October 2016 Demonstration

Our demonstrator for October was Merry Beninato. She demonstrated painting on silk.

The meeting was held in the Guild Hall, First Congregational Church (middle side door), Sanborn Street, Reading, Wednesday October 12th, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

We have some photographs of the event in case you could not make it there in person.


We set up the mirror so that Merri could work flat on
the table, and the audience would still be able to see her work.


Here is the drawing that Merri did the painting from.
Her painting process has many steps that she follows:

Wash and dry the silk.
Stretch the silk on the frame.
Trace the drawing onto the silk with pencil.
Retrace the design with resist.
Allow the resist to dry completely (~24 hours)
Check the resist lines for leaks with water.
Paint the design with dyes.
Allow to dry completely (~24 hours)
Remove the silk from the frame.
Steam the silk for about an hour to set the dyes.
Remove from the steamer and rinse thoroughly.
Press the silk between two pressing cloths.
Frame the painting.


Because the painting takes so long, she started with
most of the preparation work already done.


That tiny bottle has the Gold Resist in it.
Merri draws the outlines using the bottle of resist.


The dyes come in very concentrated liquid form.


Merri started out painting the large pumpkin.
You can see here palette of dyes on the left of the painting.


She leaves the watermarks because they add texture.
You can see them on the large pumpkin if you look closely.


Next, she painted the smaller orange pumpkin.


The small green pumpkin was next.


Then, she did the crow.


The crow was looking quite good at this stage.
You can see the lines around the crow where the resist
keeps the dye from penetrating into the silk.


After the demonstration, Merri set up a table with a stretched
silk and some dyes. We all got to try our hand at silk painting.

You can see some of Merry's work at her web site, http://merrybeninato.zenfolio.com/

Merry Beninato's Bio

Merry has been a professional artist and teacher for over 30 years. Painting has been her passion since early childhood; She received her first oil painting supplies at the age of ten and took off from there. She has won numerous awards for her vibrant silk paintings and thought provoking mixed media work in local, regional, and national juried shows. Most recently, she was awarded first place in the 2014 Cape Cod National for her silk painting, Oasis, second place in 2015 for her silk painting Primary Delights, and second place in 2013 for her mixed media collage, Crow Harvest. Raven's Tears is currently accepted into Women's Caucus for the Arts National Juried Exhibition at Plymouth State University, NH. She was recently juried into The National Association of Women in the Arts and the Rockport Art Association.

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Last updated October 30, 2016