SUSAN HELMER — WORKS ON SILK
May 16 – June 24
As a child, I was introduced to art through classes at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. All I remember from those classes are an image of huge bottles of brightly colored tempera paint lined up on a window sill and the huge lions that still line the path to the museum. The lions are not as large as I remember.
While on vacation in Washington about 15 years ago, I attended a silk painting class. The minute I saw the incredibly intense colors spread like magic on the silk; I was hooked. I gave away my watercolors and dove into silk painting.
My subjects range from florals to abstracts. I find leaves most sensual and beautiful. Tropical plants satisfy my need for color. Flowers are viewed close up so you are almost staring into the petals. Abstracts are all about the color and pattern. Recently, I have been seduced by landscapes. These could be urban or rural.
I am now incorporating my love of textile techniques and beads into painting. Using watercolor techniques, I paint on stretched silk with liquid dyes. On some pieces, dye crayons are rubbed onto the silk to add more texture and depth. The finished piece is then steamed for three hours to set the dyes and finally, on some pieces I embroider with thread or beads to create details, shadows or more accents.
Meet the Artist: Saturday May 20, 3:00 – 5:00pm
Valley Art Gallery
1661 Botelho Drive, Suite 110, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
PHONE: (925) 935-4311