Tag Archive: soy wax

Now featured on Artsy Shark!

Agua XIII The Red LeafI know I haven’t written a blog posting in a while-I’ve been so wrapped up in creating and organizing my artwork (not to mention exhibiting and creating a revised website) For 2014, I decided that I wanted to get back into chronicling my ideas and inspirations for my art. I have a lot of work to do: I received a notice that I will be showing in the gallery at the Florida State Capitol in 2015– more Seminole kimonos to create.

I have submitted work for the Florida Contemporary show at the Baker Museum of Art, and next week I am venturing over to Boca Raton to see two of my “Agua” series paintings, Red Leaf 1 and Red Leaf 2 in their opening day at the Nathaniel Rosen Museum and Gallery.

A happy and busy time for me.

Meanwhile, I submitted work to Artsy Shark, an online site that helps to promote visual artists. Carolyn Edlund of Artsy Shark selected my work after I made several revisions to my website and images. the results are amazing!

You can read about my work on the article here:Artsy Shark

Many thanks to Carolyn and her webmaster Jason Stambagh for making this happen!


February is always a busy time around Naples.  It is the height of “The Season”, which means every week there are at least three if not more events going on around town.  The third week of February, I had the opening of my show at FGCU; A demo on Third Street in Old Naples during the “Third on Canvas” event, and a Saturday demonstration for the Southwest Florida Craft Guild.  I had started planning for all of this the summer before, so I wasn’t completely overwhelmed, but overall, it was still a lot of work!.  By the time Sunday rolled around, I was spent.  When I had any free time in December and January, I had created images that I wanted to batik on to scarves for a March event: “Have a Seat III”, at the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art.  These were developed from photographs I had taken the previous summer, edited in Photoshop, and then redrawn with a charcoal pencil on to each scarf.  I also had to pack up a box that contained my demonstration supplies: bees wax, soy wax, Tjantings, bamboo brushes, stretcher bars, silk tacks,and dyes in jars ready to go.  A lot of stuff to haul around (Did I not mention the standing easel and two framed paintings to display while I worked?)  A small crowd gathered around me during the cold non-Florida day when I was working outside in front of Gattles on Third Street.  Many of the people were my fans, or knew of batik, which made me really happy.  The next day, after the dyes had dried, I continued to work on the paintings as a demo for the Southwest Florida Craft Guild, an organization of which I have been a member for over 15 years.

Applying soy wax with Tjanting tool to painting

Muffy Clark Gill showing innitial drawing on fabric for batik painting

Close-up of Wounded Warrior III in progress

Batik painting using soy wax of Old San Juan

Calle de La Cruz

A few years ago, an article appeared in the Fall 2007 edition of The Surface Design Journal about artist Betsy Benjamin and her use of Soy wax in creating batik images. I read the story and put it aside, thinking that I would like to try it sometime.  The opportunity arouse this last fall when I received some soy wax in an order from Dharma Trading Company, my dye supplier. I wanted to experiment with this wax, as I was seeking greener alternatives to mixing my beeswax with paraffin wax.   I tried using the wax in several different projects, the first was with the “Seated in Silence” painting.  I liked the results and kept on going.  In this situation, the soy wax was mixed with the beeswax, so that I would have a wax that was not too runny, and would harden faster.  I tried it again with another painting of a downtown street in Old San Juan:”Calle de La Cruse”.The sky and other ares of solid color did not flex well, and tended to break and create more crackle than I was used to, but I liked the final results anyway.

Creative Recycling

Seated in Silence

When I finished the Steamroller Project, I discovered that there was a large measure of left over scraps of archival quality printing paper-the remnants from when the printed images had been  from the master roll .  I have always been a waste-not, want not kind of person(my brother and I used to create usable bicycles from cast-offs when I was little). I debated on what would be the best way to recycle this resource?  I then took these strips and tore them into smaller, narrower pieces, approximately 4 inches wide by about 36 inches long.  I  wove the strips together to form a new piece of paper,  and then the challenge began…How do I hold the pieces together to create a new image?  After a lot of gritting and gnashing of teeth, I finally ended up having to place a droplet of glue at the intersection of each strip.  It was very tiresome and time-consuming work.  When all was ready, I returned to the base image of my “Hava Tampa” painting.  I  still liked the image of the three Seminole women, so I took the seated women figures and blew them up to fit in the new paper space that I had created.  I then drew the outlines of the figures and the details using soy wax , which I had never worked with before. This was followed by painting the dyes directly on to the paper, and  waxing over some of the areas that I did not want the dye to bleed together.When the piece was all dyed and stained, I ironed out as much of the soy wax as I could before it was mounted.