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Watercolor Batik on Ginwashi Rice Paper

If you've read my first blog post, Winkle in Owl Bah-Wain, encouraging you to learn something new, this new article might intrigue you to explore an old art form with a new twist!

Batik is an ancient art process of applying layers of colorful dyes and melted wax on cotton or silk fabrics. The wax is then boiled or scraped off leaving the intricate designs. The ornate patterns would often take months to complete.

A few years ago,my friend, Suzi and I were fortunate to participate in an intensive three day workshop with nationally known artist, Kathie George whom I had followed for several years. As Suzi will attest, I may have been a bit giddy meeting Kathie & taking her workshop. Leading us step-by-step through the process, Kathie taught us how to create beautiful batik paintings. I was hooked! We took Kathie to lunch and she graciously shared tips with me regarding designing my own patterns and teaching them. Additionally she granted permission to be a member of her instructor program. Kathie is as sweet as her sweet tooth. As I recall, she delighted in the mini chocolate eclairs we had for dessert!)

Kathie & I have continued to keep in touch and I so appreciate her friendship & counsel. I've added a link to Kathie's website:

Here are a few photos of my original design watercolor batik projects - taking you from chaos to order! Perhaps you can join us for a workshop. (For more information, please see my website's schedule of upcoming batik workshops and classes.)

Wondering how these are painted? Simply stated, there are only a these few steps: Paint - Dry - Wax - Repeat! Then, finally Iron off the wax and be prepared to be awed.

Here is the process: First, the drawing is transferred to the rice paper with permanent black ink, Specified areas are painted with watercolor paints, then a layer of melted paraffin wax is applied to the identified sections. (The wax acts as a resist to the next application of paint.) Eventually, the entire paper is completely covered in wax. Next step is to gently crush the rice paper into a ball, (What???) We then apply more paint beads which will find their way through the channels of cracked wax. One final layer of wax seals in the paint beads and we iron the rice paper in-between newspapers until all the wax is removed. If desired, your art work can then be enhanced with touches of pastel pencils or more watercolor paints.

My next Watercolor Batik Workshop Project, is this Forget-Me-Knot Bouquet. Did you find the hidden paint brushes? I also added a raffia bow for a 3-D look! Hope to see you there!

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