I have to confess...this isn't the first time I have caught myself doing this sort of barely visible stitching by hand. Each time I ask myself why. Why is it important to me do this sort of stitching? Do you ever talk to your art in progress? I do. All the time. Not out loud of course! Well, actually, now that I think about it I do sometimes talk to myself and my art out loud.
Here are some examples of what I mean--of the stitching not the talking out loud:
In this one I even used beads that blend!
This isn't new, I have been doing this for years. I just sort of went with what my intuition told me and while I wondered why I needed to do this I didn't think too much about it. Though I have to admit to telling myself I am stupid for working this laboriously on my pieces.
While working on this Empty Spaces piece the last couple months I have been traveling a lot; away from home about as much as I was home. This crazy need to add so much hand stitching was on my mind a lot. Why couldn't I just quickly machine stitch this and be done with it, I asked myself over and over. I have a deadline and I didn't really have time for all this hand stitching that is hardly visible! Then, on one boring flight (can't remember which one) I was mulling this over when I remembered what my friend Terry White said about my work. She said that what she loved about my work was the details. All of a sudden I had this big thought shift! I realized that these details are my way of inviting the viewer to slow down and look closer. All of this stitching is my way of saying: stop, be here now, allow yourself a moment to be, think and simply breathe. Wow...my work was talking for me. My work is (hopefully) telling the viewer what I would tell them if I was standing there next to them.
Now, unfortunately, this piece has also told me that it isn't finished! It doesn't care about the deadline. It wants to be a diptych. I started out to make one small piece but it is insisting on including the questions I asked in my previous post; is empty space the positive or negative, the black or the white? And, of course it is insisting that a lot of hand stitching be included. I could ignore it, call it done and spend the day reading outside but I would never feel right about the piece. As you can see in my sneak peek photo above that I have a bit of stitching in my immediate future.