'Conservatory Cats'

1994
Framed original
42" x 36" including frame and mount

Not For Sale


I always wanted a conservatory.  Frustrated that building one on my house at the time wasn't going to be possible, I decided to paint one instead.  The idea started after meeting fellow Batik artist Rosi Robinson (no relation!) and seeing her work at a Batik Guild meeting.  She had done an amazing Batik of a greenhouse in which the glass seemed really see-through, not at all easy in Batik.  The dyes I use are not the standard ones that most Batik artists use.  They are a screen printing pigment dye, painted on rather that dipped.  I decided to experiment and use this to my advantage.  I waxed the main structure of the conservatory when the wax was hot and it went right through the cloth.  Then, using a broad brush I waxed the glass with the wax cooling.  This meant that the front of the cloth was protected from further dyeings but on the back, where in places the wax had not penetrated, I could dye with light grey to get the glass effect.  As I always work on a light table, I could see how it was going to look when back-lit.  I have used this technique ever since in my work.

The original Batik now hangs back-lit in my conservatory here in Shropshire.  Yes, my dream conservatory was one of the first things we had built when we moved down here from Lancashire.