By Connie Pickering Stover
Completed: January, 2013
Finished size: 10″ x 10″
Canvas size: 18 stitches per inch
Approximate number of stitches: 64,800. This piece was created entirely in the basket weave and tent stitch.
Materials: Hand painted threads; Cotton pearl and floss; Patina by Rainbow Gallery; Kreinik Metallics.
Antelope Canyon has always been that one item on my bucket list that I never thought I would be able to check off. But in September of 2012 my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the amazing slot canyons located on Navajo territory in Page, Arizona.
For those of you who are wondering about the central theme (the “target”), please see the illustration, left, depicting this theme and some of its many different iterations in Native American art.
I look at the central theme as if I were looking up at the sun through the slots, where the bright sun beam shoots down rays that swirl around you and turn the walls of the caves into undulating dancers. I almost missed the experience because everywhere I looked was another amazing photograph to be taken and I didn’t want to miss any opportunities!
Our experience was highlighted by our Navajo guide who “just happened” to bring along his long, wooden flute. As we toured through the slots he played Indian songs on the flute and the sound was eerie, haunting and incredibly beautiful.
As I was working on this canvas I wanted to recreate the motion of the canyon walls and introduce elements that represented the area. Copper threads create “nuggets” and veins. The tiny turquoise and orange corners of the central theme represents the American Indian beading found on many of their clothing. And, with the introduction of hand painted threads, I was able to create a truly unique play on colors. Hand painted (using USArt Quest Perfect Pigments acrylic paints) threads are woven throughout this piece.