The Beauty of Silk Painted by a Watercolor Artist

Artist John Carollo has brought his distinctive Controlled Chaos painting style to the flowing beauty and translucency of 100% silk fabric. What had been an unconsidered extension of his unusual watercolor technique has become an interesting platform for experimentation with different sculptural forms, with more ideas to come.

One effect possible with silk that can't be duplicated in traditional watercolor is its ability to be backlit, for brilliant illumination of the colors. John discovered this interesting feature while hanging the large flags, which were part of his extensive marching band commission, in the sun to dry.

As the yellow light moved lower in the sky, the brightly colored silks suddenly lit up from behind, with an effect that could only be described as fabric stained glass. From here an experimental idea was born, the first example of which is The Reach, pictured below.

Created in part with funding from a 2012 Artist Development Grant from the United Arts of Central Florida, The Reach expands on John's innovative approach to watercolor and mixed-media, combining it with the unusual beauty of backlit silk.

Premiered at the Dancing Crane Gallery in Bradenton, FL in March and April, 2012. The piece will next appear in the Mount Dora Center for the Arts  from January 11 - March 13, 2012. It will be joined another collaborative silk piece, currently in the planning stages.

Learn more about John Carollo's artistic endeavors at

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