Featured Artist Muffy Clark Gill

Muffy Clark Gill shares her portfolio of exquisite batiks. See more about this talented artist by visiting her website.

 

Agua XIII The Red Leaf

“Agua XIII The Red Leaf” Rozome on silk, 27″ x 34″

 

I am an award-winning artist from Naples Florida who works on fiber, creating my images in a Japanese style batik wax-resist process called rozome. My love of color, history, and travel, are my sources of inspiration. I have a degree in graphic design from Boston University.

I spent 28 years as a graphic designer/marketing professional for new-media companies before concentrating fulltime on my personal artwork two years ago.

 

Ingraham Billie

“Ingraham Billie” Rozome on silk, 67″ x 36″

 

My interest in batik was the result of a childhood visit to Kampala, Uganda with my mother. There we saw an exhibition of decorative batik crafts, an event I not only never forgot but also later developed into an art form of my own.

 

Annie Jimmie III

“Annie Jimmie III” Rozome on silk, 36″ x 24″

 

The batik-dying technique, traceable to ancient India and China, Thailand and Indonesia, has telltale reserve areas on which, after making a sketch with pencil on the silk, I will melt wax on areas of the silk where my design will appear using Indonesian style wax tools and Japanese brushes.

 

Muffy Clark Gill in her studio

Muffy Clark Gill in her studio

 

Using bamboo and badger-hair brushes, I then push dye into the scrapes and scratches rather than let it slowly soak into the silk. This intensifies the dye color and disperses it more evenly.   The wax is ironed out of the fabric, then steamed to preserve the dye’s brilliant colors and then rinsed to remove any excess dye.

The fabric can then be stretched and framed, or hung on rods. Each batik painting is a singular creation, utilizing the cracks and patterns of the wax to form what I call ”Happy Accidents”.

 

Agua Uno

“Agua Uno” Rozome on silk, 30.5″ x 60.5″

 

I am currently working on my “Agua “series of paintings – experiences that I have had while venturing above and under water and trying to expand this body of work.

 

In Plane Sight 2 (detail)

“In Plane Sight 2″ (detail), Rozome on silk, 25′” x 60″

 

During the past decade, my work has been focused on Florida’s Native Americans, in particular the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes of Southwest Florida. In researching historical photographs from area museums, archives and private collections, I appropriate images for subject matter that evokes cultural references with humor and irony.

 

1929 Defender

“1929 Defender” Rozome on silk, 27″ x 61″

 

Instead of framing these scenes like paintings, I design some of them to resemble Seminole jackets with outstretched arms (similar to Japanese kimonos). I hang them from rods at the top, accentuating the batiks spread-eagle outlines. They fall unfettered and sometimes flutter slightly with air movements.

 

Frank & Annie Charlie

“Frank & Annie Charlie” Rozome on silk, 36″ x 66″

 

The American Museum of Natural History, New York recently granted me permission to recreate images from the book, “Hidden Seminoles: Julian Dimock’s Historic Florida Photographs, 1907-13” by Jerald T. Milanich and Nina J. Root. I am excited by the prospect of applying my batik skills to a wonderful, but relatively unseen, collection that photographer Dimock donated to the museum in 1920.

 

Marco Island Historical Museum Exhibition

Marco Island Historical Museum Exhibition

 

In the near future, I want to use my recent southwest Florida shows featuring the Seminole Indians as traveling exhibitions to send to museums and galleries nationwide in the hope that they will become part of a permanent collection.

 

Comments

  1. i don’t see batik work too often these days…yours are quite beautiful!! love the subject matter, brilliant colors and craftsmanship!! hope you reach your goal of getting your art into permanent collections!!

    • I appreciate your kindness. I am working very hard towards that goal. This week I was told that I will be allowed to show in the 22nd Floor Gallery at the Florida State Capitol building from Feb-April 2015. It was a great gift to end the year with!

  2. I absolutely love Muffy’s work! Both her technique and subject matters pull me in. Just wonderful!

  3. Muffy is one of the best!

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