When visitors walk into the Silk Worm Club show at The Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply, they might be surprised at what they see.
Along with the vibrant scarves, pillows, jewelry cases, Christmas cards and bookmarks, they will also see some stunning framed silk paintings.
“As a group that’s what we really strive for, to show the world that with silk we can create that surprise,”said Nancy Korman, a member of the Silk Worm Club.
The club was formed in 2000 by Maureen Walker, who is a member of the International Guild of Silk Painters. Walker has taught and mentored all members of the club and today the group of 10 locals each have their own distinctive style of silk painting.
Painting on silk has been traced back to ancient times, which is why the pieces in the show seem to have an old-world charm but with a distinctly modern flair.
Cathy MacPherson said she has tried a number of different mediums, but has never experienced anything quite like it.
“It’s a whole different experience than painting in some other mediums,” she said. “You start painting with dyes on silk and the dyes sort of take on a life of their own.”
Kit Birch said it’s the brilliance of the colours that fascinates her, and what the painters can achieve using only the three primary colours. They call this a limited palette.
“There’s no conflict, the colours always blend nicely,” agreed Bernice Stearns.
Korman said although she still has to plan what she’ll paint ahead of time, when working on silk there is always an element of surprise.
“We put in but the silk gives back,” she said.
All four members of the club agreed one of the best things about being a member is the encouragement they get from one another, and the feeling of family.
Recently a member of the club named Tina Shuker died suddenly and the group will be showing some of her work in the show as well as a piece by Korman depicting a poppy, reminiscent of a photo Shuker once showed her. Group members said her work was always vibrant and a reflection of her positive personality.
The Silk Worm Club will be exhibiting and selling their work at The Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply at 206 West First Avenue until Nov. 22.