Batik by Marina Elphick, Uk artist specialising in batik art.

A Portrait of Tania

Batik by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK, specialising in Portraits.
Tania, butterflies and flowers in blue. A batik portrait of my lovely little sister.

A portrait of Tania in batik

This is a special portrait of my sister and it took me a long time to prepare and create. The likeness is taken from different times in her life, working from many photos covering about twenty years.
Tania’s favourite colour was blue and that was the starting point for my batik portrait of her.

Pencil drawings by Marina Elphick,  respected portrait artist.
Sketching from photographs of Tania.

Initially it involved looking through lots of photographs, then making sketches and drawings, until I came up with one I was happy with.

Pencil drawing by Marina Elphick, who captures a realistic likeness of her model.
Pencil drawing of Tania in progress. (2)
Pencil drawing by Marina Elphick, who captures a realistic likeness of her model.
Pencil drawing of Tania in progress. (3)
Pencil drawing by Marina Elphick, who captures a realistic likeness of her model.
Tania, pencil drawing, by Marina.
A portrait in pencil by artist Marina Elphick, who works with batik to create realistic portraits. Portrait artist Elphick works in various media, her most unusual, batik.
Drawing of Tania for batik portrait. Pencil on Cotton.

Next I gathered inspiration from nature; flowers, butterflies and traditional batik symbology. Many batik motifs are imbued with meaning and have spiritual resonance, reflecting the culture of a deeply philosophical people.

During my trip to Java, Indonesia last year I felt I took Tania with me in ‘spirit’ and now I associate some of the Indonesian batik designs and motifs with her. I have included Kawung and Ceplok motifs as well as the Garuda wings of the Sawat motif which I have interpreted in various ways.

Portraits by Marina Elphick.
Colour sketch in watercolour for batik portrait.
Portraits by Marina Elphick.
Watercolour sketch for Portrait.
Batik by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK, specialising in Portraits.
Completed batik portrait of Tania, my dear little sister, by Marina Elphick.

I wanted the portrait to express Tania’s warm loving nature so I used flowers in a symbolic way, finding her blue favourites poignantly true of her character: humility, loyalty and love, from bluebells, cornflowers and forget-me-nots. Aquilegias are associated with innocence, folly and desertion in love and in Greek mythology the iris is the link between Earth and Heaven.

The Goddess Iris guided women to heaven, her upright petals symbolising strength, faith and wisdom.

Batik by Marina Elphick, Uk artist specialising in batik art.
Blue was Tania’s favourite colour, here are Aquilegia, cornflowers, bluebells and forget-me-nots, with a “Pansy Blue”butterfly.
Batik by Marina Elphick, Uk artist specialising in batik art.
Bluebells and Iris detail.
Batik by Marina Elphick, Uk artist specialising in batik art.
Detail of iris’ and butterfly.
batik artist Marina Elphick works with great detail and realism on portrait and other figurative themes.
Detail of butterflies and Ceplok motifs.

Butterflies have been and are known in many cultures and civilisations to symbolise the soul or psyche, (the Ancient Greek word for butterfly).

Native American Indians see butterflies as the souls of ancestors, lasting symbols of hope and joy, renewal and freedom.

The butterfly is also linked to the theme of rebirth, metamorphosis and new life.

For me the butterfly is about love, vulnerability, creativity and transition. They are perfect visual tools to express a spirituality that I can relate to.

Batik by Marina Elphick, artist specialising in batik art and portraiture.
Detail of butterflies and monkshood flowers from the portrait of Tania.

These ideas and the imagery they evoked in my mind, formed the composition around Tania. It is not a background but a design which envelopes her in love, peace and spiritual flight.

 

Batik in progress, a portrait of the artist's sister.
Tania batik in progress, 10 of the 15 steps showing drawing, waxing and various dye stages.
Batik at early stage by Marina Elphick.
Pencil drawn batik on cotton, with second and third waxing and two flesh dye tones.
Marina Elphick making a batik portrait in her Sussex studio, UK.
At work on the early stages of Tania’s portrait.
Batik at early stage by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK.
Batik after bleaching ready for more dyes.
Batik at early stage by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK.
Batik with Turquoise and yellow over dyes. It is now ready for 8th waxing.
Batik mid way, by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK.
Tania batik after 9th waxing.
Batik in progress by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK.
Batik after immersion in deep blue dye.
Batik in progress by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK.
Portrait after 10th and 11th waxing.
Batik in progress by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK.
Batik in final violet dye bath. I melted out any cracks in the wax on Tania’s face before hand.
Batik by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK, specialising in Portraits.
Tania, finished portrait, batik by Marina Elphick.
Batik by Marina Elphick, a recognised contemporary batik artist from the UK, specialising in Portraiture.
Close up detail of Tania, batik by Marina Elphick.
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7 thoughts on “A Portrait of Tania

  1. Dear Marina,
    What a fabulous picture of your pretty sister. She is very like you in many ways.
    It was so nice to see the huge long process you went through too.
    Thanks for sharing that Marina, it was much appreciated (and I love your butterflies too.)
    Love Jane

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  2. Hi Marina
    Your work is always outstanding and the many processes you go through are amazing. You have certainly caught Tania’s vulnerability and gentleness. Truly amazing and very very beautiful.
    With love Ali xx

    Like

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