Monday, February 3, 2014

Silk Painting - OMG how I love it!

Hello my friends, I have fallen well, and truly in love with Silk Painting!!   Last year I went to an artist retreat (had a wonderful time!!!!) and it was there that I was introduced to Silk Painting.

My very first silk painting


My very first painting was of a flower and I was very pleased with the result (except for the background color - I was in a rush to finish and ended up with a VERY intense chartreuse-yellow).

A large piece of recycled silk with snowflakes

My next set of paintings was experimental - an attempt to figure out how to use recycled silk for Silk Painting.


Recycled silk, brings with it a variety of issues including:

  1. Unsure if the silk is REALLY 100% silk (in spite of the tags stating they are 100% pure silk, I do not think that they always tell the truth!).
  2. Many items made of silk, have been coated in some kind of stain-resistant chemical which makes it hard for silk dyes to correctly penetrate the silk.
  3. Creating frames or other mounts to hold the smaller pieces of silk is somewhat challenging (for instance if I want to practice with a pocket from a silk shirt). 
  4. Most recycled silk items I have found, are colored rather than stark-white (the best I've found is a light beige).  This makes the colors of the silk dye appear differently than they would on pure-white.     and......
  5. It is often hard to tell what type/thickness of silk you are buying.  And the thicker the silk, the harder it is for the dye to penetrate the silk.
Snowflake Greeting Cards
In other words - I have had some pretty major challenges in getting the silk and dyes to behave the way they would on untreated, uncolored silks.  But it was fun to play with the dyes in spite of the challenges!  I took some of my experiments and cut them up into small chunks which I then attached to card-stock and make into holiday greeting cards.  I rather enjoyed the results!

My latest attempt is to paint my dog Sophie.  This picture was taken while the painting still was in the stretcher/frame (and still needs to be color-set and have the resist washed out).  I'm thrilled with how it turned out - of course, my critical eye sees things that I could have done better - or would change slightly.  But overall... a very satisfying experience!

My dog Sophie
My next attempt will probably be a floral-based piece... and then a couple of friend's dogs, and then a layered landscape of the Puget Sound.  Oh my.... yes I do have a LOT of ideas! he he he.  Of course, I'll have to fit all that in around the globe-lampshade orders I've received, plus I probably should pay attention to my "real" life (husband, kid, dog, and job, etc).  But, I've no doubt I'll be posting more paintings soon!

Thanks for taking a look!  If you're interested in anything I've made (or want to special-order something) - send me an email at:

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