Hudson -- A former Cuyahoga Falls art teacher has taken crayon batiks to a new level, evidenced by the detailed artwork on display at Peg's Gallery in the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation building, 10 W. Streetsboro St. in downtown Hudson.

Artist Lawrence Walker is showcasing his Crayon Batiks through Oct. 25.

Walker, 84, began taking art classes at Cuyahoga Falls High School and the Akron Art Institute before attending Kent State University where he earned three degrees: a bachelor's in art education; bachelor's in graphic design; and master's in sculpture.

He worked as a graphic designer at Akron Beacon Journal for 11 years, then J. C. Penney Co. as a district advertising manager before turning to teaching. He was an art teacher at Cuyahoga Falls High School until 1980.

He was a partner for six years in a full design firm before returning to teaching art at Central Hower High School and teaching graphic design in the art department at the University of Akron from 1986 through 1999.

Retired in 2000, he has been focusing on his artwork. He began to experiment with crayon batik.

"They sold very well," Walker said. "People seemed to like them."

He demonstrated his technique Aug. 24 during the opening reception for his exhibit at Peg's Gallery.

Traditional crayon batik involved melting crayons and painting on cloth, but Walker found a new technique using crayon and color pencils on paper for more detailed work.

He begins with a pencil drawing and copies over the design with black markers before coloring in the spaces.

"I worked with crayon and it was very simple at first but I found I could get very detailed," Walker said. "But there is no forgiveness. You can't correct mistakes."

Walker, who is a gardener and enjoys wildlife, flowers, camping and fishing, uses his hobbies for subjects.

"I draw from my experiences," Walker said. "I generally carry a camera with me and have thousands of reference pictures."

The crayon batik is a far cry from his paintings, which were abstract and non-objective, Walker said. Art deco and his graphic design background influence the intricate designs and geometric shapes in his work.

"Art deco is one of my favorite periods," Walker said. "I stylize things a great deal."

He said he was influenced by Josef Albers's color theory and uses a lot of complementary colors in his work.

Flowers, animals, shapes and colors combine to form intricate works of art that Walker says must be seen up close.

Walker is the president of the Akron Society of Artists and is a member of Group 10 Gallery in Kent.


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