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 nearly 50 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 sitting 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, China, Japan and UK. It's amazing how batik continues to be my passion. Retirement? What retirement?!