≡ Menu

4 Simple Steps to Use an Art Book for Inspiration

Video Showing How I Use an Art Book to Inspire My Play with Encaustics and a Stencil

One of the things that I enjoy about reading an art book is that it inspires me to play.  Now, I don’t always do exactly what is in the book or do it exactly how the artist did it.  It’s a place to jump off, to start, to play.

Today, I used Mary Beth Shaw’s book, Stencil Girl.  There’s a week long blog hop going on so be sure to check it all out!

Check out the video where you see my whole process for encaustic play.  Disclaimer: I am a total novice with encaustics and am just having fun playing.

Watch Playing with Stencils and Encaustics on YouTube.

encaustic dotStep 1….Pick a page, technique or chapter.

I’ve been exploring encaustic, you can see my first attempt here.  So I was drawn to the chapter called Wax and Waning Encaustic.   There is beautiful carmel brown piece with 20 step-by-step photos in Mary Beth’s book.

encaustic dotStep 2….Pick just one little bit to try. I narrow down to just one thing, or as close to 1 thing as possible, to try.  If I try to do everything the artist did I get overwhelmed by all the pressure.

encaustic dotStep 3….Get what ever supplies are on hand to try it.  If I don’t have the exact items it is just fine with me…And it keeps me from having to read too many words or get caught up shopping instead of playing.  Whatever I have will work.  And by work, I mean let me play. It may not give me the exact same results as in the book but that was never my goal.  My goal was to start playing.

encaustic dotStep 4…Play.  Try it.  Play.  Have fun.  And allow it to be whatever it will be.  It is just play.


Supplies Used:

Stencil Girl The Book Blog Hop

One lucky winner will receive Stencil Girl The Book with exclusive bookmark stencil and (3) 6″x5″ stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw.

Giveaway closes Sunday, September 21st @ 11:59PM Central Time.  ALL comments left on the hop are entered in giveaway (but just one comment per blog please).

{ 47 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Courtney Miley September 19, 2014, 7:11 am

    Absolutely love the video. Love the way you play around the product even though you admit that you’re a newbie to it. It makes it less scary for a real newbie like me to see an experience artist play with unfamiliar products. And the terminology you use was great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Jean Marmo September 19, 2014, 7:38 am

    I love how you work with abandon. I need to be more relaxed! Love this!

  • Bev September 19, 2014, 8:05 am

    Great post! Great video. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with some of the projects I see in a book – love the simplicity of just focusing on one aspect. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  • Michael September 19, 2014, 8:34 am

    Not into encaustic but this was a very entertaining and informative video. I love how they came out and will great as a journal background or card background. And I love love love how you love to experiment!

  • Gill September 19, 2014, 8:47 am

    Fabulous – loving the colours!!

  • Mary C. Nasser September 19, 2014, 9:07 am

    Fabulous, Carolyn!
    Great suggestions, too, on using a book as a muse!

  • Lisa DO September 19, 2014, 9:22 am

    Interesting with the encaustics for sure! And I love the colors that you used.

  • esther September 19, 2014, 9:45 am


  • Jo Murray September 19, 2014, 9:46 am

    I always enjoy watching you work Carolyn. I’ve wanted to try wax for ages, so guess I’ll just have to win this book.
    jo.murray.art(at)gmail(dot com)

  • Ruth Reaves September 19, 2014, 10:46 am

    Love it, I think it’s time to play!

  • Tasha F September 19, 2014, 10:50 am

    Carolyn you are so fun! I love all your “technical” verbiage about thingies and stuff 🙂

  • Robyn C. September 19, 2014, 10:51 am

    LOVE that you listed your approach to a book lesson. THANK YOU! I LOVE books but often get overwhelmed with what I want to try. And your encaustic work is just YUMMY! Thank you!

  • auntie em (emily) September 19, 2014, 11:02 am

    What an awesome video! I love the way you play with the products and technique…and that you didn’t feel compelled to use ALL the steps or ALL the products in the original tutorial. You have taken the scariness out of it!
    Thank you for sharing! I had a great time joining you. 🙂

  • Arlene September 19, 2014, 11:04 am

    Wonderful……wish I was retired so I could play more !!! But…I must say I do manage to fit in a lot of l.aytime…..

  • Evelyn Howard September 19, 2014, 11:17 am

    Great video. Loved watching you use the encaustics. I have tried encaustics once before and it was frustrating. You inspire me to want to try again. I truly appreciate your laid back approach to trying new things – you never seem to stress over the process.

  • Judy Shea September 19, 2014, 11:39 am

    That was fun to watch you evolve with wax. Pages really came out cool. Encaustics is a whole other animal.

  • Cecilia Swatton September 19, 2014, 12:26 pm

    These color combinations are fantastic and I love that you’ve used encaustic on paper! Beautiful work, Carolyn!

  • Pam September 19, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Hmm…I was not interested in encaustics until I saw your video. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Christine Mack September 19, 2014, 12:29 pm

    I love the video and it has inspired me to use my wax supplies more. Sometimes I get caught up in doing things “the right way” and I forget that the best results happen when you “play” and forget all rules. Thanks.

