27 April 2015

Back in action on Planet Joy

You may or may not know that my studio flooded this year in January (again). I've been dealing with insurance adjusters and contractors to get the renovations completed. Finally last week, I finished painting the floors and touching up the walls and moved my equipment back inside.

Demolition phase
As much as I love the look of my studio when it is empty, it is idle, it calls for the creativity!
Fresh new floor surface. 
Now, happily, there is life and creativity afoot! The muse has enjoyed the rest during renovations, I've been germinating new ideas and custom orders are underway once again. 

Peacock feather motif in production
I will be very busy during the rest of April and through the month of May catching up on production for the Santa Fe Opera gift store and some very special orders for clients out east - it's wedding season you know!
Custom jacket for a wedding.
I will do my best to write for Planet Joy, but if you want to keep up to date with day-to-day studio happenings and activity, please join the fun on Facebook!  Feel free to comment or contact me to create and design a custom silk wrap for yourself or a friend!

12 April 2015

Traditional Line Painting on Silk

Whatever style they follow, all silk painters must have an intimate knowledge of their material, painting silk is full of changing and unexpected characteristics. Click here to watch a contemporary studio demonstration of this fascinating technique on YouTube.  

The Tibetan Thangka is the best known religious form. Click here to further explore the technique used to create the famous thangka depicting the twelve stages of Buddha's life.  
Twelve stages of the life of Buddha

Gongbi is the name for the Chinese silk painting technique. The name is from the Chinese Gong chin meaning tidy, literally “detailed strokes” referring to the meticulous brush technique. Classic examples of this school are Imperial-court paintings of the Ming Dynasty. The painting below is a copy by the emperor Huizong of an earlier Tang Dynasty painting by Zhang Xuan depicting women pounding and preparing silk fabric. 
Court Ladies Preparing Silk

The Vietnamese style of silk painting utilizes the natural color of the silk as the background. Delicate color and silk background of this traditional style demonstrate harmony with nature. 
Silk painting from the village of Hue, Vietnam

I am fascinated by the precision and beauty of this traditional Asian silk painting genre. There are many resources available online for deeper study. Many museums exhibit traditional silk paintings in collections worldwide, including Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Beijing's Capital Museum and the British Museum to name just a few.