Steam Setting Available.
Silk Dyes, as opposed to paints, leave the silk as soft and pliable as the original fabric. Dyes, however, need to be "set" to make them permanent. Professional silk painters steam exclusively.
Steam Setting is a process that results in colors even more vibrant and permanent than chemical setting. But there is a learning curve to successful Steam Setting. My Steamer is now here on site, so steaming classes are now available. I could also steam your home paintings for you. Call me for details.
We're Back . . . !
Well, we've all sort of skipped a year in some ways, haven't we? With art centers and other community venues closed, silk painting classes have been on hold. But with things opening up and vaccinations making contact safer, it's time to start planning ahead.
I'm open now to traveling to new places to share silk painting again, and also have my studio set up for groups from one to eight. I'm looking forward to it.
What I've Been Up To . . . .
Spring is my busy season. Allied Arts is Bellingham's artist support organization. Through them I teach silk painting classes in the public schools. Spring is my busy season - twenty two classes in Apr/May/June. The kids, grades K-5, love it. They do amazing work. Here are a few examples. I could show you photos all day!
My Bad . . . and My Bed
I can't believe how long it's been since I last wrote here. Much has happened, much silk has been painted - but by students. My turn, I think!
We have moved into a new house. I had to give up my airy studio, but we're in the process of converting the garage into a studio, so hopefully I'll soon be back in business. The concrete floor is being stained and polished as we speak. Photos to come.
My first planned project? - a new comforter for my new bedroom. How nice to be able to make the perfect match for the room itself. If you haven't tried sleeping under silk, I highly recommend it. You can paint a couple of pieces of yardage and machine quilt along the design lines or piece it or whatever. It will be instantly warm and feels great on your body!
Seal Rock House Retreat
At a recent enthusiastic class, the idea for a weekend getaway painting retreat appeared. Based on a great experience with a hiking group I belong to, I searched VRBO for an appropriate place - not too near, not too far, beautiful and relaxing, good space for a group, good space for painting, good space for sleeping and hanging out. I think Seal Rock House will be perfect. It's in Brinnon, WA on the west shore of Hood Canal. Water view and beach, huge kitchen and dining room, real beds for everyone. All five star reviews.
It's a great location. From the north, come down Whidbey Island to the Keystone Ferry. From Seattle, Etc, come across on the Kingston Ferry. From the South, drive up from Olympia. I like the feeling that I'll be in new territory, but don't have to drive all day.
I'm so looking forward to it. I can't wait to see what you all come up with when you have so much time, all my equipment and odd materials at hand, and so many creative people around! I think you should come!
A new opportunity has come along - a place for a three day painting retreat this May in peaceful surroundings, with good food, good people, and lots of time to paint! I've had this idea percolating on the back burner for quite a while and now it's time has come.
Art means a lot to many people. Humans strive to make art with whatever materials are available. It will be interesting to both talk about that and notice the dynamic a little more consciously. Silk Painting is an ideal medium for this. It's easy enough to engage those of us who have no background in formal art and offers a wide range of possibilities for those who do.
I think a good definition of Art is something that connects us with the best part of ourselves. That inner part is strong, loving, and is the part that recognizes Beauty. Why not encourage that connection by noticing and appreciating it when it happens, and by setting things up so it can happen as often as possible!
See dates and more detail about the Retreat on the Schedule page. Wouldn't it be nice to come?
The Threshold Singers
You should know about this group of women. I'm not sure of their exact number - maybe 20 or so. They go out in small groups wherever invited and sing a capella at the bedside of those in hospice or in need of company. They decided they would like something unique but simple to wear to identify themselves when they went visiting. Five of them came to my studio, decided on a color scheme, and painted a dozen scarves for members to share.
What a blast! We mixed up deli containers of dye and collected a couple of sizes of salt. Everyone had a brush and all five floated around the big frame painting swashes of color or sprinkling salt. It was great! And of course the scarves came out beautifully. Each one matching, each one unique.
Thank you, Singers.
Painting for Yourself
I'm often asked if I sell my work. Actually, I'd say no. I have sold a variety of things over the years, but I do not paint with that in mind. I decided that a long time ago for two main reasons.
First, I have some paintings that I consider good, but I find I'm not ready to let go of them. When I think of how fast I would spend that money, and that I would never see them again, it doesn't even come close to being worth it.
Second, painting to sell is a whole different activity. You're thinking about what other people would like - size, subject, mounting, price. You think about how much the materials cost and how long it will take to paint and that it needs to be perfect. You spend time marketing yourself or finding people to do that for you.
Now, of course, many people love having people buy their work. Go for it! But I think it's also okay to paint just for yourself. You take your pay in inner satisfaction.
New Student Work
Thanks to Karen Leonard, Jan Willing, and Molly St Claire for contributing new work to the Student Gallery. I've been trying to think of a different name for this Gallery. It's true that they all did their first silk painting in a Moonlight Silks class, and that we are all always learning more, but this level of accomplishment must have a better name. Check them out!
Technology changes! This new website will look good on mobile devices and loads nicely and is certainly easier for me to update. I have also added two features. This blog page, for one, to make it easy to share stories and ideas, and a Student Work page. I'm pretty sure everyone will enjoy seeing others' painting and also having a way to share their own new work.
The site is finally ready for inspection. You can help me out. Be an editor! I want to know about typos, links that don't work right, confusing navigation, suggestions for improvement. My goal is that you can find the information you want and find it easily.
I'd also like to point to two pages under News for those interested. "Speaking of Art" is quotations from a variety of sources talking about Art and its role. "Art and Your Life: A Friendly Connection" is the outline of a class I imagined that uses Tips on Letting Go, Making Choices, and Experiencing Connection to enhance your painting - and maybe other - endeavors.
Hi! I'm Janet Lehwalder. I've been painting for a long time and teach extensively. I'm happy to share my wealth of experience!