Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Mounting Your Silk Painting In a Funky Way

“How can I mount the silk painting I’ve made?” is a frequent question I hear from many of you who contact me. So I’ve decided to post an article on it for everyone to benefit from.

Mounting your silk painting needn’t become a chore and I’m going to describe to you how to do this in a relatively quick way for a modern, funky look.

You have to first of all fix your silk by steam or iron, depending on what types of dyes you are using. If you have at least 2 or 3 centimetres of edge around your image, then you can go ahead with this method.

Get yourself one of those artist’s canvas frames. I prefer the chunky ones with a 3cm depth but any thickness will do. Lay the frame on a flat surface in front of you and lay the silk on top of that. Centre your artwork as best you can on the frame and then wrap the silk over the top edge and gently hold in place with a pin. Do this for the other 3 sides. When you have done this, carefully turn over your artwork.

Please make sure your work surface is clean as your silk will be lying on it. If you can, lay down a thin cloth for protection.

Now you can start to affix your silk to the back of the wooden frame. Begin at the bottom, the edge nearest to you. Work this way for a firmer finsh. Hold the silk firmly and using an upholsterer’s stapler, staple the silk in place in the centre of the bottom. Repeat halfway along this edge to the left and right so you have a staple 1/4 of the way, 1/2 way and 3/4 along.

Do exactly the same for the other three sides, making sure you pull the silk firmly into place before stapling.

At each of the corners, fold the silk first to the left and then back to the right, tucking the extra silk underneath for a tidy finish. Staple in place.

You can now go around and put in extra staples in between the ones you have already placed, for extra hold. When this is complete, take a sharp Stanley knife (or similar utensil) and a long ruler. Hold the ruler in place to make a straight line and then cut along the silk, making a neat , tidy edge. Repeat for each side.

Et voila. Now your picture is reading for hanging. It has a very funky, contemporary look and is very versatile. All you need is one nail, two if you prefer.

If you know in advance you will be mounting your silk painting in this way, remember to include a wide border so that you can make a decent wraparound on the canvas frame.

Oh, yes and don’t leave the frame lying on the table when you are finished if there is a cat in the house. Ours has an antenna for silk and would love to snuggle down on a freshly completed piece of work. We just have to make sure she sleeps elsewhere.

I hope this has been of use to you and look forward to hearing how you got on with it.

Warm wishes

Fiona

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December 13, 2008 Posted by | SILK PAINTING TECHNIQUES | , , , , | 2 Comments

Which Silk Quality Can I Use?

I often get asked by people which is the most suitable silk quality to use for silk painting. What I am sharing with you here is based on my personal experience over the years.

Generally light-weight silks are used for all silk painting and crafts. You would look for a medium-weight or heavy-weight if you wanted to make some quality, long-wearing clothing, such as a bride’s dress or a suit. I will be looking at silk weights in another post.

To answer the question in this post, the most important thing to know would be what you are intending to make. My personal favourite for wall hangings and other pieces which are meant to hang free and “float” is definitely pongee. It has that lovely wafting effect and is almost see-through depending on which quality you use. When you buy printed silk scarves, they are often extremely thin and this doesn’t allow for the same colour intensity as thicker ones. When I paint silk scarves, I don’t use anything under 8mm (momme – see upcoming post) and actually prefer to go for a 12mm for extra quality and still be able to use gutta.

satin silk background

Mandala Cushion on Silk: satin silk background

The mandalas that I mount and frame are all painted on satin silk, the Queen of Silks. It rightly deserves that name as it has an illustrious sheen, literally outshining all other silks I have worked with. When I have steamed a silk mandala, I don’t rinse the silk out until the bleeding stops, as with other items which are to be worn. This is because it is to be framed behind glass and so there will be no liquid, steam, etc coming into contact with it, nor will it be in contact with skin or other light-coloured fabrics. The disadvantage to washing out satin silk is that it slightly loses the beautiful sheen and most importantly, if there are any tiny creases, I cannot remove them with the iron. They simply “iron in”. So, for me, this is definitely not a quality to wash, only dry clean. Other types of silk can be washed by hand with care at your own discretion, although most manufacturers’ instructions (including mine) are for dry-cleaning only.

