Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"I still don't understand"

Last weekend, and only because I was asked, I attempted to describe my process of embroidering into watercolor paintings to the white-haired proprietress of a local needlepoint store. 

Honeycomb Rings, 2013.

She just blinked at me, behind a thinly disguised veil of mistrust, and said,"I don't understand."

WIP: Chain Stitch Stones.

Because I'm an idiot, I kept trying to explain what I planned to use the lush wool threads I was purchasing. I even showed her photos of my work on my phone. As if that would help.

Measures 8 x 8 inches, plus matte and frame.

Hand over her mouth, she replied in a lavishly dramatic whisper, "I still don't understand."

Detail, Honeycomb Rings, 2013.

As if it was my problem and I had to solve it.


  1. Ok I don't think my first comment worked...hopefully I don't post twice. I went to a needlepoint/yarn store in Chapel Hill and asked for embroidery needles and the lady said "this is a needlepoint store, we don't sell that kind of stuff here" (??). So narrow minded, these needlepoint store owners.

    p.s. I think these pieces are really cool!!

    1. Oh I know(knew) that store. That old lady was on helluva beeyotch! And racist too. Followed my friend of color all over the store telling her "that's VERY expensive." My pal could have bought and sold that woman a bajillion times! Never went back.

  2. Oh dear, but what you create is a million miles away from what most of her customers make, you are an artist using traditional materials in a non-traditional way.To her mind it probably just seems odd but to those of us open to new ideas it is exciting and beautiful. It's frustrating when others don't get it isn't it?! Maybe you should have told her you were working a tapestry of some kittens in a basket ; ) xxx

  3. Thanks! (I think we speak of the same place. Shhh... The pre-printed canvases in there weren't to my taste. Different strokes!

  4. Next time I see you with one of your pieces, I will be sure to exclaim: OOOOH! KITTENS IN A BASKET! ;)

  5. I had a similar experience in a needlework store in Dallas. The shop owner was a little horrified that I intended to use her beautiful specialty fibers improperly. But she took my money, anyway. :)

  6. Olisa, I quit trying to explain ANY thing I do or create to any one long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. If it makes YOU happy then that is what counts. Eff the rest of 'em.

  7. This series you are doing makes me happy. I would rather send my money on work like yours than a pre-painted canvas any day. If you ever want to do a swap, let me know.

  8. Eh, small minds. I love your stitched water colors simply for the pure, exuberant joy looking at them gives me. Isn't that the point of art? To make someone feel something? Joy, fear, wonder, sadness? Something!

    Sadly, some folks can't understand coloring outside the lines. Carry on, love!

  9. I LOVE this piece! Keep doing what you're doing. Confusing (or horrifying) the establishment means you're doing it right :)

  10. Sheesh! I guess that's a good thing about living in NYC -- all the craft store proprietors are used to the weird and beautiful ways people use thread.

  11. Chain stitch stones.. Holy moly! I love it!

  12. Thanks for all of your comments! I wasn't really upset. It was comical to me, but I appreciate your encouragement very much!