Guild member Rosi Robson has been included in the Feb/March issue of the International Artist magazine after entering a competition. Rosi says:
“I rarely ever enter competitions but It was only when I saw the category ‘Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes ‘ that I thought I would have a go. They award 1st, 2nd and third prizes and choose 10 finalists – me being one. As a prize for a finalist, you get a whole page to yourself with the image of your painting, blurb about your inspiration and how you created your picture – in my case a batik painting.
What I am really chuffed about is that I am probably the first batik artist to be chosen as a finalist. Most winners are either oil, acrylic, watercolour or pastel artists. The International Artist Magazine is sold around the world. The winners this time include those from New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, UK, Canada and the US. So it’s a great advertisement for figurative batik.”
REEDED LOCH by Rosi Robinson
50cms x 100cms (20” x 40”)
Finalist in the Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes competition
Feb/March, 2014, Issue of International Artist Magazine
My Inspiration for this batik painting originates from my love of water and its reflections, whether they are found in lochs, lakes or the sea. I love ripples and the movement of water and the way images are refracted and always changing. This batik painting is of Loch Arthur, which is situated in the south of Scotland where I spent many childhood vacations.
Recently, when I was revisiting my childhood haunts, I stopped by this loch. I just had to take some photographs. There was a calmness and serenity about the loch and I loved the reeds and branches that framed the scene. I was inspired to create a batik painting of it.
My Design Strategy
When I travel I take a lot of photographs and often base my work on them. However, I don’t recreate these images by painting them; instead I batik pictures by applying layers of wax and dye on fabric.
I decided for this batik that I wanted to capture the solitude and serenity of the loch, so I chose to make this painting longer and thinner than others I have done. I always draw the picture on paper first and then trace the drawing in pencil onto the fabric.
For this picture, I made sure I drew the branches and reeds as precise as possible, because it was essential that I knew where the lines were before I started waxing. When you batik trees, you have to wax the negative spaces of the sky leaving a narrow space between them. These areas will take up the dye and in an instant you can see the silhouette of the branches.
My Working Process
In this batik I didn’t want to keep any of the white fabric, so I dampened the fabric and applied a pale turquoise dye by working and blending it into the cloth using a sponge brush. I then waxed the areas I wanted to keep pale blue.
The waxed areas resisted the dye, whilst the un-waxed fabric took up the colour. I then applied the orangy-yellow dye for the bank on the other side of the loch. I let it dry before I waxed the area I wanted to keep that colour. I painted different shades of yellow over the blue to create the trees and their reflection. Because the fabric was blue already, the yellows made the colour turn green. As the sky was already waxed, the dye didn’t go into the sky and so formed the shape of the trees. I then waxed over the trees remembering to leave the gaps for the overhanging branches to be dyed.
Once I had checked that all the areas I wanted to protect were waxed, I then applied the last colour – the black dye over the whole batik – and immediately the silhouettes of the branches and reeds came to life.