ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Speaking of stencils, and the future of Things to Make and Do

Most of you know, inspired by a world of clever graffiti artists and my son Silver, I have included stencils and spray paint in my personal artist's toolbox since 2002.
At first, I only used alphabet templates (intended for scrapbookers, and based on the old school supply templates for teaching kindergartners their letters) to create backgrounds (used frontwards, reversed and upside-down), then branched out, using almost anything I could find ready-made with cut-out areas as stencils. Of course spray paint can be used on its own, too, but it's kinda like the pepper to a stencils salt! I have demonstrated stencil techniques and negative masking in my classes, private instructionals and demos throughout the past 5 years. Quite a few of you who saw my pages in many of the Alphabetica journals, in Karen Michel's Complete Guide to Altered Imagery, in The Altered Book Scrapbook and in Bernie Berlin's swell Artist Trading Cards have written me asking for more info.
Later next week I will have the Stenciling, Revisited article finished for the Tricks of the Trade section of my website. That's where I'll be writing about some of the things I "make and do". When I was a kid, we had a lovely children's encyclopaedia - the RED ones, published from 1948-1955 - and one of my fave volumes, #5 - though I thought they all rocked - was called Things to Make and Do. I no longer have a copy of #5, which included everything from Making Hand Shadows to Soap Carving to Make Your Own Paper Doll, though you will still find Vols. 4 (Pictures, Stories, and Music), 7 (Nature, Recreation, and Physical Development), and 8 (Stories from Every Land) on my bookshelf. I really hope you'll love my Tricks of the Trade, and be inspired by them, whether old or new! And whether you have tried incorporating stencil techniques in your own art already, are wanting to, or simply appreciate this remarkable urban art form and phenomena, you will want to check out Stenciling, Revisited.
Until then here's my book recommendation of the week, if stenciling and graffiti pique your interest, whether to add to your own box of tricks or simply for expanding your art history boundaries: