July’s Wonderful Weed – Peacock Butterfly and Buddleia


July’s Wonderful Weed original silk painting by Stephanie Gay


July’s Wonderful Weed – Peacock Butterfly and Buddleia Original Silk Painting and Limited Edition Prints

This painting was for my twelve days of Christmas project in 2015. Each day I looked ahead to the months of the next year.

Apologies to all you buddleia fans out (and I know there are hundreds of beautiful varieties) but the bog standard purple one is firmly a weed in my book. But what a weed it is! It seems to be able to grow almost anywhere (I’ve seen it growing out of the side of a building) and it has a magnetic attraction for butterflies. Particularly the splendid peacock who obviously sees something in it that I don’t…..

Painting the buddleia on silk was another challenge for me. If I had used gutta it would have ended up all line and no colour so I decided to paint it without. I painted each petal separately, drying with the hairdryer before doing the adjacent one. I then used a colourless resist to stop the background from flowing over the finished flower.

My paintings are mainly painted on pure Chinese habotai 8 silk with specialist silk paints. I start each work with a drawing on paper and then trace the image onto a piece of white silk stretched onto a wooden frame. I then apply a special paint called gutta, which contains natural latex called gutta-percha, over my traced lines. This creates a resistive barrier through which the coloured ink will not flow. I apply the coloured ink with a brush and use salt dropped into the ink whilst wet to created textured effects.

The finished painting is removed from the wooden frame, ironed to fix the colour in the fabric and stretched onto acid-free mountboard ready for framing.

You can see a time lapse video of me painting here.

A Limited Edition Print is printed on fine art 308gsm paper using archival inks and is signed by the artist. The number of prints is limited to 100. The following sizes are available:

Size Mount Size (frame size required) Actual Image Size
30 x 30 cm 30 x 30 cm 19 x 19 cm
20 x 20 cm 20 x 20 cm 14 x 14 cm

Additional information


Framed Original Silk Painting, Mounted Original Silk Painting, Mounted Limited Edition Print


30 x 30 cm, 20 x 20 cm