“I discovered the wax resist technique of Batik many years ago with the help of an early art teacher, and I returned to it in the late 1980’s with the goal of realizing its untapped potential.
Batik’s origins lie in fabric design, so it participates in the world of craft where the object is meant to contribute a sense of grace and beauty to peoples lives. I try to bring forward that tradition of elevating the commonplace and utilitarian object, using it as a support for the imagery I develop to show batik’s potential as a fine art.
In batik the image and the cloth become a fully integrated thing. There is no surface decoration in batik. The image is established in the fiber of the cloth. I find that to be a very powerful idea.
Batik painting presents many challenges for me and the sense of exploration and adventure engage me as I pursue the skills required for its mastery. But batik has also offered some surprising solutions. It created an escape valve which allowed me to access different areas of image making which I never considered using traditional painting media. These new freedoms and restraints now provide the place where my personal style can develop.
Coming out of the world of craft, batik appeals to me in so many ways: as communal, as beauty in the utilitarian, as an anti-elitist alternative. Batik is undiscovered territory. It has magical qualities of obscurity and revelation. The finished work is only seen in its entirety at the very end of the process, when the wax is removed and the image revealed.”
About the Artist
David has a long interest in the visual arts that dates back to an inspiring fourth grade teacher who had him making collages and sewing applique at an early age. His high school teacher introduced him to the basics of batik to which he would later return, making it his signature media.
He completed a Fine Arts degree at Southern Illinois University in 1977. His path took him to the mountains of Washington State where he worked as a camp cook and apple orchard worker in his twenties. At twenty-nine he returned to school, completing a B.S. in Graphic Arts – Visual Communication in 1986.
He worked for a few years in the graphic arts industry but his passion for travel returned and he spent six months traveling in Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia. In the course of this time overseas he was reintroduced to batik painting and with this experience of discovering the expressive potential of the technique, he began a serious investigation of batik painting, starting in 1998 after returning to the States.
He met his wife Stefanie in 1995. They traveled together to Mexico in 2004 to focus on their art. They fell in love with San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico, eventually building a house their outside of town in the lovely little village of Alcocer. They also made a home for themselves in the artistic community of Paducah, Kentucky. They now happily share time in both places.