Friday, November 22, 2013

Grateful for Circles, Circles, and Broken Circles!


Greetings, and thanks for stopping by!  You may not know this about me but I am obsessed with circles.  I love to stare at anything that is circular, completely round or asymmetrical.  I love the symbology of any type or shape of circle.  So Terri Stegmiller's Broken Circles stencil really speaks to me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to play with it!  And, speaking of grateful:  I am grateful for every single moment of every day.  To be able to create art and pursue what I love in my studio, with my family& friends, my garden, kitchen….I'm very fortunate and I don't take any of it for granted.  

For this project I brought out a piece of 300 lb cold press watercolor paper that had been previously painted.  The small circles are that tiny bubble wrap, and the asymmetrical shapes are a piece of bath mat.  I did a heavily tinted acrylic wash, stuck those things on the paper and let the paper dry with them in place.  The surface tension of the plastic objects "attracts" the moisture to it and therefore leaves a heavier tint where the paper contacted the plastic.  Cool, huh?

So, this is my staring point.
In addition, I used the head shape from the Face Map stencil.
Face Map stencil, by Pam Carriker


I used the cut-out from Face Map as a resist.

Placing the Broken Circles stencil onto the paper (and over the resist) I pounced transparent white
acrylic paint over the surface.




I moved the stencil to the left portion to cover the surface with marks.

As you can see, the shape of the face is not at all clear yet

Next, I used a darker shade of aqua acrylic paint
for the second layer of marks.

I slightly off-set the stencil from the white layer.


I like how the plastic face looks!

I position the face stencil over the opening where the plastic resist was.

Using an opaque white, I fill the opening in the stencil.



Using a permanent marker, I write a memory (I'll explain below) in the face shape.

Finally, I use the same dark aqua acrylic to enhance the outline of the face with this "contour" 
portion of the stencil.

Here is the finished page.
Both of these stencils were very important to this specific memory.


Now, I have to share with you what I was thinking about when I was creating this page that is to be glued into my sketchbook.  I was thinking about the symbology of circles.  How we revisit memories in a circular fashion throughout our lives.  I looked at the stencil and thought about the symbology of the broken circle, and how this day, the 22nd of November, is the 50th anniversary of the day President Kennedy was assassinated.  Because I think journals are memory-keepers for both the good and the sad things we experience, I am creating this page to recall my experience of that day.  The writing inside the face is my memory of being a nine year-old fourth grader at Crestview Elementary school in Topeka, Kansas.  Our principal came into our classroom and told us what had happened.  My most vivid memory is that about half my classmates began to cheer.  It is so burned into my memory.
Up until then I really couldn't comprehend things like evil and violence.  It changed that day.  It is also the first time I saw a national "event" captured completely on television.  

I'm sorry that is grim and sad, but I created something that is very specific to this day for me.  These two stencils helped me articulate a memory that I hadn't thought about in a very long time.  It isn't important to me that anyone else is able to read my written account.  It is only important to me that I know what it says.  

I'm so glad you stopped by, and I hope you will stay long enough to leave a comment.  Remember:  leaving a comment makes you eligible for the drawing! 


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92 comments:

  1. Awesome expression even if it's not the happiest memory, thanks for sharing!

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  2. Leslie, I'm sorry it's such a sad memory, for all of us, but your page is beautiful! I love the way you off set the broken circles to achieve the shadows. Great idea!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your memory with us ...

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  4. I remember too although I was only 5. Living in the UK at the time. I can remember seeing his children cry and asking mum why they were sad. But I didn't understand when mum explained to me what had happened, I was just upset they had take "Andy Pandy" off. Funny how we remember things. But you pages are a wonderful way of expressing your feelings. Just fabulous

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  5. I remember the day so well too, 2nd grader and we were shocked, there were no words at the age of seven to even comprehend what had happened.....I, too remember watching the news for a long time...Beautiful way to give homage to the event and your childhood memories. xox

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  6. Thank you for sharing this very personal piece with us. I agree that art and journals are for recording/processing both good and bad, and you have created a beautiful moment here to honor your memory of this day.

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  7. I love what you made and that you shared your thoughts and heart.

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  8. What a poignant piece - I love the text!

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  9. Beautiful work and it is neat the way you did the journaling!

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  10. what a beautiful and meaningful page. thank you.

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  11. Art journals go where thy need to go and those memories are important too! Great job capturing it in your art

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  12. Those circles have such definition. Love the thoughts behind it, too. Just wonderful.

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  13. I am really enjoying reading about the techniques on how you used the stencils.
    I was in junior high on that day-and everyone was crying and hugging each other in the school hallways-I will never forget that day.
    thanks for the chance to win
    Kathy

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  14. very creative uses! love this and how your journal-ed!

