My still life art compositions are inspired by my garden and elements of nature near my studio in the Niagara Escarpment. I find beauty in nature is often in the details of simple forms, for example a five-petal rugosa rose rather than a multi-petalled hybrid tea rose. As with the changing seasons in landscape, I am also interested in portraying the cycles of life in still life.
Like a botanical illustrator, I take careful note of the details of my subjects. I examine them from many angles, making reference notes or sketches and document their natural colours. Then I work on the composition and structure of the still life, all before I ever pick up a needle and thread. Some result in what I call “plant portraits”, or studies of a single fruit or flower, and others in a more formal still life art composition. Each piece is an exploration, using stumpwork techniques that I think will best represent the subject.
“Modern Stumpwork” is the term I use to describe my still life art. Like traditional stumpwork, it is a raised stitchery technique. Three-dimensional effects are achieved by padding and applying detached motifs to a background. The difference is that I apply modern tools to this 16th century art form. I combine centuries-old hand-embroidery techniques with modern free-motion machine stitching. I use an APQS Freedom longarm sewing machine for the machine stitching. The result is richly textured, dimensional still life art.
View my gallery of stumpwork still life art.