Painted threads

Painted threads using USArtQuest Perfect Pigment acrylic colors.

When it comes to creating a painting on a canvas, no experienced artist will use the paint straight out of the tube. Instead, they mix and mix until they get just, exactly the right color. As an artistic needle worker, I have the same thought process.

DMC and Anchor threads come in hundreds of colors – just like paint in a tube. But when I need that “just right” color I create it myself by painting my threads to create those textures and “in between” colors I am looking for. I use several techniques to give me one-time-only colors. Remember, just like mixing paint once you use it it’s gone!

How I came up with the idea …

I have been dying my threads for over 30 years. I still have some of my old friends in my stash. USArtQuest Perfect Pigment paintBut I found that many of the dyes just faded too quickly – and the mess I made with the process wasn’t worth the time and trouble to get limited end results. So one day I was DESPERATE for inspiration colors and decided to hit my studio to see what I could find. I had a huge stash of beautiful, high quality acrylic paints from USArtQuest staring at me and begging me to experiment. The one thing I knew about paint was that it wouldn’t fade over time – so I thought, “This just might work” – and it did!

It was easy, non-messy (well, relatively speaking!) and quick. In less than 30 minutes I had the most gorgeous threads to work with. I was so inspired by the colors and the uneven textures they presented that I now use painted threads in every piece I create. Why wouldn’t I? They lend an air of mystery, depth, texture, and uniqueness that keep viewers of my pieces interested in looking further. Painted threads create “surprises” for the viewer to discover – and they’re fun for me to work with. I never really know how they will come out and trying to control how they flow into the work is a real challenge!