Tag Archives: Watercolour Batik

HomeStyles 2018 and more news

HomeStyles Home Show 2018

I am very excited that the Saskatchewn Craft Council has selected 6 of my watercolour batiks for their booth at HomeStyles 2018!

St. Louis Reflections

St. Louis Reflections 12 x 36″ Watercolour Batik @Paige Mortensen

Paige Mortensen - Fall in the Pond

Fall in the Pond 10 x 20″ Watercolour Batik @Paige Mortensen

Show Hours
Thursday, March 8 • 3 pm – 9 pm
Friday, March 9 • 1 pm – 9 pm
Saturday, March 10 • 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday, March 11 • 10 am – 5 pm

Hall C, Prairieland Park, 503 Ruth Street West, Saskatoon


Gull Lake 48×12″ Watercolour Batik @Paige Mortensen


The Saskatchewan Craft Council (SCC) is returning to HomeStyles Home Show 2018 to showcase Fine Craft and Saskatchewan’s artists. Our booth will be located in Hall C across from the Main Stage. Visitors will have an opportunity to explore how Fine Craft contributes to making a home a place of self-expression. Fine Craft can be part of your daily life, enhancing everyday experiences with its beauty. Featured vignettes will include a child’s room, a foyer, and a cottage and outdoor patio. 

The SCC booth will feature works in wood, glass, textiles, photography, metal, visual art, and ceramics. Pieces will be available for purchase at the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s Online Gallery Shop (saskcraftcouncil.org/online-store) from March 8 to March 16 or in person at our booth during the show.

This booth is supported by Creative Saskatchewan, EPR Saskatoon, and Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association.

Paige Mortensen - Floating

Floating 10 x 20″ Watercolour Batik @Paige Mortensen

SCC is excited to present a panel discussion on integrating Fine Craft into your daily living space on the Main Stage at HomeStyles Home Show 2018. Handmade Home: Collecting & Using Fine Craft will take place on Thursday, March 8 at 6 pm. Crystal Bueckert of Big.Studio.Inc, a design and architectural firm in Saskatoon, will moderate. Her guests will include home owners who incorporate art into their homes, providing tips and ideas on how to find and select the right pieces to help you develop your home’s personality.

Out of Town Group Shows

Mann Art Gallery Winter Festival Show


Borden Bridge 24 x 36″ Watercolour Batik @Paige Mortensen

This is a member’s show and we were each able to submit two pieces. I am excited to say that this Borden Bridge piece won an award for Accomplishments in Watercolour!

Show is on now until March 24, 2018.

Art Gallery of Regina – Annual Salon Show & Sale


Shirley’s Poppies 10 x 20″ Watercolour Batik. @Paige Mortensen

This is my first time submitting to this show and I’m excited to have the opportunity!

March 14 – April 26, 2018

Watch for more exciting news coming soon!!



Artists’ Workshop Open Studio show and sale – Monday, Nov 27th from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.


You are invited to our

Open Studio Show and Sale

Monday, November 27th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Grace Westminster Church Auditorium
505 – 10th Street East     Saskatoon, SK

Every Monday from September through April I meet with a group of artists for a full day of creating and art-making in the auditorium at Grace Westminster Church. Please drop by our open studio to see how we work as well as what we have created.

I will have many of my small watercolour batiks, perfect for gift giving! Other artists work in a variety of media so there will be acrylics, oils, watercolours, pen and ink, mixed media. Something for every taste!

Artists' Workshop Open Studio

Artists’ Workshop Open Studio

Sketching in Artists’ Workshop member’s the back yards, driving around Saskatchewan, travel to other parts of our country; all provide inspiration. On our travels I stopped at the Japanese Paper Place in Toronto to learn more about the origins of the Ginwashi paper that I use for my watercolour batiks. Unexpectedly, the stop provided a different kind of inspiration – shape. This change in shape started me thinking about composition in new ways and I have created a collection of 2 x 14” pieces perfect for small spaces.


@Paige Mortensen 14×2″ pieces in folding hangers


Paige Mortensen 14×2″ pieces on wood panel

I also discovered some tiny clips and a new way of mounting that highlights the journey my pieces take in their creation. All of this reminding me to be on the lookout for inspiration everywhere.


Yellow Flowers ©Paige Mortensen in 7 x 5″ Shadow Box frames

See you on Monday the 27th!



“And Art Gallery” opening in Davidson, and more gallery news!

