Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel more

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Mixed Media/Batik on Paper
The Sterling Butterfly, Martinsville
ProArt Gallery, Greenwood
Healing Art Indy, Indianapolis
Art on Main Gallery & Gifts, Carmel
Lynne Medsker

“With the unpredictable nature of the ink and watercolor washes that are layered in, over and through each piece, my work truly is one-of-a-kind. Duplicating it would be like trying to find two matching snowflakes during an Indiana snow storm.”

Indiana Artisan mixed media artist Lynne Medsker is just like her work, fun and free-spirited.

Consider how she describes herself: “Randomly creative artist. Photographer. Wife, mother, grandmother. Traveler. Adventurer. Domestic goddess (when I so choose). Lover of family, friends, chocolate, and wine. Not always in that order!”

She doesn’t include “scientist,” yet each piece of her work that combines drawing, coloring and wax is an experiment in art. “I’m very much a learn by doing-type of artist,” Lynne said. “I love to read, research and explore techniques independently. I’m not scared to try much of anything artistically, and I seem to learn something from each experiment, regardless of whether it’s successful.”

Using a laborious batik process that Lynne credits as her inspiration, she creates her art on thin, strong sheets of handmade, eco-friendly paper. She draws a design and uses India ink to add color in multiple areas, which are then protected with a layer of melted wax that hardens. She splashes a variety of ink and watercolors on the unprotected areas, lets those dry, then coats the entire surface with more melted wax. Next, she does something no one wants to see happen to 2D art: Lynne crumbles it to develop lines and cracks in the wax layers, which is where another application of ink or watercolor seeps in and creates random lines, designs and patterns on the surface underneath. When the coloring process is complete, the art is blanketed in newsprint and ironed to remove the wax.

“Only then can you tell what colors have joined the original design,” she said. “There is something about adding layers, subtracting layers, things that may even get lost in the layers of materials I use that reminds me of the path of our lives. It’s so much fun watching each one grow and progress with the surprises that accompany the growth mimicking the twisting course of life. Especially with the batik process because, although I can control the colors I select to blend together on each piece, there is still much left to fate as far as the final outcome. Random cracks in the wax surface can let in delicate markings as well as blobs of color. Until the piece is dry and all the wax is removed, I don’t know what I’ll find under the surface. Each piece I create is its own journey.

“With the unpredictable nature of the ink and watercolor washes that are layered in, over and through each piece, my work truly is one-of-a-kind,” she continued. “Duplicating it would be like trying to find two matching snowflakes during an Indiana snow storm. Batik is an ancient art but the process is not used frequently in Indiana – especially on paper to create fine art. Pieces created in this labor-intensive process are more than worth the time, patience and practice required to produce them.”

While she has worked in mixed media for fewer than 20 years, more than 50 local, regional, national, and international competitions and exhibits have accepted her work. Receiving the Indiana Artisan designation validated her as an artist, Lynne said. “It’s hard to put yourself into something you create with love and care and then put it on display for all to see. It’s even harder to put it out for others to judge.”

Her subject matter varies, but she feels a part of her fun, free-spirited personality is infused into each piece. “A little surprising, usually happy, splashy, and colorful with small details that aren’t seen at first glance; but the closer you get the more they reveal themselves. Making art is a relaxing, calming part of my slightly chaotic life. I hope that Zen sort of feeling is enjoyed by those who view it.”