My personal favourite for clothing is crepe satin. This is a combination of satin silk on the top with a crepe backing. You can tell the difference when you have satin silk and crepe satin side by side. On the reverse, the satin silk is smooth and matt. The crepe satin, on the other hand, has a twisted weave. The advantage is that this quality is easier to drape and has a more elastic feel, not nearly so rigid as satin silk. My cushions are made with crepe-backed satin which makes them slightly softer.

An alternative to crepe satin is crepe-de-chine. This has the twisted weave on both front and reverse and doesn’t have the sheen of the satin. However, it is an ideal choice if you want to make gorgeous scarves, blouses, shawls, etc. It feels lovely against your skin.

Now, one or two words of caution. If you are intending to paint on these qualities, I would recommend you watch out for the thickness of the silk you want to work with. I have painted on different qualities over the years. My speciality is using gutta, the resist technique, which I will talk about in another post. After a bit of experimentation I came to the conclusion that the thicker qualities don’t allow the gutta to fully penetrate them, leaving gaps, so that you end up with a messy piece of work due to bleeding of colours. I wouldn’t recommend that you work with anything thicker than 12.5 for this reason.

I would also recommend that you wash any pongee or crepe-de-chine before you paint it and sew a garment, and this will avoid any disappointment due to shrinking. Silk has a tendency to shrink and that is one reason why people often find that their artwork turns a bit wavy after fixing due to the fact that the gutta lines don’t “fit” the shrunken silk any more.

You can pick up lovely offcuts of silk in bridalwear workshops. I would recommend only painting on them using washes of colour rather than attempt any resist and then cutting and sewing them into the desired article. Please refer to my upcoming post on silk weights for further details.

If this post has been of use to you, please let me know. If there is anything further to this you’d like to know, just ask below. If there is no comments box, click on the title of this post and one should appear. I look forward to hearing from you.

October 3, 2008 Posted by | SILK PAINTING TECHNIQUES | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

SILK PAINTING TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS

This space is intended as a silk painting forum offering help with the various techniques you can try out when painting on silk. I will be discussing all sorts of materials you can use when painting on silk as well as giving various tips and descriptions techniques.

I want to encourage you all to ask any questions you might have and I’ll help you in any way I can.

In fact, you don’t need to wait for the upcoming posts. If you have any questions you’d like help with, just go ahead and post your questions now. I’ll do what I can to help.

Remember you can click on the Feed on Posts button, top right of the home page, to keep up to date with any additional posts. I look forward to helping you out with your favourite hobby.

September 17, 2008 Posted by | SILK PAINTING TECHNIQUES | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking the Challenge, Holding the Balance, Living My Truth. Join Me on the Spiritual Quest for Personal Power as an Artist, Teacher and Coach

My name is Fiona Stolze and I believe that we are totally responsible for creating our own reality and that we have the life of our choosing. There is huge empowerment in realizing this and taking it on board and yet there is so much that holds us back from stepping into that power.

My work is about coming to terms with our inner strength and utilising it to break through our limiting beliefs to start creating a life that brings us joy, fulfilment and growth.

It’s time to embrace absolutely everything in our lives and take responsibility for it. The posts on this blog address many topics that will hopefully spark thought and reflection within you.

You can read about my background on the About Fiona Stolze page.

p7There are several ways you can keep in touch with me across the miles.  First of all you can connect with me on Twitter (click button below) and Facebook. You can also have a look at my Fiona Stolze YouTube channel.

And if you’d like to keep up to date with what I’m doing on this site, you can subscribe at the top right of this page. I’d love you to leave any comments you have and  look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for visiting.

September 14, 2008 Posted by | A WARM WELCOME | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

COMMISSIONS

I offer a special service of creating your own individual mandala on silk. This personalised mandala painting serves as a strong focal point in your home or workspace, depending on where you choose to hang it. The mandala is implemented in many forms of therapy to enable the client to find an easy way of expressing inner conflicts which are deeply buried and cannot find expression in words, thus overcoming huge barriers within a short time.

Mandalas are also excellent focal points for meditation which enhances peace of mind and eases problem-solving with whole-minded brain activity. Meditation is also an ideal way to calm the mind, reduce stress levels, bring clarity into your every-day life and to further inspire you to greater creativity.

Your personal mandala is a reflection of your soul with colour vibrations tailored to uplift and inspire you at all times, harmonising and balancing at all times.

When you commission me to paint your own unique mandala on silk, we discuss the basic colours to be incorporated, ones you particularly resonate with, and then I create your mandala in flow with your energy.

Please allow around 30 days for completion of a standard mandala (approx. 40m x 40cm). Large mandalas (approx. 90cm x 90cm are very work intensive and can take up to 2 months for completion.

Your completed artwork is carefully packaged, rolled up in a secure postal tube for safe transport. I am there to give you advice on how to back, mount and frame your mandala.

Double Happiness cushions as a wedding gift

Double Happiness cushions as a wedding gift

Please contact me personally either by e-mail at info (at) silkandart (dot) com or by phone at +44 (0)7873348933 to discuss all further details. I look forward to hearing from you.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Silk Painting at Art in Action, Slane 2008

This year I had the pleasure of attending Art in Action in Slane, which was hosted by the Irish School of Philosophy from May 31st – June 2nd 2008. . The event took place in the beautiful grounds which the school owns near Drogheda, first turn off after the Boyne Suspension Bridge travelling north on the M1.

This is an event you can take the kids to, as there is a wide variety of workshops on offer which they can take part in to let their creative streak run wild. Parents can enjoy the refreshments on offer, wander through the art and craft marquees for unusual gifts, or just relax in the sun and listen to the live music.

There was quite a busy schedule of talks being offered in the main building covering a wide range of subjects from Tai Chi to Martin Luther King, while outside the visitors were able to go from marquee to marquee and enjoy watching artists plying their craft and in many cases, they were able to try their own hand at these different forms of art.

We had a stand in one of the demonstration marquees and were able to show visitors how silk painting is actually done, as well as sell a variety of products we had on offer. It was amazing how many people were under the impression that silk painting was really ‘silk screen’ painting or printing. We spent quite a bit of time dispelling that myth, explaining that silk painting was indeed a form of painting and that silk screen printing was a printing process which was originally done with silk frames, hence the name. No further relationship between the two.

The weekend was very hot and lots of families were arriving with picnic baskets and blankets to have their lunch on the lawn and bask in the sun. It was definitely a very enjoyable event, offering a wide range of art to cater for many tastes. One of the purposes of this event is to reconnect people with hobbies they may have given up in the past or perhaps never really got round to trying out. Our experience was definitely very positive as we were able to introduce a large number of people to silk painting and inspire them to invest in a starter kit to create their own works of art at home. There was a lot of interest in the silk painting workshops we run here and so we are very grateful for all those contacts we made.

For further details and for those of you who might like to participate yourself, look up http://www.artinaction.ie.


August 16, 2008 Posted by | EXHIBITIONS | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mandala Greeting Cards – fabulous low prices

Selection of Silk & Art mandala greetings cards available

Selection of Silk & Art mandala greetings cards available

We’ve got a great selection of mandala greeting cards available to you from Silk & Art. On the front of each one is one of my mandala silk paintings. The cards are left blank inside for your own message which makes them really adaptable for any occasion. Each card comes complete with a white envelope inside a poly bag.

You can buy these in packs of 12 which contain one of each mandala design:

£15 plus p+p to UK, Europe and the rest of the world (approx. $23.00 + pp)

You can buy these cards now securely through Paypal from the Silk & Art website or the Silk & Art Etsy shop.

All wholesale enquiries are very welcome from shops, healing centres, therapists, etc. Please contact us for details through Silk & Art at info@silkandart.com

If you’d like to see some of this mandala art featured on a video I posted on YouTube, please go to Mandalas on Silk.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | SILK & ART PRODUCTS | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Art Ireland at the RDS, Dublin

Fiona at Art Ireland March 2008

Fiona at Art Ireland March 2008

Art Ireland runs twice a year in Dublin at the RDS and is organised by Eriva, headed by Maria McMenamin the founder. I took part for the first time in March of this year. Almost 100 artists and galleries participated in the 3-day exhibition. The event opened on Thursday with a charity evening in aid of Irish Autism Action. My husband Michael and my eldest son Pete came and helped out on the stand over the 3 days. Those of you who have participated in these fairs will appreciate the amount of work and energy that goes into setting up and being present and mindful over the long weekend.

Apart from directly selling artwork, it is a great opportunity to meet all sorts of contacts from the artworld, as well as connecting with all the lovely people out there who resonate with your particular style of art. In quieter moments I was also able to walk around the exhibition from stall to stall to get a good feel for what was going on. It was lovely to stop and chat with other artists and hear how things were going for them.

I have signed up for the next Art Ireland which is scheduled for the end of the year from November 14th – 16th in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Even more artists and galleries from all over the world will be present than in the Spring with the upstairs gallery being opened to accomodate this. If any of you are interested in participating in this event, you can get information on how to do this at http://www.irishartfair.com.

I would love to meet any of you personally if you are planning to attend the November event. Please contact me if you would like me to send you a complimentary ticket for this exhibition.

info (at) silkandart (dot) com.

August 13, 2008 Posted by | EXHIBITIONS | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chartres Labyrinth in Blue – 1 of a Series of 6 Mandala Pictures on Silk

The mandala pictured here is one of a series of 6 silk pictures currently sold through Silk & Art . Its measurements are 50cm x 50cm x 4cm. A digital photo is taken of my original silk painting and the image is then printed onto satin silk, the same quality I paint my original silk mandalas on. These silk images are then carefully hand-embellished with gold gutta to give them a real touch of authenticity with a look and feel identical to the original. When dry, the image is then hand-stretched over a sturdy artist’s canvas to make it 3-D and also to give the front surface great stability. A woven designer label is attached to the bottom right-hand edge.

The great advantage of these quality prints is that they are extremely light resistant and can be dabbed clean when splashed. All inks used in the printing process are non-toxic.

These beautiful mandalas can be displayed as an enhancement to your living or work space in any way you choose. They pictures are timeless and universal in their application and will inspire you with their uplifting energy.

This image show the Chartres Labyrinth in Blue. A further 5 designs are available and can be seen on the Silk & Art website.

At present these silk pictures can be delivered within 28 days as each one is made specifically to order.

The parcel is then delivered via a 2-day courier service direct to the address you give us.

We now personally sell these products and others direct to our customers through our new website.

Please contact us for all further details and we will be happy to assist you.

Price per picture: £85  plus courier costs.

All payments are effected safely through PayPal. No account with PayPal is necessary for this method and you will not incur any charges.

Please contact us if you have any other questions and we will be very happy to help you out.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | SILK & ART PRODUCTS | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fiona Stolze’s Mandalas on Silk

When I recently attended one of Dr. Demartini’s events in Dublin I learned something which was to make a very deep impact on me. What you appreciate, appreciates.

In the days following this event I began to take some time to see where I was appreciating what I had in my life. I made extensive lists of everything I felt appreciation for in all areas and wrote them out so that I could look over them again and again, really tapping into that energy. And of course, I knew that I appreciated my mandala artwork which was hanging all over our home, bathing it in vibrancy and colour. Or was I really appreciating it fully? I went up into my attic studio and suddenly realised that there was so much more I could do to allow my mandalas to share their love and vibrancy. I discovered too many of my paintings stacked up against the walls and shelves, hiding themselves away, ashamed that there hadn’t been enough wall space for them all.

