Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Rose Bay Willow Herb

I have been dog sitting this week and have spent more time than usual at home so have been able to do a bit of extra painting.
I have been tempted over the past few weeks by the bundles of random dyed silk strips hanging on the studio door. They got moved and so the colours were slightly different. Hanging out the bottom of the bundle were some strands of the most beautiful cyclamen colour and I felt the time was right to give it a go.
I am sure I have posted a photo of the silk strands but cannot instantly find it to say which post date it is in, so I am including it again here. Sorry to repeat myself!!

These are two bundles of habutai (?) silk strips which I bought at 'Patchings Art Festival' a couple of years ago without having any idea of what I might do with them

So, using a piece of 500g paper, I roughly pasted the surface with white gesso and applied the fine strands of the silk edgings to the gesso surface. To do this, I simply ran my fingers through the strands and pulled off any loose threads. There are lots, so it is easy to do..
I tried to arrange them roughly in flowers spike shapes. Be warned.... the whole of this process is very messy on the fingers.

  At this stage it does not matter what colour they are as the silk readily absorbs the colour of the wash which is applied once the gesso is completely dry. I used a combination of Ultramarine Pink and Alizarine Pink for the flowers and Pthalo Blue, Pthalo Green and Quinachridone Gold Deep for the base.

I allowed this to dry completely and then added more paint to create the flower shapes and a bit of the undergrowth. At this stage, I thought maybe the painting was finished as it was without the silk, so I did no more.

That still left me without a silk collage so.....I repeated the process from the beginning, but once the background wash was dry, I used only the silk, cut into tiny squares to create the flowers. This gives a much more abstract look to the painting. I used pva medium to attach the fabric and then I added a little acrylic white gouche to give me a few highlights.
I think they are both finished, but I will live with them for a week or so before giving each of them an antique white mount.

It is a good job that I do not have to decide which one I prefer!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Sheri both for reading the blog and for the lovely comment. I hope there will be future posts that you enjoy.

  2. It is a very entertaining, beautiful, cheerful mood!

    1. Thank you. That is a lovely comment. I am pleased you enjoyed looking.

  3. The concept of painting the silk strips is just amazing. I never thought about painting the silk strips; however, I myself is a painter. I am just loving your idea.

  4. What a beautiful outcome from a wonderful idea. Thank you for generously sharing your work with us.

    1. Thank you, Laura. I am happy to share any ideas I have. One of the advantages of working in a group of artists with very diverse styles and interpretations of the weekly subject.