I have exciting gallery news to share!



AndArtGalleryPuttingUpSign copy

The first piece of exciting gallery news is that I am now represented by AND ART GALLERY in Davidson! The owner, Gail Prpick, is also fellow  member of the Artists’ Workshop group. And Art Gallery, at 112 Washington Ave, Davidson,SK is housed in a century old brick building that use to be a bank.


The AND ART GALLERY grand opening is:
     Friday, November 17th from 5 – 10 p.m. and
     Saturday, November 18th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

I’ll be there Friday evening to celebrate with Gail and the other artists and to chat with you.

These are my pieces that are there and will be hung by now!


Preparing to hang work by Paige Mortensen

Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique

I dropped some new pieces off at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique and they are hanging already! It is exciting to see them amongst all this wonderful art and fine craft!


Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique 1


Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique 2

Black Spruce Gallery

The Black Spruce Gallery is on winter hours right now but there is still lots to see! My watercolour batik birds and other pieces are on display!

It is located in the NorthSide Antiques building on Highway #2 at Northside, SK. I suggest you call ahead to confirm the hours (306 982 4222).


Birds by Paige Mortensen at Black Spruce Gallery

Tall & Sunny 1 ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 12x30" Available at Black Spruce Gallery

Tall & Sunny 1 ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 12×30″ Available at Black Spruce Gallery

Enjoy the Galleries!


Portals opens at the Mann Art Gallery with Reception on Friday, May 26th at 7 p.m.


I am excited to share that my show, Portals, opens this Friday, May 26th, 2017 at the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert with a reception at 7 p.m.! 

It would be great to see you there but if that doesn’t work for you the show is up until July 4th so hopefully you can stop in sometime before then.


We have been fortunate to have been to Europe a couple of times and I found myself drawn to the doors and windows. The big tourist destinations are spectacular and yet I was more interested in the architecture and homes of the ordinary people. These buildings were built centuries ago, before all the tools of today. I found myself asking questions like:

Who built this?
Who lived here then? 
What were their lives like? 
Who lives here now?

Stories Inside XII ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 18x24" $700

Stories Inside XII ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 18×24″

I came home with a mass of reference material and this series began. The series was originally called Stories Inside because of all the questions I had about the stories of the people who built and lived behind these doors. 

Stories Inside IV ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 15x15" $350

Stories Inside IV ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 15×15″

Lately we seem to be doing a lot of driving and I have been paying more attention to some of our own prairie architecture. The grain elevators and barns could not have been easy to build without today’s equipment either. So my work has been moving closer to home. And I ask the same questions about my more recent ancestors. 


©Paige Mortensen – Memories of Grandpa … Gull Lake Elevator

All of these are Portals. Doors and windows that remind us to be curious and hopefully connect us to different times and places. 





Black Spruce Gallery

I’d also like to invite you to drive about 1/2 hour north of Prince Albert to Northside where you will find Black Spruce Gallery and more of my watercolour batiks. It shares a building with an antiques store so you are bound to find all sorts of interesting treasures. I was just there and the gallery looks fantastic!


Humble Greeting ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12×18″


I hope you can include some art in your early summer plans!


Making Your Mark: It’s all About the Wax

Making Your Mark

In 2012 I was taking a printmaking class and one of the assignments was to do something with batik. To me, at the time, that meant fabric and special dyes. I didn’t want to add more supplies to my art making collection so I went searching for an alternative. I found Kathie George and her beautiful watercolour batiks! From there I completed one of her online tutorials, and I was hooked!

After more than 4 years of my own watercolour batik journey I was finally able to attend one of Kathie’s workshops in Edmonton. I was surprised to see see how much my process had evolved from hers. Kathie invited me to write about that for her blog so here is a sampling of what you will find in: “It’s All About the Wax … making your mark” 


Kathie uses wax pots for melting her wax and brushes or tjaps for applying it. I use a flat encaustic iron to melt my wax and sponges, mesh, cardboard and whatever else I can find to apply my wax.

A key feature of the batik process is that making your mark with the wax is what determines the outcome of the piece. The wax preserves whatever is already there and is the key to the finished piece.

Making Your Mark Sampler

Making Your Mark Sampler


My Guest Post on Kathie George’s Blog

You can read about my discoveries on her blog:

While you are there, look around and enjoy all that she shares!



As always, thanks for reading!


