Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Stencil for My Brother

(Warning to any meditation addicts out there - this post has absolutely nothing to do with meditation, so you will not get your fix here...)

Yay! The exciting day has arrived! About 4 months ago my brother Pat, who lives in England, asked me to do a stencil for his newly renovated house. Just being asked to do the stencil was quite a compliment because my brother is an industrial designer and very particular about his house furnishings.

To give you an example - he painted his living-room seven times before he got exactly the right shade of white he wanted. (And he only got that by mixing two other shades together.) After the room had been painted he ordered some furniture on-line and said he nearly vomited when his couch arrived and it wasn't quite the right shade of white. I didn't know that there was more than one shade of white...let alone seven.

So, getting this request from my brother was very flattering. (Kind of a like a first year piano student being called up to conduct the London Philharmonic.) 

This stenciling stuff is all very new to me.  A friend told me about it a few months ago and it seemed like a hobby I could do where I could just do a bit of work every day - designing, or cutting, or spraying a stencil.  I sold my first stencil on e-bay just before Christmas and was so happy because it was the first money I'd earned in over ten years!  Wowser. Quite an achievement.  I couldn't believe someone would pay to have an artwork of mine on their walls. (I have three very artistic siblings, and they couldn't believe it either).

For the stencil design  I picked a photo that I'd taken about 2 years ago of my nephew Aidan.  This is one of my favorite photos, because  it captures Aidan's gentle personality. 

This was the stencil design I came up with:

I sprayed the stencil onto flat canvas, then rolled it up and sent it over to Pat. This is a close-up photo of part of the stencil - 

and these are the photos he just sent me.  I think it looks great!  He paid me for it, so now when people ask me what I do - instead of telling them I lie in bed with an ice-pack on my head, I'll tell them I'm an artist.  Woohoo.


  1. That's "Internationally Commissioned Artist", my friend! Wow is all I can think to say. It looks incredible. Perfect for the room. I love the personalisation of it too, makes it all the more valuable.

    I would think you could make a mint out of doing similar ones for other people to immortalise their kids (furry or human).

    And shut up that little voice women. Of course you can do this. You may not be artsy in the same way as your other family members but you have your own unique take on it which is just as valuable. Given how specific your brothers tastes are I doubt he would have made the request or put it on his wall just for familial reasons. Allow yourself to feel chuffed at your talent. Okay I'll put my mumness away now. I try to keep it under control but every now and then it escapes. :)

  2. I'm thinking I know the person who wrote the comment above - but for the life of me, I can't work out who it is! (Sara?!)

    thanks anyway - glad you liked it!

  3. It's awesome - I absolutely love it!

  4. No it was me. I don't know why it came up anonymous.

    Maybe I was feeling mysterious today.

  5. LOL! Mystery solved! I knew it was a regular reader but couldn't work out why it was anonymous.

  6. That's stunning, Emma. I love the design and the placement of his face. Yes, you are an artist.

  7. Em,
    You are bursting with enormous talent.
    The placement of your nephews face on the canvas and the placement in your brothers room...well, perfect, seamless, exquisite.

    Isn't self-discovery wonderful!

  8. Hi Emm,

    Already sent you an email but anyway the stencil is awesome!
    Glad to see you are well and hope you have a good time in Indonesia. (of course I hoped you would come here.........:-) )

    Much metta

  9. Wow!!! That is gorgeous Emma! I would love it if you did stencils for me as well. I'm a poor student in Canada but I'd love something of urs in my home!

    Keep writing bud! I appreciate this blog so much!

    - Abhi


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