Silk painting is one of the main features
of many of my works. This month I've been busy with paint and a
camera to try and capture the way colour moves across the silk,
when affected by water and salt.
Coming up this month:
Hidden Worlds in Silk Painting
See the spread and change of paint on silk using
Download a free high-resolution print for your
In every art form I have undertaken, I realise I
have been trying to achieve a flow and movement of colour and light
and form. Working with layered and stitched textiles gives me these
effects but it is most specifically through painting on silk that
I can begin to achieve the results I want.
Silk absorbs yet reflects light like no other fabric
I know, and that is still maintained when silk paints are applied.
Colours are taken through the material by a seemingly magical capillary
action, spreading in what almost always seems like an unexpected
way. I like the fact that I never quite know how the painted silk
will turn out.
I select my colours, sometimes straight from the
jar, sometimes mixed in a palate beforehand. I need brushes, sponges,
droppers, sprays, water and fingers to apply the paint.
The weight and texture of the silk fabric I choose
is also important. Habotai is the most commonly used, with its even
weave easing the flow of the paint.
Traditionally, most silk painting is done using gutta
outlines, which are used to stop the flow of the paint between colours.
This works well if you are looking to create a specific shape or
form. In my work, however, I prefer to create that tension by using
stitching and applied textures instead.
Detail from "Wellspring"
Without gutta I have the unrestricted flow of the
paint and I enjoy the unrestrained quality this method offers me.
I am fascinated too by the effect salt has on the
silk paint. It seems like a magical process whereby a few crystals
scattered randomly, or carefully placed on the wet fabric, transforms
the finished piece when it is dry.
Hidden worlds appear in distorted waves of
colour, and these can often act as a springboard for the direction
of the work.
Hidden Worlds in Silk Painting
For this newsletter, I took over 60 photos of a piece
of silk as I painted, sprayed water and dropped salt crystals on
it. We then overlayed the photos into a video creating a time-lapse
effect of the spread of the colour on the silk.
Sit back, press play and enjoy.
Download a free high-resolution print for your own wall
Now you know a bit more about the process of creating
this effect in silk painting, if you would like a high-resolution
image of a detail of the piece I created for the video, for your
own non-commercial use, then right-click on the image below
and select Save Target As You can then save the image on
your computer and print it off on photographic paper at up to A4
size without losing any quality.
Be advised that the image is approximately 2.5MB
big, so might take a little while to download
If you run into any difficulties then please let me know.
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