July 14, 2008 - "Silk Art"

Helen Reese's art is as gorgeous as it is rare. Her technique takes as much patience as it does skill. Using French dyes, water, alcohol and wax, Helen hand paints Louisiana scenes and fleur-de-lis on fine silk. One element of Helen's art may surprise you--salt. She explains, "It actually absorbs the dyes, some of the dyes, and it will make mottling effects and beautiful designs."

Every centimeter of white silk is painstakingly hand colored by brush. It can take hours. But Helen says, "I absolutely love it! It's a passion--and particularly creating art that represents my heritage. When someone comes into the Dutch Alley Gallery and purchases a scarf, I'm thrilled."

Yes, Helen creates art you can wear. She also does wall hangings--like "Crescent City Angel" her first piece, painted right after Katrina.

"I painted an angel," says Helen, "my depiction of an angel that was holding up New Orleans from the storm, and one side of it is all dark and stormy, and the other side is the sunshine. It came from my heart. It's just what I was feeling at the time."

Helen has also created a limited edition poster of the "Crescent City Angel." her art is sold at the Dutch Alley Artists' Co-op in the French Quarter.

Blended dyes and salt, patience and heart--the silk painting of Helen Reese.