  • Denise Huntington September 19, 2014, 12:42 pm

    I love your attitude, Carolyn. Start with the inspiration from the art book, then play. It’s all about playing, experimenting, learning for me too!

  • Gwen L. September 19, 2014, 1:57 pm

    This turned out so cool! Love the layers and colors and the hints of book paper peeking through. As a fellow encaustic novice, I’m feeling inspired to keep trying!

  • Linda Penny September 19, 2014, 2:19 pm

    What an interesting technique! Thanks for sharing.

  • Vicki Ross September 19, 2014, 3:03 pm

    Carolyn, you are fearless! I took up encaustic in January, but immediately worked in my representational painting style. MUST play more!

  • Mary Ann Gross September 19, 2014, 3:08 pm

    You amaze me. I can so relate to the way you just take off and create. I just wish my end results would be as good as yours.

  • Corrine September 19, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Fun, wax can be addicting, watch out. xox

  • Rebecca Buchanan September 19, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Carolyn, I always feel a little out of breath after watching one of your videos!!! I can barely wait for the next installment on cleaning the stencils. I was on the edge of my seat watching these evolve. Thought my favorite would be the red one (which I still like very much), but agree with you that the ugly duckling indeed turned into the swan here. Love, love, love the effect of the gold. Thanks so much for emboldening (word?) the rest of us with your abandon and free spirit–it really encourages me to get into the studio and play. Thank you!!!

  • julie m September 19, 2014, 4:22 pm

    still working on the basics of stenciling and have this book on my Christmas list along with some stencils. winning would be sweet though because then i can add more stencils to the list.
    enjoyed watching you use the encaustics. very cool page.

  • Ruth L September 19, 2014, 4:53 pm

    Oh Carolyn I loved your experimenting with encaustic, I love beeswax, the best part in it the smell, addicted hehe 🙂

  • marylouh September 19, 2014, 4:54 pm

    I’m just starting with stencils and I think this book is just the push I need to get started and accomplish something worthwhile.
    thanks for the video and the incentive to work with what I have on hand.

  • Heather Thompson September 19, 2014, 5:04 pm

    That is a ton of detail. Great pointers.

    heifer21 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  • Mary Beth Shaw September 19, 2014, 5:26 pm

    It is my great hope (when I write a book or article) that it inspires someone to play! So fun to watch you do that!!

  • MaggieM September 19, 2014, 6:53 pm

    This is one of my favorite Carolyn Dube videos! She is so very honest and down to earth with her use of the encaustic technique described in Masry Beth’s book. Carolyn, thanks to you, I feel fry to play and try new techniques without guilt. You are my art Heroe!!

  • Cath Sheard September 19, 2014, 7:12 pm

    I haven’t tried encaustics, and I’m not intending to, but love watching you play with them. I’m with you, the piece with the crisp images on the paler background, really stands out.

  • Shari Czerwinski September 19, 2014, 10:53 pm

    I love your use of bright, cheery colors! Your videos are always well done and inspirational!

  • Jamie Gentry September 19, 2014, 11:28 pm

    Aloha from Maui! Very cool video…I do love your approach paper arts! Limited art supplies here in the islands so I rely on the internet to keep me in the loop re techniques, STENCILS (which I love), supplies & all the fun stuff happening out there!!

  • cathy @ ma vie trouvee September 20, 2014, 4:55 am

    Oh so many fun giveaways! I love MBS! Thanks for sharing your tips – you are always so inspiring!

  • Suztats September 20, 2014, 11:32 am

    Looks like a lot more fun has been happening!

  • Martice Smith II September 20, 2014, 5:23 pm

    I really like your relaxed approach! It’s all about play- no pressure to do just that!

  • Betty September 21, 2014, 12:10 am

    Thanks for inspiring us to play and have fun with the materials. Your video is good. Who wouldn’t want to play after watching it? Thanks!

  • pjay September 21, 2014, 1:06 am

    Awesome. Love how you show us how to play freely!

  • lacyquilter September 21, 2014, 2:53 am

    Great project.
    lacyquilter (at) gmail (dot com)

  • Denise Spillane September 21, 2014, 3:09 am

    Love that you play like this! Great results. I love encaustics but have never used stencils with them. Love to collage my deli paper prints into encaustic layers. Now something mew and exciting. Thanks for the videos.

  • Amante del Papel September 21, 2014, 7:41 am

    I love see your projects, i love the colors in there!

  • Josie Brugada September 21, 2014, 1:01 pm

    Ooh looks like fun! I’m in

  • Beverley September 21, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I love this, totally new to me, lots of terms to understand. But I’ve dipped papers in beeswax, own paintsticks so will experiment…. thank you.

  • Liz September 22, 2014, 1:16 am

    How fun, Carolyn! I have encaustics and have never tried them because I don’t know the rules. Now I feel like I could try them anyway. Awesome! Thanks for sharing your play.

  • Marjie Kemper September 24, 2014, 3:40 pm

    That was fun to watch. I hear you on that rich gold… fabulous. And wonderful words of wisdom re playing & experimenting!