JO MAY
Silk Painter
Label - JO MAY DESIGNS

I am an established artist from Waipu near Whangarei. Mostly self taught, I began painting when I was 16  and although I have spent time as a potter and jewellery maker  I have settled upon silk painting - mainly due to a love of the free- flow painting style, but also the vivid colours and texture silk allows.

Silk painting involves a number of processes, firstly a design is needed, either in my head or pre-drawn on paper, then the design is drawn onto the silk, dried, and heatset. Then layer upon layer of colours are applied. After drying, touching-up, and any special effects added, the silk is rested for a few days before being steamed in our commercial steamer to set the colours. The silk is then washed and pressed and is ready for framing. My husband Bill makes all the matt boards we use to professionally set the set the silk in.

Some images are then made into prints, No more than 100 prints of each size are made so they are very exclusive. We also make wooden block mounted prints which do not need framing. Once again Bill makes all the matt boards and cuts the wooden blocks, thus ensuring every aspect of our work is totally handmade. 

I love Northland - I love the climate and the beaches, the colours and the friendly people. I work from home in Waipu, I am inspired by the beauty of our coves and rock formations out at The Heads. I love the distinctive shapes of those hills - so recognizable to anyone who has been here even only once. I also enjoy painting native birds - so may colours and beautiful shapes, and so unique to NZ..