Linda Stearns~ A Gentle Humor in a Frenzied World

I had the pleasure of meeting Linda this Winter at the Bangor Public Library.  Fellow Fiber College friend Donna Hauge and I were wandering around, soaking up all the fibery fun and we both stopped short in front of Linda’s table.  Her colors were cheerful and designs playful.  Donna whispered in my ear “get her…we want her at Fiber College”…so we asked Linda to join us.  She’ll be teaching Painting Light Catchers on Silk Sunday from 9 AM- 11 AM.  Her class is appropriate for anyone interested in learning this fun technique. 

We asked her to tell us a bit more about herself and she wrote:

My exploration of painting on silk started in the early 80’s with a class at Haystack Mountain, Deer Isle. As an art and craft form very little was known about it Stateside and I could find no information on it. So I went, learned some basics, watched it grow into one of many approaches the general population could use to decorate fabric or design fine art…or both!

The luminosity of silk and its strong affinity to dyes produce vivid colors and seem to almost always insure some kind of success. And there is always that possibility of putting the fabric to practical use that I like.

Inspiration comes from many directions: Tom’s vegetable and flower gardens about our house in the middle of Bangor; our travels to other destinations (such as a pottery urn filled with green foliage in Mijas, Spain, or the cacti of the America Southwest), our sweet Newfoundland Alice and our eccentric fluffu black cat Titus (we don’t wear a lot of white garments if we can help it), and the landscape, flora and fauna of our own state. But sometimes just the color palette and visual texture is enough to play with when designing a flowing scarf, silk wrap or pillow.

Books about other artists and and by silk artists in particular have been invaluable also for new ideas, a different style and a new technique.

I seem to paint and work on the silk in segments. As summer comes, the sun and gardens call, the harvest of strawberries, then raspberries, on to string beans, summer squashes, peaches—well, you get the idea. And this year we tried sweet potatoes. Can’t tell you how that is going to turn out, but we have vines everywhere!Somewhere in the middle of it all family and friends come to Maine to visit and we get to actually visit some of the “tourist” spots…get a good mystery read, find a new spot to camp, get ready for the apple harvest. So soon things will simmer down and I will try a new chemical on the silk that allows a new technique and work, fall back on some old favorites and go with the flow. It is all good.

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