Abby Paffrath – Fish Creek Ranch

Some of the hottest days we’ve had all summer were in late June when Abby Paffrath and I headed out to Fish Creek south of Wilson in search of inspiration for her contribution to our View22 project. Abby’s assigned property was Fish Creek Ranch, a great pairing for Abby who is an avid angler, and in two painting sessions about a week apart we visited spots overlooking the northern and southern ends of the property.

Abby’s preferred medium to work with is a process called batik. The batik process originated in Indonesia, and Abby’s work combines the beauty and inspiration of Jackson Hole with a centuries old traditional art form of the Balinese people. Traditionally, the batik process uses wax and dye technique to create images on fabric.

During our visit to Fish Creek, Abby used watercolors (and water from Fish Creek) to lay the base for what she would later craft in her studio with pigments and wax. She explained to me that her favorite part about working with batik is the mystery of what is to come; until the wax is removed from the fabric you are never entirely sure what the piece will become.

During both visits we started early in the morning and the early morning light and almost cloudless skies were perfect for capturing the creek and surrounding mountains. We didn’t linger longer than necessary and were finished before the heat of the day overcame us. Still, we both agreed we couldn’t help but wish that we had more time to stay and enjoy the calm, quiet beauty of Fish Creek.

– Roxy Pierson

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