If you’ve seen my Instagram feed lately you’ve noticed it’s heavily embroidered. Embroidery and crochet were the two crafts that I focused on in Indonesia and I’ve continued those pursuits since we’ve been home. Recent nights have been full of falling deeply down the Insta-hole of textile inspiration. While I love how the internet can create a tight knit community of far-flung artists, it also has its drawback in that there’s so much amazing work that one can’t help but compare your work to theirs. As a kid I had this idea that ‘art’ meant photo realistic drawing, so my inability to draw meant that I could never be an artist. My awe for artists who can draw what they see is compounded by embroidery artists like Cayce Zavaglia who can stitch what they see. The detail of her embroidered portraits is breathtaking and intimidating.
But alas, I know I’ll never be a portrait artist and by focusing on what I can’t do, I’m hindering my aspirations of what I can do. Recently I’ve expanded my inspirational searches outside embroidery focusing not on one particular medium, but on only color and shape. A couple of my favorites are Frank Stella, Kirra Jamison and Hayley Gaberlavage.
There’s a large Frank Stella piece near the entrance of the NC Museum of Art (located in my hometown of Raleigh). I have vivid childhood memories of being greeted by the the giant, vibrant colors and shapes. Many of his pieces remind me of quilts and textiles pieces and he does a great job of mixing vibrant colors while retaining a sophisticated look.
Kirra Jamison is an Australian artist whose abstract pieces focus on gorgeous color palettes and flowing shapes. Her imaginative floral pieces are especially inspiring when I’m wrestling with my preconceived notions about photo realism.
Hayley Gaberlavage is a Savannah based artist that I had the great pleasure of knowing when we both lived in Atlanta in the early 2000’s. While many of her current works are whimsical, but realistic portraits, I’ve always had a fondness for her abstract creations.
Seeing all these images together really illustrates my fondness for movement and color. I’m excited to see how I can incorporate these themes into my upcoming stitching projects.