About the Artist
Who would have thought in 1969 when I graduated with a B.A. Hons in History from Vassar College, New York, USA., that over 45 years later I would have made my living from teaching Art in schools and from travelling and exhibiting my batik paintings in the UK., Europe, Canada, USA, Japan, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and spent many summers in the S.W. Scotland. I was educated in both in Edinburgh and in England, but pushed Art aside at school to concentrate more on academic subjects. It was only when I was introduced to batik in 1970, whilst I was studying for a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education in Bristol, U.K., that I realised that I had missed out on my artistic education.
For the first eight years of my teaching career, I was lucky to be appointed the Art specialist in a number of primary schools in Bristol, UK. I taught drawing, painting, collage, weaving, batik and pottery but soon realized that it was the technique of batik that captivated me. It has a magic that no other technique offers. So I started to exhibit my batik paintings in exhibitions and at craft fairs.
Then I moved to Sussex and from January 1986 - July 2013, I was Head of Art at Cumnor House School in Danehill, Sussex, U.K. Many of my students won art awards to their senior schools as well as awards in national competitions. I taught all kinds of Art to children aged 6 - 13, but I made a point of introducing every child to batik so they could explore the many possibilities that this wonderful technique has to offer.
Now that I am retired, I don't know how I managed to combine my own batik work with full-time teaching. Thank goodness for school holidays! I am still based in the UK, but spend the summers in Nova Scotia, Canada (my maternal grandmother was Nova Scotian) and a few months each year in the USA.
I have been fortunate to exhibit throughout the world, including Canada, USA, China, Japan, Indonesia, Europe, and of course the UK. I have lectured in Japan, China, USA and Sri Lanka and my work is in private collections worldwide.
I have written three books on batik - 'Decorative Fabric Painting' (Merehurst 1994), 'Creative Batik' (Search Press, 2001) and Start to Batik, (Search Press, 2009). I have been featured in many magazines, including Craft and Design Magazine (Sept/Oct. 2010) and was a finalist in the International Artist Magazine competition 'Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes'(Feb/March, 2014). In August/September 2015, I published a 10-page article 'Capturing the World in Wax and Dyes' describing how I created the batik of the shadows of two men in Deck Chairs called 'Day Out'. In September 2012, I produced a DVD 'Batik Workshop - Fun with Paper and Fabric' (Studio Galli). During 2014 - 2015 I taught batik workshops for Specialist Crafts throughout the UK.
I am now concentrating on advancing my personal batik work. I lecture, give batik demonstrations, teach workshops to adults and children and exhibit in Canada, USA, Europe and UK. It's amazing how batik continues to be my passion. Retirement? What retirement?!