People love color! And hand painting and dying fabric offers numerous ways to bring color to fiber. My heart is very much with my eco-printed silk art. However my many years of painting cannot help but be enthusiastic about my first love of hand painting.
When I began to work with fiber art-silk predominantly-it did not take me long to realize that there are as many ways to put color on silk as there are to put paint on canvas!
Block printing, screen printing, hand painted, hand embellished, detailed, abstract….all play a part at some point in what I create with silk.
Drawing and Painting
My tools are simple. Wood stretcher bars, eye screws, elastic and clips. For a hand painted design, I’ll first stretch a silk piece such as a scarf onto the frame. I’ll use a resist which to free hand draw my design onto the silk. The resist acts as a dam of sorts-containing the liquid dye within its boundaries so an artist can create a particular image. The end result can be anything from super realistic to whimsical to abstract.
People are intrigued with artist demonstrations and rightfully so. Nothing is more fascinating to watch than a painting of any kind, come to life as they watch.
Watching a work being created is an experience that cannot be duplicated simply by looking at a finished piece with no knowledge of how it came to be. I have noticed that people do understand painting. A canvas, paints, etc are in the experience of most people. But painting on silk is not. There is a huge difference between the cheap scarves created in masses with digitally imprinted designs vs an artist’s one of a kind handpainted scarf!
To add to the zen like feeling of slowly hand painting on silk and watching the dyes spread out onto the silk as if pulled by an unseen hand, is the ability to take it outdoors. I work with my ecoprinting outside all the time, spilling out onto my silk studio deck. And when those moments click into place, an artist truly has it all.
I have had people refer to my hand painted scarf clips as jewelry so that’s what I will call them! I make these unique little pieces as time permits. They are an alternative to traditional scarf clips that often come with a pin setting that pokes holes in delicate silk. My lightweight jewelry pieces are just 1″ in diameter and on the back is a 1″ diameter magnet. Putting the fabric between the alloy and magnet keeps the piece firmly in place…works with the silk scarves of course and can also pin the scarf magnetically to clothes 🙂
I cut pieces from my hand painted and eco-printed silk and attach them to the metal alloy-called a bottle cap design- and top with an epoxy dome. Note the tiny hole? It can be used as a necklace as well!
But I didn’t stop there! Collecting driftwood, I sanded, drilled and inserted magnets into the back with the same “no holes” concept and they are beautiful on my eco-scarves.
You can find more on my site of course http://www.TheSilkThread.com
My last “batch” before leaving for a trip to Oregon earlier this month. Grinding, then boiling cochineal bugs and laying out plants on silk….all part of the long process!
And the results? Oh my, what fun! 🙂
Almost 3 weeks in the Pacific northwest and I could not leave without expanding my collection of leaf matter. Check out the monster Big Leaf maple. The weather promises to break, the snow is melting and the sun will make it possible for me to create more of Mother Nature’s Art 🙂
Wake Forest Art & Frame Shop
139 S White St
Wake Forest, NC 27525
Join us Friday for Art After Hours from 6-9 pm
Featuring artwork by M. Theresa Brown
About the Artist:
M. Theresa Brown is a long time professional portrait artist who specializes in realistic fine art portraits of people, animals and places in oils, pastels, watercolors and pencil. A multi-faceted artist she also has collectors for her abstract art pieces and fiber art. Together with her artist husband, Stephen Filarsky, they have worked together in the art field as Filarsky Brown Art Studio since 1994.
Theresa’s portrait works as well as abstracts and a selection of her hand painted scarves will be on display through the month of June.