That kind of sums up life lately. Lots of embroidery projects going at once and even more swirling around in my cluttered brain. I’ve been teaching sewing and fiber arts in Seattle two days a week which has been great to keep that teaching muscle flexing. I’ve also been developing an embroidery workshop, but so far the interested parties have been only kids and teens. While I’m totally into doing a tween class, embroidery can be a tad intense for younger students who are still developing their fine motor skills. I’m most interested in putting together a higher end, boutique workshop experience for adult learners. Similar to what DesignLoveFest did with Blogshop, I would start with a bright, beautiful setting, include a bevy of embroidery supplies and a curated goodie bag (with embroider-able design of course). Is this something you’d be interested in? If so I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Here are some things I’ve been working on lately, including the cutest little top for my niece’s ninth birthday.
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.
Frank Stella image sources 1, 2, 3
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.
Kirra Jamison image source 1, 2, 3
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.
Hayley Gaberlavage image source 1, 2, 3
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.