Chrysanthi Fairchild Werner’s artistic involvement began early. While attending James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York, she painted scenery for the class Sing theatrical for several years, created art for the literary magazine, the Madisonian, and was elected Class Artist of her senior class of over 1200 students. Afterwards, Chrysanthi attended Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, completing a five-year course in Architecture that included a foundation year in Art. During her nearly nineteen years in Brazil, Chrysanthi was a primary school teacher but was also able to teach fundamental art techniques as well as an Art History class to her students at the British School in Rio de Janeiro.
It was in Brazil where Chrysanthi learned about batik, a painting with wax technique that she rediscovered on Nantucket in a series of flower paintings.
She has enjoyed working on large scale pieces, diptychs and triptychs, harking back to her scenery design days, contrasting the spontaneous drawing quality implicit in wax drawing combined with the unexpected color combinations from the additive dying process of traditional batik painting.
Collage: Four years ago, I created a series of collages based on sunsets. These color studies, made out of old magazine illustrations, allowed me to explore the technique of torn edge to create depth and textural richness. I discovered that I really enjoy the manual aspect of gluing pieces on a surface, moving and removing and especially exploring the beauty of the irregular edge, which gives a sparkling white crackled effect to the artwork. I particularly appreciate the recycled aspect of this art technique: making something new from paper that already has a history of its own and the unexpected quality of juxtaposition of colors.
Batik: a painting with wax technique I have rediscovered in the past three years through a series of flower paintings. It is fascinating to me because I am working from white and lighter colors to the darkest colors through successive waxings and dye baths.
I enjoy working on large scale pieces, diptychs and triptychs as well as smaller single paintings. My intentions in this work are contrasting the spontaneous drawing quality necessary for wax drawing (because of the speed of work required before the wax solidifies) combined with the rich color combinations that result from the additive dyeing process of traditional batik painting. This work also has a certain unexpected quality which I appreciate as well as working with my hands during the dye process.