Artists find their inspiration from … well, everywhere! In the case of Cleveland artist Susan Skove, she found inspiration in the wallpaper in the drawing room at Lilly House. Floral and nature images have provided the bulk of her inspiration over the last 22 years, and so she found that the Lilly House wallpaper aligned perfectly with her work.
“When I saw the incredible paintings done for the Lilly House, I was excited to create a series of scarves based on them,” said Skove. “Not only are the drawings incredible — the choice of colors are sensitive and beautiful. The wallpaper is also so varied in subject matter that it allowed for wonderful combinations of flowers leaves and birds on the scarves.”
Skove paints on silk. Her wearable canvases are delicate swirls of color that make a one-of-a-kind fashion statement for the lucky wearer. The process of painting on silk can take her anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the complexity of the design. First, she stretches the fabric between two sawhorses and applies the first layer of dye. Then she draws the design with a resist to allow for detailed painting. When she finishes the images, she paints the background. Once the scarf is dry, Skove steams it for two hours to make the dye permanent. The steaming ensures the scarf is colorfast and can be washed or drycleaned.
You can watch Susan Skove demonstrate her scarf-painting process at Lilly House on October 19 from 11 am to 4 pm. She will have scarves from her current fall collection for sale. If you can’t make it on the 19th, no worries … you can purchase her work in the Museum Store, the Lilly House shop, and The Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse and Shop.