Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stencil Test Drive -- Medieval Leaves and a Giveaway!

Welcome to the Medieval Leaves stencil test drive!  

Four amazing artists are in the driver's seat today: Carolyn Dube - A Colorful Journey;  Corinne Gilman - Sparkle Days Studio;  Maria McGuire - Believe Dream Create with Maria; and Ronda Palazzari - Help Me Ronda.  Wait until you see what they did with this stencil from Stencil Girl!

I created this template when I was designing a line of ceremonial plates and platters for the Jewish festival of Passover.  

The motif is based on the acunthus flower --

a big design element in Byzantine and Medieval architecture and art

Here's how the motif looked in the tableware I designed for Aviv Judaica, Ltd.   
And here's how I used the stencil in my mixed media work!

I wanted to express my feelings about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut in my art journal.  The senseless loss and inherent goodness and innocence of children has been very much on my mind.

I used a credit card to scrape Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, and Burnt Sienna Fluid Acrylics on my journal pages:

I used white gesso to stencil two layers of the medieval leaves on both pages, not caring where the second layer overlapped the first.   On the left side of the spread, I masked off part of the stencil to isolate one of the "leaves," and overlapped the second layer of white leaves with a third layer of blue leaves.  I cut up extra collage paper I had painted for another project to make the dots.  On the right hand side, I sketched the face of a young girl.

She is loosely based on this gorgeous little girl we met during our last service trip to Guatemala:

I was so struck by her beauty and the soulfulness of her gaze.

I stenciled golden leaves in her hair, added clip art of a child laborer from the turn of the 20th century, and a beautiful quote by Mahatma Gandhi, from a speech he gave in 1931 at the Montessori Training College in London:  "The law of love could best be understood and learned through little children."

So many people are doing acts of kindness and compassion in memory of the children who were killed in Connecticut.  It appears that there will be a real discussion about gun control and how we care for people with mental illness.   Although their time on earth ended way too soon, those children are teaching us the law of love.

Next, I decided to play with the stencil on an unpainted box I picked up at the dollar store.

I also made some tags -- which I still have to embellish with some ribbon or twine so I can tie them onto gifts.  They all include the word "Joy," which I'm feeling like we can use these days. 

I hope I've given you some ideas for using the Medieval Leaves stencil.  Now don't delay -- go  
visit Carolyn Dube - A Colorful Journey; Corinne Gilman - Sparkle Days Studio; Maria McGuire - Believe Dream Create with Maria; and Ronda Palazzari - Help Me Ronda!

Congratulations to Nettie, who linked up to the Hebrew Calligraphy test drive with this gorgeous bag: 
Nettie, the Starry Night stencil is on its way to you!
For the test drive schedule, click here.   
Purchase your own stencils and test drive along with us!  Stencil Girl Products has a great promo - 6 stencils for $75, or individual stencils for $14.  Free domestic shipping for orders over $50!  Click here for more info.

And look at this beautiful journal page that Gloria Zucaro created for Artists in Blogland's most recent Fall Fearless and Fly challenge!  Recognize the Medieval Leaves? 

NOW... Your Invitation to a Blog Party and a Giveaway!
Have you been using stencils in your work?  If so, link up to the linky list below, to be in a random drawing for the Rain stencil!

Linking up to Frilly & Funkie (make it a tag), Paper Issues (It's Your Life), Simon Says Stamp and Show (Gift-spiration) and of course Paint Party Friday, Mandarin Orange Monday, Art Journal Every Day,  Artists in Blogland and Create With Joy.  

Thank you for visiting! I read and treasure every comment and will answer any questions as quickly as I can.


  1. Absolutely STUNNING!! You captured her spirit wonderfully!! I loveeeeee it!!

  2. Some lovely things here and also festive! Thanks so much for joining us for this weeks Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge!

  3. I love the stencil used in her hair! You've been a very busy girl, superb artwork :)

  4. WOW. beautiful tribute and love, love, love your stencils. I can't wait to get my hands on some :)

  5. I love what you did with those stencils. Your girl looks so sweet. Love the words too. Very true ....

  6. This is such a versatile stencil! I love how it looks on your amazing tableware and how it is wonderful in your journal too! Such different looks from the same element!

  7. You page spread is just beautful Jessica, and I feel your heart in it. Each piece we all made was so different and showed just how versatile this stencil is as Carolyn says. Fantastic.....thanks for inviting me to play. xox

  8. Love how you showed us so many different types of projects with the stencil (nice box--great minds think alike, LOL!) Seriously your drawing of the girl is SO SO beautiful--the stencil in her hair is the perfect touch. What I really love is that again you have such feeling and story behind your art.

  9. Wow, I love what you did with this! The gold stenciling in her hair is perfect. What a gorgeous piece of artwork.

  10. Oh Jessica what a really stunning journal spread- you have captured the girl's expressionso beautifully-and I love the gold stencil in her hair! The plate pattern is so beautifully detailed. And your tags are so sparkly and festive!!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous, all of it! From the tableware to the tags, and that journal page--just stunning. The little girl is beautiful, and your photo does seem to capture her essence. <3

  12. I love the story behind the stencil. Makes me appreciate it even more. Your artwork is so beautiful and so thoughtful. Really moving.

  13. Jessica.. thank you for your words of caring and sharing. This girl is just beautiful and you captured her beautifully. The page is gorgeous.

  14. Lovely work, and the ceramic you have designed is beautiful! Valerie

  15. The stencil is beautiful and I love how you've used it. Your painting of that sweet little girl is amazing. Great pages! Thanks also for sharing your tags with us at Frilly and Funkie.

  16. You amaze! The stenciled goods are fabulous, and you captured the gorgeous little girl so perfectly! WOW!!! The plate is amazing! You have more talent than I could ever dream! She is so gorgeous, can't stop looking at her! Oh yeah...thank you for participating at Frilly and Funkie this fortnight!!!

  17. Jessica your journal page and words are both filled with beauty and strong emotions. Thank you for sharing your work and the inspiration behind it. You always inspire me each week.

  18. Art work is exquisite ~ love the girl and all the wonderful designs and colors ~ Wow! ~

    (A Creative Harbor ~ aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^)

  19. hi Jessica, you put lovely quote and your art works are absolutely amazing and truly beautiful. Have a magical Christmas.

  20. What a lovely piece - soulful girl indeed!

    Happy Hannukah Jessica! (And PPF)

  21. This is stunning!. Your wistful girl pulls you in to some exquisite details. Very inspirational.

  22. Such a lovely stencil and artwork, Jessica!
    Looking forward to seeing what the others have done, too!
    Happy PPF and Happy Holidays!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  23. i always love seeing the different ways you incorporate your stencils into your art. i can see why you wanted to capture that little girl-- she is breathtaking and you've captured her expression so beautifully.

    and that tableware is STUNNING!

  24. a fabulous stencil.. and really wonderful artwork ..such a beautiful little girl and you painted her in a stunning unique way! GREAT POST!
    Happy PPF!
    Happy Holidays!

  25. This has been a lesson on stencils for me. It all came together so beautifully. Love the girl and how you have recreated her. Blessings, Janet PPF

  26. Oh my goodness! What an amazing collection of inspiring pieces! Your journal page is such a beautiful tribute...truly. I enjoyed seeing how the tableware design translated to the stenciled pieces of mixed media work. Now I'm off to see what the other artists came up with!

  27. Thank you for sharing all that you did here. I enjoyed seeing the steps taken to create this beautiful.! Meaning filled piece., very heart touching. I love your Judaica, and your stencils.
    I am very moved seeing all this today, thanks again. Lynn

  28. Your page is beautiful and powerful and I really love the tags.

  29. She's beautiful!! I'm loving all your stencils~

  30. I thought I already commented. Apparently not. :) I totally love your journal spread! It's great how the stencil adds texture.

  31. Beautiful stencil work, Jessica. The colors are brilliant.

  32. Hi Jessica, it's always a blessing visiting you! I love your work! A blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones. May you have the choicest gifts of the season- love, joy, hope and peace beyond understanding. Patsy from

  33. WOW! Gorgeous!
    Love the lil girl and the rendering. Gandhiji's quote is so very true...if only people remember it all the while.
    Thanks for your visit and sweet comment.
    Hope you had a Great Xmas...Wishing you a Great New Year too:)

  34. omg! beautiful stencil. i love your journal page with the inspiration from the little girl. a very nice rendition and momento. all of the designs from the test drive are fabulous, love them all.

  35. Loving all the gorgeous artwork you have shown and am so thrilled to be receiving another, thank you Jessica.
    Wishing you all a Joyful New Year. Hugs Annette x


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