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: