Tuesday, March 3, 2009
In my "spare time"
Have you ever wished that you could train your toes to be more useful? I wish this often, particularly during busy spells like this one, when I'm painting my little heart out for an upcoming trunk show (Peacock Alley Needlepoint in Ada, Michigan, on March 21). It's impossible to design, stitch and paint canvases simultaneously. So I generally paint by day and stitch at night.
And on the extremely few occasions that I stitch an OP (Other Person's) canvas, I'm very picky. Not only must the subject matter really grab me, but also it must be extremely well-painted--after all, I'm a stitch painter myself. I started painting and marketing my own designs in the mid 90s because I was frustrated by how few well-painted canvases were available and which suited my taste.
Then last year, I saw a canvas and fell in love: with Judy Harper's "Nellie's Imari" (right photo). I love Oriental art, have a small collection of antique Imari porcelains inherited from my mother, and the navy blue sofa in my living room was crying out for a new pillow. "Nellie's Imari" is an on-going work in progress: I began stitching on September 1 and pick it up when I have a minute, or when I'm feeling really wicked and want to play hooky.
The first photo is actually a scan of the work in progress, and a crooked scan at that! But I found it extremely difficult to fit 20-inch-square stretcher bars inside my scanner! Except for the Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V, the piece is being worked in basketweave entirely in Vineyard Silk. This thread has a lovely hand to it and the sheen is wonderful. Unlike most of my models, which endure a lot of wear and tear as they traipse across the country for trunk shows, this pillow-in-the-making will be an heirloom passed down to future generations and thus worthy of the expense of this thread. Hopefully a future daughter-in-law (I should live so long!) will fall in love with the design, too, and claim it for her own.