Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Artistically Based

Our Branch exhibition will be held in October. The title of the exhibition is Artistically Based. Exhibits can be based on the work of any artist, famous, unknown, living or dead or even your own artwork. I’ve known about the exhibition for months and known all along what I would like to do. It is a project that I had in mind since January 2008 when I saw an exhibition of Seventeenth-century Dutch portraits at Mauritshuis in The Hague. It was a stunning exhibition of paintings including many by Rembrandt and Frans Hals.

We had time to view some of the permanent collection and there was one painting I was particularly keen to see. I have always thought Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring to be hauntingly beautiful. The way she glances over her shoulder as if you have just walked into the room and surprised her is very engaging, as is the expression in her eyes. Her mouth is beautiful, even sensual. I have read that Vermeer is a master of light and this is evident no more so than in that splendid pearl and the reflection of her collar on its underside. I’ve seen many, many prints of this painting but as I have found with other works of art, they pale into insignificance compared to the original.

I did buy a print from the gallery’s gift shop and I have often thought that I would like to do my own Girl with a Pearl Earring in embroidery. Now I know that it will not come close to Vermeer’s masterpiece and would not dare to imagine I could do an exact copy but I want to make it as like the original as I possibly can. I’ve thought and worried over how to go about it, how much detail to include and what technique to use. I considered a Japanese embroidery technique called short stitch holding but I have not reached this phase yet and only know in theory how it is done. I thought about long and short stitch. This is a tried and tested method for stitching faces but I’m not very skilled at it. The one time I used it, on my Flutterbies, it took three attempts to obtain a standard I was satisfied with and that was a much simpler design. I really want to do this but fear of failure has prevented me from starting! Now I fear that I have not got enough time to actually complete it, I’ve decided I must at least try. I will probably never believe that I can do a good enough job, so if I don’t take the plunge it will never get done. It may not be perfect, I may not finish it in time for the exhibition but I AM going to try!

On Sunday I prepared my fabric, framed up and stitch transferred the design. I’ve taken the first step.

6 hours


Deepa said...

I must admit - this one looks daunting!!! My best wishes are with you.Iam sure you'll do a great job.

Jackie said...

I will be really interested to see your interpretation of this, I am fascinated by embroidered faces, so looking forward to seeing how you do,


Mary Corbet said...

Hi, CA! This is going to be SO much fun to follow!!! And I'm sure it'll be beautiful!

Sue said...

Looking good so far can't wait to see some stitching Love Sue X