Echo Ukrainitz is a fine art Batik artist and is fascinated by the colors and shapes created by this unique process. As a self taught artist Echo’s work has been evolving for over 20 years.
Batik is an artistic process of alternating applications of wax resist and colorful dyes on high quality cloth, creating an elaborate piece of art. After the fabric is dyed and the dye is dry, wax is applied to areas to resist the penetration of the next application of dye. This process is repeated until the entire piece is covered with wax. A Batik can have over 30 applications of dye and wax. If you look closely, you will see crackle. This is achieved by bending and cracking the wax before the final application of black. The wax is then removed and the final piece is revealed.
Echo is most inspired by portraits, both contemporary and traditional. She often uses historical photography of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s because they evoke emotion and are an excellent historical record of a changing world. The human face is an interesting combination of planes of color, shadows and highlights that can be effectively rendered in fine art batik. Echo is especially intrigued by the power of expressive eyes. When creating a portrait, the most exciting moment for her is after a number of dye baths and wax applications, portions of the face begin to appear and the eyes are “looking back” at her.
Landscapes and wildlife are also favorite subjects. Echo is influenced by the farms and ranches of her Grandfather, aunts and uncles. They evoke emotions of her childhood and are perfect to recreate in batik because of the expansive skies and the wonderful play of color combinations. Wildlife, especially birds, is a favorite. Her husband, Ron Ukrainetz, is a wildlife artist and they enjoy on collaborating on pieces. Every year they create their Christmas cards; he does an intricate drawing and Echo puts it in batik.