It’s been quite a few weeks since I originally posted the Mantangle silk painting challenge and in the end, 5 other artists accompanied me through this one. Here is a link to the original post with the challenge – Create a Mantangle on Silk. Have a look at the video concerned so that you know what this project was all about.
My thought had been to take on the challenge of creating a mandala-like piece of art but without any formal structure and more in line with free form, allowing the doodles that emerged to just take me into a new space.
It certainly didn’t come without my resistance showing up as I was feeling the need to create something aesthetically pleasing and ‘up to standard’. There was an underlying fear of letting go as the art piece might turn out totally different from what I expected and not be ‘good enough’. Despite it looking very unstructured, I was still holding on to a certain extent and so I hope to allow myself to go deeper into this space in future challenges I set. In addition I was working with very rough raw silk and the dyes were not flowing as usual on the fabric surface. I was challenged to massage them into the silk and stay fully present with every brush stroke.
In creating this challenge I came to the realisation that other artists might just like to join me and paint in whatever way they felt moved. And so I will continue to provide this space and not expect others to take on the challenge I set myself. Allowing free interpretation so to speak.
And on that note, I would now love to present to you the pieces of silk art work that emerged from our group project (please note the copyright statement at the end of this post):
The first one is from Mary Ann Holley:
Process: ‘I started getting back into art a couple of years ago and have only been painting on silk for about 1 1/2 years.I really enjoyed doing the free flow work. I hadn’t doodled in years so when the Mantangle idea came up I saw it as an opportunity to let my right brain take over. I did a lot of doodling on paper for a couple of weeks just to try to get a flow going. It was amazing how stuck I had gotten in thinking things had to be or look a certain way.Drawing with the gutta and no pattern was a little scary at first but I found myself so totally immersed in it my hand didn’t even cramp up. I still have a ways to go to completely let go but I have already seen a change in my creativity and my style of art.It really was just what I needed to keep evolving and I am looking forward to more creative challenges in the future.’
Mary Ann’s Facebook Page
Ron Gutman -
My ‘mantangle’ was done all-in-one over the course of a day…it took approximatly 12 hrs. from start to finish.
When I sat down to do a doodle, I drew the inner circle and immediately something looking astrological came forth. It looked like the ephemeral 69 symbol for Cancer (my sign)…this became the path revealed. As Cancer is a watersign, the spiraling waves/waters developed…and then the moon and phases controling. The crab peaking out from under the waters was a flash of whimsy…and conventionally enough, a starry night sky for the background. Metallic silver became my resist/line color…reflective & symbolic of the moon. Colors/motifs were serendipitous while still remaining relevant to all things Cancer…flower, gemstone, water etc. Although all of this may seem very planned, it came about as just a free, natural and intuitive expression/progression, all of which was a most delightful experience! Enjoy!!!
To view more of my artwork on silk and other mediums I work in, I invite you to peruse my website: www.rongutmanstudio or see my Facebook personal page (Ron Gutman) and click on ‘photos’ under my profile pic.
Kathy Childs -
Process – I woke up early one morning with the idea for this mantangle, so I got up and did a quick sketch (doodle) before starting my day. The design is based on Fibonacci’s golden ratio for the spiral - which I had heard of because of my tie dye - but only recently really understood. To complete the mantangle, I sketched the design on silk with a chalk pencil, applied water based resist, and used steam-set silk dyes.
This Mantangle has proved to be great learning experience for me. Firstly the actual design was done completely randomly to fill around 3/4 of the circle. Next I turned the design round to find the best angle and then added a sun to the left hand corner, this was the only part which I put any real thought into. The colours of the design were inspired by a leaf and I was really pleased with the outcome. Next I added some soy wax within the design and also around the edge of the circle. I had a rough idea of the colour I wanted for the background and tried to make an orange/golden colour. This went horribly wrong and I thought maybe the discharge paste would help but no this didn’t. I eventually decided to be bold and go for black leaving some traces of colour between to break it up a little. Finally I went a little crazy with the Marabu gold contours and effects outliner which gives a cosmic feel to the piece. I really enjoyed the whole process and would definitely do another sometime. This was the first time I have used Dupont dyes on 8mm Habotai. So glad the steaming went well with regards the black background too.
Judy Szabo -
Fiona Stolze -
‘This is the piece I completed. I used fluorescent dyes and was hoping to capture the amazing effect it has under black light but I’ve had no success yet. I felt very challenged about half way through when I fell ‘out of love’ with this piece and had to hold my focus to complete it. The silk was rough and difficult to work on with the dyes but it was manageable in the end. I also felt very challenged completing a piece I didn’t feel was aesthetically beautiful following the doodle principle in the original video and I didn’t have the usual support of silk satin and metallic liners. But I saw that this was still an expression of my energy and it wanted to come out one way or another. When I shone the black light on it, it went 3D and the colours popped which was very exciting. ‘
Please note that all of these images are under the copyright of the respective artists and do not belong to the public domain. They are published here in low resolution which is not of good enough quality to reproduce. If you would like to buy a print of any of these images or the original, please contact the artist in question. Thank you so much for respecting this.
FINAL NOTE: I have another presentation to make with these mantangles, so watch this space to stay in the loop. A similar challenge may be offered in the near future. We’d love you to join us.