Artisan Fine Craft Market – November 4 & 5, 2016

Artisan 2016

It is a real honour to be participating in the Artisan Fine Craft Market this year! The space has been doubled this year and it will be a fantastic show. Dates and times are listed below and there is more information at artisansask.ca.

Artisan Fine Craft Market 2016

Artisan Fine Craft Market

Then two weeks later is another show I’ll tell you about next time.  For now, what that means is that I have been busy.  Here are a couple images of what has been hanging in the ‘fireplace gallery’ in my studio.  Although, they haven’t had time to linger as the next batch comes along quickly.

Fall 2016 Fireplace Gallery

Fall 2016 Fireplace Gallery

Fall 2016 - Fireplace Gallery

Fall 2016 – Fireplace Gallery

I am thankful for Kim at Vanishing Point Framing for looking after the framing of my larger pieces. They are finished and ready for me to pick up.  These made in Saskatoon frames are a wonderful smooth maple – not only do they look great but they feel so smooth!

Changing - Framed by Vanishing Point Framing

Changing – Framed by Vanishing Point Framing

I have attended the Artisan Fine Craft Market many times over the years, but this is the first time I will be there as part of the show. That is exciting, and a bit scary. So, I have been practising my setup in the basement. 


Make sure you stop and say hello while you are there!



Sun, Sand, Water…and Art

Summer is here and with it come thoughts of sun, sand, water, … and art!

By The Sandbar ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 16x16" Available at Black Spruce Gallery

By The Sandbar ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 16×16″ Available at Black Spruce Gallery

The northern Saskatchewan forest is a wonderful change from city life. I love sitting on the beach, reading, walking and enjoying the sounds of nature. My art making changes to simple sketches and experimentation just for fun and relaxation!

Nature provides lots of inspiration – but so does a visit to an art gallery.

As you head north to Christopher, Emma or Anglin Lake, Elk Ridge, Prince Albert National Park or La Ronge you will drive through Northside.  There, a historic dance hall is now Northside Antiques & Collectibles…and Black Spruce Gallery.


Black Spruce Gallery – on Highway #2 at Northside, SK

The gallery has been open since 2010 and every year it gets more impressive.  We stopped on the weekend and WOW – it looks fantastic! They  have an amazing range of work with something for everyone.  In addition to paintings you will find pottery, sculpture, jewelry and more.

Spring Birds

Spring Birds ©Paige Mortensen Available at Black Spruce Gallery

I am honoured to be represented by Black Spruce Gallery (since 2012). I delivered some new pieces and these three “Spring Break” birds were on display immediately! When you stop at the gallery you will also see “By the Sandbar” (top) – one of my favourite places to stop as we walk.

Tall Taller Tallest ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12x36" Available at Black Spruce Gallery

Tall Taller Tallest ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12×36″ Available at Black Spruce Gallery


Enjoy nature … and art!



Post Show feels like a Spring Break

New Work

These last two weeks have felt like I’m on a spring break!  The Artists’ Workshop Show & Sale was April 15-17th which meant some focused show preparation time leaving other things undone.  I have enjoyed the change of pace and checking some of those things off of my to-do list.

I have still been working though, and these four ‘spring break’ birds are framed and ready to go!  (Actually since I started this post one has already been sold!)

Spring break Birds

Four ‘Spring Break’ Birds: Listening, Cheerful, Proud and Nesting all 8×8″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen


Spring Break Gallery Stop

One day last week I drove out to the Station Arts Centre in Rosthern to see an exhibit called “Hello In There Hello Out There”.  This project was a collaboration of artists and Saskatchewan seniors. They worked together to write out stories from the seniors and then create dioramas to depict the memories.  It was great to see how the Rosthern school engaged with the show with some students creating dioramas of their own and other classes coming to view and reflect on the stories.

Spring break gallery stop - Station Arts Centre - Rosthern

Spring break gallery stop

As well as the visual art they have a wonderful tea room and live theatre in the summer.  See the Station Arts Centre website for more information.

My next project is to create, and mail them some postcard sized art!
From June 21 – August 7th they are having a Postal Art Fundraising Exhibit.  Individuals have been invited to mail them postcard sized art which will be auctioned to help keep the arts alive in Rosthern. If you are interested in participating see Postcards to the Station: a Postal Art Fundraising Exhibit.  It will be fun to see what they receive!

I hope you too are enjoying a spring break!












