It is no secret that I love to travel. It has been a passion in my life and always helps to keep my heart and my art fresh. I try to look for opportunities to show and teach as I travel. Other times, I am happy to travel for my own joy and education. This summer, I am lucky enough to do both.
Currently, I am enjoying Tallahassee and the LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts, where I have just finished hanging a show: “Dyeing to Create”. I started applying for it in March 2014 and it has been a lot of work to get it set up. Once I was accepted, it took many months of labeling, creating inventory lists, and choosing resale items to be prepared for this show. But after I hung it, I stood back, looked at everything and said “Damn, am I proud of my work!”
The show opened on the 7th and will be running until the 29th. I will be there teaching a batik workshop at the end of this month. It is a two-day workshop that I am really enjoying putting together. We will be exploring the traditional wax and dye techniques as well as Rozome, (the Japanese style), tjaps (Indonesian printing blocks), tjanting tools, brushes and other waxing methods so that you can play with a variety of tools to discover what inspires you. This workshop is a culmination of all my years and explorations as a batik artist; I’m very happy to be invited to share what I have discovered. You should all come on down!
I, myself, was recently inspired during my travels to take a workshop that has helped to expand my horizons as an artist. I visited an art studio while on vacation in Brasstown, N. C., that featured paintings done in watercolor, oil, and alcohol based inks. (Like the inks that you use when writing with a Sharpie) The artist/ owner was sitting at a table in the studio demonstrating the alcohol-based inks and asked me if I wanted to participate. I didn’t have time at that moment, so she told me about a workshop she would be teaching. I signed up and spent the day with her and two other students blowing, scraping with a plastic stick and wiping with q-tips.We practiced on a synthetic paper known as Yupo and then moved on to ceramic tile.
You have to paint loose and fast when working with these inks. If you make a mistake, you have to wipe off with alcohol and try again. It was very freeing to me, as batik is so structured and time consuming. I love the bright colors; they sing to me. I will want to work with these more when I need a break from batik and photography. This style provides a lot of immediate gratification. And every artist still needs to have fun!
As time moves on and I continue to learn new things, maybe I will be inspired to put together a show that involves these looser types of work. I do it now to a certain extent with my photography and encaustic works, but its healthy for me to stay on my toes. I never get stagnant and can play and explore when the mood moves me. I like to keep open as to what I will do next. It is more fun for me and raises more interest in my work
When I return home in August, my husband and I will be off to St. George Island in the Florida panhandle and then heading out for fall foliage in North Carolina in September. I’m sure both of these beautiful destinations will hold opportunities for me to create and be inspired by what he world has to offer.