Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: batiks



Needing a break from all the 'spring projects' and while waiting for the fumes of varnish to dissipate, I felt the call of my studio. Impulsively I delved into the bottom drawer of my old wooden flat files where I keep a variety of work from other artists, part of my collection, and some small older works of my own. I found these two batiks that I had made in the early 80's. I have few left from those days when I was really 'into it' for a few years. Many were given as gifts or sold. It is kind of interesting, if even a wee bit embarrassing, for me to look back on these pieces, and to show them here. It has me remembering that time in my life when I was an at-home mother before I returned to printmaking. I still have those supplies stored somewhere but have done no more batiking since then.


UPDATE, 11:00 am May 29th, 2012: Suddenly remembering some posts I had written on batiking back in 2006, I searched and found three about Annabel Carey's beautifully made and researched batik art based on the stone circles around the UK. As you know, ancient stones are a favourite subject of mine. (My examples here do not compare!) It is an interesting story if you would like to visit/revisit these links in their order of appearance:

- a batik exhibition
- update on batik show
- more on Annabel Carey's Spirit of the Stones

Marja-Leena | 28/05/2012 | 11 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Care of Art Works, Other artists


They're very interesting. The mouthless people with their shadowy eyes are sort of sad and a little disturbing, and sit oddly with the circular framing, which is more reminiscent of traditional embroidery type of designs, like the blue flower.

What an endless source of treasures your studio is!

I too remember discovering the art of batik - for me it was in the early 70s when we lived on West 8th. Making dresses for myself and a few friends had become a springtime project and cotton jersey was the fabric of choice. Since the stuff was only available in white I used my coloring skills to batik panels which I later cut and sewed. Getting the wax out was a bit tricky but I seem to remember both vinegar and washing soda being part of the process.

I really like the two samples you've posted and appreciate you reminding me of a wonderful time.

How busy you have been while I was out wandering the world! How will I ever catch up?

What did you do with the cloth panels? I'm fantasizing hydrangea curtains. Or bed curtains!

What a treat, to see these old batiks of yours! That's one textile art I've never tried, but I have a number of batik fabrics collected over the years...I've been thinking of you, Marja-Leena, since receiving a postcard from friends traveling in Ireland. It's of gigantic carved rocks, very very old, inscribed with circles and patterns that no one has yet deciphered. I just know you would love these!

Enjoy your family visitors! So lovely that they come so often...

A hanging to divide the space: must have been of ambitious size, then! Pictures?

The two figures on yellow are fantastic, Marja-Leena! How exciting to rediscover these past works.

Nothing is really the past where art is concerned, it's just one never-ending river flowing. Work we did many years ago is just as valid as anything done today and is inseparably linked. I can never understand the insistence of some galleries and/or art 'authorities' on separating an artist's present work from its past.