Dorte Christjansen (dortechristjansen.com)
As a child, I was influenced by my grandfather, Rasmus Christiansen, a well known painter and illustrator in Denmark. He died before I was born, but his paintings, drawings and illustrations inspired me to become an artist and to major in Fine Arts at CSULBwhere I earned a B.A, M.A. and Secondary Ed Credential. During my final year there, I discovered batik, a medium that expanded my imagination anew and allowed me to work in ways I never imagined using traditional western media.
The process for using multiple layers of melted wax for creating images on fabric goes back to prehistoric times. The batik process liberated my imagination and experimental side. It was the perfect fit for me and set the direction for my artistic career. Over time, I have developed my own personal process of alternating wax and dye application until the image is complete and the silk covered with wax. The wax is removed by ironing fabric between sheets of tissue paper and then setting the dies by steaming. The dyes are painted on to the silk using watercolor techniques, or sometimes sprayed or spattered for textured effects.
I’ve painted with watercolors since I was a child. The techniques I use in this medium inflluence my dye process on silk batiks. The inspiration for my watercolor paintings are the same as for my batiks: landscapes, botanicals, and my garden.The type of effects that I’m seeking determine whether I choose one over the other. My watercolors and batiks have been exhibited in local, state and national galleries.