Saturday, September 8, 2007

Lifesaving Embroidery

After a very encouraging comment from Anna Betts on my CPR Embroidery post, I was inspired to try my hand at a few more lifesaving manual-inspired pieces.

I was on vacation all last week in Provincetown, Cape Cod, and the water-related theme blended in nicely. I started out the week at the Fabric Place, where I stocked up on blue and green spectrum Kona fabrics, my preferred brand for solids.

Maybe I went a little overboard, but I envision this as a series. I also have been buying related patterns so I can do some patchwork with these colors in the future as well.

I started with this: Underwater Approach I. I was really unhappy with how the man's hair came out, so I omitted him from this pic!

I wasn't entirely satisfied with the outcome. While I don't usually use the word "cartoony" as a negative, I'm going to apply it here. There was something a little too literal in this interpretation from page to embroidery.

After showing some friends a work-in-progress, they challenged me to experiment with a combination of drawing and embroidery.

This is the result, Underwater Approach II:

And here is Front-Head Hold Release, or by the other name we gave it when I was 14 and a lifesaver in training, "Suck, Tuck, Duck." If I ever do a show of these, that will be its name.

This piece was experimental for me in several ways -- leaving parts of the drawing exposed without being covered with embroidery, using the carbon transfer paper as a shading medium, and using the color pink. I never use the color pink -- not in home decor, not in art projects -- but I feel myself moving towards it...selectively!

The final outcome reminds me of the Sonic Youth album cover of Goo for some reason.


Anna Betts said...

These are wicked!
I totally agree with you on the Sonic Youth cover too. I love Underwater Approach II, using really minimal lines for the face works out to be way more expressive that spelling it all out, if that makes sense?
I think a series of these would be great, mixing neautral background colours and bright vivid ones like this turquoise...which is yummy.
Thumbs up from me!
Anna xx

sparky said...

I agree - these are brilliant and I'd love to see a show of them. Keep it up and keep us posted on Flickr!

Dan said...

I'm not sure I catch the resemblance to "Goo" but I really do like the concept. It's quite clever and executed very well.

-Dan (Kate's boyfriend)