How It Started …
Long before I was aware of the possibilities of expressing myself through needlepoint – in my own way –I tried to stitch the patterns of others, tried to find enjoyment in practicing perfect stitches, and tried to fit the expectations of others into my work.
I found I had a great love for the craft, but there was no joy in my soul when I completed a piece. It was purely an expression of someone else’s thoughts, patterns, and design.
In trying to find my own creative voice I knew I would have to design canvasses that expressed the freedom and motion I was looking for in my art. I wanted to explore possibilities and let myself be open to serendipity. I wanted to enjoy the lumps and bumps that came unexpectedly from twisted or knotted threads. I was also seeking a way to make the threads themselves more interesting so that they “presented” stitches with random flecks of color.
Two words always popped into my head while thinking of design: “freedom” and “movement”. The dilemma was how to create fluid streams of color on a grid, and how to express freedom with stitches that were based primarily on a square or definite left-to-right and up-and-down stitches. So I developed a new appreciation for the basic basketweave stitch (tent stitch), which allowed me to move around the canvas in whatever direction my mind wanted to take me.
Also, from a practical standpoint, I wanted to embed as much motion as I could get into a 6″ square. I like that size because it gave me room to explore without taking a life-time to complete! (Patience is not one of my virtues!)
Another influence in my work is the wonderful textures found in many weaver’s work. I knew that a loom would probably never be in my future and I really loved the way my needlepoint canvas felt in my hands. So over a long period of time I developed a way to express my love for the finished work of weavers and work without the inconvenience of a loom.
It took a lifetime of experimentation and a bit of bravery to finally find my voice in needlepoint. I escaped the constraints of perfecting my stitches and found freedom in embracing the philosophy of accepting serendipity as a gift.