Inspiration

Karen Sistek

I am as infatuated with silk painting today, as I was the first time I touched my brush to luxurious silk more than 20 years ago! Each project is new and exciting; an adventure; and always an experiment.

My passion is big, bold florals! Zooming in close, as a 'bug's eye view' would be, capturing the life at the center of the flower, or enhancing the flow of the petals that have extended their arms, as in a dance. The "Grand Dammes " of the garden, moving and swaying in cadence with the breezes.

Through experimentation, I have discovered a way to pre-treat the silk, filling the fibers and allowing me to create fine lines without the use of thickeners, resists, or guttas. This allows me to create a watercolor effect, but on luxurious silk.

I have recently switched to using Jacquard RED Label Silk Colors, fiber reactive steam fix dyes. I love the vibrancy and sheen, and the colors are "OOH LA LA!"

After my pieces are painted and 'fixed', they are mounted using Nova matte varnish on canvas stretched around frames that my husband makes to my specifications. The varnish protects the silk from the environment, and enhances the colors to the max! Once mounted, the silk seems to 'float' on the wall.

I am happy to share my technique. I offer classes in my studio located on the NW tip of the State of Washington. You may view more of my art, and classes by visiting my website www.karensistekstudio.com.

Also, here is a great article about Karen by Tunizia Abdur-Raheem: "Karen Sistek - Flowers from the Heart" (pdf) published in The Silk Worm Magazine by Silk Painters International.