www.hdbatik.co.uk  Helen Dougall  |  Batik

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Personal Statement

I have always been interested in landscape in all its diversity, after my childhood in Wales and now living in Suffolk. But also the visible effects that man has made, negatively and positively, on the landscape. Expressing “a sense of place” and my reaction to it is important to me.

My drawings and paintings, mainly in gouache or aquarelle pastel are always done on the spot. These media have an immediacy which enables me to express my interest in space and colour.

Sometimes, I later develop the idea through the medium of Batik, utilising its particular potential for interesting colour and texture combinations.

Auerbach and Kossoff’s teaching at art school in the 60’s taught me to react to the “essence” of a place or situation. For me, each brushstroke or line has to somehow “catch” that sensation with paint, pastels, wax or dye. Painting leads me into exploring space and light on surfaces. Batik has a difficulty with graduating tone, but the technique can achieve a wide variety of effects of texture and interesting colour combinations by the use of transparent dyes. For me, working in both media complements and supports the other.

The paintings are in gouache on paper, mounted, glazed and simply framed, maximum size 2½ feet × 2 feet (though I have plans for working bigger). The batik wall-hangings are bigger, typically 3 feet × 2 feet, some in cotton stretched onto a wooden frame without glass, while others are banner-like in silk or cotton and hang from a batten.

Batik quilted cushions.