Monday, February 25, 2013

Luiza Malinowska- Featured Artist
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Luiza of MinkuLUL.
Her work is superb, and the more I see of it the more I am awed. Enjoy our interview with Luiza.
About you:

I'm a painter with a degree in landscape architecture, who always loved to create her own clothes. I live in cold Poland and am constantly dreaming about relocating to sunny Italy. In the snowy months of winter I let my passion take charge and paint my dreams on silk and other textiles: flowers, animals and landscapes.

Why silk painting?

I started painting watercolors many years ago, as a child – my grandma encouraged me and taught me to love nature. Some years ago I stumbled upon the possibility of painting on fabrics, and gradually I moved from painting on T-shirts and jeans to lovely smooth shiny silks, which is quite similar to watercolors, but so much more...! Now I try so hard to find my place on Etsy to support my passion, because now I can't imagine my life without painting (maybe it's a bit of a cliché but still that's the truth) and creating items of everyday wear. I really find this type of art 'useful' and 'purposeful' – it's lovely to see other people wearing your own creations!

What inspires your paintings?

I love nature and find inspiration in floral motives as well as in Art-Nouveau. I love painting landscapes and probably I'm a traditionalist if it comes to watercolors, but painting those watercolor on silk is something I find really challenging and new.

What is your favorite silk painting you have done?

I think it must be scarf called 'Sunset' I really love how it lightens up a person who wears it. As you can see there's almost no gutta used – I'm so proud how it turned up!

Your favorite type of silk, dyes, resist, etc.

I try to get my supplies locally and support polish business so I use polish paint (which you can buy only in few shops here). I love Javana gutta but I had some problems with theirs paints (one just won't stay on the silk, the others leave stains). I really don't recommend Deco Gutta from Lefranc & Bourgeois – the colourless one will be almost invisible after drying and you won't see it on your silk.

Please share a tip for other silk artists or those interested in silk art

I really encourage everyone to try painting without using gutta: its' really possible to get general sharps of landscapes for instance, you just have to “fight” one color with another by controlling the spread with second brush. Oh, and a simple syringe from a pharmacy will make a great pipette for taking your paint out of the jar without spreading it all over your workplace!
You can find me here:
Etsy shop
DaWanda shop
Deviantart account
Facebook accout

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Outcome of my order:

In a former post I was working on this commission- which was to be like the banner shown. 

This was the tie as I painted it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Maria Jurimae- Featured Artist

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Maria Jürimäe. She is one of the leaders of our Silk Artist's Team on Etsy. It has been a pleasure getting to know her a bit over the past year or so and you are in for a treat with her story today.
About you:

I am an Estonian silk artist, I have painted on silk and taught silk painting for over 16 years. I am member of SPIN and one of the leaders of Silk Artists Team in Etsy. I also work at the University of Tartu in the field of education. I have two lovely daughters, 6 and 8 years old and sometimes they participate in my silk painting or develop their own creations.

Why silk painting?

I have painted with watercolors as long as I remember myself - my father is an artist, so painting was just a natural part of living. Watercolor didn't have a bad smell (like oil paints had) and the transparency and blends were enchanting. I also loved the thinking part - you had to plan your work in advance to get the dreamed result.

I discovered silk painting as a student and fell in love with it immediately - compared to watercolor it allowed even better blends, the color of steam fixed dyes was just irresistible! And silk had a distinct character – it was a living material and in the beginning it seemed to me that I have just two options – to let silk to whatever she wants (and just admire it and help the process by adding some dyes, water, salt, etc.) or to try to do what I want and end up with disappointment. Learning to accept silk and cooperate with it was really a rewarding experience. And eventually I have learned to think “the silky way” and am able to express even the most complex ideas on silk – not forcing my will over it, but with cooperation this wonderful material.

What inspires your paintings?

The nature, the God, the Angels, the music. . .
I love to be the medium. Most of my scarves just “come to me” from somewhere – I just have to let the brush to do its work, and sing my songs. It is a wonderful feeling.

I also love to make made to order scarves – to use the ideas of different people (even the craziest ideas can be expressed on silk) and make them alive on silk. People, their stories and their problem they would like to find solutions inspire me. Most of my clients have told me that the result is even better than they have imagined, so I have become quite confident in it ; )

What is your favorite silk painting you have painted? 

 It is almost impossible to pick one favorite. But because it is spring I will choose one of my signature scarves: Lily of the Valley.

Your favorite type of silk, dyes, resist, etc.

I love silk dyes fixed by steam. I have mixed the dyes by myself and used Pebeo, Marabu, Schjering. I just love those bright colors! Nothing can be compared to steam fixed silk dyes. My favourite guttas are from Marabu – they work well and don’t add extra texture to silk.

I love the softness and tender touch of silk. This material is perfect for feeling. . . so my favourite types of silk are crepe satin and ponge. I hesitated a long time before opening an Internet shop – because photos are just 2D images of my soft, shiny, living scarves. . . but it seems that the magic of silk can be somehow captured even via photos.

I have also loved to learn very thin and transparent chiffon silk – it is hard to paint because it is so transparent, but it gives a really rich and elegant result especially in evening wear.
I order most of my scarves, dyes, and guttas from Estonian resellers Vunder and Scanimpex.
Please share a tip for other silk artists or those interested in silk art

If I have to pick up one tip, it might be – cooperation with silk. I almost never pre-plan my silks in detail by drawing a 1:1 size paper with the design. I begin to play with colors on silk and adjust my design ideas according to results. This way every scarf or tie will be one-of-the kind (I have painted for over 1000 scarves) and the energy of scarf will be free-flowing, not forced.

If something goes “wrong” it actually is a sign to continue the work in (a bit) different direction – learning to read those signs takes some time, but it is surely worth of learning.

OK, this is more philosophy as tip. So something more practical too: to avoid the back-flow from pre-hemmed edges I suggest firstly to paint the right side of silk with quite dry brush (especially the edges – when the brush is wet the silk absorbs it and later it results with back-flow) and when the silk is ready, to add just very little paint with large, but dry brush to those areas of back side that have remained white.

And using a large, sharp ended watercolor brush (not too wet!) is helpful by filling tiny areas too ; ))

You can find Maria here: