Painting on Silk

Class Description: This class is an introduction to Emily Erb’s unique studio practice of painting on silk. The process is based on the ancient Indian technique that involves drawing thin lines of resist that create a structure to contain the fluid dye to create imagery. In this class, we will use a thin, transparent silk that allows for tracing with a small squeeze bottle full of silk painting resist that comes in a variety of colors. After the drawing is finished, the liquid dye is applied with a watercolor brush. A class trip to Emily’s studio in Germantown will be included so that students can see the potential of painting on silk and explore their own means of expression through this medium.


Supplies for students to purchase:

2 sets of 4 lightweight wooden stretcher bars of their preferred painting dimensions.

Thursday 6:30 - 9:30 pm | April 13 - June 1
8 Weeks | Ages 18+ | $285

About the Instructor:

A Richmond, Virginia native, silk painter Emily Erb (b. 1982) has lived and worked in Philadelphia, PA since 2001. In 2005, Erb completed her BFA in painting at the Tyler School of Art and later earned her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 2012. Although she was first introduced to silk painting while an undergraduate, Erb honed her skills while traveling to Madagascar for three months from 2005-2006; she then switched to painting exclusively on silk. In 2012, Erb was nominated for a Joan Mitchell Grant Nomination. That same year, Erb received the Mabel Wilson Woodrow Award from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and People’s Choice Award from the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art for her reinterpretation of Picasso’s Guernica (1937) and her World Map painting (2011). The latter was also included in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s groundbreaking exhibition State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now (September 13, 2014-January 19, 2015) in Bentonville, AK. World Map and one of the currency flags from Legal Tender were on view as part of the two traveling exhibitions that ended in 2017. Erb’s solo exhibition, Legal Tender, which features silk flag paintings depicting US paper currency from the nineteenth century has been exhibited at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE (October 19, 2013-February 16, 2014), the Museum of American Finance in New York, NY (April-October 17, 2015). In 2017, Erb was named the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts.