Monday, December 7, 2009
(the full title can be seen on an earlier post).
I was inspired by the James Ensor exhibit at MOMA. I placed myself in the midst of demons as metaphors of psychological distress which can possibly result in physical ailments. Perhaps the act of creating and posting this work will act as an exorcism and cure/free me.
Aesthetically, the rule was not to have a stitch/stroke adjacent to another of the same color, to avoid solid areas of color. I suppose that could also be some kind of metaphor.
When placed horizontally, this piece puffs out with bumps and texture, like a miniature mountain. The red "evil" eye is, strangely, at the very highest point. That was not intentional.....
Monday, November 23, 2009
The first in a planned series of black and white, smaller and 'simpler' embroideries.
Unfortunately the series didn't last long. This is the only one (so far I suppose).
Anyway, this is the bird. The dark bird. The bird that resides somewhere within the barren, leafless trees in the winter. The bird that you think you see from a distance at dusk, as you are hurrying to get home before dark. The bird that lands on your bedroom windowsill in the dead of night while you sleep and punctures your chest with its long, sharp beak....
(hey, its not my fault, these things just come into my head!)....
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
(getting tired of using the word 'demon'). This looks like a sad one. Confined to the lonely world of the abyss. Lost....
The 'face' and outer edge is all metallic thread. I used stitches of regular black thread to create a shading effect, like the technique of crosshatching with pen and ink.
I am very inspired by the art of Mexican metal tooling and tried to make this piece resemble the shiny metal, textural surfaces of that art form. Of course, you can't really see the raised textured surface in the photo.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I started this in August after seeing the James Ensor exhibit at MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art, New York City). It's tentatively entitled "Self, half-possessed, surrounded by demons. The f*cking tic junked up my eye". I think I want to stitch those words, somewhat obscured, into the piece but I'm not sure its going to happen.
I was on the way to finishing but the demons keep on manifesting and I'm happily obliging.
Friday, August 28, 2009
This is another in my continuing theme of demon/human forms. The doorway is taken from so many Medieval paintings, as is the gold metallic thread which is to resemble gold leaf.
I did much of this piece while at Prospect Park, Brooklyn. In the spring and summer I spend many a weekend afternoon there with my 'portable sewing studio' i.e. a bag. Anyhow, there is a long stretch of open grass in the park called 'Long Meadow'. It's supposedly one of the longest stretches of unbroken meadow in any U.S. park.
As I stitched my way through the arteries and veins in this figure it came to my mind that I was "contemplating the circulatory system on Long Meadow". It occurred to me that that would be a good sentence to use if I was ever talking about this piece. That was over a year ago, way before I started this blog. Well, finally, I'm 'talking' about this piece but I just can't use that sentence seriously in good conscious. It's just too darn hokey. I'm already concerned enough about how much of my written explanations are just pretentious, masturbatory dribble, I don't need to knowingly make it worse.
This is the last of the excisions from the large hoop.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
"Three Celestial Studies:
1 - Spiral Galaxy
2 - Comet and Ion Tail
3 - Diffuse Nebulae"
The heavenly bodies were formed with one of my favorite flavours of painters floss. The purple 'space' around each of them was made using three different purple colors from three different spools, all mixed together. I often mix colors but in this case I especially remembered the futility of using three very similar purple colors since I knew they would blend and look as one. The difference is too small to notice. Its pretty insignificant. Its insignificant just like we are compared to all the heavenly bodies in the universe and beyond.
First time using embroidered text.
Friday, August 14, 2009
This was started in the Summer of 2008, inspired by the myriad of fauna in the Cabinet of Natural Curiosities tome that I had recently purchased. It was supposed to be some kind of animal head.
It lay dormant for a year on the big hoop, then I recently revisited it and tried to continue the animal thing but something went wrong. Maybe I lost my initial inspiration, or it was replaced. Now its more of an Animal-God-Spirit head of some sort. The large, oval shaped 'eye' is built up of metallic thread and 'pops out' about a half-centimeter from the surface.
