A while ago when I was experimenting with an airbrush to create images, I became quite frustrated with the length of time it took to apply each layer of colour. This was because the ink or paint needs to dry thoroughly before applying a mask or stencil on top of the colour to protect it while other shapes of colour are applied around it to create the image.

I came across an airbrush system that uses marker pens in a holder which can be attached to a can of air or for best results, to a small desktop artist's compressor. This easy to use airbrush system inspired me to create the airbrushed images which I make from stencils which I cut by hand. Because the inks are more or less touch dry when they are airbrushed onto paper, this system is a very quick way of making images from my stencil very quickly. Most of my stencil designs are for greetings cards, including Easter cards and Christmas cards, so this marker system made it cost effective to reproduce these designs as hand made greetings cards.

I also create some pictures using stencils.

The designs are made from anything from one stencil to half a dozen or more, depending on the image.  Some people think that they are paintings rather than stencil designs. 

The fine art laid paper I used to make the cards has been unobtainable for a long time, and the pens are no longer made. So I scanned my designs, although it took ages to clean them up in computer editing software. So at the moment I print the scanned images of my stencil designs onto digital fine art paper using archival quality ink.

Some of my card customers have told me they like to frame the card images so using very good quality fine art paper with long lasting inks means that the images when framed, should retain the vibrancy of the colours of the designs for quite a while. The card I use now is a 190 gsm medium weiht lightly textured paper made by an English paper mill which dates back several hundred years, who make very high quality water colour papers. Their paper is made with several finishes to the surface, e.g. for pastels, painting inks, and especially for digital print which requires a different type of surface than paints or pastels.

I started creating these designs with a great influx of inner creativity. Someone told me when I started this stencil work that the French call stencil artwork Pochoir and it was used very much during the first part of the 20th Century as part of a hand printing process for illustrations, in particular fashion illustrations, but with a hand printed outline as well as stencil work to colour in the images.

I recently, in 2022, took up a challenge to create some new work for an exhibition at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery "Printmaking: Mystery and Method".

I used Indirect Drawing to make the coloured outline of the image, then made handcut stencils so I could paint in the inside of the leaves and flowers of "Spray of Flowers" with acyrlic gouache.  My own version of Pochoir print.

I am also starting a new series of stencil cards using colour pencils, to make individually hand drawn cards.

Here is a link to some information about stencil art

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stencil (accessed 1st April 2015 and 22nd January 2019)