Back in the early ‘70s, I used hot wax on fabric and paper to create delicious batiks. But wax batik can be messy, smell, time consuming, and take up quite a lot of space. When I read about a new masking fluid with a very fine tip that Artistcellar carries in their online store, my inner flower child cried out for it.
I spent a couple weekends playing with the masking fluid, testing it using a variety of papers and paints. (It is not intended to be used on fabric.) The resist liquid flows out of the bottle very nicely and is easy to handle. It has no odor, which is a nice change from trying to use rubber cement for a resist, and it has a light green tint so—unlike wax—you can easily see what you are working on and how the design is going to look.
Finding the right paper and right paint proved a little trickier. On thick, smooth black cardstock with gold Viva Decor’s Inka Gold, my little sample came out great. On cheap cardstock and one of my imported watercolor papers, the dried resist peeled off the paper in some areas. When I used thick acrylic, the paint peeled away with the dried resist.
The perfect papers were smooth surfaces, like a good hot press watercolor paper and a smooth but textured paper called coquille. The perfect colors to go over the resist were either watercolor or very diluted acrylic.
When I tried Tim Holtz Adirondack spray, the resist absorbed the dye. However, even though it didn’t turn out the way I expected, I was able to use it as a background for sacred heart journal page (left).
Inspired by the Frida Kahlo art exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens, I used a section of their membership pamphlet over the green not-so-perfect resist background. The top LOVE-LOVE-LOVE strip was part of a resist test piece. Rather than use a red or pink heart, I used white printmaking paint through an Artistcellar sacredheart stencil. A tiny bit of the bubbles stencil at the top of the page, also in white, unified and completed the page.
The right side was a happy accident. I tested the resist on deli paper that had been painted randomly with pale aqua and white acrylic. I decided to use my “word of the year”, BE, as the test message. As I wrote, I thought, “Be what?” Remembering an art workshop I saw advertised that was called “Excavating your authentic self”, I wrote be authentic. After the resist dried, I used a deep teal/indigo watercolor to cover it. The watercolor pooled on top of the painted deli paper. When it was dry, it reminded me of a seascape, so I added some white printmaking paint with a stamp on the top corner, and a little bit at the bottom to resemble foamy crashing waves. I especially liked the way the dark watercolor created an outline around the resist.