Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happily Trolling for Stitch-Speration, Raleigh-style

Ledelle Moe, Congregation

Spent a fantastic Saturday afternoon with a friend, floating around the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, searching for "stitch-speration." I'm participating in a 2012 Sketchbook Project and working on the theme of Writing on the Wall, so this was in part to get ideas for that project and beyond.

Specifically, I was looking for uses of text in the artwork. I adore stitched text and I'm constantly seeking examples of text within other artists' work. I am also interested in finding examples of patterns or motifs, including but not limited to text, on the edges of artwork.  Sort of a liminal design... images and patterns falling of the edge of a piece. Two ongoing passions of mine: text and liminal designs. I found some lovely examples at the museum, but I was also inspired by other work and my mind is full of ideas!

The piece above is densely layered words that are virtually unreadable. I thought it would be amazing to write a confession, whether criminal or personal, and stitch it up. The terrible act could be documented and confessed, but safe within the layers of the piece. That is a New Project Idea 1.

This is a beautiful painting that has the appearance of a grid or a map. The long rectangles contain names and they are connected through a series of lines.

I'm musing with the idea of a stitched map or grid with the people or place names. I'm not sure yet what the collection of text will be the the connection between them. But this is New Project Idea Number 2.

I love the idea of giant text over a stitched portrait. New Project Idea Number 3.

And finally, outside of the text/liminal design idea, there were other images and pieces that attracted me and gave me kernels of ideas for other project. This shot of my friend through a prism gave me an idea of a way to playfully construct a portrait.

The use of thread spools to "paint" a version of the Mona Lisa made me think about stitching blocks of color to construct a bigger image. Sort of a pointilist idea, but simple and using threads. Plus it is just so freaking cool to see spools of my precious thread used like this!

Ledelle Moe, Congregation

And this stunning collection of concrete heads, arranged into a cluster on the wall, just amazes me. ("Congregation" by Ledelle Moe, 2005-2007) Each face is completely different and completely tortured, rendered roughly in the concrete yet each head also, somehow, has a delicacy of expression that is haunting. It just moves me and makes me want to play with faces and clusters.

Writing this blog post a 3:30 am, filled with ideas and energy and excitement about projects.  What an unexpectedly lovely day of absorbing stitch-speration with my friend! Now to find the time to focus on it. I know that 3:30 am is not that time, however energized I might feel by the images I saw. So back to bed for O!

Last note: I'm embarrassed to realize that I did not write down the names of the artists or the pieces I photographed, which is NOT like me at all. I couldn't find these particular pieces on the NCMA website, so I'll definitely go back soon to collect them. Terrible omission, on my part. OY!

UPDATE: Thanks to Katherine for sending me the name of the concrete head piece! Read more about it here:

Friday, July 22, 2011

100 Visual Journals – Stitched Tree Rabbit Cameo

The ever cool Juline, my great friend and fabulous source of art and inspiration, enlisted me to contribute the this cool collaborative art project. Over the course of the year, the Vis J's 4 NC project is attempting to fill up one journal for each county in North Carolina with creative yumminess.

As part of the Durham County journal, I was happy to stitch up this little rabbit tree cameo. The image is from a book that I go back to again and again: "4000 Animal, Bird & Fish Motifs: A Sourcebook."

(I bought the book when I took an intro to embroidery workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk Art School a few years back. That workshop started me on the creative stitching journey. And the school itself…DYN-O-MITE!)

The rabbit is from the Islamic art section.

I love images on tree trunks. (See my self-portrait as a tree.) After lightly padding the image with felt, I sewed the little cameo onto some black and white tree-trunk-esque fabric using feather stitch. And then I sewed it into the journal.

Fun, simple project. It feels good to finish something, however small.

Still a bit scattered by life and all of the changes and new people in it. But still being as open as possible to the world and to experiences. Living with my dial set at 12 and trying to embrace the days and see where they take me. I’ve met some amazing people in the past few months… other artists and writers. People who are passionate about what they’re making. So far, it is an amazing journey.  

Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

Read more about the Visual Journal Project at:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So Much Depends Upon a Red Ant

Hine Mizushima
Hine Mitzushima's needle felted red ant, my one glorious purchase from The Needle Felting Extravaganza exhibit at Gallery Hananhou in Manhattan last March... so much depends upon her.

I could almost eat this little wool ant, in hopes of absorbing a tiny fraction of Hine's imaginative skills. Doesn't it work that way? If you eat the artwork you love, does it give you it's essence and can you use that to create?

Hine Mizushima
Better not risk it!

Just don't let any rainwater get on my beautiful ant. And keep it away from white chickens, dammit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Final, Happy Tentacle

Decided to go all in with the Octo-Boxers. Embracing all that is the playful, racy and inappropriate about embroidering a pair of boxer shorts for a man. Stitching this final, curving, thick, huge tentacle on the fly of the boxers.

Could this happy tentacle suggest something phallic in its tentaclehood? What a question!

My stitching and creating continue at the pace of a geological epoch. Intend to finish the Octo-Boxers before the end of Cenozoic Era. I remain hopeful this is possible!

To that end… back to stitching.