Influences: Asian art, Indian Religious art.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Some of the people who sell incense on the sidewalks of New York City also have religious paraphernalia. I recall seeing an image like this once, or close to it. All I remember were many eyes upon 'its' head and body.
Not sure if this is a God, or Demigod, it could be some kind of deity perhaps.
The 'meaning' that immediately comes to my mind to all those eyes is that of the 'all seeing, all knowing God', a God of wisdom. But I'm sure that the image of my memory probably had much deeper and more specific intents for the symbolic eyes.
As for this image, it's just my re-incarnation of another incarnation that I saw, or thought I did, or wanted to see, with my own two eyes, or out of the corner of my eye, or in my minds eye.
Friday, July 31, 2009
"The Lizard Egg which spawns the Polliwog which becomes the Pink Lizard that has been split into sections for educational purposes".
The lizard egg was taken directly from an illustration in the "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities" book, minus a lot of detail. I tried to get in as much detail as I could
though, it's so dense with stitches it's probably bulletproof.
The lizard is of my own design (if you want to call it a design). I have a small bag of leftover bits of thread. From that bag I took all that was pinkish and that became the skin. I wanted the lizard to look like something from a science book, with cross sections to display it's inner body parts. But the body sections came out crooked instead of lined up evenly, so it kind of loses the 'science book display' feel. Obviously my mind wandered from idea to execution. That probably reflects my life.
The egg and lizard were excised from the larger hoop and implanted onto a white shirt fabric. I did a 'loop stitch' thing all around the edges to make it look more 'finished'. Is there an actual name for that 'technique'? If there is feel free to let me know what its called.
Friday, July 24, 2009
This was taken from the large hoop I was working on from my earlier post. Not much to say about it except that I was inspired by the "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities" book I bought last summer.
This one is not stretched on a frame, I took it off the hoop, stitched it to some red fabric I bought and then stitched that to canvas.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I wanted the pieces to look like 'paintings' so I thought it would look good to stretch them onto frames (like a painting is stretched onto stretcher bars). Well, they don't make stretcher bars small enough for my embroideries so I had to improvise. I bought some square wooden dowels at Lowes (5/8" - nice and thick), cut them into sections, cut the ends into 45 degree angles, and glued and stapled them together. I am a poor woodworker but it did the job. Then I 'stretched' the embroidered fabric around them much the same way one would stretch a painters canvas and stapled it securely. Even though they were small it was still a challenge to get everything straight and even with minimum wrinkles.
The result was a more 'presentable' piece (to me) and can also be hung on a wall.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I've been working on this large hoop off and on since last summer. At first it was going to be one big image, then I decided to cut it into smaller individual pieces, then I decided it would be one big image, now I've decided to cut it into smaller individual pieces. I have already cut some of them. I'll be able to get about 6 small works from this which I hope to have completed within 2 weeks.
Friday, June 19, 2009
As usual, I had an idea what this was going to be, but after a few stitches I got bored and decided to improvise. I had just bought some nice red painters floss. I used the red as the "Alpha Male" - it boldy forged the way into the unknown of the blank fabric. There is always a danger in improvisation. I never take thread out once it is stitched. And you can only cover over thread one or maybe two times with more thread before it gets too thick and impenetrable. So its a do or die type of thing.
The red started forming into lines and geometric patterns. I was thinking Native American animal skin paintings. I added some blue, then green. It started to look like a map. A map of a park perhaps. Grass, water. Then somehow the face emerged, and quickly dominated. After I did the face I knew what I wanted the body to look like, and I knew it would be the bulk of the piece and everything else would be just 'background'. So after that the spontaneity was gone and it became laborious.
