embroidery

"Material Matters" at SeagerGray Gallery...

It was so fun to see this exhibition going up at SeagerGray Gallery the beginning of the month and discovering a new artist: Liz Steketee. She had this amazing photograph and embroidery piece in multiple hoops that just stopped my heart.

Mixed media; 2018

Mixed media; 2018

Circles,  detail

Circles, detail

Circles,  detail

Circles, detail

And then on her website, I found these!

Wonder Woman, Mixed media

Wonder Woman, Mixed media

I do love a red thread.

Steadily making new work for my June exhibition....

June feels so far away, yet it is not.  I am working on these paper forms in my studio while the weather is still wintery, but hoping to get outside in another week or two to start cutting the styrofoam bases for these shapes.  We are supposed to get another snow this weekend and I am hoping it is the last!  I do enjoy being indoors and stitching on these, and just got caught up on Season 5 of The Americans while doing that, and I bought my pass for Season 6!  It is three episodes in and I am so nervous for what is going to happen to the Jennings family.  I am also very nervous for how all these parts are going to come together into a piece and once the sun starts shining regularly, I should know more.  

mixed media embroidery
mixed media embroidery paper forms

I so love the texture of the eyelets layered on one another.  I have backed off to a single stitch to attach them to save time, so they're a little loose.  I kind of like that movement they can make.  

"Pulling Stitches" exhibition at Hutchinson Center for the Arts....

went up yesterday.  There is some brand new work, work from the fall, and work from way back, but I am happy to see it all together.  The install was easy (Thanks, Lisa!) and the space is fabulous.  My reception is June 29 from 5-6:30 pm and the exhibition closes on July 7.  I am not going to make it back up before the reception, but our plan is to stay overnight, get good documentation and maybe play at the Science Museum in St. Paul before getting Thai food and heading home.  

Embroidered pattern paper

Embroidered pattern paper

Beaded vintage handkerchiefs

Beaded vintage handkerchiefs

All new animal dolls

All new animal dolls

Some more friends...

Some more friends...

Still more....

Still more....

So happy to have the Kangaroo standing again.  And the sloth is on his tippy toes.  The air was not keeping up, so Lisa promised to light all the work today.  I am so relieved to have it up!

so good...

again, with the embroideries.  I just love this work by Michelle Kingdom.  The images are so painterly, textured and detailed.  I dearly want one for my own.  Her little dreamscapes are full of mystery.  You can see her work on her website, she is one of Designsponge.com 18 embroidery artists to watch on instagram, and she has been featured on thisiscolossal.com.  

"Some imagined future" by Michelle Kingdom.

"Some imagined future" by Michelle Kingdom.

"What is done cannot be undone" by Michelle Kingdom

"What is done cannot be undone" by Michelle Kingdom

"Life will divide us" by Michelle Kingdom

"Life will divide us" by Michelle Kingdom

"Duties of gossamer" by Michelle Kingdom

"Duties of gossamer" by Michelle Kingdom

one of my favorite things to get in the mail...

Is the RISDXYZ.  It is the print magazine for Rhode Island School of Design Alumni.  I am consistently amazed at the talent, scope and ambition of the community I went to school with.  It is remarkable and inspiring.  I often dream that I have gone back to get another Masters degree in painting, sculpture and fibers...to explore the other areas I never had a chance engage in.  This issues cover featured the work of Sophia Narrett, a painter who began embroidering her narratives.    

Stars Align , Sophia Narrett

Stars Align, Sophia Narrett

Something Went Wrong , detail, Sophia Narrett

Something Went Wrong, detail, Sophia Narrett

Along the Vein,  Sophia Narrett

Along the Vein, Sophia Narrett

I love how she plays with the edge of the frame, with negative space in the interior of the image and with the drips and pulls of embroidery floss that start to feel think like paint.  The images are so layered and full that it takes multiple viewings to really discern the entire narrative.  And the textures and color are so rich and evocative that you can get lost in the beauty of the stitching in and of itself.  Thank you RISDXYX for introducing me to her work!

I just saw...

the most amazing exhibition at the Minnesota Textile Center.  "Woman Troubles" are a series of embroidered images on dyed silk that are unbelievably lovely.  And they are images of used maxi pads...worn, bloody, squished maxi pads.  Jess machine embroiders patterns of rich color, soft texture and wonderfully individual images that made me rethink what I see as beauty in relation to my own body.  Unfortunately, she does not yet have these images on her website, so I am including some from a different body of work titled "Look and Learn, Little Girl" that are just as beautiful.  

"Stitch and Rend"

opened at the Chesapeake Gallery at Harford Community College on June 5, 2014.  I was out in Bel Air the week before finishing up new work, installing the show and visiting with my dear friend Jeff Ball.  Jeff is the art historian at the college and curates one exhibition a year for the gallery.  This year he was kind enough to ask me.  The exhibition includes nine dolls and three new two-dimensional pieces.  I worked right up until the last minute, but it was worth it.  I'm really pleased with how it all came together.  Remember this?

This was a little study I was working on along with the new dolls.  There are  two new ones that I am beyond excited about.  

This was a little study I was working on along with the new dolls.  There are  two new ones that I am beyond excited about.  

Each of these is approximately 18x27 inches.  

Each of these is approximately 18x27 inches.  

All three are made with vintage sewing pattern paper fused to interfacing.  In both of the larger works, I cut the original piece into parts and sewed it back together.  You can see the top stitching in red.  Then I sewed on groups of eye closures and worked stitches of varying lengths and color through the eyes and back again.  Finally, I played with the measuring tape motif, much like with the dolls.  I can't begin to describe how much fun these are to make, and all of the ideas they have inspired in future works.  They are unframed and hang from the wall with needles at their corners.  

All three are made with vintage sewing pattern paper fused to interfacing.  In both of the larger works, I cut the original piece into parts and sewed it back together.  You can see the top stitching in red.  Then I sewed on groups of eye closures and worked stitches of varying lengths and color through the eyes and back again.  Finally, I played with the measuring tape motif, much like with the dolls.  I can't begin to describe how much fun these are to make, and all of the ideas they have inspired in future works.  They are unframed and hang from the wall with needles at their corners.  

New work....

I just finished a new piece and I am so excited about the possibilities for this.  

I've been ready to stitch, and have even readied some fabric, but been overwhelmed by the white of the muslin.  So I wondered what would happen if I prepared the pattern paper I use on my dolls in the same way I prepare fabric to embroider.  I backed the paper with fusible interfacing and layered more paper with Wonder Under.  (It is heat activated double sided tape basically, and so easy to use.) The patter paper was then much more fabric like, and I painted it like my dolls.  I started sewing tiny eyes (of hooks and eyes, the closures on garments) on in rows, thinking I might make larger numbers.  I didn't like the regularity of the rows, so I gave in and started to stitch them in randomly.  I knew I wanted long stitches to pull at they eyes, so that was my next step.  Then I played with layering color in the stitches.  I did not use anything to stretch the paper as I stitched, so it has pulls that make the outside edges irregular.  This is about 10x10 inches from edge to edge.  I'm not sure about installation just yet, but here I used long embroidery needles in the top corners and then pulled the piece away from the wall.  

And a detail.  I love how it's weirdly scabby.  The exhibition I have scheduled in June at Harford Community College is titled "Ligature" and I think developing more of these will work for that.  A friend suggested large panels that one could walk through....I've got five dolls going I need to finish and then I will be ready to start.  It has been a million years since I have done anything big!