Julia Hawk

 

Autumn Drama by Julia Hawk

Autumn Drama by Julia Hawk

I was introduced to silk painting over 30 years ago by a French artist.  Up to that point, the art mediums that I had been working with were mostly oils and watercolors, but I soon became hooked on this new and different way to express myself. Each pure silk piece that I design is hand painted using high quality French dyes, which must be steamed at the end of the process to set the colors.  To create a silk piece, the silk must be stretched tautly on a frame, and a variety of techniques may be employed in the design, such as using a gutta line barrier to stop the flow of dye in an area, or using alcohols, waxes, or salt crystals for various effects.  Much of my inspiration comes from what I see in nature, but I’m also drawn to Oriental designs, perhaps from a time my family lived in Japan.  Silk painting is a challenge, to be sure, as it is a rather temperamental and involved medium, but it can be a very satisfying (and sometimes suspenseful) experience to see how each piece will turn out after its steaming process—at times a different outcome from what I’d envisioned.  That magic seems to beckon me to continue exploring more of this beautiful and diverse art medium.