The Shop

A Place Where You Will Find Loveryly Gifts and a Few Personal Opinions

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Inspirational Reading~~~By MysticSilks

I was
browsing through the etsy forum the other day in the Business Section. I happened upon the following reading. It was so inspirational that I wanted to share it,hoping that the words and thoughts may inspire others:

"The Education Of An Artist"
Excerpt from The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn 1957:
Ones education naturally begins at the cradle. But it may perfectly well begin at a later time too. Be born poor..or be born really doesn’t matter. Art is only amplified by such diversity. Young people of both origins may or may not become marvelous artists. That depends upon factors having little to do with circumstances of birth. Whether they will become significant artists seems to depends upon a curious combination of biology and education working upon each other in a fashion too subtle for the eye to follow.
But there is a certain minimum program. There are, roughly, about three conditions that seem to be basic in the artists equipment: to be cultured, to be educated, and to be integrated. Now let me be the first to admit that my choice of terms is arbitrary; many words could be substituted and mean approximately the same thing. This off choice of terms, however, has a reason which will perhaps emerge as I proceed.
Begin to draw as early in life as possible. If you begin quite early, use any convenient tool and draw upon any smooth uncluttered surfaces. The flyleaves of books are excellent, although margins of textbooks too have their special uses, as for small pictorial notations upon matters discussed in classes, or for other things left unsaid.
My capsule recommendation for a course of education is as follows:
Attend a University if you possibly can. There is no content of knowledge that is not pertinent to the work you will want to do. But before you attend a university work at something for a while. Do anything. Get a job in a potato field; or work as a grease-monkey in an auto repair shop. But if you do work in a field do not fail to observe the look and the feel of earth and of all things that you handle-yes, even potatoes! Or, in the auto shop, the smell of oil and grease and burning rubber. Paint of course, but if you have to lay aside painting for a time, continue to draw. Listen well to all conversations and be instructed by them and take all seriousness seriously. Never look down upon anything or anyone as not worthy of notice.
In college or out of college, read. And form opinions! Read Sophocles and Euripides and Dante and Proust. Read everything that you can find about art except the reviews. Read the Bible; Read Hume ; Read Pogo. Read all kinds of poetry and know many poets and many artists. Go to an art school, or two, or three, or take art courses at night if necessary. And paint and paint and draw and draw. Know all that you can, both curricular and non curricular- mathematics and physics and economics, logic, and particularly history.
Know at least two languages besides your own, but anyway, know French. Look at pictures and more pictures. Look at every kind of visual symbol, every kind of emblem; do not spurn signboards or furniture drawings or this style of art or that style of art. Do not be afraid to like paintings honestly or to dislike them honestly, but if you do dislike them retain an open mind. Do not dismiss any school of art, not the Pre-Raphaelites nor the Hudson River School nor the German Genre painters. Talk and talk and sit at cafes, and listen to everything, to Brahms, to Brubeck, to the Italian hour on the radio.
Listen to preachers in small town churches and in big city churches. Listen to politicians in New England town meetings and to rabble-rousers in Alabama. Even draw them. And remember that you are trying to learn to think what you want to think, that you are trying to co-ordinate mind and hand and eye. Go to all sorts of museums and galleries and to the studios of artists. Go to Paris and Madrid and Rome and Ravenna and Padua. Stand alone in Sainte Chapelle, in the Sistine Chapel, in the Church of the Carmine in Florence.
Draw and draw and paint and learn to work in many media; try lithography and aquatint and silkscreen. Know all that you can about art, and by all means have opinions. Never be afraid to become embroiled in art or life or politics; never be afraid to learn to draw or paint better than you already do; and never be afraid to undertake any kind of art at all, however exalted or however common, but do it with distinction.
Anyone may observe that such an art education has no beginning and no end and that almost any other comparable set of experiences might be substituted for those mentioned, with-out loss. Such an education has, however, a certain structure which is dictated by the special needs of art.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Business Woman's Request: Part Three: Dying The Images, Then Finishing The Scarves~~~By MysticSilks

You can see the images designed on the silk scarves with out the dyes being placed. The butterfly scarf as I stated before, was the that one caused me the most anxiety. Why? Because I was trying so very hard to duplicate as much as possible the customer's watercolor painting. And trying to keep the dyes inside the butterflies and not out running into the scarf background, which happens so often with silk and dyes.

The butterfly scarf took a week to complete. After the dyes were placed on the scarf, I let the dyes soak in and dry for 24 hours before steaming them.

The last scarf photo is the finished product, after the steaming. After the scarves are steamed, you wait another 24 hours to make sure the dyes are dried from the steaming. Then each scarf is washed, and rinced 5-6 times.Then while damp, I press the scarves with a steam iron, usually on the reverse side of the scarf.

When both the butterfly and fish scarf were finsihed I wrapped them in tissue paper, placed them in a bubble mailer, and off they went to Sharyn.

I waited, hoping to hear from her that she liked the scarves. She emailed me after receiving them , to say she thought they were 'cool'.

That's my biggest pleasure, when a customer is pleased.

Thank you so much for reading.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Business Woman's Request: Part Two: Creating the Templates~~~By MysticSilks

In November of this year 2010, I was contacted by a customer(Sharyn A. Brotz) of mine who had just purchased four of my hand designed silk scarves. She wanted to know if I would be able to design a couple of silk scarves based on her watercolor paintings:
I asked her to snail mail me the images of her paintings, and I would see if this request would be possible to fulfill. She mailed me the images and my next concern was would I be able to view her images through the silk I was planning to use: Silk Satin.
First let me say that this was the first time I had ever attempted to design on silk using the images of someone else's art work: That is the challenge to try and replicate the colors , the images, the nuances surrounding the main images.
The two photos 1) the butterflies , and 2) the fish as I came to call them were the templates that I used.
I taped the images of Sharyn's art work to a piece of foam core board. With the butterfly I traced images of butterflies to use throughout the upper part of the scarf.
On the fish painting, I traced the fish on each side of the silk scarf, then just carried blue sky throughout the scarf.
The butterfly scarf was labor intensive. Each image of a butterfly was hand designed using resist to make impermeable barriers against the leaking of the dyes from one butterfly into the next, then individually hand dyed.
The same principal was used with the fish.
Please read:
Part (3)the dying of butterflies, and fish.
Thank you

A Business Woman's Request```By MysticSilks

Well, it's almost that magical day of the year: Christmas! I think a lot of the purchasing of online gifts is pretty much coming to a close.
I had a most excellent and challenging custom order in November. I will go into more detail of that experience in another blog, along with photos of the step by step process. But right now my intention is to introduce my readers to this lady, Sharyn A. Brotz, and I am utilizing her own words:

Sharyn Brotz is the managing director of a boutique consulting firm that provides technical and business project management and systems design support catering to the travel industry. She has over 15 years of experience working for airlines, global distribution systems, cruise lines, time share companies and cruise lines. Her commitment to her customers is to exceed their expectations with her work and that of all of the specialized sub-contractors commissioned to work by the clients.

The web site link is

Her passion is painting. She uses watercolor, gouache, acrylic and ink, emphasizing the beauty and innocence of animals and the splendor of the outdoors. Her animals often have expressions of joy and cater to the children of the world, from newborn to senior citizens. She and her best friend started a web site to showcase their work which can be found at:

And it was from Sharyn's watercolor art that our artistic relationship was established.

Now on to the next blog which will detail the custom order for Sharyn.

Thank you for reading