Hi everyone;

I was honored to get an invite from my dear art pal, Genevieve Crabe of Amaryllis Creations, to "test drive" her wonderful new line of masks.  It was a really fun project to be part of and I am happy to share with you the projects I created using her fabulous products.

You can find out more about Genevieve, a Certified Zentangle Teacher, along with her other arty projects here on her website:

Genevieve Crabe - Amaryllis Creations Website

There are two sets of three masks, "Sisters" and "Yoga."    Immediately upon seeing them I knew they would work so well with my kind of art.  My art almost always has a meditative or spiritual/metaphysics angle to it, so adding a these types of components was a natural fit.  Though Genevieve and I did not discuss this beforehand, I have no doubt that she considered this when asking me to try out these masks.  She's so clever!

Anyway, here are the six masks.  They are made of very sturdy plastic and have terrific definition to them.  I found working with them very simple to do and they easily stood up to all the wear and tear I inflicted upon them.  They are all around the 7" tall mark, just FYI.

The first thing I did with the masks, was to use them to cut out some shapes with an assortment of different papers.  I was curious to see how these images would work with different patterns and textures.  Below is a scan of just a few of the samples I made.  They included:  sheet music (center bottom), some vintage Asian text super-imposed on scrap wallpaper (bottom right), gelli plate print (bottom left) and a print of a close up of some rusty metal (upper right).  All of them turned out just great!

If you know my art, you know I make funky little characters to use in it all the time.  I got on a roll and took some of these mask images and created some "people" for future artwork.  Here's what I came up with, using an assortment of markers, recycled doodads and collage elements.

Next, I created a set of two finished pieces using a couple of these "characters" that I'd made using my gelli plate prints.  The quote used in these two pieces is "Reach High For Stars Lie Hidden In Your Soul.  Dream Deep For Every Dream Precedes The Goal."  

Each piece uses a gelli plate print for the background, along with other gelli prints for the sun image.  The first one has dangly, metallic gold stars done with Silks acrylics and sparkly doodads for the dangles (which don't show up well in the scan unfortunately).  

I rarely use digital print in my work, usually it's all "old school" collage, cut and paste.  In this case however, I thought I'd try adding the quote digitally and I am pleased with how they turned out.  I'm still going to go back to my "old school" collage techniques and finish off the originals that way.  You know what they say about old dogs learning new tricks!  LOL.

The last piece I will share with you was created a bit differently.  I used the mask in the true sense of what they were intended for.  I laid the mask on my gelli plate, then added a number of layers of acrylic paint and inks to get this look:

Then, I dithered back and forth, trying to decide how to proceed with this piece.  I really felt like I should do some more layers with the mask but wasn't sure how to proceed without ruining what I'd already done and liked so much.  

Then, I thought I should do some zentangle-style doodling in the white space created by the mask and continue to gelli print around it.  No, couldn't bring myself to do that either.  

So, finally, since the only things that kept coming to mind for how to finish this piece involved my old standby, collage, I decided not to fight it anymore.  Once, I made that decision, the collage came together quickly.  I used other gelli prints for the "grass" and for the border at the top of the piece.  The main character is a gelli print with a stamped image on the body and a collage element for the face.  The trees and flowers are more collage elements.  A bit of scribbly doodling with white and black pens and the piece was done.  

I must reiterate how much I enjoyed working with Genevieve's masks.  They really stood up well and I know I will get years of use out of them.  She tells me she is thinking of introducing a half-sized set as well for use in smaller art and I can't wait.  I will be the first in line to snap 'em up!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Don't forget to visit Genevieve's site for more info on these and other fabulous products!

Genevieve Crabe - Amaryllis Creations