Making original art with the brilliance of a computer display always seemed impossible until I discovered dyed silk. The colors are bright and silk is a renewable substrate produced by living organisms. The problem was that it is a challenge to work with. Many techniques have restrictions and limitations that held me back from how I wanted to paint. Finding my own way was the answer.


It was my silk screen experience and knowledge of sublimation and decal printing that helped me apply "dry transfer" techniques to "free hand" art. My monotypes have dazzling colors and are done similar to making finger paintings. I brush the thickened dyes onto a non pours surface and then transfer the "dry" painting onto stretched silk. The dyed image becomes the silk through the steaming process without leaving any "hand" or feel. This was a perfect way for me to create my lava and volcanic landscapes. I have been sharing this technique for years and it is used by a surprising number of artists with many of variations.

"Hotpoint" batiks are a different story. I wanted my rainforest botanicals to "pop" with detail and clarity. Melting wax and using tjantings on location wasn't an option but wax paper and a small battery operated soldering pen was. Combining heat and pressure with wax paper makes it as easy as drawing with a ballpoint pen. I found that using travel watercolor brushes that have a built in tank that I fill with dyes, gave me the freedom and results I wanted.