Spend a fun evening discovering your own artistic expression by creating a unique art piece inspired by the ancient art form of batik with Paul de la Fuente and Art Innovations during the McAllen Nature Speaker Series on Dec. 18 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Take home your own piece of art as you learn how to recreate batik using paper. It’s a fun and easy project for any adult. Bring your friends for a wonderful outing learning about nature and art.

Batik, pronounced “Ba-teek”, an Indonesian form of dying fabric using wax. The hot wax is applied to the fabric and then covered with different colors of wet dyes. The waxed areas resist the dyes thus repelling the color. It is recognizable by its characteristic crackle or veining which appears throughout the design unifying the colors and composition. In Java and Bali, batik was a highly accomplished art form with recognizable motifs, patterns, and colors to identify families or areas. Today, batik is still used to decorate fabric or paper.

Paul de la Fuente was born in McAllen and studied Business Administration at the University of Texas-Pan American. He is now the Rio Grande Valley director of a national arts education program for children and adults. Program instructors include both active and retired teachers such as Marilyn Watson and Lucy Romero.

Art Innovations is an inspiring art program for adults offering a wide variety of art techniques and projects appropriate for beginners as well as experienced artists.

Admission is $3 per person and includes all the materials needed to make your masterpiece. If bringing a large group, please call in advance.

The McAllen Nature Speaker Series is hosted by Quinta Mazatlan and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce as a means of disseminating ideas and information about our natural environment and the importance of protecting and conserving these wonders. The series is sponsored by Thurmond Eye Associates every Thursday evening at Quinta Mazatlan through March 2009.

For more information contact (956) 681-3370 or visit www.quintamazatlan.com.