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  15. Leslie, I remember that day so vividly.. 13 years old in my World Geography class. That day changed all of our lives.... not a happy memory but a big part of my life.

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  16. Yes, I am circle obsessed too and have done several series around circles. I truly appreciate your interpretation and the depth of meaning. While I think I remember that day, I am not sure if I really do or not as I was pretty young.

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  17. Leslie you have created a beautiful page with Terri's Broken Circles Stencil and captured a moment in history that we all vividly recall. Thank you for sharing your process.

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  18. Very creative art journal page.. I was 11 on that fateful day and also remember the principal coming to the class room to deliver the news.

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  19. What a wonderful way to create a record of a memory. gjeneve@gmail.com

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  20. Gorgeous page! The teals and the white are a beautiful combination. Thank you for sharing your memory with us. Although the particular memory may not be the happiest, I feel all memories are beautiful because they mean we experienced things that have made us into what we are today. :)

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  21. This is a very captivating page...thanks for sharing such a detailed look at your creative process as well as being so transparent with your thought process and captured memory.

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  22. Love your use of the stencils!

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  23. Leslie, this was a very moving piece of art, and I had to comment, this is a sad day in our history. I was glad that you described the meaning and the circles.... it touches me deeply.

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  24. Love where you went with this. Very meaningful on top of the art.

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  25. I love that you used this wonderful page to journal your thoughts about the JFK assassination. We must be the same age as I too was in the 4th grade. Thanks for sharing this.

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  26. Great photo tutorial! Thank you!
    CE Pertuit

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  27. Offsetting the stencil has added real depth to the shapes. Love the whole concept of this piece. Thanks for the info.

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  28. Wow, quite a memory! I was talking to a lot of people about their memories. I can't believe some of your classmates cheered, that is a shock, especially so young. I love how you did this and thanks for sharing your memory

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  29. I am horrified that young people of that tender age would have cheered at the violent death of anybody. Somehow, I thought that phenomenon of callous disregard for human life in America was a more recent development. So tragic.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

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  30. I love your technique for starting the background of your piece with the bath mat and bubble wrap. I will have to give that one a try for sure! Love your end results. Thanks Leslie!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the wonderful stencil design, Terri!

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  31. Very moving account and I loved seeing your techniques and the reasons you were using each. I am still on a large learning curve, or maybe I should say freeing myself to create curve, and this was inspirational.

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  32. Oh my gosh, Leslie!
    I love everything about this project...the colors, the bath mat pattern, the writing!
    Wow!

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  33. Your artwork is beautiful but I am appalled at the thought that some of your classmates would cheer. It makes me truely sad.

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    1. Yes, the cheering was almost worse than hearing the principal's announcement. It is seared onto my brain and not in a good way.

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  34. Very unique! Will have to try this idea of the bubbles.

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  35. Oh Leslie, this is so strange, I had a very similar experience. I was in third grade, coming home on the school bus, and someone on the bus had one of those "transistor radios" (remember those). Anyhow, when it was announced on the bus, there was a similar eruption of cheers. I was so stunned, and yes it is burned into my memory. You have done a great job of bring the events of that day full circle.

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  36. This is a wonderful was to keep memories. I am older that you but what I remember about the news that day was the extreme silence in the school and then the tears of some of the teachers. Of course then we watched all on TV during school the next week as most of us did not have TV at home then, the TV was in the auditorium and the kids watched between classes or some whole classed watched the coverage. This is a memory we will carry with us forever.

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  37. My memory of that day was most of the first graders in my class crying. I do love the piece of artwork you created. Thank you for sharing your meaning with us.

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  38. Wonderful project with so much meaning!!

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  39. Your memory page using Terri's circles stencil is beautiful. Your post is not sad...only that tragic event 50 years ago was sad. The depth of your page is amazing. Thank you for sharing and hopping. Creative Bliss...

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  40. Impressive! Thank you for the great ideas.

    Smiles,
    Kelly

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  41. The act of creating can be quite therapeutic, but you have taken this to a whole other level. Love seeing the process and reading the underlying meaning

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  42. Awesome! I love how you offset the same stencil to create a shadow effect! Thank you for the chance to win some stencils!

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  43. What a powerful memory. At our school, everyone burst into tears at the news, including our school principal as he made the announcement. That too is burned into my brain.
    textilerecycler@yahoo.com

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  44. What a memory! I love your circle symbology and all the gorgeous layers you put down

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  45. Perfect combination of all the different stencils! LOVE your page with such meaningful journaling to you.

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  46. I was completely drawn in by your gorgeous layered colors and then even more so when I read the meaning behind the page. Glad to hop with you!

