Silk Paintings by Ute Arnold

These paintings were originally inspired by a French Silk-Painting method which I have studied and experimented with since 1975. You can read more about my personal approach to this challenging technique below

My paintings are originally painted on silk with brilliant French textile dyes. To be able to make them available to a larger audience, I have them giclee printed on canvas which we can easily roll up and ship to you.
The pricing of the giclee prints is as follows:

  • 18 x 36 inches.....$300.00
  • 2.5 x 5 feet.........$650.00

A 3' x 5' original Silk Painting by commission is $2200.00

About Ute Arnold

Ute Arnold studied Design and Color at the Rudolf Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco . She received her Masters in Art and Design from Chelsea School of Art in London, England, where she focused on Textile Design. 

Growing up in the countryside in Germany, nature became her inspiration.

She studied the Healing Arts in New York and Toronto and opened a non-profit school in Unergi Body-Psychotherapy where she combines body and talk therapy modalities with the creative process and the Healing Forces of Nature.

Painting on Silk continues to be her passion, blending colorful textile dyes, readily absorbed by the fabric and shaping them into nature images and poems. Her silk hangings have been exhibited and privately collected in Europe and in the U.S. and are published in her book "Stuck is Not with Unergi Body-Psychotherapy – Healing Beyond Fixing."

About the Silk Paintings

My silk paintings are painted on pure silk fabric with French textile dyes. They are then steamed, washed and dry-cleaned to make them colorfast. They range in size depending on my artist's eye or the customer's commission. They hang freely from painted dowels.

Painting on Silk

Painting on silk is a kind of melting and blending experience. This is how the painting-dialogue starts. I squeeze out of a thin hole in the tip of a little plastic bottle a type of glue, which is called resist. With this instrument, I can draw thin and thick colorless transparent lines, scratches, and blobs onto the silk. Now I can create shapes, texture, pattern, form, words and so on. This resist line holds my colorful textile dyes within the shapes I have drawn. It separates one color from the next. Or so I hope. 

At times, the resist doesn't completely penetrate the fabric and my color oozes into the color next to it and together they blend into a new shade. At that moment I am presented with an opportunity to respond in various ways: “Oh, I have made a mistake!” is the one I have if I am very interested or attached to a certain shape having a particular color. In the language of a therapist: “I have an agenda and am attached to the outcome”. In the language of an Alexander teacher, “I am end-gaining.” 

Another response might be: “Damn, this resist isn't working, why do they sell such lousy material?” I am blaming others when I feel I have lost control over something. A therapist would say, “I am projecting or transferring my self responsibility to something or someone else”. An Alexander teacher might notice that I am losing awareness of myself, disconnecting from self support, my upper body is collapsing. 

A third response could be: “Well, what can I do with this now? It seems like a hopeless situation, but maybe if I try this or that, I can fix it.” I am looking for a solution to control the situation and make it fit. A gestalt therapist would call this “premature closure”, and an Alexander teacher would see me “over-efforting”. 

And a fourth response which I am still trying to teach myself is: “Wow, look at that! Look where that takes me, I hadn't thought of that, let's see where this leads!” I am taking advantage of my intuition as I delve into the creative moment of “Now”. 

The textile dyes, which are not easily controlled since the fabric eagerly soaks them into each fiber and thread, always remind me of my life. I can't help comparing the colors, shapes and forms with the events that shaped my life: my personal history appearing like a blueprint as I entered this life through my parents, uniquely created for me, my siblings, country, and so on. 

Life hands me a brush and offers millions of color variations with which to paint this composition. I might start with a center of interest, a central theme (like rejection, abandonment, abuse, shame, etc.) and it depends on me, where and how I place it on this nine foot piece of silk (my life). Do I choose subordinate themes that highlight that center of interest, a loving person who listens to me when I feel abandoned or rejected? Or do I choose colors that fight with each other for equal time by using intensity, repetition or placement of color and thereby go deeper into the sense of abandonment and loneliness? 

A color might scream, “Look at me! Don't forget me!” The color yellow, for example, is the hardest color to control. It reflects the most light and I need very little to make a great impact with it. Isn't that a curious discovery? “I need very little light amongst darkness to make a big change!” 

It's also interesting to note that the glue line with which I separate the colors from each other for a clearer perception of the kinds of shapes I want to create is called the resist ! And that when it breaks down, the colors do their own thing and blend and melt into each other. I can perceive a loss of control, or an opportunity for a new response and a more spontaneous painting. Is there another type of consciousness at work here? A consciousness which is anywhere, anytime right here and now, if I am open to it. On the surface of my ordinary perception, this looks like haphazard random occurrence, chance or coincidence. Yet in another reality it may be a divine intervention or even co-creation! 

As I am painting, letting my energy flow through my arm into the brush onto the silk, responding to the rearranged sounds I recorded during a Unergi group experience, I am also blending with the rhythmic flow of a former time. I am listening to the pain, laughter, struggle and fear of the sounds on the tape. I am allowing a distortion of my everyday perception. I am allowing the colors to run and blend and form anew. I am allowing the resist to break down. 

I have chosen painting on silk and sound as mediums, which help me to lose control, to get lost. Once I move through my fear of losing control, another intelligence, wiser than my ever-so-diligently planning brain, guides me to something extraordinarily beautiful. In the words of a Unergi client: “It seems... that when I lose myself, I find myself, and when I can't lose myself - I struggle.” 

As I continue to dare to create, I become the instrument for the sound. I am sounding. I myself don't know how the sounds are created because they are, on my human level, still beyond my virtuosity. I myself don't know how the lines and colors flow into being because they shape themselves. At times, I feel that my body systems aren't big enough to contain it all. And the more I trust and abandon control, the more creative I become. In this depth of receptivity, I sense a power of mercy, of grace, of, finally and eternally, stillness. Now it is not possible to be in the future or the past because of the rhythm that is constantly received by my body / brain – the river of sensing, feeling, of thought is always in this moment ... and in this one ... and now this one. 

I am touching and maintaining my sense of who I am in relation to people; their bodies, emotions, sounds. I am challenging shapes and lines and, most of all, I am challenging time. I am building on a rhythm that is intrinsically my own. I learn to leisurely walk through it. I think with rhythm, balance, repetition, intensity, distribution, harmony. I become creation itself. The sun, the moon, the people, the stars, this entire planet spinning us through space, the night, the day, the seasons, all rhythm, all spirit, all me.