Silk creates the sky

I began my exploration into art as an adult in a watercolor class. The fast, loose, unpredictable medium was difficult for me to master. Yet I have been delving into the physical movement properties of water and pigment recently with my latest work.

Silk, ironed onto freezer paper, is flooded with dyes.

My silk is stabilized on a piece of wax paper, and is laid across a large light box. Underneath is a reverse of the test print of the linocut that will go over the colored silk. (It is necessary to use the reverse because the silk will be flipped over when glued down.

Using dyes to flow like skies

I discovered that if I wet the silk with plain water, and then touched color in specific places, the dyes spread out in a way that said clouds to me.  Each piece in the series will be different, using blues, purples, pinks, yellows and oranges to create different moods and times of day. (This work merged some orange and blue, giving me a bit of green sky. I’m choosing to embrace this.)

After painting five pieces of silk, I have stopped to let everything dry. The colors are stronger and darker when they are off the light box, so I will need to experiment with the linocut block more before dyeing and printing the remainder.

So far I am enchanted by my “clouds” and hope the effect carries through the end of the process.


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