Introduction: Silk Paintings
A few years ago, the Van Gogh estate contacted me to do a piece for a villa remodel. I don't know how they got my information, but I was intrigued. They said they'd been particularly impressed with one of Vince's lesser known pieces called "Starry Night," and did I know it? A quick google search on my phone turned up the results. The estate representative felt the piece was great, but lacked a certain something - size, perhaps - and would I be interested in a re-imagination of the original? I'm not one for imagination, but I am one for big, big art. How do I know it's art if it's not big, right? So I set about my own vision of this humble piece. I chose silk as my canvas, and used a wax resist to keep the lighter colors in tact while painting in the darker dyes. To get the most brilliant colors, I steam-set the piece in a home-made chimney set-up. It was crazy.
Anyway, they were so thrilled with the outcome, that during their annual Koninginnedag celebration, they made a special point in the villa tour to stop and admire the painting. The Japanese Imperial family was so impressed, I guess, that they called me the next day. Sure, I could put something together for the birthday of the new Prince, no problem. So I got to work on a new piece, using a water-based resist this time instead of wax. I like to mix it up, you know? I chose a 16"x60" piece of silk and outlined the details with my resist, so that they would maintain a white outline. Sharp. I finished the piece with a black wash, since I thought that seemed regal and masculine. I also steam-set the finished painting, since other methods I'd tried out since the Dutch commission created lack-luster results. Well, they were happy, and the Prince is said to have spoken his first words upon seeing it. Unfortunately, I don't speak Japanese so I'll never know what they were.