My name is Melissa Knight. I live and work as a full-time artist in Austin, Texas. I make Batik Fabric Collage Art. I have used the technique of Batik for about 15 years. Batik is a wax-resist dye process. The technique is traditionally used to make design in fabric, I began making collage designs as a result of the trials and tribulations associated with design in batik. On one occasion I had made a design using the batik wax/dye process and the design was less than perfect, but the colors in the material were just gorgeous. There were lots of crackles and layers and many beautiful colors. I became interested in experimenting with the batik fabric and I started creating collage designs. I have found that I prefer this style of design to the more traditional batik design. I have always enjoyed the surprises of batik - the crackles and the layers of colors that emerge in the wax-dye process.
My long-tern goal is to make illustrations for children's books. In summer 2012 I made collage pictures to accompany a children's song called Blue by Austin singer Laura Freeman. The words to the song Blue have beautiful imagery, perfect for a companion picture book. The song begins with a mother whale singing a lullaby to her calf, a whale's lullaby that explores emotions and natural feelings of sadness. The song continues and we meet a rich cast of characters that learn the words to the lullaby and they sing it to each other. These characters include a mermaid named Azul, a bottle nosed dolphin named Edward, a parrot of a pirate, a pirate named Blue Beard and Blue Beard’s Mother. The Pirate Blue Beard (the boy) has many adventures but realizes he misses his Mother and returns home to be held and comforted as she sings him the whale's lullaby. I enjoyed the process of bringing the characters to life! To listen to Blue and watch a video with the illustrations click here.
I am currently working on a children's story inspired by our summers in Vermont. The story is called There’s a Rainbow in Grandma’s Garden. Grandma is an avid gardener and she grows food for the family for the summer and also stores/cans foods for the winter months. The foods that grow in Grandma’s garden are all the colors of the rainbow. The story centers on the children (cousins) playing in Grandma’s garden. The children play all day and eat fresh food right out of the garden. The story speaks to the growing trend of slow food and having access to fresh healthy foods.
If you are interested in purchasing art please visit my website www.batikbydesign.com