Monday, June 11, 2018

Stenciling in Art Journals

For me, one of the most rewarding avenues for utilizing stencils is within the pages of my art journals.
Stencils add a dynamic feature to the background of journal spreads, and with a minimum of effort produce maximum results.

Belonging to art journaling groups on Facebook have kept me active in my journals even when life tries to intervene.
Weekly journal prompts help to inspire artwork when, perhaps, your muse takes a hiatus.

The next time you face a blank journal page, swirl a bit of paint to the background and then choose your favorite stencils. Using inks, paints or mediums (such as molding pastes or gesso) you'll transform your background in a manner of minutes and the inspiration will follow.

Your stencils will soon be your best friends on your art journal journey!

Stencils used from The Crafter's Workshop:

Tile Mania

Mini Burst


© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Somerset Apprentice ~ Spring 2018 ~ GIVEAWAY

CONGRATULATIONS Salvage Chica! You'll be receiving your free copy of Somerset Apprentice directly from Stampington, Inc.


It is always with great joy and sincere appreciation when I find myself fortunate enough to have an article in a Stampington, Inc. publication. Presently on the newsstands you'll find the Spring 2018 issue of Somerset Apprentice. I share the magazine pages with many, many talented artists.

Among those artists is the ever-inspiring Cat Kerr whose artwork never ceases to generate a smile. Much like the artist herself, the artwork is bright, joyful and did I say inspiring?

The beauty of this and every issue of Somerset Apprentice is the way in which each featured article takes you step by step through the creative process. Whether it's encaustic, assemblage or collage, the articles are conducive to recreating the technique in your own way, in your own style.

I hope that in my feature you can be inspired to use corrugated cardboard in a creative way, to dabble in using clear modeling paste with your stencils and use acrylic paints to give a piece an aged or faux-verdigris appearance.

It would be a joy to give a copy of this magazine to one of my readers. If you'd like to, please leave a comment with an email address, and I'll choose one lucky person to receive the Spring 2018 issue of Somerset Apprentice. Contest is open to U.S. residents only.
Contest closes on March 18, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT.

Thanks for visiting and good luck.

© Nancy Lefko
© Stampington, Inc.

Monday, October 2, 2017

StencilGirl Products Guest Designer

It's a great pleasure to be a guest designer for the fabulous StencilGirl Products. I have always enjoyed using their stencils, especially in my art journals.

Naturally, I was drawn to use a face stencil created by my dear friend Pam Carriker.

I added background stencils by MaryBeth Shaw and Cat Kerr.

Using another stencil from Pam's collection and modeling paste, I added the doorway to peer through.

The addition of paints and inks finish the page.

You can view the step-by-step process of creating this journal page by visiting the StencilGirl web page.

Many thanks to the kind folks at StencilGirl Products for extending this invitation.
StencilGirl Products provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, October 10, 2016

Art Is You 2016

Shame on's been MONTHS since I've blogged. My apologies to anyone who's taken the time to check this blog since March. If no one has checked...then it's all good!

I've just returned from teaching at the very BEST of the BEST mixed media art retreats...ART IS YOU in Stamford, CT. As always, this retreat was filled with creativity, wonder, joyful reunions, new friendships and art around every corner.

My Saturday class, FOUR SEASONS OF ART JOURNALING was terrific fun with wonderful students who created awesome work. (Enough superlatives?) Seriously, I'm so grateful to them for their enthusiasm and making the day fabulous for me, from start to finish!

If you've never attended an art retreat, you really must treat yourself to this experience. I am biased of course, and think that there are none that can compare with ART IS YOU, but try to find one that works for you. You'll be enriched by the experience and remember it forever.

Happy students with their assembled journals

Using spray inks and stencils to prepare journals

Folding journals

Preparing journals

Art journaling begins!

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Traveling Art Journal

There is no mistaking sisters have a special connection. Perhaps it's our creative interests that connect us or simply that we each see a piece of ourselves in the other; whatever it is, we are drawn together. When we're together we have the BEST of times. But, quite often, art sisters who've met at a central location return to their lives many states away.

When I was unable to attend a 2014 art retreat, two of my art sisters in attendance - Elizabeth Duke & Pam Carriker - put their heads together and started the "Traveling Art Journal," which was to ultimately be a gift for me. I was among the contributing artists, never knowing the journal would one day be mine. (I actually created two spreads to help fill in the months.) Throughout 2015 the journal traveled the United States from Texas to Connecticut, New York to Michigan and to my home in New Hampshire. This month I received this wonderful, and surprising, gift. I was speechless and filled with appreciation and love.

Each journal spread is as different as can be and truly represents the heart & soul of each art sister. I will cherish this book forever and it will always be a reminder of the bond that holds the art sisters close, no matter how far apart we live.

Thank you Pam, Elizabeth, Loretta, Kathy, Katie, Betti, Stephanie & Kathi.

created by Pam Carriker

created by Kathy Nesi

created by Katie Goldberg

created by Elizabeth Duke

created by Loretta Marvel

created by Stephanie Suskin

created by Kathi Jahnke

created by Betti Zucker

and my own two spreads.

I am truly blessed. I have found my tribe and I am BLESSED.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Art-C Project for Valentine's Day

Art-C provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Art-C products came to the rescue on this wintry day in need of brightening. On the heels of Valentine's Day it seemed appropriate to focus on LOVE when creating a new piece.

With supplies gathered, I was ready to begin. Using my fingers I applied Ultra Chalk Paint in white to a 3" x 5" Wood Pallet. I followed this with an application of pink and citron paints through an Art-C stencil.

To distress the edges of the pallet I applied Gel Stain in chestnut and I added Metallic Paint in gold to the edges of a tag.

A sentiment was added to the tag by using the "love" stencil and metallic gold paint.

A fabric strip and ribbon were wrapped around the pallet.

Elements from Art-C collage kits, accented with gold metallic paint, completed the piece.

"Remember FOREVER."

Products from Art-C:

- 3"x5" wood pallet
- ultra chalk paint, white
- metallic paint, gold
- gel stain, chestnut
- word play collage kit
- ephemera collage kit
- botanical collage kit
- stencils

Additional supplies:

- adhesive
- foam brush
- ribbon
- fabric
- acrylic paint

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Off to the Sea...with Art-C Products

Art-C provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Okay, I'll admit's the dead of winter and I am already dreaming of summer by the sea. I can't help it! To help quench my desire for the ocean and all its wonder, I turned to my Art-C products for inspiration and creative fun.

I gathered my supplies; those I anticipate using. Quite often I change my mind as I go along and edit my supply list. First, I painted the 6" x 6" Art-C Wood Pallet with their Ultra Chalk Paint in white.

After an inky application through sequin waste, I reached for an Art-C stencil that reminds me of waves and thought it perfect for the background.

Some paint drips and an application of Art-C's Gel Stain in blue added some much needed blue to the piece.

Mark making ensued with bottle caps and bubble wrap.

I gathered elements from the Word Play Collage Kit from Art-C, added a message and along with blue burlap & some shells, my assemblage began.

Even as I look out from my art desk to a very wintry landscape, for a while I was warmed by the notion of the summer sea.

Products from Art-C:

- 6x6 wood pallet
- ultra chalk paint, white
- gel stain, blue
- word play collage kit

Additional supplies:

- burlap
- shells
- adhesive
- paintbrush
- Inktense blocks
- foam brush
- ribbon
- inks
- bottle cap
- sequin waste
- alphabet stamps
- vintage text

© Nancy Lefko