Laura McElfresh - mixed media painter
As an artist I am focused on evolution, connection and creation. I’ve always experimented; through that exploration I found Batik. The Batik process is traditionally done on fabric with dyes and hot wax. I combine the traditional process with contemporary encaustic tools and water-soluble pigments to create batik paintings on rice paper.
I begin with a beautiful piece of handmade rice paper; vibrant pigment is painted on. I alternate applying layers of paint and hot melted opaque wax. The hot wax is unforgiving, and resists the paint.
As my painting evolves, I crumple the wax coated paper to create fissures and cracks. I coat the surface with inky black watercolor paint which seeps into the wax fissures creating wrinkles. I see this as a perfect metaphor for the hardships we all endure, the broken places in our lives make us who we are. Finally, a hot iron melts away the wax, revealing the brilliant colors and imagery.