During the several month course of the work, John got a handle on what makes silk painting different from paper painting (mainly the absorption rate), but also found that much of his established technique transferred well to the fabric, often with very smooth blending and atmospheric effects.
Working outside, due to the size of the pieces, and hanging the silk on a line to dry created a moment of inspiration, which John describes as follows:
John had been experimenting with 3D work, largely constructed from painted, cut paper and wire and other mixed media since 2007, as prototypes for large-scale works for transit stations, atriums and the like. While that work was progressing, including into the 2010, 9' tall The Rapture, which will be shown in Mount Dora, a limitation of the pieces was the fragility of the paper construction.
Here is a video that documents the painting of the single butterfly wing for The Reach. Watercolor artists will note John's extensive use of a "bloom" technique to create some interesting effects in it.