During a course on dress and design, I was introduced to the art of batik and fell in love with it. This was in the middle seventies and the love has grown with the years.
Buying household candles, Dylon dyes and utilising old sheets and battered pans, I embarked on my favourite art form which is now in its third decade.
Living in the Highlands, I now have a small gallery which I run with my husband. We sell a lot of art and crafts but the accent is on batik work. My husband Bill is a picture framer in his spare time and without his help I couldn't be producing and selling the work I do. With our first lot of profits we invested in a Vacuum Hot Press and it is one of the best things we ever did. It enables the mounting of my pictures onto a firm, acid free backing, and does away with labour intensive stretching and horrific bubbles.
Having developed my own style for the first twenty years and taking my inspiration from the patterns and hues of the surrounding landscape and that of the Mediterranean, I gradually became aware that I was not alone. During some excellent workshops with Anne Dye at the Ariundle Centre, I met some fellow batikers and learned about the Batik Guild. Not only have I now learnt so much more about the craft but I have made some dear friends.
I have been involved with quite a few workshops in local primary schools and will have had two adult workshops in 2007. The delight on the faces of those who have produced a batik for the first time is so rewarding, whether they are adults, children, veteran artists or novices - because they remind me of how I felt the first time.
If I was asked why I love batik I would say it is an art form with attitude. That is because no matter how much you plan your work or how you envisage it will turn out, sometimes in a small way or sometimes large, it always turns out the way it wants to. Apart from the element of surprise, I feel this gives my work a looseness it would not otherwise have had using another medium.
I enjoy submitting my work to various exhibitions and am so pleased when it appears beside the more traditional art forms. Many times I find people in the gallery looking at my work and asking where the Batiks are, they are usually intrigued and want me to explain or demonstrate the method. I hope to carry on developing and experimenting and most of all enjoying this lovely medium for many years to come.
Thank to our gallery I now have work in private collections in America, Spain and France as well as the UK. I am thrilled because this is the second year that I have had work accepted in the Patchings exhibition in Nottingham in June, a competition sponsored by The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines.