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Monday, July 24, 2006

Silk scarf painting

For what it's worth, here's my first silk painting. It's a fascinating process. The first week of class I forgot about it and dashed in more than an hour late, something I never do. The students (six in the class) had transferred their drawings to their 48" lengths of stretched silk and were applying gutta resist to the lines. I didn't want to hold things up, so I did a freehand drawing on my silk, whipping up some spirals, stars, suns, moon and wiggly lines. The gutta had to dry, so we were told plan our colors for the second session, which was last week. I figured my favorites would work well with the design--blue-green, red-orange and yellow, plus some red for richness. We painted our scarves last week, then the instructor showed us how to bundle them up when they were dry so she could take them home and steam them to set the color. I was surprised this week to see that the steaming had enriched the colors. The gutta was still in the lines, though, so you couldn't really see what it would look like. I painted a color wheel spiral on a little round of silk (what is it with spirals this month?). While it was drying, I went home (5 minutes away) and washed the gutta out of my scarf, ironed it, and took it back to show the class. If you're an experienced silk painter, don't look. If not, please share my excitement at trying something new that was fun and gave me a halfway decent result. I'd like to do this again in a workshop, but it isn't something I want to set up in my studio.
p.s. I took the photograph with the panorama feature on my digital camera and it really worked great. Otherwise, the image would have been tiny.

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