Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reaching Up (capable)

This lonely, capable vine is reaching up, finding it's way to a place above the expected norm.  Perhaps it is looking for the warmth of the sun.  Perhaps it is finding it's own independence. 

Notice the small white heart in the sky. That imperfection was a mistake.  For some reason, the fabric did not take the dye in that area.  There are no accidents and I love the additional message this batik seems to want to express.  Maybe that is what the vine is looking for - the heart.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Welcome Mats at Windows

I am involved with a weekly artists illustration challenge at  Each week a different word is presented and a challenge to illustrate that word. The work is then presented on the forum.  The biggest obstacle  for me is my medium.  Since each dye bath takes 24 hours to fix and most batiks take 7-8 dye baths, they can't be completed in a week. 

I try to accept the challenge anyway.  Each of these words causes me to think outside my box and stretch my own creative ideas.  For that purpose it is very good.

This weeks challenge word was popularity.  What an interesting word and how on earth would you illustrate it?   It can denote positive or negative connotations, depending on your experiences.   What makes one popular?  What makes anything popular?  The media and pop culture dictates what is popular on a very shallow and superficial level.

I looked over my gallery of batik work and nothing seemed to fit the theme.  Maybe it is my perception of the word that needs adjusting.  After all, isn't art a powerful tool in changing perceptions? 

The piece I chose is "Welcome Mats at Windows"  The title is as much the message as the actual art.  It is a state of being.  Not only should we open the door to experiences, understanding, love, awareness, friendship, connections, etc, we should throw open every window and invite every experience God and Life have to teach us.  Instead of focusing on "what is popular?  Who is popular?  Am I popular?" and trying to fit our thoughts, ideas, ideology into that criteria,  welcome Life and all the experiences, joy and learning it has to offer. Wouldn't that be nice if that were the popular thing to do?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Juried Exhibit!

When people learn I work in batiks, they expect to see a peace sign relief on a  tie-dye t-shirt. They are often surprised when they see the fine art batiks.  Batiks are more often perceived as an arts and crafs rather than a fine art or technique for illustration.
I am hoping to change that perception and bring a new appreciation to this medium.
 I received this in the mail today.  "Thank you for entering the 2012 NAC Juried Visual Arts Exhibit. The judge of this year's exhibition is John A Day, Professor Emeritus of the University of South Dakota reviewed all the submitted artwork and after careful consideration has selected 24 pieces for this exhibit. Congratulations! Your pieces, 'Prairie Wheat' and 'Welcome Mats at Windows' has been selected to be included in the exhibition." 
 Welcome Mats at Windows and Prairie Wheat