Saturday, May 21, 2016

Embroidering Photos, Embroidering Lives

Yesterday I came across this website, by way of Maureen's blog post, about artist Melissa Zexter, who does hand embroidery on photographs.  I spent the whole day thinking about experimenting with this idea.

I'm thinking about my visual journal entry that I created last night:

It might be even more interesting with the addition of embroidery.  I could work with this photo, embroider over it, maybe even add beads or various fibers.  I love texture, and I've been feeling like I haven't been working with textures and fibers as much as I would like.

In this interview, the artist talks about her start:  "I was at an artists’ residency program in the Catskill Mountains of New York where a fellow artist in residence taught me to make handmade paper. I went to the hardware store in town and discovered a sewing section where there was a large selection of threads. I bought some thread and a needle and began to sew pictures onto the handmade paper. I had never really sewn before. The sewn drawings were of anonymous figures. I also made pillows and sewed images onto them."

This idea leads me to thinking about collage possibilities, along with the kinds of boxes that Joseph Cornell made.  I'll think about that possibility once I see how the stitching on a photo goes.

She talks about the process as a meditative one of sorts:  "Right now I feel there are so many photographers out there and it is too much for me to look at – it all just gets lost. At times I think there is too much to look at, too many photographs and it’s nice to just sit with one picture and spend time studying and looking at it. With my own sewing, because it is so time consuming, it forces me to stay with one photo for a long period of time."

I have one of those packages of embroidery floss that contains many colors.  I have a quilt group gathering on Memorial Day.  I will start printing photos of my sketchbook and see what happens!

No comments: