The very first time I touched silk with a brush full of dye, I was exhilarated. The color became intense and deep, and the silk did its thing, making the dye appear to glitter, adding a subtle dimensionality. I was transfixed. Over the years, I struggled to master these media. It was a challenge to control the dye to achieve the effects that I desired.
At some point, I had an epiphany. I realized that I was not to be master of these media. I accepted that the silk and dye interact, and that my role was to attempt to mediate between them. I am a collaborator, not the master. Once I gave up control and let the magic happen, I became more at one with my work. This was a lesson that made a major shift in my perception of what is worth trying to control, and what to let be.
Nature inspires me, and I am drawn to paint what I see there. My eyes bask in the colors while I analyze the forms that hold them. I still try to control dye with resists to recreate what I see, but these methods are no longer my “go tos.” I no longer rush to fix breaks in my lines. I now know that in nature as in life, something beautiful may happen if I stand aside and let the colors play.
You are welcome to visit Johanna Tiemann in her studio at Western Avenue Lofts in Lowell, MA the first Saturday of most months! Currently, she has paintings on silk, folding screens with dye or painted silk panels, silk embellished lanterns, and more. Call 917-692-7398 for more information or to make an appointment if Saturdays do not work for you! Please sign up to be the first to hear about upcoming exhibitions, special events by calling or emailing from johannasdream.com. Thank you for your interest!