Hopefully every Thursday Anita’s Gatos can get a different artist to feature here!
This week’s artist is Maisie from Ma’at Silk
I came across Maisie on Etsy.com and we are both part of the All Handmade By Me Team (an awesome team that supports all handmade products, more on that soon!).
I love her art because she uses very bright colors that please the eye and her designs are so cheerful and pretty :)
Here is what Maisie says about her art:
Tell us a little about yourself
My shop sells mostly hand painted silk scarves and cushions. At the moment my design style is the realm of patterns, swirls, lines, circles, and various shapes of all kinds. When I design a pattern for a scarf I usually plan a set of three colour ways. I don’t know why but I like working in odd numbers. Then with each scarf I write a narrative piece of writing. Trying to explain this is harder, but I’ll give it a shot. For me, painting on silk and for that matter all my work, is art and more. It’s a thought, an idea, a feeling, and most importantly is a story. Words accompany me as I design and paint the patterns. They are part of it all. The colours and design blend in my mind and an idea forms: of an image, a place, a time. Why? I’m not sure but the narrative writing that accompanies each scarf is as important to me as the colours themselves. It’s the setting and completes the scene. So each set of scarves tells a story and the narratives fit really well into three. Every story had a beginning, a middle, and an end after all. Each scarf is a limited edition and I only make five of them. It can get a little complicated and I have to keep careful track which number I’m on. I do sign and number each scarf so that helps. At the moment I am working on completing my scarf sets, most of the ones in the shop are lacking a third and I am also beginning to use my designs on paper, for gift cards, notebooks, writing sets and e-cards.
How did you come up with the name “Ma’at Silk” for your shop?
The name came out of my love for ancient history and mythology. Ma’at is the name of Ancient Egyptian goddess. She represents the order and balance of the world which it was the pharaoh’s duty to uphold. On a graphic level she has always been my favourite, as she as these wonderful outspread feather arms. And as for the silk . . . well it just came.
When did you start creating this type of art?
I’ve always had a thing for drawing patterns and doodling shapes. I have two large sketch books filled with drawings, with matching colours on every page. The painting on silk started when I was bought a set of silk paints for a birthday and, well, the rest just happened. It took many experiments and horrid looking scarves before I came up with one I was happy with. Now I have a system worked out.
What medium/materials do you prefer to work with? Why?
I love working on silk, using paints and a water based gutta. Although it can be nerve wracking, especially when the paint dries too quickly! In the summer it’s terrible. I love choosing the colours and watching them spread across the fabric. I use a permanent coloured gutta, highlighting the pattern and giving the silk added texture.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything: art, fashion, the natural world, book, films. As I live in the country, nature is very important and plants, especially flowers often end up in my designs. Ancient history is one of my largest inspirations. I love the art of Minoan Crete, Egypt, China, Greece and Celtic Britain. I only have look at a book full of Minoan temples or Egyptian tombs and I am reaching for my sketch book. It’s one of my goals to have a series of scarves designs based on these cultures, at the moment I have an Egyptian set for sale in my shop, although at the moment it’s missing a third. Soon to come, I’m just working out the colours.
Do you listen to any kind of music/tv show while you work?
I listen to music all the time. The first thing I do when I enter my studio is turn on the CD player. I also have an iPod which I carry around with me. I like listen to jazz singers (both modern and from further back) and soundtracks, partially large Broadway orchestras. I also listen to lots of podcast, BCC radio 4, and old programs, The Goon Show. I don’t know if it listened to, much in America but it’s got a great sense of completely wacky humour!
I often sketch in front of a film. I also love old movies, musicals in particular. The singing, the dancing, the sets, the costumes. Silly maybe and not very cool but there it is. “Wizard of Oz”, “American in Paris”, “Gigi”, my list of favourites goes on and on.
Thank you Maisie for kindly accepting the request of being featured on the Anita’s Gatos blog! :)
Check out Maisie’s blog for more information and details about her and her artwork! :)