Every 2 years there is an unusually large gathering of beautiful silk things, along with the artists who created them. I’m talking about the Silk Painters International (SPIN) silk painting festival that attracts silk painters of all levels from all over the world. We have workshops, lectures, discussions and lots of silk painting inspiration. This year it took place in Santa Fe, NM, during the last week of July. I taught a 2-day workshop called ‘Decisiond Decisions’, which was designed to help artists make the right choice of technique when starting a new painting. One of the ‘problems’ in silk painting is that there are sooo many different techniques, there are just too many choices!
So to do a 'compare and contrast' exercise, I chose a floral image that everyone would paint, but using 3 different techniques, with each technique providing less and less control of the liquid dyes. Quite a challenge for those who are used to painting tightly!
I had 9 enthusiastic students. Here’s the class just starting out -
Some instruction and work in progress -
Results of the first technique - painting on treated silk. (For any silk painters reading this - dyes don’t flow at all).
Technique # 2 - Painting with very limited resist - flowing dyes but subject and background separated by resist… getting looser…
Technique #3 - the scariest and loosest of all - painting on untreatedd silk with no resist, and using expressive black lines to provide loose details…
It was quite fascinating to see how different everyone's work turned out, given that they all started with the same image.
Some students also did their own thing after all the exercises were done ~
We made it through 2 pretty intense days of silk painting!
The Festival was held in a great setting: the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe NM. The IAIA sits on a vast expanses of sacred ground, with 360 degree views of the sky and surrounding mountains. SO very different from my home of N. Carolina! My camera could only capture a tiny fraction of this beauty.
For information on SPIN check out their website at www.silkpainters.org.