We had the good fortune of connecting with Silky Hart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Silky, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Colors arranged in surprising combinations, excursions to new places, experiencing the sights and sounds of different cultures, solitude wanderings into nature, the way the light causes an ever-changing landscape and the comfort of my own backyard.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I decided to throw myself into an art career, I knew I needed to study up on the business side of things. One line of thinking that kept cropping up was to decide on a subject matter and/or medium. I knew intuitively that I didn’t want to be pigeonholed. I want the freedom to paint whatever calls to me in whatever materials. I want to keep exploring and experimenting, to keep my artwork alive and fresh. Being a woman of a “certain age,” I’ve had to honor within myself that the breadth and depth of my life experience counts for something. So instead of buying into the idea that I’m too old, I’m going to do my very best and believe there’s a way for me to create my own successful pathway. My passion for color is a thread that unifies my art. Whether it is my abstracted landscapes or my pieces that are more recognizable in subject matter, color and emotion are what my paintings are about. I usually start with studies or field notes. Then, I translate those beginning ideas to create a piece of art that captures the essence, feeling, mood, light, energy and spirit of a place, memory or experience.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In my town of McKinney, I’d take my best friend to lunch at Rick’s Chophouse and sit outside for a great sidewalk view. Then, we’d stroll around the charming historic Square, wandering into Ettienne Market, Patina Green and the Last Art Gallery. A stop at Filtered for an afternoon coffee is a must. After we finish our lattes, we’d cross the street to Fair & Square Imports. As we leave the store with yummy fair trade chocolate, we’d turn the corner and take a selfie in front of the Texas Sol mural.
Next, we’d hop in the car for a quick drive to the MillHouse to explore this awesome space for artists and creative entrepreneurs. Sipping margaritas at the Yard’s fantastic outdoor area is a perfect spot to hang out and chat away. Before we go home, we’d have to visit Emporium Pies!
The next morning, we’d dash down to Dallas to hit some cultural highlights. Roaming around the flowers and beauty of The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden with a lovely view of White Rock Lake is a site to behold. Next stop is the Bishop Arts District for lunch at Hattie’s which is always delightful Then, I’d take her to Wild Detectives, she’ll love this charming book store. After going to the Dallas Museum of Art we’d walk over to The Nasher Sculpture Center and meander around. Cocktails at the fabulous outdoor patio at Saint Ann’s will be a perfect place to talk about our day. A visit to North Texas wouldn’t be complete without going to Fort Worth. Lunch at Cafe Modern is always exquisite.
Next, a quick visit to Artspace 111. Some more galleries are on our list: Bee Street Gallery and the Gallerywinter Gallery which are right across the street from each other. A favorite place since my college days at TCU is the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. I usually take my sketchbook. Exploring Magnolia Avenue is always fun. The ice cream at Melt is sinfully good. One of my favorite dining places is Spice which has terrific Thai food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Tom, has been my greatest source of support, encouragement and love. We joke that he should have a business card printed that says Art Counselor. Nine years ago, I had a strong desire to take an art workshop in France. Tom wholeheartedly said, “yes!” He even went with me. This momentous decision was the beginning of my art journey. When I realized I needed to equip myself with a solid art foundation, he woke up at 5:30 am with me on the mornings I drove to Brookhaven College for my classes in Drawing and Design. When I was selected for a month-long artist residency in New Mexico, Tom said I should absolutely go while he takes care of things at home. Oh, I can’t imagine not having Tom when it comes to hanging an art show, both for his expertise with a hammer and his never-ending emotional support. Having an encouraging and supportive spouse means everything!