Friday, December 9, 2011

Maybe you can hire. . .

"The A-Team"
8.5" x 11"
embroidery floss and ink on cotton

This piece is in the Wonders to Come (toys as fine art) group show at The Springbox Gallery in Portland, OR.  The show opens tonight (12/9/11) if any locals care to check it out.  There's a wide variety of work from some pretty awesome artists.  I based this design on a comic book cover, switching out the original A-team crew for a selection of well known and hopefully recognizable artists.  (Just in case: Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali)  The hardest part was changing the proportions for Andy Warhol.  The other figures had the same average human proportions as the originals but turning Mr. T into Mr. W took some serious tweaking.  Luckily, I have quite a few life drawing classes under my belt so I'm pretty familiar with the human form.  It's fun to play around with facial features and clothing when you're trying to create a representation of such iconic people.  It helps a lot when they have a signature style (or a wackadoo hair cut, uni brow, twirly mustache, crazy eyes, ginger beard . . . you get the idea).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bite-Sized Monsters

"Tromaville Field Journal"
6" Square
embroidery floss and ink on cotton

nest detail

"Nothing to See Here"
6" Square
embroidery floss and ink on cotton

I made these pieces for the Bite-Sized Monsters group show that opens October 8th in San Francisco.  I was watching a little Troma-thon while I worked; Can you tell?  In case you don't know, Troma is responsible for some serious B-movie gold that is not for the easily offended or squeamish.  I had to make my own frames since there was a six inch square size restriction for all of the pieces.  So i dusted off my skills with the miter box and I think they turned out pretty well.  It's pretty economical, especially once you have the miter box and saw.  Next time i may try to get fancy and add a piece of plex to the front.  The field journal piece was pretty time consuming but I love the texture all of those little tiny stitches create.  The hardest part ended up being the text.  It should have been the easiest since I used a pen but I'm a perfectionist and you can't rip out ink like a stitch.  I reminded myself that it was supposed to look like quickly written notes and as long as I didn't completely botch things it would be fine.  In fact it would have looked off with perfectly straight, evenly spaced lettering. You can check out the show this Saturday, October 8th through November 6th so check it out if you can!  It's a beautiful space and there will be plenty of gorgeous artwork to take in.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Proof Positive (well, sort of)

Eddington's Proof
10" diameter
embroidery floss on cotton

This was a submission for a juried show in San Francisco.  It wasn't chosen for the show but neither were over 90% of the 500+ other entries.  Besides it's all a matter of the juror's taste so you can't take it too personally.  They have to create a cohesive collection so pieces can be rejected for any of a hundred reasons from the media and size of a piece to the color scheme.  You can't take it personally or assume it's a reflection of the quality of your work.  Anywho, the theme was proof so to get started I decided to find a quote as inspiration.  "Proof is the idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself" - Arthur Eddington.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do with the piece when I read that.  The portrait is Rene Descartes surrounded by a variety of new and old mathematical machinery.  I love the look of vintage calculators so this was really fun to draw up and stitch.  I'm especially happy with the candles.  I stitched them freehand (I always sketch everything out but I couldn't find my fade pen so I just went for it).  It's always a little disappointing to not make a show but my husband is happy.  He gets more attached to them than I do and hates to see any of them leave our walls.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stitch Wars Strikes Back photos and info

Stitch Wars Strikes Back opened last Friday and runs through September 25th.  If you can’t make it to the gallery, you can still check out pictures of all of the show pieces, link to a price list and purchasing information and even check out some pictures from the opening night reception here.
Stitch Wars Strikes Back Gallery Setup

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A little side project

So I have one last Stitch Wars Strikes Back piece to post but I think I'll save that until the show opens.  Scratch that; I just realized that I have posted all of my SWSB pieces.  (Although I do have another Star Wars piece in progress but it's massive and will take a while to get done)  Not to worry though as I have been busy working on some other new projects.

embroidery floss on cotton, 7" hoop
I made this hoop for my niece's 1st birthday and just sent it off to her (only a month late but it took longer than I anticipated).  While I'm pretty darn comfortable drawing A person, drawing a REAL person is always a challenge.  Even the tiniest of changes to proportion or placement of features and at best you've drawn A person but not the person you intended.  This is especially true of babies and children since they can easily slip into the bizarre and often disturbing realm of babies with adult features.  Fortunately, this piece turned out just how I hoped it would and almost as gorgeous and my beautiful little niece.  I plan on doing more portraits but for the moment I've been side tracked by some teacups (more on that later).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Final Stitch Wars Piece

14" width 2" depth
embroidery floss and felt on organza

Here's my final piece for the Stitch Wars Strikes Back show.  It's my biggest piece to date (soon to be dwarfed by the 18x27" piece I'm working on).  It turned out really well but was incredibly time consuming.  I think of it more as a shadow box than a hoop.  It's a little tricky to get a good photo since there are layers of organza and felt to create depth between Slave I, the clouds, cloud city and yes that is a tiny millennium falcon flying off in the distance. 

The most time consuming part of making this was stitching Slave I.  In order to get the right look for the chipped paint, I did thousands and thousands of tiny stitches.  It will be available to purchase here when the show opens August 12th.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Star Wars Evening Post (second series for Stitch Wars Strikes Back)

(clockwise from upper left) "The Runaway Padawan", "Wait He Cannot" and "The Dark Discovery or The Truth About Vader"

7" hoops, embroidery floss on cotton
I just packed these up and sent them off to Florida for the Stitch Wars Strikes Back show.  They're all based on Norman Rockwell paintings and I was very happy with how they turned out.  I really enjoy doing pieces that combine themes.  I only intended to do one piece like this but I couldn't decide which idea I liked best.  I actually have one more piece that didn't make the show deadline (yes, it's in the dreaded long term work in progress pile) but I'll finish it up and post a picture soon.  Check out the Bear and Bird website when the show opens (August 12, 2011)  if you're interested in purchasing one.  (I also may be opening an online shop soon; more on that later)