We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Knight and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Chinese Emperor Huizong of Song “Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk,” ca. 1100-1133. This is one of the oldest silk paintings, done in the first century. Silk painting precedes almost all other forms of fine art. Still, in 2020, when entering a silk painting into a gallery show or a fine art competition, we silk artists are forced to enter our art in either the watercolor category or the craft category. I find this to be insulting. It has been my quest as an artist who has been a silk painter for four decades to get a classification in the world’s galleries named “Silk Painting” in the category called “Painting”. Fine art category in most gallery includes works of art that are created primarily for aesthetic reasons. including these disciplines: Drawing – charcoal, chalk, crayon, pastel, pencil, or pen and ink Painting – oils, watercolor, gouache, acrylics, ink and wash, tempera, or encaustic paints **** WE BELONG RIGHT HERE silk painting Printmaking – woodcuts, stencils, engraving, etching and lithography, or screen-printing, foil imaging, or giclee prints Sculpture – bronze, stone, marble, wood, or clay Calligraphy – beautiful and stylized handwriting
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Everything is most exciting about my art form. It’s both fine art and wearable. I have loved it, always. I HAVE learned not to take myself too seriously. If it isn’t fun, STOP, take a look at what you are doing. I need to learn to do better at marketing my work.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Seems like each decade I get an additional injection of inspiration from a book or a group or a person. Jan Janas, was my original mentor in silk painting in the mid 1970’s and remains “on my shoulder” as I paint. I finally read some of the Masters of Art Biographies and now I see how my artistic path is not so different from theirs. Inspired me, and somehow calmed me down. I have been intimately involved in Silk Painters International and San Diego Silk Guild for 20 years. These organizations have provided me with networking and camaraderie that is so necessary in the inherently solo activity of art. Through Silk Painters International I met Suzanne Punch, a Master Silk Painter. Suzanne guided me through the process of crossing my artistic “t’s” and dotting my artistic ” i’s” and directed me to books on color and theory and literature on temperament and technique of my art. Through Suzanne’s gentle tutelage I have become a more focused and disciplined artist. I have successfully found my signature style and my favorite genre (Abstract).