Tag Archive: wax


Dying Steps, part 2

Dying # 4

Dying # 4, adding more color

After these first two rounds of dying and painting are completed, I go on and add more color, working from light to dark, trying to bring out as many details as I can. the painting begins to take shape

Version three of the dying process

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I now can get started with my dying process. This painting is very complex, due to the number of color combinations and waxings that must be done in order to accomplish getting the information in front of me to look like what I have envisioned. I start by painting on all of the white areas with hot wax. This time around, pure white is few and far between, so after I do the initial waxing I paint on the next few colors: yellow for the floating debris, and a pale rose pink for the basic flesh. tone While the painting is still wet, I decide that it is too intense, so I paint a layer of ecru dye over the pink over the wet fabric, to more carefully match the color I am looking for. This gets waxed, and I keep on going…

"Warren's World" in the early stages

"Warren's World" in the early stages

"Warren's World" Panting with first few dyebaths started
“Warren’s World” Painting with the first few dye baths started

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

Starting the first project

When I looked at the portrait of the Seminole Indians with their friend, I had to visualize how the final result was going to appear, what did I want to achieve with this image, and how was I going to get there? I wanted to create an almost large as life image. First, I decided that I would paint the wax and dye on Rayon. Rayon is a man-made fabric that accepts dying very well and shows color much more brilliantly than cotton, and sometimes, silk. Once this was decided, I thought it would look best as a wall hanging, that could be hung from a rod screwed into the wall. I washed the fabric in Synthrapol, a liquid that removes the sizing from the fabric, and allows the dye to adhere more easily . I then worked on my drawing that I would place on the fabric-I draw a small image that I then have blown up to the size I want on a blueprint copier at a local office service store. The new image is then laid down on my work table in my studio and taped down so that it won’t slide. The fabric that is washed and ironed flat, is then laid over the drawing and traced with a charcoal pencil so that the lines from the drawing show up on the fabric much like a drawing is done for a stained glass window. This process can take several hours, as this image did, due to the complexity of the many patterns in the clothing, and rendering each of the six figures. I try to do the drawing in one sitting so that I have a sense of continuity in my images. Then the fun begins…