This weekend 11 artists took on the challenge of creating wax batiks with watercolor and sumi ink. We really put the hours in here at my studio, with each woman creating her own original batiks, planning the works from initial sketches to the final painting process. The majority of the workshoppers were able to get the layers of wax ironed off before they left on Sunday evening but still had adjustments to make before calling the paintings complete. Therefore, there are none of their paintings to show on this blog yet. Hopefully when they email me the finished work for critique, I can post some of them. Their work included a wide range of subject matter, and it was exciting to see the paintings develop.
We used several kinds of washi/rice papers, and my demo batik was done on Thai unryu paper, which I frequently use for wax batik and watercolor. However, this time the sheet shredded in some areas. Frustrating. Possibly the vat where the paper was handmade, in Thailand, didn't get enough pulp in it to make my sheet of paper an even thickness. I really don't know for sure why it shredded, but I was thankful that it didn't happen to anyone else in the workshop.
This is the finished painting, after it was glued down to w/c paper. Several tweaking adjustments were made after the paste dried. The way it looked (before paper repairs) is shown below - notice the holes in many areas. When wet, most rice papers tear fairly easily along an edge if they are picked up, but these areas happened as soon as I put the paint brush on the paper. It was like the paper dissolved in spots. The holes got worse with each successive layer of paint, so I condensed the last three layers of paint into one final wash. Patching the holes was tedious, and one area still looks obviously patched.
The photo of the finished batik was taken outdoors after painting corrections were made, and the one with holes was taken under natural light in the studio, hence the slight color variation. The water and sky in the 'holey' photo depicts the water and sky colors more accurately than the first photo of the finished piece.
In late January, there will be a 3 day workshop here, and we'll all be using masking tape instead of wax to create the batik look. (See sidebar on right.) Late February is the next wax batik workshop here, for three days also, instead of two. Both workshops do have openings, but class size is limited. If you're interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you the details.
Seen here - some of the workshop artists working on various steps of wax batik on rice paper..... Thank you all for a good weekend - looking forward to seeing your finished batiks soon. It was great painting together.
"SERENADE" Watercolor and Sumi Ink on Thai unryu paper, adhered to Arches 140#CP 16x22" COLLECTED