Echo is a native Montanan and has been interested in art for as long as she can remember. Her favorite classes involved drawing and design in high school and at the university.
Even though she attended many art classes, she has never taken a class in batik and learned through trial and error. That method of instruction has yielded many happy accidents as well as a few disasters. Over the years she has learned how to manipulate the wax and dye to create desired effects however it is very unpredictable, and, upon ironing out the wax she am always surprised.
Her batiks are in collections across the United States and Canada and include a variety of subject matter. Her work has been accepted into numerous fine art auctions including: The C M Russell Auction, The Yellowstone Art Museum Auction, the Hockaday Museum Auction, The Holter Museum Auction and the Paris Gibson Square Museum Auction among others. She am represented by numerous galleries.
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 well 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 them removed and the final piece is revealed.
Echo is most inspired by portraits, both contemporary and traditional. She often uses historical photographs 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. She's 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.
Landscape and wildlife are also favorite subjects. She is influenced by the farms and ranches of her Grandfather, aunts and uncles. They evoke emotions of my childhood and are perfect to recreate in batik because of the expansive skies and the wonderful play of color combinations. Wildlife, especially birds, are also appealing. 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 she puts it in batik.
Life as an artist is more exciting that she could have ever imagined and is an incredible journey.