I don't know if you have written a bucket list of "must try" needlepoint projects, but I think it is a wise thing to do. Every time I leaf through a needlepoint book written during the heyday of needlepoint popularity, or walk through the threshold of a needlepoint shop, I am tempted by too many choices.
With few exceptions, i seem to be frequently drawn to unusual offset designs - the expensive ones painted on 18 Mesh with a wide-ranging palette of impressionistic hues. Once I start stitching a new beauty, I get so caught up in trying to simulate the illusion of curvilinear lines all 2014 embroidery resolutions travel to the land of "Next Time!"
Warm spring days will bathe Seattle in long overdue sunshine this week. My bucket list awaits me. I have always wanted to paint a series of canvases which link my past projects to contemporary ability.
So I decided I need a bouquet of bright sunflowers, (at least three pillows), to nurture greater experimentation.
I would love to be able to fiddle around with weaving a needlepointed corona of sunflower seeds onto a larger mesh of splayed petals and green brackets.
I also want to include some design elements from my most recent canvas, Floating Sunflowers.
When I started research a few weeks ago I remembered a treasured resource from The Art Institute of Chicago gift shop. It's titled Sunflowers.
It was written by Debra Mancoff, and published by Thames and Hudson in 2001.
The book is a comprehensive overview of scientific details, plus a survey of the depiction of sunflowers throughout Art History.
Beyond the obvious head plants man (Vincent Van Gogh,) my memory was refreshed. I remembered how inspired I felt as I absorbed the beauty of Arts and Crafts metal working. Sunflowers were also jubilantly portrayed in Faith Reingold's The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles.
Most recently, Japanese photographic artists have been experimenting within the nuances of black and white images of sunflowers. This medium seems to emphasize a lot of overlooked details - guiding a viewer's eye to peer up underneath an inverted canopy of golden petals, or through some withered petals below.
In our twenty first century, could additional portraits of heavily laden flower heads be accepted in the medium of needlepoint? Even if the last image in a series featured shades of sepia, brown, and scummy olive green?
Who knows? It's worth a try.