Friday, April 24, 2009

"Ocean Bouquet" a salt water adventure

First Salting!  In keeping with my string of "firsts", today I'm sharing step by step progression of my first successful silk painting using the salt technique. I started with silk habotai (China silk) 36"x36" square of silk habotai.  I had drawn in the floral outlines in a silver metallic resist weeks ago, so first I needed to re-stretch the square out.
I used a bristle brush to make sure the silk fully caught onto the tiny needles on each end of the frame.  A sponge was used to paint the dark blues and aquas of the watercolor ground.  I find it so peaceful when mixing shades of blue.  The lights and dark blues blend and flow together so beautifully.  Sometimes, I wish everything was blue - blue/white/silver.. those very well might be my favorite hues.
After painting the blue washes, the next step was to sprinkle rock salt. This technique is quite intriguing because you can see the effects right away as the granules soak up the extra paint water so quickly.  It creates comet like shooting stars or the illusion of water splashing.  It gives a whole new meaning to "watching the paint dry"as, in this case, it can be quite exciting!

Once the background dried, I moved on to painting in the green leaves and floral bouquet, complete with little mushrooms and budding rosettes.  I do remember being in quite a whimsical mood while drawing those lines.  Think "Alice in Wonderland", chasing white rabbits in day dreams.. memories of happy summer days of childhood.. skipping along the board walk smelling the ocean breeze. 

And viola! Here it is drawn, salted, painted and all stretched out on the frame. Once completely washed and finished, it feels silky smooth and can be worn any which way.  Here I borrowed an idea from a friend  - rolling up the square, tying knots, and wearing it like a necklace.  I love this idea - it's fun and whimsical, just like the mood of the painting.  

I believe that I will paint more scarves like this, with one color contrasting the other side since it provides such versatility.  Tonight I did a little photo shoot and here are some other ways (not including around the waist or as a head scarf) to tie this happy-go-lucky hand painting.  Keep in mind - this is all the same scarf, just arranged other ways to create varied looks.  The possibilities seem endless, actually.
European around the neck, or knotted necklace for a preppy/dressed up casual feel...

Cowl neck showing multi, color, or all blue to wear over a nice work outfit...

Over the shoulder for an evening accent or as a sexy bandana top for a hot summer day...

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