An Adventure Back in Time

A lot has changed since the early days of my arts and crafts journey, but one that I love o go back to now and then is stenciled art.  Living in Vermont in the 70’s and 80’s, I began to study the history and evolution of stenciled art that permeated a lot of early American history. Adele Bishop was one of my stencil craft artist idols, who lived in the nearby town of Dorset.  She helped to popularize again, the art of stencil craft.

Art of Stenciling

My Stenciling Craft Inspiration

I soon began designing my own stencils and applied them mostly to linens, clothing, pillows and wood.  When I moved to California in 1996, the kind of New England stenciling I was doing didn’t seem to fit, so I gave up stenciling for a while.  After a time, I started stenciling walls–decorating a kitchen for a realtor’s rental, the entrance foyer of my son’s family home, as well as their store that he and my daughter-in-law opened in Mill Valley called Monarch. The stencils are still there today, filling the walls and archways that blend with the Indian theme of their import business with colorful designs that are still vibrant after over ten years.  Stop by to see them at 27 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA, or take a 360 virtual tour by clicking on the link below, where you can see the stencils throughout the store.  And of course you can do some fabulous shopping while enjoying an up-close view of the stencil work.

Living in Sedona, AZ for a few years in 2005 to 2007, my stenciling showed up on canvas floor cloths, reflecting the influence of Native American Art that I experienced there.  This rug still sits in my hallway, as vibrant as ever.  Canvas floor cloths, time intensive to create, are long lasting and surprisingly easy to keep clean.  In 2015, I plan to start a whole series of floor cloths.  Stay tuned to see them emerge as they manifest from my design graft paper to reality!

Indian Baskets 2006

Indian Baskets 2006

Today I notice that this type of stenciling seems to be taking on new forms and applications while coming to the attention of Californians to a greater degree than when I first arrived here.  I recently pulled out a box of my original cut stenciled designs.  Ideas for future craft work and decorative art are beginning to take form and sprout from idea seeds planted long ago.  I will use my own home as the testing ground.

Kitchen Doorway

Kitchen Entryway Decorative Art

The painting of my entryway hall and front door spilled out to the kitchen entry.  The door way sits at an angle to the living room.  With the front door newly painted a warm mustard yellow, I decided to carry that color connection to the kitchen entry.  As all things paint tend go with me, I just kept getting inspired to do more, which led to stencils I designed in 1982 to apply to curtains.   The great thing about stencils is that you can create a totally different look than the actual cut stencil by using pieces of it at different angles, which is what I did here to create this fanciful entry.   I also experimented with some paint effects to create a “marble” insert under the trees.

Collage #1

Stencil Detail

I now have an inviting new entryway into my home, just in time to welcome family in for Thanksgiving!

Full View of Hallway

Full View of Hallway (trick of the light – front door & stenciled entry are really the same color)

Artistic journeys wander through a network of past and present.  Sometimes the smallest sketch or long forgotten works spark new inspiration to be renewed in a way that reflects who you are now.  Look at the your old art.  Recreate it to reflect who you are today, for it is the basis for your now time–the moment that really counts.  Creativity may rest, but it always picks up again and is as endless as your imagination.   Keep it flowing in new ways.  Enjoy it, play with it, have fun with it.

© Maria Doglio Art 2014

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