Creative Stenciling Techniques and More!

Creative Stenciling Techniques and More!

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Creative Stenciling online class!  Check it out.

This is not a project based but a techniques based class.  I have been asked over and over again, “How to you achieve such clean lines?”  “How do you clean stencils?”  “Which stencil should be used when you want to apply texture.”  “How do you use textures with stencils.”  Etc…….  This is why I decided it was possible many people would be interested in a class of this nature.

Have you ever wanted to know how to go about getting those clean crisp lines?  What methods are there to approach a stencil? Did you know that you will find your own best approach, but are you aware of the many ways to even try?  What exactly are the differences in stencils?  Do you know how to get creative with stencils?

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There are videos demonstrating 23 techniques that you can explore.  We talk about how to clean your stencils without damaging them.  How do you apply the paint to your paint brushes plus how to take care of your stencil brushes.

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Barbara Cassidy Artist

How high to put artwork….

Artwork and pictures transform our homes and define who we are.  Recently, we have begun to repaint the inside of the house and what a change it has made for the soul!  Nothing better than a fresh, renewed look.  Now, though, it is time to get everything back up and pull the decor back together.  I like using my art to create focal points that put feeling and meaning to the home.  Art offers a window to our souls and can change how we feel about our surroundings.

As the process started, I thought it would be a good idea to share some basic tips on how to go about hanging your art.  Being on the short side I find nothing more irritating than going into a clothing store and needing to be on my tiptoes to reach the smaller sizes.  Why is it that the small sizes are up near the ceiling while the larger sizes are closer to the floor!  I get the same feeling when I go into an office and all the pictures and artwork are way up there near the ceiling.

The rule is to hang pieces at eye level which is approximately 58 inches.  Most galleries will use this rule of thumb.  As always, rules are meant to be broken if you know the rule well enough.  Pay attention to what the artwork is over.  You do know want too much space between a headboard and art or between a sofa and art.  For children, hang the art in at their eye level.  The 58 inches would be way to high for them.  It is also a good idea to access the room where the art will be.  If it is a room where you are mostly sitting, again, lower the gallery height.  If you are hanging a gallery of pictures, center the grouping again at the 58 inches.  When you first use this method, it will make you think twice about the level.  But, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to “see” and enjoy each piece.

Going up on the walls at our house are some repurposed mirrors and cornice that I have redone using the Maison Blanche La Craie.  That product is so easy to use and I cannot wait to have it for sale on my website in November.  Amazing results on some pieces that I love!  Some of my newly painted texture pieces are also finding a new home in my entry.

Back to the task of putting up new artwork on our freshly painted walls!



What is “La Craie?”

Maison Blanche Paint

La Craie?  La Craie is French for “the chalk.”  Maison Blanche Paint has created a La Craie the has been specifically designed for painting furniture, trim and cabinets.  It’s exciting to become a distributor of the line and I cannot wait to share what amazing results that can be achieved with it.  The product will be available for purchase directly from my website in November.  There are 28 beautiful colors available in quart sizes and I will also be offering 4 oz sample containers.

The past few days have been spent getting prepared for workshops/classes with Maison Blanche Paint.  Videos are also being made for those of you that cannot travel to my studio for a workshop.  You will learn how to achieve a simple finish with trim, a two color technique, and create a chalkboard.  Tools, prep and tips give you a great start to begin working on your own pieces.  After the first of the year, additional workshops will be available with more advanced techniques.

Trends seem to change so fast these days and it can get so costly to replace large pieces of furniture and accessories.  This product is going to help you take what you have and repurpose to give it new life.  The properties of this product will also open up the ability to redo furniture that has scratches, chips or cracks.

Since Maison Blanche La Craie will adhere to almost any surface, the number of pieces you could refinish or create is huge. It’s eco-friendly and water based.  So many techniques can be used or just use it straight from the can.  I cannot wait and look forward to having you join me on the journey!

Shades of Aqua“Shades of Aqua” class at the Art Apprentice Online has been very successful for many.  Maria wrote, “Wow! This class is great for getting the creative juices going! Lots of techniques to learn too.”  “Not only is the color beautiful, learned so much,” is what Ellen said.  This class is great for all levels!  For a stress free class, check it out and join us!

Looking forward to seeing you in the classroom and showing you more about La Craie!


Where does inspiration come from?  How do you get it?  What to do with it when it happens?  Exactly what do you consider inspiration?

I Hear Music

Sometimes all it takes is looking at a piece of scrapbook paper.  The “I Hear Music” series started with just that.  Walking down the scrapbook isle music paper “spoke” to me, the title came and all I did was pursue it.  Once in a while, a simple quote will begin a new texture piece.  Keys are found in all my multi-media/abstract pieces.  That key gives me inspiration along with being a signature mark.

A grouping of metal or embellishments can be pulled together and give us a foundation fora topic.  I walk you through my thought process on this method in my “Emerge” class that is available online.

The last few days we have begun repainting the interior of our home.   I was inspired to do this by using a color in that will accent all of my paintings.  A very cool neutral tone of a light gray was chosen.  It’s exciting to watch this cool temperature of color cover the nice warm hue that was there.  As this first segment was completed, my mind is racing as to how I am going to create new pieces to fill new areas.  Course, I still have 10 more gallons of this color to finish first!  This simple (no it was physical, lol) task has started me on a journey of inspiration.

Inspiration is all around us.  Stop, look and listen!  We all have a habit of not observing our surroundings.

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Texture and Stencils

If you are a faux finisher, have you ever thought about using those techniques to create some fun canvas artwork?  The difference between the wall and canvas is just the size.

This piece was inspired by a faux finishing class.  It was fun to do and can easily be used for as an accent piece when coordinating wall colors are used.

First texture was applied with paint and followed with some textured stenciling.  Melanie Royal stencils always adds elegance to pieces and walls.  It was finished by adding glass beads over the darker stenciled areas.  This is a large canvas and makes a great statement on the wall!