Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the artist group who meet once of month to create. (Remember the Jacob’s Ladder from a previous post?) Mary Ann Clayton, an extremely talented artist and owner of the most wonderful studio, showed us how to “batik” paper using rubber cement (love the smell of rubber cement!) as the resist. Add a layer of paint, a layer of rubber cement, another layer of paint, etc. until you have decided it is enough, and after drying, rub off the rubber cement and you have (maybe) a wonderful little work of art. Some of mine were pleasing, most were not.
I could see potential in this technique as a background for painting (what else) birds and butterflies. So I tried it out on gessoed masonite board. It worked great.
Here is the first I did. I drizzled the rubber cement on this one (over the yellow background), covered it with the darker red,then brushed the rubber cement on and added a lighter, warmer red.
This one started with a blue background then I added the leaf shapes in rubber cement and painted over the entire thing with a olive green color. I didn’t realize how the colors would vibrate off each other.
This panel I tried using watercolor masking fluid rather than rubber cement. It was much easier to remove than the rubber cement. I masked off the white algae shape and then painted the panel green. The reddish tinge is from a watery wash I applied after the mask was removed.
The real batik process uses melted wax as the resist and dyes to color fabric, usually cotton or silk. I have never tried that process, I don’t know that my disarranged studio can handle the scope of space and material required for it!
On another note, I am worried that my last post made light of the cut paper technique. Truly it is a wonderful and unique art form that I know takes more effort than perhaps I led you to believe. You only have to google cut paper to know that.