Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In the Studio with Mystic Silks

I have been selling on Etsy for just over one year. And in that time one thing that has impressed me is how generous with their time most of the artists are, always willing to share tips, offer advice, prop you up when you’re down, and share a laugh just when you need one. I am grateful to all of them in general, and to some artists in particular who have been helpful to me in various ways.

From time to time I intend to give those special people a big shout-out of thanks and today I thought I would start with Klaire of Mysticsilks. Klaire is very active in both the Etsy forums and the team forums, and I can always count on her to respond to me when I post a comment or a question. Besides thanking her for all that, I want to show you what an incredible artist she is, with a unique medium – silk painting.

Here's a beautiful example. It's hard for me to believe that this is painted on silk. Silk is such a soft surface, it would seem difficult to maintain the distinct, but delicate colors in this work.  This reminds me so much of an impressionist painting.
I wanted to learn more about her and her art, so Klaire and I sat down with a virtual cup of coffee – hers with hazelnut cream, mine with crème brulee flavor – so I could learn more about her and her art.

FK: First the basics: I know your etsy shop is Where else can we find you online?

My other sites are:

I belong to a few Etsy teams: Design Style Guide, VAST Team, BBEST TEAM, WWAO, WWWG.

FK: Talk to me about your art career … 

I spent about a year in The Cooper Institute of Art while working at a full time job. But the question "How long have you been an artist?" really should be answered with "since birth!" We are all born artists--as children we love to paint, draw, create. Then somewhere along the path of life some adult tells us to put away our paints and get serious about life, get a “real education.” So some of us forget that once upon a time we were natural artists.

FK: I can totally relate. That’s what happened to me … Where did the silk painting come from?

Learning to paint on silk came about from someone telling me to take a class in silk art to learn to relax. So, I took several classes at a local college and became extremely uptight and intense about my silk art. I am in a constant state of learning.

FK: LOL – it was supposed to make you relax! So just sit back and relax now while I brag on you for a minute …

This one is called Fickle Winds, and that's exactly the effect it has - can't you just feel the winds blowing?  
Such movement in this painting - and the colors are simply gorgeous!

This piece is called Einstein's E=MC2.  One thing I like about Klaire is her sense of humor.  She explains: "I love Albert, he's my man." Klaire must be a charter member of Einstein's fan club - who knew??  Albert would be proud of this abstract painting.

You might be interested in reading Klaire's brief explanation of her silk painting process here.

FK: When you do such incredible art as all that, I wonder how you have time to be so active in the forums, with your teams, and curating treasuries. How do you manage your time to get everything done?

Well, I am a retired registered nurse. Once you've learned nursing, and raised a family of 4 children, you learn to juggle plates quite well -- in fact not to be able to be so busy would make me very uneasy!!

FK: Well I guess that taught you how to juggle, for sure! What inspires you? Where do you look – or go – for inspiration?

I would say nature is my inspiration, the color and texture of fall leaves, the colors in a sunset, or sunrise. I've been inspired by many of the photographs from National Geographic Magazine. In fact my silk painting "Forest Flower and Friend" is from a National Geographic photo.

FK: I like it! Besides your gorgeous paintings, I love that you offer silk scarves and pillows as well. Here’s some that I particularly like.  I could see redecorating my entire living room around this pillow:

FK: And the scarves are just too elegant – I love them! Here’s two of my favorites:

For Rain Tree, the inspiration was a rain forest.

 This absolutely gorgeous blue scarf is appropriately named You are so beautiful.

FK: Klaire, where’s your "quiet place" – somewhere you go to rest, refresh, meditate?

A quiet place? Hmmm. It's inside my head. When I am into my art, I am in a quiet place in my mind where all the creating energy exists … where the muses dwell. Not sure I can get that place into a photo for you!  : )

FK: As an artist what is most gratifying to you? And what do you dislike the most?
I am most gratified when people say they love my work …then I am pleased. The hardest part is wondering if anyone WILL like my art. And that’s what I dislike the most … the self-doubt.

FK: Probably every artist is right there with you on those two points. What do you do when you’re not being an artist?

I think I am always being an artist. My eyes and mind are constantly searching for something to put on canvas or into a silk painting. I enjoy reading, listening to my favorite radio talk show host (Howie on WNIR in Akron , OH) , then watching the boob tube in the evening.

FK: Tell me something that most people don’t know about you.

I love to write poetry and short stories. Here's one of my poems:

A confrontation of shadow selves,
ethereal you, invisible I,
who try to capture and taste the tears of God,
or to run fingers across Her smiling lips.
we sink beneath or hide behind the brutal waves of ego:
Egos, wearing layers of frightening masks
called greed, hate, superiority, and power.
It dresses in different colors and cuts
of cloth; demanding its own way.

We lift hands holding guns,
or fly planes that bomb already ruined lands
into more dust---each grain of sand runs red
with blood--- It's the illusion of Monopoly
whoever gets the big blues,
Park Place and Boardwalk--- wins.

And, then and then,

Sometimes we are close, like soap bubbles
our blues, reds, and golds merge and swirl,
then blown by the winds of love
we roll and float high into the skies:
Up, up into the golden rays of light and warmth


FK: Wow! Very nice - beautiful imagery!  Well, I certainly enjoyed my virtual visit, Klaire. Thanks for sharing your time with us.


  1. Great interview & gorgeous art/poetry. Thanks for a fab start to my day :D

  2. What a lovely interview. I, too admire Klaire's work and enjoyed learning more about the creative soul behind the art. Thank you!

  3. You did a most wonderful work of creating a super blog interview! So appreciated--Thank you so very much!


  4. Klaire, you are most welcome! As you can see, I'm not your only fan. We all love your work.

  5. Great interview, it's nice to get to know you better!

  6. Very nice. I love that you do poetry! And I especially love Secret Garden.


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