Lee Zimmerman

Live Silk Painting Performances


Below are edited videos of a few of Lee Zimmerman's live silk painting performances. In each performance, a large panel of dimly lit, silk is stretched between him and the audience. The audience cannot see him. When he paints, the dyes flow though the silk panel and the rich colors can be seen by the audience. Depending on the image complexity he can complete an 8' by 4' painting in about 10 minutes, linking the images tightly with the theme of the event.


This is a very nicely edited video of a performance that Lee did in January of 2010. This was broadcast on WDSE the PBS station the following April.

Lee has performed this several times as part of symphony orchestra concerts, jazz band concerts, modern dance performances, with Cirque Du Symphonie and in auction fundraising situations. He has performed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, England, and in Santa Fe. The finished paintings, when sold as part of an auction, have raised from $1200 to $5000.



2006 Silk Painters International Festival in Santa Fe

The silk satin panel is eight feet by four feet and completely blocks the fashion show runway entrance. The models for the fashion show and the musicians are from Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco in Santa Fe. I started painting at the end of the service for an afternoon tea which is why it is pretty noisy. After I completed it, the models burst through the painting to start the fashion show. This video is edited and runs about 4 minutes. The actual painting took about 12 minutes to complete.

Video not available right now

2001 Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra Concert

There were three connected silk satin panel each eight feet by four feet set off next to the orchestra. I worked with Ann Gumpper, a local theatrical set designer. This live painting performance happened at the end of their two hour evening concert. We were originally set to paint to different music that was thirty minutes long. The orchestra had to change the music at the last minute and we adjusted to painting the panels in under about 18 minutes. At the end of the performance, most of the audience, instead of exiting the auditorium, came forward and even walked around the painting with fascination.


A Story in Three Parts

More about the Performance

which took place on Friday, January 29, 2010 at 7:30


(It officially begins about 8 minutes into the video stream and the entire performance takes about 1 hr)


What can I do with an 8'x4' silk painting?



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