So I began a fascinating exercise which Dr. Demartini had shared with us. I created my “Gallery of Wealth”. I photographed each individual mandala and made a file of it, including its title, dimensions, when it was painted and the value I put on it. 🙂 Each sheet was printed out in full colour and popped into a polypocket within the gallery.

Slowly I built my collection until I had my album full. Suddenly each piece of artwork took on a different look. My appreciation of them was bringing about an appreciation of their worth in quite an amazing way.

It is so true that the universe is just waiting for us to declare our worth. When we can stand up and proudly declare our magnificence, fearlessly shining as a beacon of light, the universe envelops us in love and even more light, allowing us to explode in beauty and gratitude, inspiring others to greatness.

I would like to share with you a video of some of my mandalas, allowing them to speak for themselves, inspiring you to share your magnificence, too.

The beautiful music is “Gates of Morpheus”by Amethystium. Well worth checking out. I love their music.

Enjoy.

With love

Fiona x

July 28, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

SILK PAINTING WORKSHOP PHOTOS

Here are some lovely photos from the group that came together on June 28th to the silk painting mandala workshop. We had an amazing age range, as there was one daughter, mother and grandmother group who all came and had fun for the first time together.

The energy everyone created together was quite amazing and the end results were stunning. It’s truly a joy to see what participants create, especially those who have never painted before. Every single person has the ability within them to create beautiful artwork when given the right circumstances. See for yourself.

We spent the first part of the day talking about colours in general, their characteristics and how they go together. We then spoke about the silk and how the dyes worked on the fabric. Next we slowly created our basic mandala designs on the silk using gold gutta which we left to dry while we had a spot of lunch. After lunch we got started on the actual painting itself, applying the silk dyes with watercolour

brushes. You never really know before hand exactly what your painting is going to look like and there are so many different techniques you can use to create your work of art.

In this workshops we used effect salts on the background to break up the fields of colour and give lovely sprinkly, marbled effects.

Everyone left their artwork with me to be steamed in the next few days and then they received them by post a few days later. The fixed silk can be stretched on a backing board and then mounted and framed as desired. A big thank you to all of the wonderful artists who took part, particularly to Sarah-Beth our youngest participant, who is 10 years old.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , | Leave a comment

Silk Painting Mandala Workshops

MANDALA POWER: Create Your Own Personal Mandala

A Silk Painting Workshop with Fiona Stolze

Current dates available: Saturday

Venue: Bristol – details given on registration.

Time: 10am – approx. 4pm

Cost: £50 including materials. Light lunch included.

Come and join in with this day workshop of silk painting and high creativity. I will be introducing you to the concept of the mandala as a tool for focussing and calming your mind. Mandala originates from Sanskrit and means ‘mystical circle’.

Each workshop will take place in a small group and so you can be sure of lots of personal attention and guidance.

We’ll start by me sharing some basic colour information and then you will learn some basic silk painting techniques using gutta (resist), silk dyes and salt. You’ll then start to create your own personal mandala on satin silk with my help. This will be purely your own unique expression. During the day I’ll be chatting to you about colours and their different and giving you lots of hints and tips along the way. Your power mandala will reveal itself to you moment by moment: a unique piece of artwork to be treasured.

I’d like to warmly welcome both complete beginners as well as those of you who have painted on silk before. Come and participate in this workshop as no previous experience is necessary at all. The process is gentle and powerful and you will find that the vibrancy of the colours effortlessly draws out the artist within you.

I will send your artwork on to you by post after I have steam-fixed the dyes. This process lends the silk a translucent sheen and intensifies the vibrancy of the colours.

You don’t need to bring any materials with you as everything provided during this workshop. Tea, coffee and water will be available. We will take a short lunch break at around 1pm.

Pre-booking is essential.

If you’d like to register, please get in touch as soon as possible. I look forward to having you with us. 🙂

Email me at info@silkandart.com and put  Silk Painting Workshop in the subject line – thank you.

**I run regular workshops. Please leave your details with me so that I can contact you with future dates.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments