Wednesday, January 27, 2021     Volume: 21, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on January 6th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 45

Mixed media artist Belinda Hart experiments with abstract painted silks in Solvang

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

While primarily working with fabrics and textiles, contemporary artist Belinda Hart loves creating pieces that invoke “an invitation to touch,” and she described her intricate hand-dye method as a thrilling challenge. Hart’s process is an iteration of Arashi Shibori, a Japanese technique that results in shades and hues reminiscent of storm-driven rain. 

“The impressionistic aspect is created with color and texture, but the pieces conjure up imagery of earth, sea, and sky during morning, midday, and dusk,” Hart said of some of her latest works, currently on display at ZFolio Gallery in downtown Solvang.


Got silk?
Find out more about Santa Ynez-based artist Belinda Hart at belindahart.com. Some of Hart’s painted silks are currently on display at ZFolio Gallery, located at 1685 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang. The exhibit is scheduled to run through Feb. 28.

COLORFUL CONJURING
“The pieces conjure up imagery of earth, sea, and sky during morning, midday, and dusk,” artist Belinda Hart said of her painted silks, currently on display at ZFolio Gallery in downtown Solvang.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BELINDA HART

The exhibit, scheduled to run through Feb. 28, is a collection of Hart’s painted silks, which could be described as abstract impressions of “infinite and exciting imagery prevalent in nature.” 

“There is a running theme, although it might be difficult to describe,” Hart said of the showcase. “I think to see it in person makes this statement all the more clear.”

But one of Hart’s greatest joys as an artist is hearing different interpretations of her work, especially when they’re vastly different from her own.

“I used color, rather than scenery, to draw the viewer in and instill a feeling of calmness. I view these pieces as being more serene than my prior work,” Hart said. “It forces the viewer to make their own interpretation of the piece.”


GOLDEN SLUMBERS
“I love the variation of colors in a purple palette,” Belinda Hart said of her abstract piece, Fantasia. “I’ve mixed those with ochres and golds, and I find the combination particularly pleasing to the eye.”
COURTESY IMAGE BY BELINDA HART

Hart uses thin acrylic paint to realize her vision onto her silks. She developed her painting process after attending an artists retreat in 2019 at South Lake Tahoe, where she workshopped with Santa Fe-based silk painter Betty Busby. 

“I brought that knowledge home and began to experiment,” said Hart, who returned to Santa Ynez with a desire to embrace Busby’s approach without merely replicating it. 

“I didn’t want to mimic another artist’s work. I think I achieved my goal,” added Hart, who described her eclectic mixing of dye colors as a unique, personal spin on the process.

Hart is careful to pace herself with each multilayered artwork, she said, as each layer of the piece requires an ample window of time on its own.

“I am fairly methodical in the way I work. I just work on one piece at a time,” Hart said. “The textured silks that I have been producing require a multilayered paint process. Each layer has to be dry before applying the next.”


ART WITH HART
Local artist Belinda Hart (pictured) is a longtime member of FiberVision, a Santa Barbara-based fiber artists collective, and first moved to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2008. She described the Central Coast as a “utopia for artists.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF BELINDA HART

One of Hart’s favorite parts of this process results in a welcomed “element of surprise,” when one altered fabric dictates the direction she takes with the rest of the layers, regardless of earlier preconceptions of the piece as a whole.

Among Hart’s painted silks currently featured at ZFolio Gallery is Fantasia, which she described as one of her personal favorites of her own artworks.

“I love the variation of colors in a purple palette,” Hart said of the abstract piece. “I’ve mixed those with ochres and golds, and I find the combination particularly pleasing to the eye.”

Hart is a longtime member of FiberVision, a Santa Barbara-based fiber artists collective, and first moved to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2008. She described the Central Coast as a “utopia for artists.” 


DAWN TO DUSK
Belinda Hart uses acrylic paint and a unique hand-dye method to create her painted silks, including her abstract piece, Twilight (pictured).
COURTESY IMAGE BY BELINDA HART

“Within just a stone’s throw there are mountains, valleys, oceans, and deserts. The inspiration is endless,” she said.

While she continues to reference aspects of nature and the outdoors in nearly all of her artworks, 2020 brought about a new wave of more inward-looking pieces than previous years, Hart explained, partly due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“If anything, I think the pandemic has caused me to become more introspective,” Hart said. “The minimization of outside exposure, for me, set up an environment that promoted an expression of feeling or emotion, rather than being a reflection of the physical environment.”

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood is looking inward. Send comments to cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.










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