Sunday, September 9, 2012
Stitchery witchery do - making faces
My friend Rosemary gave me a spare sewing machine that has a little plate so I can do more kinds of stitching. It has other variations I'll explore later, but for now being able to free style stitch is fun. I"m not good at it, but am sure I'll improve with practice. I can't quite wrap my head around the concept of moving the fabric instead of turning it. Pushing it back and forth, round and about, etc. I've always had to stitch straight ahead, so my piece had to be constantly turned to feed through. This opens a whole new world to me. Another thing I"m finding tricky is keeping and easy pace. The more stops and starts, or staying in one spot - the more the back is fouled up. One of the pieces here was done when the tread from the spool came out of it's guide, so the stitching is really awful. I could not see it until I turned it over, so it was a complete surprise.
I also did one free style tree without any pencil lines to follow. Even more fun.
I'm quite obsessed with faces. I've been sketching, painting, and doing collages of faces. Why the preoccupation? I"m not sure. I am at the age where some of my friends are getting face lifts. I've had oral surgery that changed the shape of my face just a bit and I also lost a lot of weight, so between the wrinkles and the weight loss, I don't look the same.
In the art world, Modigliani's portraits have always been my favorites. There is just something about his style that I love. Also Bruni, a Russian. They were from about the same time period - turn of century to about 1920. They are imperfect faces. They are awesome. I have adapted some of them into my own work.
Stitching faces is a fun way to sketch or draw a face with thread. Running a continuous line is like contour drawing. It is just more challenging manipulating the machine than a pencil. These are done with a sketch or photo of a face on a piece of heavy paper on one side and a piece of fabric on the other side. I stitch through the paper side, following the lines or at least using them as a base. When I remove it from the machine I'm always surprised. Some that look perfectly stitched on the top side, look all tangly on the bottom. Some that look the worst ot he top, look great on the bottom. Perhaps with better control I can maintain some consistency. Time will tell.