Monday, March 11, 2013

Lynn Meek - Featured Artist

Today I have the honor of introducing you to one of the artists who has most inspired me. When I first learned of Etsy and began considering selling my scarves there I fell in love with her shop and her silk art. She is a true artist, and her paintings always amaze me with their exquisiteness. Hope you enjoy getting to know her through this interview as much as I have.
About you
Although I’ve never had any formal training, art in some form has always been part of my life. I grew up in Toronto Canada, moved to the States and have lived near Atlanta since 1965. I’m a retired flight attendant, mother of two and grandmother of three. I’ve always painted….mostly watercolors
Why silk painting? 
Your story about how you began painting silk and what you do in this field now, etc.
I had the original Tuckman/Janus “Art of Silk Painting” book for years and that was always my goal. We finally built our studio 5 years ago and I knew the first time I dropped dye onto silk and watched all the magical movement, that this is what I wanted to do. I was fortunate to connect online with the wonderful silk painter, Karen Sistek ( She couldn’t have been more gracious and generous in her encouragement. Fast forward to today: I’m creating and selling my silk wraps through my Silk Siren shop on Etsy
What inspires your paintings
We live out in the country on a lake where I have the trees, flowers, birds and all of nature around to inspire me, and the peace and quiet to let me focus and create.

Your favorite silk painting you have done
My favorite was probably one I did on silk satin that featured three large jungle cat heads: a tiger, leopard and puma. I normally paint florals so this was quite a stretch and it turned out beautifully. It was hard to part with that one when it sold. I’d have to say my signature design is large florals painted in a loose watercolor style where I let the dyes run and blend without resist.
Your favorite type of silk, dyes, resist, etc.
I’ve developed my own method of silk painting simply thru trial and error…much of it similar to watercolor technique. I tried resist but quickly realized I wasn’t an “inside the lines” type personality. I use thickened dye where I want control or a hard edge, otherwise I like to let the dye run and blend on the silk. I prefer to paint on chiffon. I use Jacquard Red Label dyes from Dharma and a few Tinfix colors as well.
Please share a tip for other silk artists or those interested in silk art

I would encourage silk painters to check out the SPIN (Silk Painters International) Facebook page. You needn’t be a member of SPIN although I recommend that as well. SPIN is a worldwide association of silk painters of all levels. The Facebook page is a wonderful community for sharing all aspects of silk painting…, ideas, material sources….it’s a terrific, supportive community of talented artists.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a parrot tulip wrap for my dear friend Karen Sistek who was chosen as the signature artist for a prestigious tulip festival. Karen requested a tulip themed silk to wear for the festival.

What advice can you give us on selling our silk art?
I started my Etsy shop, Silk Siren, about four years ago and it’s been a wonderful venue for me. I don’t do shows, or blog or market my silks anywhere else. I’ve been fortunate to have my silks “discovered” quickly and I have a loyal following of clients who return again and again. The fact that Etsy is a global marketplace has given me the exposure resulting in shipping my silks to a worldwide clientele.
My suggestions for anyone thinking of selling on Etsy would be:
1.  Do your research and find a niche. You must have a unique product.
2.  Offer a professional product for good value.
3.  Provide outstanding customer service
4.  Connect to your buyer with great photos and inviting descriptions.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tatjana- Featured Artist

Meet Tatjana, a talented silk artist from Croatia with a wonderful story to share about her silk art! I so fell in love with silk painted dresses that I wanted to get to know her better. I hope you all enjoy her interview as much as I did!

About you

My name is Tatjana , I'm from Croatia. I'm 39 and a mother of two boys

Why silk painting?

I always knew I would do something creative in my life. With my hands and involving lots of colors! I remember, in college If I took an exam and I went there with manicured and polished nails that meant I had studied hard. What do manicured nails have to do with studying? It's very simple. The only way to keep my hands in place and not starting crafting something while studying was to polish my nails and to wait for polish to dry.

I started crafting as a kid.; making jewelry from all sorts of material, pottery, glass painting,..... I found out about silk painting when I was 16 and immediately fell in love. Lately, when it wast time to chose a college, I didn't need to think twice,, Faculty of Textile Technology and design was my choice. So, I'm actually a fashion designer by profession!

What inspires your paintings?

Everything! A nice sunny day,good music, good art exhibition,.. Beautiful garden and flowers specially since flowers are my favorite motif..

What is your favorite silk painting you have done?

Wow, I made hundreds of them in past 20 years! You can see some of them here:
 Flickr But my favorite so far is this one:

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

My favorite type of silk is crepe de chine. I love it's modest shine, rich texture and how beautifully it drapes. I buy silk in local hobby shop. I use steam set dyes (fiber reactive) that I buy wherever I find. No favorite brand However, the gutta is something else. It's very important to me so I use solvent based gutta from Dupont.

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

A simple one: When I'm too excited to start painting to wait for the gutta to dry, I start painting on the wrong side!
Another one. With steam set dyes, if you are not happy with what you have done after steaming you can start all over.
Here is a post about that I wrote on my blog (before I neglected it): Post

If you have a family or kids or another job, how do you balance those and find time to paint?

I don't have another job but I do have a family. Having a family and two kids I decided it is best idea if I stayed home and work from home. Thanks to etsy for making that possible :)
I usually paint when my kids are in school

Find Tatjana here: