When people walk into my booth at an art festival, I tell them, “It was all white silk before I got ahold of it, and I had a little fun! Color makes everything better.” Truth be told I had a lot of fun. I love what I do!
I have been painting on silk since January of 2000. I have studied many processes of painting on silk including gutta serti, shibori, and soy wax techniques. The intensity of the colors you can achieve and the sinuous, illustrative quality of the resist lines draws me in! Watching the dye flow from the brush across the silk is a wonder!
Each piece I create is an original design hand painted on 100% silk. Silk painting is a fascinating process. The white silk is washed, dried, and stretched onto a frame. The design you see is drawn, or painted onto the silk with resist mediums called gutta, and melted soy wax. Once the design is dry, french silk dyes are mixed with ethyl alcohol and distilled water. When the paintbrush is placed onto the silk, the dye flows freely until it encounters a gutta, or wax line. While the dye is wet, I apply different kinds of salt, and sometimes drops of alcohol, onto the stretched silk. As the dye dries, the salt draws the dye in different directions creating interesting textures on the silk. Often there are many layers of dye, and wax on each piece. Once painted, the wax is then ironed out of the silk before the steaming process. Once the dyes are dry, the silk is then steamed to bond the dye into the fibers of the fabric. Once steamed and dried, the silk is then washed to remove the gutta, excess dye, or wax. It is then ironed, sewn, and ready to wear if it is apparel, or hang, if it is a piece of wall art !
When I am not in the studio painting, I travel year round doing juried art festivals across the southwest.