My dearest friend, Kathleen, recently celebrated her 75th birthday. I wanted to create something special for her as she is one of the most important people in my life. Having recently entered partial retirement from an amazing 50+ year career teaching, this birthday marks a momentous transition in Kathleen’s life – one that is really exciting and deserves special commemoration.
In my own life, I have also recently experienced a lot of change and feel that Kathleen’s and my foiled paths inspired the creation of an embroidery piece which is also influenced by one of my favorite artist’s, Walter Anderson.
Anderson is a southern artist and printmaker who gained little recognition for his unique and enchanting style during his life. His creations were prolific and inventive and although his subject matter frequently references southern flora and fauna it is also influenced by his European travels and northern education.
I personally love the deceptively simply and thoughtful design with which Anderson creates depicts plants and animals. As I have recently been studying more about embroidery in order to gain a deeper understanding of the requirements for pattern making, Anderson’s style and use of line has been a source of renewed inspiration for me. I am developing similar ways of eliminating unnecessary complexity from some of my designs without sacrificing the decorative ornate aesthetic I personally favor.
This piece reflects some of his characteristic use of pattern as well as my own interest in subject matter like the Mourning Dove. This dove was created based on my own photographs of the doves in my yard and the plant life was born from elements of Anderson’s work and my own aesthetic and style.
I love the final work and plan on stitching another version for my own personal collection of embroidered hoops (which is steadily growing).