A Glimpse into My Watercolour Batik Process

This glimpse into my watercolour batik process is for the curious artists out there who keep asking how I do it … and for anyone else who is just curious.

Watercolour Batik Process


Watercolour Batik Process Tools

My supplies include:

  • Ginwashi paper – notice the obvious fibres in it – they help create the texture!
  • A paint tray and brushes – I just use a small, inexpensive brush to mix the colour and one of these large hake brushes to apply the paint to the paper
  • Watercolour paints
  • Paraffin wax
  • An encaustic iron to melt the wax
  • Sponges, stamps, tiny brushes, etc to apply the wax

Watercolour Batik Process - Encaustic Iron


Watercolour Batik Process - Under the Bridge Drawing

First, I edit and crop photos I have taken to decide on the composition. Then I draw the basic image the size I want the finished piece to be. When I am happy with that I go over the lines of my drawing with a back marker.

The Ginwashi paper is quite transparent so I can then trace the drawing onto it with a Micron pen (permanent and waterproof).

Adding a Layer of Wax

Watercolour Batik Process - Step 1 Add Some Wax

Here, the Ginwashi paper is set on top of a piece of wax paper – so the wax doesn’t stick to whatever is underneath it. When I am adding wax I also put a black paper underneath so I can see where it is going.

The purpose of the wax is to preserve the colour of the paper at a given point in time…so, anything that needs to stay white needs to have wax put over it before any paint is applied. In this case I just put a bit of wax in a couple of spots on the water to create some highlights.

Building Up the Colour

Watercolour Batik Process - Under The Bridge - Step 2 - Adding Paint

Now, I can add the first layer of light colour. Some of the things I think about:

  • This is very watery paint and will very quickly run uncontrollably across the paper
  • These are transparent watercolours so every layer will show through to the top
  • The colour will dry much lighter than it looks going on
  • What colours can I layer to get the right colours at the darker layers

Mostly, the goal is just to get the first light colours on there and see where they go. Letting them run into each other creates softer edges and unity of colour in the finished piece.

This then needs to dry before the next wax and watercolour layers can go on.

The Ugly Phase

Watercolour Batik Process - Under The Bridge - Adding More Wax

More wax … you can see how much lighter the colours are now that it has dried.

Watercolour Batik Process - Under The Bridge - Ugly Phase

More paint … and so on. In these early stages it can get to look quite ugly.  Everything has the same value, the drawn lines are disappearing and there is little definition.

Adding Darks

Watercolour Batik Process - Under The Bridge - Darks

Five or six layers of wax and watercolour later, the darks get dark enough that I once again begin to feel like there is hope for a successful piece.

Iron off the Wax

When I feel like the piece is finished I make sure the entire surface is covered with wax then place it between layers of newsprint and iron it. The wax comes off onto the newsprint and the image emerges in its finished form! This is my favourite step in the process – and the only thing I like to iron!

Finished Piece

Under the Bridge Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen 10x20" March 25, 2016

Under the Bridge ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 10×20″

See more about two Saskatoon bridges I did in these blog posts:
– the Broadway Bridge
   – the Traffic Bridge

Or, watch a time lapse video of my watercolour batik process.

Thanks for reading!



Show Preparation Time

Tall Taller Tallest ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12x36"

Tall Taller Tallest ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12×36″

The show preparations have begun!  I have finished lots of pieces and yet that is only the beginning. They need to be mounted onto canvas or framed before they are ready for the show.  As you probably know I work on Ginwashi paper which is an oriental paper – thin like tissue paper yet sturdy with small threads in it. You can watch a time-lapse video of my batik-like process on my website – http://paigemortensen.ca/demonstrations/

03-MountingProcessMounting these on canvas is a multi-step process. First I need to paint the edges of the canvas to give them a crisp finished look. Then I cover the canvas with a layer of acrylic medium and attach the piece using a brayer to smooth it down and ensure that it is well attached. I chose to mount this bird with the torn edges showing.

Often though I wrap it around the edge of the canvas, and sometimes the darker colours run into the medium. So…the edges need to be painted again.

This collection of pieces are mounted and ready for the next step in the process which is to spray them with an archival UV protective varnish that seals the entire piece and ensures that the colours are permanent. After that there will be hangers and information labels to attach and paperwork to prepare.

These are just some of the pieces I will have in the show and there are 10 other artists working on their own. Together, the works will make a great show. We hope you can make it!

2016 aw invite sm