Mixed media artist Irene Schlesinger has developed a unique and exciting approach to embroidery. Her new book, Artful Embroidery on Canvas, is so inspiring that it will bring out the artist in everyone who reads it!
Even though I’m a die-hard quilter, I am headed out to buy a stretched canvas today. Here are the top ten reasons why:
10. Materials—The supplies Irene incorporates into her work are so tempting. Fibers, paper, fabric, Milagros, beads, mirrors, paint, acrylic mediums…almost anything goes! If you have a stash of art supplies you don’t dip into often enough, Irene will help you make the most of it.
9. Ease of Stitching—With the right needles, stitching on a stretched canvas can be easy and fun. No hoops to set and reset!
8. Improvisation—Irene includes instructions for 3 sample projects, but her techniques encourage improvisation right from the start. Even your first embroidery on canvas will be uniquely yours!
7. Feeling Artsy—It’s easy to get caught up in the craft side of what we create. Careful techniques, precise processes, and traditions can get in the way of artistic freedom. Irene’s simple instructions leave room for the artist in each of us to emerge.
6. Adding Meaning—By incorporating photographs, writing, and two-dimensional mementos in an embroidered canvas, you can make a meaningful message, for yourself and your “audience”.
5. Play Time—With “permission” to incorporate so many different media, working on a stitched canvas is sure to feel like play. I can’t wait to break out my old acrylic paints and crayons!
4. Awesome Motifs—Patterns are included for a variety of simple motifs to jump-start your stitching. Hearts, butterflies, skulls…there’s something for everyone!
3. Something New—Even if you’re an experienced stitcher, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever tried anything quite like this. Check out Irene’s blog and website to see what I mean:
2. Instant Art—For most embroidery techniques, once you’ve finished stitching there’s still quite a lot of work ahead. Stretching, blocking, framing…it can be daunting and it’s easy to end up with finished-but-not-ready-to-display pieces sadly taking up drawer space. With Irene’s techniques, once you’ve created on a stretched canvas, it’s ready to show off, complete with an instant “frame”! Instructions are included for finishing the back of the canvas and adding hanging wire if you want to get fancy.
And 1. Self-Expression—The freedom and expressiveness of Irene’s work is sure to inspire. Especially for those of us who mostly create in very planned ways, these techniques, materials, and processes are mind-expanding.
Check out a copy of Irene’s book and join me in picking up a canvas ASAP. It’s time to create something uniquely wonderful!