Saturday, June 6, 2009

Featured Artist Mystic Silks

I am so pleased to be featuring Klaire from on my blog today. Her phenomenal paintings on silk are truly amazing and I believe she has a gift for capturing the small details of life and transferring them to her canvas for all to see.

Klaire is a retired Hospice RN who resides in Warren, Ohio with her son, daughter-in-law, grandson and an Akida dog named Sasha. She is a fellow member of the Design Style Guide Team on Etsy and you can always find her in the forum with her cheery words and upbeat attitude.

I would like to share a little about the process Klaire goes through to make these extraordinary images because there are many steps involved before she even begins her design. The first is to wash the white silk (from Asia) in a soapy solution, rinse it several times, iron it, then pin it to a frame. Now it's ready for the dye. Klaire uses special resisting agents to help keep the dyes from floating all over the canvas. Once the painting is complete it must be steamed for 2-3 hours, which sets the dye, however, sometimes it has a mind of it's own and strays outside the lines creating unusual images and patterns that were not intentional but add to the piece. After the steaming process, the painting is then washed again in special soapy water to remove excess dyes, then rinsed, then ironed, then pinned to foam core board, and then finally framed.

I am always curious about the artist behind the art so I asked Klaire what her favorite piece was and why. She said it was "Her Majesty, the Monarch" as it was one of her first creations using silks as her canvas. This butterfly is also a symbol that many people relate to Klaire as this is the one she uses for her avatar on Etsy.

The meticulous detail on this painting is truly amazing to me. Take a look at the wings of this butterfly. If I didn't know better, I would think this is a photograph because the detail and clarity is so true to life, right down to the wispy antennae.

One of the most difficult pieces Klaire has ever created is the "Secret Garden" original silk painting. It is quite large and it took her months to finish. Trying to keep the dyes from floating on the silk takes great skill and patience and as Klaire would put it "Sometimes you just have to walk away to get new inspiration".

The "Bluebird Garden" is a perfect example of how the dyes can wander on their own and create something completely unexpected. The little bird is sitting on a statue that appears to be staring back. If you look very closely to the right of the base of the statue you can see what looks like an outline of a man and a woman. This was not intentional, but just "showed up". You may have to enlarge this photo to see it.

This particular painting is the epitome of Klaire's ability to zero in on something most would miss and that is the tiny yellow spider that lightly sits upon this fragile purple flower. This was a flower in a forest in a picture in the National Geographic Magazine. It was the spider that caught Klaire's eye and that is why she painted this lovely piece. This one is called "Forest Flower with Friend".

Many times Klaire has been asked to show her work at an Invitational Art Show and one of her pieces called "Picasso's Sun" sold in the first hour of the show. So many people requested she paint another Picasso that she decided to do this one, called "Picasso's Moon". When you are a one-of-a-kind artist, such as Klaire, it is impossible to re-create a piece, so all you can do is something similar.

Being a Floridian I just couldn't pass up this brilliant underwater scene called "Nemo's Friends, an Underwater View". The colors in this are so bright and bold and the way Klaire maneuvered the dye makes it look just like the wavy waters of the ocean.

Aside from her spectacular original silk hangings, Klaire also makes pillows and scarves. This adorable lighthouse is just one of the many designs in her shop.
Here is one of the original scarves that you will find in the Mystic Silks shop. I really think the colors blend so beautifully together. This "Sunburst" design can be used as a neck or head scarf or head wrap.

I just love to see where artists "do their thing" so I asked Klaire to send a picture of her studio. This is her haven. A place where she can go inside herself and create and dream and produce these wonderful original silk creations.



I do believe Christine, that of all the interviews and blogs created about my silk art, yours is at the very top of the list!!

Thank you so much--:)


Felicia Kramer said...

I have been a MysticSilks fan for awhile now, and knowing how she does these beautiful silks is fascinating. Great interview!

For Quilts Sake said...

Beautiful work and great interview!

Tins and Treasures said...

Christine and Klaire,
Congratulations on a great feature. ~Natalie

KnockKnocking said...

You have some lovely artwork on here!

RDG Designs said...

What a great interview with Klaire!! I love her work, the colors are wonderful!!!!

Karen Gill said...

Terrific interview. Mystic Silks is now a new favorite! Beautiful work.