Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

The Million Dollar Silk Painting

Some of you may recognise this painting from a post I made quite a few months ago. It was entitled “How to Stretch Your Silk Painting on a Canvas in 10 Easy Steps”. I wanted to bring it out again into the limelight to show it off a little bit because it’s quite a talisman in actual fact.

Silk Painting of a Million Dollar Note

I painted it in collaboration with my husband who fancied having a million dollar note. He created the design and I painted it. It was then stretched onto a chunky canvas and now it hangs in our hallway as a money attractor. Excellent Feng Shui. Very auspicious. Especially when you hang it in the finances corner of your home. 🙂

And the great news now is that you, too, can have your very own money attractor hanging in your own home. This picture is for sale, either as a completed mounted silk picture, or as a ready silk panel which you can then mount on your own frame at home. This second option saves you money on shipping.

To order your silk picture just contact me: million dollar silk painting


March 3, 2010 Posted by | EXPERIMENTS IN SILK | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Keep Your Silk Painting Brushes Clean

This is one that many of you ask and  it’s actually a really fundamental one. We all get swept away applying a wide palette of gorgeous dyes to our silk but when it comes to keeping the brushes clean for the next time, that’s when difficulties can arise.

How often have you started a new painting with some pastel pink only to find that the first brush stroke is tinged with dark blue from your last session. Mmmm…not really the sort of thing you want happening during your creative spells.

Well, all is not lost because there are some basic things you can do to ensure that this doesn’t put a permanent damper on your enthusiasm and spoil your works of art.

The first thing I would recommend is to keep separate brushes for lighter and darker shades. I’m not saying you need one for each individual colour but it does make sense to keep the pastelly shades for one brush (or set of), the reds and oranges for another and your blues and greens for another one. If you use browns and blacks, they definitely deserve a brush of their own, too.

But I still suggest getting used to giving your brushes a thorough clean in between painting sessions. And this is what I do. I take my dirty brushes and plunge them into a large jar of clean water and really swish them about for a minute or two to get the worst of the dye off and repeat this if the water gets really dirty. Next I take the first brush and hold it under the running tap, gently rotating it on the palm of my hand in the full flow of water. Then I turn it upside down to allow the water to penetrate the wrapped upper part where the bristles are wrapped together. This is where the dye accumulates and is hard to get out. When you paint later the residue gets reactivated by the water and slides down the bristles onto the silk.

And then I take clean jar of water and a clothes peg. I suspend the brush with the water level parallel with the beginning of the wrap around and leave that over night for the dye to work its way out again into the water. Next morning I swish the brush around vigorously for a moment or two, run it under the tap and then squeeze dry between my fingers. I mould the bristles gently into shape and lay the brush down to dry on a sheet of kitchen paper. Your brush should be ready to go again and any remaining excess dye can bleed out at this stage.

This is about as good as it gets without using anything abrasive. I find it works if I do it thoroughly. See how you get on. 🙂

March 3, 2010 Posted by | SILK PAINTING TECHNIQUES | , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Freshen Up a Silk Scarf in 6 Messy Steps

If you’re anything like me, you may have quite a collection of silky things in yourHow to freshen up a silk scarf house. And sometimes the odd item may not look the way it did when you made it. This was certainly the case for one of my bright Jacquard scarves which had mysteriously manifested 2 green marks  not long after being made.

So I had the brilliant idea of revamping it to give it a completely different look as it was hardly used at all. The base shades were bright and middle orange and it seemed fitting to freshen it up with complimentary indigo.  It did strike me as rather a bold step, but why not have a go.

Please note that I am talking about a silk scarf that has already been steamed once and will be steamed a second time. This is not suitable for iron fix silk paints. So, back to the experiment.

The process was relatively quick and easy but extremely messy. This is what I did.

One: I laid out a thick sheet of plastic on the floor, spread the scarf out on top of it and soaked it with dilutant (Dupont).

Two: I made up two tubs of indigo. One will full strength and the other diluted 50:50 both of which I emptied haphazardly all over the scarf with great gusto. By the way, indigo really stains so I recommend that if you don’t want dark blue nails for days to come, put on rubber gloves. The process gets messy, so just keep them on. 🙂

Three: I took hold of the scarf and gently scrunched it about so that the dye was distributed over the scarf, but leaving it quite uneven with colour showing through here and there. So don’t do too much. Making it too even gives a uniform effect and here we’re going for a nice jazzed up mottled effect.

Four: I sprinkled a handful of effect salt onto the scarf and left it to dry.

Five: After a while I picked it up carefully and shook off the salt. I laid the scarf over a drying screen with a dark towel underneath it.

Six: When completely dry the next day, steam for 3 hours and rinse the excess dye out thoroughly. Put your gloves on for that again as there will be a lot of bleeding.

And that’s it. My scarf here still needs to be steamed but I am really pleased with the way the colours have turned out. It has a real autumnal look and you would never have known it was indigo on top of orange. Look at that wide palette of shades. Gorgeous.

Another very successful experiment. 🙂 If you  have a go at this, do send me a photo. I’d love to see your results.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | EXPERIMENTS IN SILK | , , , , , , | Leave a comment