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Beth Erlund

Having been a professional batik artist for the past twenty-nine years, Beth has done a lot of experimenting which has led to a unique look in her batiks. Using her plein air paintings, on-site sketches and photographs she makes detailed sketches of the designs before beginning the batik process. Beth then produces the design by dyeing cotton or silk cloth thirty to fifty times using traditional dip dyeing techniques to form an image. She preserves the colors each time by drawing the areas that she wants to remain with hot wax using the ancient tjaunting tool. At the end, most of the wax is removed. Since Beth has been a wildlife artist for more than thirty years, animals are still a major focus of her art. However, because she believes that artists need to always expand their horizons, she is continuing to produce pieces in her new "Memory Files" series which depict places she has been often with appropriate birds or animals as seen through opening the door to her mind. Her batiks are included in the permanent collections of five art museums and part of many corporate collections. She has also written and illustrated two children's books, I Thought I Saw An Alligator, 2004 and The Feather Club, 2007. "My hope is that by my capturing a moment n time, my art has made a lasting impression on many people and help them to better enjoy nature and the world around them." BATIK: Batik is at least 2000 years old and has been maintained as an art form in Egypt, China, Japan and Indonesia. Batik-making is a process of producing a design with the use of resist and dyes. Hot wax is the traditional resist and is applied with a tjaunting (a small brass cup mounted on a wooden handle). The dyes can only be used on natural fibers. The waxing and dying process is repeated, working from the lightest color to the darkest until the design is completed. Then most of the wax is removed. The picture that is revealed is a combination of careful planning, technical and artistic craftsmanship, and unpredictable character in the form of "crackle" - the fine lines that randomly occur when the wax cracks and dye is allowed to seep into them.

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The Evergreen Gallery

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