peace and love, Shiva is "shakti" or power.  Sometimes known as the destroyer, Shiva is considered the most powerful god of the Hindu pantheon, and is one of the godheads in the Hindu Trinity of Brahmha - the creator, Vishnu - the Preserver, and Shiva - the judge or transformer.      (Scholars point to the trinity as one of many Hindu tenants appearing in Christianity.)

Although Shiva is responsible for death and destruction, it is important to note that Shiva destroys in order to create, since death is the medium for rebirth.  The dualities of life and death, creation and destruction, reside in his character.

Shiva is often portrayed in the pose of a Nataraj, the dancer - with the flames of creation and destruction surrounding him.  This is how I chose to portray him in this stencil.  In it, he stands on a pedestal of lotus flowers, representing the creative forces of the universe.   His four hands represent the four directions - North, South, East and West.  He stands on a prostrate figure that represents ignorance, and his lower right hand shows the gesture of fearlessness.

You can read more about Shiva online - but I love him for the metaphor of creation and re-birth arising out of destruction.  Certainly, I have learned more, and grown more, from my failures, disappointments and defeats, than any of my successes.

I have enjoyed making tags with different parts of the Shiva Stencil.  I also found great words in Carolyn Dube's Uplifting Words Stencil , and some cool motifs from Kae Pea's Wheel in the Sky Stencil to go with him in my journal.

I also used it to stencil this T-Shirt for my daughter.  May she always be fearless!

Here's a fast forward video of this Shiva art journal page.   The journaling says:

Sometimes we need to be broken to become whole,
to fail in order to succeed.

I hope this post gives you some inspiration to embrace Shiva's energy and commitment to rebirth and renewal.  

There's a winner from the giveaway from the Krishna stencil post!  Linda on the Prairie, email your snail mail address to jessicabethsporn at gmail dot com and I will send the "Matters Most" piece to you!

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Introducing the Krishna Stencil from Stencil Girl and a Giveaway

I am thrilled to announce three new stencils from Stencil Girl - each representing a Hindu Deity that has beautiful symbolism that can be invoked by anyone.  They are Lords Krishna, Shiva and Ganesha and you can find them here!

Although the Pantheon of Hindu Gods is vast, Hindus are a monotheistic religion worshiping one God - Brahman.  Brahman is the supreme spirit that permeates everything.  There are no words to describe this spirit -- everything in the universe is part of Brahman, but Brahman is more than the sum of everything in the universe.  The "different" Gods give devotees a way to see, touch and feel this unknowable God; they give the devotees tangible, knowable aspect of the Supreme Being.

Today, I would like to tell you about the Krishna Stencil, which I created based on a drawing and watercolor in my art journal. 

In Hindu mythology, Krishna is the eighth reincarnation of the god Vishnu.  You can read more about Krishna, and Krishna Consciousness on the web, but the important thing is that he stands for love and peace.   Also, there are many parallels between the lives and teachings of Krishna and Christ, which are interesting to explore.   

I've enjoyed playing with this stencil in my art journal and in making tags and happy mail to send to friends who need some love and peace in their lives.  

Here's a video showing my process as I created this very painterly art journal page using the Krishna stencil:

You can also watch Krishna Art Journal Page on You Tube.  While I was making this page, I used the leftover black paint to stencil a bunch of Krishna's faces on the facing page in my journal.  Here's what became of it!

Here's a short little video showing my process as I created this whimsical page, using only Krishna's face.

You can watch Krishna Flowers Art Journal page on You Tube as well.

I also used two small pieces of cardboard to create two inspirational keepsakes on upcycled cardboard.  I was surprised by how the stencil lends itself to such different looks.   

Giveaway Alert:  I will send one of these little keepsakes to a person commenting on this post!   If you're interested in winning, just let me know in your comment which of the two speaks to you more - "What Matters," or "Possibility!"

UPDATE!  The winner is:

Thank you all so much for your comments!

I hope you see how the Krishna Stencil lends itself to many types of designs.  I haven't even begun exploring JUST using the flowers, or patterning!   Here's MaryBeth Shaw -- THE Stencil Girl! -- showing how she used some of the elements in her art journal.

You can also watch MaryBeth's video on YouTube

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Tea for Six with the Teapot & Teacups Stencil

I recently hosted a meet up class in my home studio where we made mixed media canvases using the Teapot and Teacups stencil from Stencil Girl.  It was so nice to work with the stencil with a group of lovely women, as the stencil was inspired by the camaraderie of sharing stories over tea.  

I always enjoy prepping my studio in anticipation of these classes... And this was the last one in this studio before I move, so it was extra special. 

Here are some pictures from the class.  I love how each woman's project bore her own distinctive style.

Although no tea was consumed (or spilled) during the class, a lot of camaraderie was shared!

Upcoming teaching dates are September 14 in my new home and studio -- where we will be making house blessings using the 5 Hamsas Stencil from Stencil Girl,

And early October, I am delighted to be teaching at Art is You in Stamford.  I can hardly wait for this reunion and retreat -- one of the most loving and welcoming art retreats you could ever hope to attend!

If you can't attend an Art is You Retreat in person, consider attending one virtually!  Check out the Reality Retreat  an online virtual retreat and 3 week e-course beginning August 10.  You will have 12 month access to all the tutorials, and receive a box of supplies, for only $139.00  I assure you that given the generosity of Sal & Ellen, the founders of Art is You, you will get way more than you ever expected for the money!

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Parades, Doodles, Giveaways and More

It's been a long time since my last post...  Since then, we put our house on the market, escaped to our cottage in Westchester, came back to NJ to review offers and accept one, went back to Westchester and celebrated U.S. Independence Day, and came back to NJ to start finalizing the purchase of one house and the sale of this one.  Whew!

Our little community in Westchester (which our family has been a part of since my mom was 13) is made up of about 60 families.  We have an annual July 4th barbecue, as well as a parade -- in which there are no spectators - we just all march through our little village!

My dad is the traditional master of ceremonies -- that's him holding the microphone on the bottom left picture in the collage above, as our two eldest members - one of whom survived a concentration camp in WW II and the other was a fighter pilot during the war -- raised the flag.  I was part of the committee that cooked and served food to our community during our barbecue - my sister is the master chef!  That's her sitting next to me in the top left picture.

Here and there, I was able to steal a few minutes to make some art...   I had to pack up my studio when we put our house on the market, but created a small temporary space in the basement.

With limited supplies, I was able to complete an assignment to work on some Christmas designs -- always a fun thing to do in July!

 I also worked on some other whimsical designs that I hope will result in licenses soon!
Thanks for stopping by.  I don't know how often I'll be able to post over the next few weeks but I DO have a new stencil release coming soon, so I hope you'll check back in!

In the meantime, Win Dinn received her gift
from the Hamsa Stencil Giveaway and wrote a lovely blog post about it.

Namaste stencils are on the way to "Ain't No Ninny" and Jackie PN from the  giveaway in this post.  But I still haven't heard from cal8007.... If you're out there, send me your snail mail address so I can get your stencil out to you!
And, I will send 2 notecards from the Giveaway in this post from my most recent stencil release to:

I look forward to getting your snail mail addresses and will get your mail out to you!  I am also going to send some to people we know who are struggling.

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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