Follow the Thread
Anyone who knows me thinks that I am all about colour. While I do love bright turquoises, fuschias and oranges (especially together!), I balance this visual riot in my artwork with softer, quieter more neutral colours.
My love of bright floral pieces is being tempered these days with an overwhelming need to translate the scenery around me into stitches. Everything from lake views to farmer’s fields to skeletal trees – all are falling victim to my needle and thread. My supplies are simple; natural linen, black thread, Japanese papers, some coloured inks and just a touch of other coloured threads for hand sewing. I admit to having a passion for variegated threads when sewing, and the ways in which the colors change as I stitch always give me a more natural feel to the work. These subtle differences can create the best surprises in the finished product. From this process, I feel as if the work grows as I sew.
Trees have become a prominent feature in my landscapes, more specifically trees without leaves. I love the variety in branch structure that can be seen once the foliage is gone, from the delicate lacey birch to the more straightforward unfussy maple tree (rather like us Canadians!). My stitchscapes are about simplicity, how to best translate what I see into what I want the overall impression to be. People have told me that my recent work looks ‘forlorn’ and ‘empty’, which is funny because I see a land at rest, a calm quiet time after the rush of summer growth. There is something inherently beautiful in the quietness that I find. I am not aiming for realism in these pieces, it’s about the way the image presents itself and how can I get that across onto the fabric.
Read more in our Summer 2012 issue.