Today's feature, shows that texture can be created on the most soft and lustrous of surfaces, like Silk... all you need to do is work with good colour and print. Here is Loli, to tell us more...
Hola! I am Loli Gil Bea, and I'm mostly famous in my family for being the crazy artist! I love to paint silk and make all kind of accessories with it, because I think art should not only be stared at, but also enjoyed 24h a day.
1. Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.
I started taking painting lessons for a few years, and focused in painting watercolors since 1990. After a while I discovered the techniques of silk painting and have been happily doing that for over 10 years.
2. Where do you find your inspiration?
Almost everywhere! In nature, landscapes, architecture, people, animals, museums, and art in general. Anything that makes me feel something new will draw me to paint.
3. Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?
At the beginning it was only for pleasure, but at some point I started selling my watercolors in art galleries. When I started painting silk, I decided maybe the best way to get this craft out to the world was to make something wearable. I opted for the silk scarves. All my friends loved them, so I started selling them at boutiques, art galleries, online at http://gilbea.etsy.com and now also in my own website http://www.gilbea.com
4. If someone was looking to take up this craft should they have any related experience before they start?
Experience in art or crafts is not really needed, as anyone can start in this craft from scratch. However, some basic drawing and coloring knowledge would be a great start.
5. What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?
Patience, patience, patience..!
Seriously, apart from being very patient, this also helps a lot:
A lit up work room
learning about silk special properties never stop experimenting
Getting in touch with other artists to share ideas.
6. What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?
I can’t live without:
a. Frames in various sizes to hold the silk.
b. Paintbrushes suitable for silk painting.
c. Good silk paint.
e. Pressure Cooker (Device used to fix the color to the silk). For beginners, the best idea is to start with silk paint that can be fixed with an iron.
7. Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner?
These books were very useful to me:
Beginner's Guide to Silk Painting by Mandy Southan
Silk Painting: The Artist's Guide to Gutta and Wax Resist Techniques by Susan Moyer
Definitely the best way to learn this craft is to try and try and try again until you reach something you like… but books from experienced artists with great tips are always welcomed!
8. Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?
I live in Spain and usually get my equipment from a crafts supply store in Madrid. However, most of the stuff I buy is international, so anybody can buy it too at a local crafts store. I would recommend Dupont paint (high quality), and Pebeo or Marabú for beginners.
Also, if possible, buy the plain white silk scarves instead of buying the fabric, this saves a lot of time! These can be found at craft stores too.
You can see more of my work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gilbea