But this is not just an image. It is a real spirit. Incarnate. It belongs on an alter, not a wall.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Another great discovery I found out about after a year into sewing was the existence of 'Painter's Floss'. Painters Floss is an embroidery thread that is dyed with different colors. It comes in various color schemes - some subtle and monochromatic, some are extreme and psychedelic. The fun thing is that you are assured NOT to have the same color in a single strand of thread.
I went into a new hoop again with no ideas. But I did know I wanted to use the Painters Floss. The first thing that happened was the African mask head at the top. And then gold and red metallic thread turned into a skeletal structure. I suddenly started thinking of high tech robotry. Even robots have an internal structure, like we have bones. In this case the 'bones' are visible on the outside. There is a clear, almost invisible outer shell casing that these robot-beings have. Again, we are talking light years ahead of our modern scientific possibilities. Vampire robot? Maybe. Phallus? I don't know why.
The 'Succubus Angel Robot' (for lack of a better name) developed next (the model from the magazine I used as a reference certainly didn't have a halo on HER head).
The full metallic threaded mask was African and Asian inspired, although the thin, slick, metallic threads definitely jived with the robot theme, as they were like little circuit wires themselves.
I flooded the background with the Painters floss. Earthy colors - blue, green, brown, the yellows and oranges like the leaves of Autumn, all in stark contrast with the shiny, glittery technology.
Then there was the hot pink and white multicolored floss which complimented and contrasted with the earthen hues.
I laid down the painters floss while contemplating crop circles, optical illusions, country door decorations and water.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I used to be scared of certain types of images of demons and devils. Mostly, the 'generic' kind that you see on Tarot cards or in stuff you find at Botanicas and such. The basic 'red guy' with the horns and tail and all. For some reason that basic image always scared me and I thought it was 'bad' to have it in my possession.
So I decided to perform an exorcism on myself. I made just that type of devil image that I was scared of. Slowly but surely as I continued to sew and form the image over the weeks I eventually stopped being scared. Now, I 'own' that image. I made it. I'm in control. I have the power. I'm not a-scared anymore.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I bought a nice pink color thread and started 'drawing' right onto the fabric with it. I made a head. Eventually it spawned several crab like clawed arms, a body and a tail.
I wanted the face to have layers, like it was aged, or looked like some old city that had been buried by sand. Eventually I got some little bits of chains and sewed them onto the face, a couple I glued. This was my first attempt at trying to render a figure to look a bit three-dimensional.
This took about 3 months.
I don't title any of my work. Titling is an art in itself which I'm no good at. I nicknamed it 'lobster boy'. I guess I could have called it "Microscopic Water Anomoly Fig . 1". Maybe that would work.
I did some research and found out what those things all the grandmothers were using in movies and such I had seen - they were sewing with embroidery hoops (duh # 2!). I got one, stretched fabric on it and started.
I am interested in Religious art and also the concept of the duality of angels, devils and humans. To me they are all the same.
I wanted it to look like a 'little painting'. It took a couple of months. The background is red, copper and gold metallic threads.
Eventually I sewed the fabric onto some canvas and stretched it on a wooden frame.
I liked using the thread, so I decided to create an actual full image with the stitches. Then I realized - duh - people call that embroidery. I took a small piece of fabric and drew out a crude image I got from online, it was a mask of a demon monkey face. The finished embroidery doesn't look much like the image but I was happy with the result. I added some snakey-things around the head and stitched it to some collage material.
I was making some small collages and I decided that I liked part of one and part of another. I always liked the look of stitches and so I decided a good solution would be to stitch the different parts that I liked together. Eventually the stitches became more than just a way to join things, they became marks of themselves, like paint strokes or ink lines. Shapes came soon.
Hello. I am creating this Blog to share my hand embroidery which I started doing in the Fall of 2007. I have always been a visual artist doing mostly paintings and collage. I started adding stitches to some of the collages and then the thread took over from there.
Currently I have an Etsy shop of my embroidery pieces:
Currently I have an Etsy shop of my embroidery pieces: