By Camille Campbell, age 17, Arizona.
With images flashing in my mind,
I lay out the billowing silk,
and begin to paint.
I trace the lines of my ancestry,
each brushstroke forming a branch
on my family’s ancestral tree.
With golden gutta, I outline my identity,
ready to color between the lines.
I splash on the colors of Ukraine—
the teal darkness of Odessa’s Black Sea,
the sun-lit golden domes of Kyiv,
the crimson autumn of Sofiyivka gardens,
the flaxen fields of sunflowers.
I dream of living within the painting,
strolling and dancing in the silken world.
The kaleidoscope of hues connects me
to my mother’s Land of Color.
In my poem, I write about the beautiful form of art called “silk painting” and how it connects me with my Ukrainian heritage.
For years, silk painting has captivated me. My mother, who moved from Ukraine to the United States, fondly talked of the colorful silk paintings made by artistic communities in Ukraine. Disappointed that this technique was not practiced much in the United States, I decided to change that: one brushstroke at a time. As I learned the intricate and complex process, each painting felt like a tribute to my mother’s country.
When art gallery owners expressed interest in my silk paintings, I assembled a collection of my work and was fortunate enough to receive representation by Derubeis Fine Art Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. With my silk paintings, I positively impacted my community by donating a few of them to the Make a Wish Foundation to raise money at their silent auctions.
When I’m doing a live art event, I always love to answer people’s questions about the process of silk painting and how it ties to my Ukrainian heritage.
Along with my poem “Colors of Ukraine,” I have included four of my silk paintings: The Kaleidoscope of Dreams, the Vase of Joy, Flickers of Autumn and Serenity. You can see more of my art at: www.artistcamillecampbell.com