Painting with Thread!
Experimenting with thread
This was my first attempt at embroidery. I learned that to compose a painting with thread, I'd need to rethink my usual tools for creating value and form, as there is no physical mixing of colors. Instead, I'd have to problem-solve with layering stitches, delineating shapes, harnessing line-directions, playing with thread-color saturations, and leveraging the proximity of colors and shapes.
My Mama (detail)
This image is a detail of the finished piece. When I got started, I didn't realize the now obvious metaphor of painting my mother in thread: the act of pulling long fibers forward and back again; the effort of stopping to untangle matted parts; the peace of accepting that certain knots would remain; these things, I realized, were a literal construction of the fabric of our relationship over time.
This is the beginning of something. You can see a few stitches and patches of color on the sides. Those patches were created in encaustic medium with some oil stick layers. The final piece will feature my two kiddos, Ayla and Ellison, wearing their actual clothes, with the three primary compositional elements done in cotton and wool thread.