At the beginning of the century, my husband Bill told me he was going to make me a gallery and this he did, converting an old cottage on Tomintoul Main Street.
We ran the gallery together for nearly 20 years after he sold his outside catering business. We were very lucky to make a living out of our work. He taught himself to scan, print & frame my art work, the prints and cards were taken from over 300 items of my work.
Aa well as my framing, Bill framed work from many other artists. Those who knew him loved his cheery conversations and helpful advice. Latterly we enjoyed a lovely life in our camper-van both home and abroad to gather images for my batiks. I am indebted to this man, without him my work would not have reached the public it has. As the song goes, he was “the wind beneath my wings” and I miss him every day.
I developed my own particular style over the years starting out with old white sheets, candle wax melted in a double boiler and applied with brushes and shop bought dyes and over time I sold my art. I bought a wax pot, proper batik wax, wax pens from Java and the Ukrainian Bookshop and now use the finest Primissima cotton.
When a particular image or scene appeals to me- it has to have interesting light, colour, movement and texture. I immediately start to translate it into a picture in my mind. As the last colours achieved are the darkest, I have to think in the negative to get the final results, all the time bearing in mind that the resultant shades are an overlaying of dye colours.
The varying hues and textures of the Scottish Highlands where I live have greatly influenced my work. With its ever changing light and shade, hues and textures I am never at a loss for subject matter.
In the image I select- light could be constantly changing and so too will the scene. I use my camera to catch that exact moment and to record the light and colour which had so impressed me. I do not slavishly copy the photo as I like to think that my picture is my interpretation of how I view the scene. By the nature of the technique I have to work in a studio where there are electrical points for my wax pot.
When I have the image in my mind of the finished picture it is never the same. I call this medium painting with attitude because it always comes out differently. It is my ambition to have Batik accepted as a medium alongside the more traditional one of oil and water colour.