Kevin E. Houchin, Fine Artist, Etc.
Kevin does a bunch of things in addition to the fine art featured on this site. His full-time job is in the National Programs group at ACT. You probably remember taking the ACT before going to college. In addition to his work for ACT, he finds time to taxi 3 kids around to events and even spend time with is wife, Abra, who keeps the schedule interesting because she’s a Certified Professional Midwife (check out her practice at Thoughtful Birth). If there’s time left in the day, week, or month, Kevin creates some art as you’ll find here, coaches a few professionals, and works as the entrepreneurial attorney for a few creative businesses.
The work you’ll find on the site is mostly batik and watercolor.
Batik is a fabric art using resist techniques. Kevin draws out the composition (sometimes) on the base fabric, then paints on hot wax where he wants the fabric to stay white, then immerses the fabric in a dye bath of the lightest color for the piece. After air-drying, another round of wax to keep the areas of the lightest color from darkening and another bath of dye in the next darker color. This process repeats until the darkest color is finished. Then Kevin irons the wax out into old newspapers and sometimes (usually) goes back with a marker and adds some contrast or additional detail.
The process is messy, so as a person living in Colorado, and as someone without a separate art studio space, the batik work is limited to outdoor conditions. When the weather isn’t cooperating, or when the corporate meetings start to drag, the watercolor pencils come out and smaller works of art materialize. Kevin also uses watercolor as the study media for planning larger batiks.
Deciding to start any work of art is a leap of faith–a step into the unknown. Batik is more so because the artist never knows how the wax will crack. The process forces an element of surrender into life of the artist. One must accept that one can’t control the outcome. Ultimately, batik is a spiritual medium and very therapeutic. Some of the stuff ends up looking pretty nice too, which is a bonus.
Here’s a short 5-minute presentation I gave recently on the importance of expressing your creativity. Enjoy.