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  47. I love the use of shadows you created with this great stencil.I think we all have memories of 50 years ago.

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  48. I wondered where you were going with this piece initially, but the end result is fabulous! My memories of the Kennedy assination are very similar to yours as I was the same age at the time. So sad.

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  49. wow is an amazing job, thanks for sharing this great tutorial!

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  50. I don't understand why the children would cheer. Did they misunderstand? I don't get it.
    Love your page, and the memories you used to create it. And thank you for sharing your story. I was only four when Kennedy was killed, so I don't have those memories, so I appreciate those that people are willing to share.

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    1. I'm sure they didn't understand the implications of their cheering. Still, I remember feeling a stab in the heart from it.

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  51. This is a very striking page and very appropriate to the memory it records. I, too, remember where I was when the announcement was made; it is something that I will never forget. Thank you for sharing a well-executed personal page with us.

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  52. What an artistic image you used to record your memories of that day. I was about your age too, and I'll never forget that day. Nobody cheered in my class, we all cried. 5th grade.

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  53. I amazed by your work. What a great way to use the broken circles. Love it!

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  54. I love that you've twisted my arm for another order. Maria knows me by name by now! LOL! Love those circles. Anything that goes round and round.....

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    1. Ah! I would apologize for being such an "enabler", but what can I say? I love stencils! If you have to be addicted to something, you could do worse LOL!

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  55. love the stencils used in this! and the colors! great way to records such a memory! tfs!

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  56. Thank you for the techniques you've shared. I love this project!! And, most importantly, I think it makes it extra special that you did this with a particular memory in mind.

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  57. Thanks for the cool ideas, and for recognizing the importance of this anniversary!

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  58. Thank you for this wonderful use of stencils. NowI would like to have more in my supply stash. :)

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  59. Leslie,
    Love the depth of this piece. It is amazing how the actions of children 50 years ago still has the ability to wound the soul....just from reading about it. Sorry this was your experience, seems like the death of the president should have been enough trauma.

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  60. I was in a Junior High class in Des Moines IA when I heard the news ... I cannot imagine anyone cheering ... how terrible for you ... I remember the silence full of shock after it was announced to us ... then a swelling of crying and "how could this happen" engulfed the room before they sent us home for the day ... this changed my perception of the world that day as well. This is a beautiful way to share your memory of a such a tragic event!

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  61. all I can think is {{{hugs}}}

    ArtistPoet dot Girl @gmail dot com

    good luck y'all

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  62. Thanks for sharing your sad memory and the story behind this piece. Glad you were able to use your art to help in processing it...even 50 years later. I still remember it like it was yesterday and I feel sadder than the day it happened...because i was only 7 then and because I can more fully realize what we lost in this great man. Thanks for sharing...

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  63. Leslie,I am grateful too! For you hopping along and sharing your art with with us! TY! :)

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  64. what an interesting use of that stencil ~ thank you for sharing the tutorial with us ~
    thank you for the blog hop
    Mary

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  65. Leslie, did I read that right? Half cheered? That would be imprinted in my mind as well. I was in high school when I heard he news - we all cried silently. I wlll never forget!

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  66. I found the memory of children cheering at the death of a person very sad. Sad because it seems that no matter what you may think of a man it is sad to be joyful that his life was ended in such a tragic manner and sad because after all these were just children. I love the way you have done the journal page.

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  67. very nice. thanks for theinspiration

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  68. Nice job! Love the colors. Thank for the chance to win.

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  69. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of the anniversary of that sad day. No one in my class cheered, we were all so horrified that something like that could happen. It was a turning point for our country politically and from a media point of view. Your journal page is very well done.

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  70. Thank you for the thoughtful reflection on circles. It is very moving.

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  71. Great use of the circle and face stencils. I'm also a quilter, so great to find more and more stencils that can crossover.

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  72. Love what you did, thanks for sharing.

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  73. i just loved what you did. love all the stencils i have seen by terry, want them ALL!! thank you for the great idea. xoxo

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  74. I love all the new stencils by stencil girl, and the pieces I've seen that have been made using them are fantastic!

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  75. Oh my.What an idea for the face.
    I was in second grade that day and my mom walked
    to meet me walking home from school to tell the news.

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  76. Love this - great stencils :-)

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  77. Nice techinque. Thanks for sharing.

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  78. Love the layering and your step-by-step techniques!! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!!

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  79. What a creative and thoughtful way to share your memories of that day.

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  80. Beautiful art and so authentic to the memory.

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  81. The art is wonderful. I am saddened to think of the reaction of your classmates as I remember being that same age and the sadness on the faces of my teacher and classmates will always be with me. I understood that it meant that someone's son, husband, and father died that day.

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