I have been creating floral embroidery for many years, and they are among my favorite items to design. This floral piece contains over 20 different embroidered tiles. Each of the tiles were created individually, then pieced together to form this floral patchwork. The scale of each floral bouquet, as well as the style of embroidery to create them, varies. For these floral pieces, I was influenced by antique hand embroidery samplers. These were pieces created to practice new techniques and, although I am not practicing, I wanted to demonstrate different styles and techniques that can be shown with a common theme.
I couldn’t have picked a better time than now to release these amazing cowgirl tile scenes. The concept for thesewas simple: take an icon like a cowgirl and modernize it! Rise up was based on the classic World War II poster, “We can do it”, which was initially created to promote both male and female workers in the Westinghouse factory. However, it later became a symbol for women’s rights and feminism and is now associated with, and often called, “Rosie the Riveter”. I wanted to give her a modern look that represents the women of today, so we added tattoos, a cowboy hat, and wildly-colored hair. We treated the classic cowgirl profile in the same way. The tattoos and hair color obviously represent diversity and power, and the ability of today’s women to choose different looks and represent themselves however they wish. The technique I used to create these designs was anything but simple. The images were drawn using our digital drafting tools, then a grid was placed over the image. Each block was then individually created using one of the western icons, along with the element of the design that corresponds with the tile. Each of the pieces has 324 individual blocks that, when combined, create a beautiful and powerful image. Each of the blocks are mounted at varying heights to give the piece even more depth and dimension. My favorite aspect of the pieces in this series is how they seemingly change the closer you get to them. As you draw nearer, the individual pieces and icons hidden throughout the design become more noticeable.
I have been creating Disorder pieces for about a year at this point. They are created with a laser-cut fabric pattern, which is then embroidered and wrapped around a precision- cut wooden board. Each Disorder piece contains over 20 individual works of art, combined in a collage arrangement for a precise fit. Influence for the disorder pieces is pulled from traditional quilting, sculpture, and traditional American crafts. Each of the disorder pieces is unique in both content and technique. You will find traditional quilting techniques mixed with 3D sculpture, realistic embroidery, wood, stencil-cutting, and realistic portrait embroidery. When I started creating these pieces, I wanted to tell the story of each one using different techniques. The pieces are cohesive as a whole, as well as individually. My Disorder pieces require the most planning since each features dozens of different textures, fabrics, and mediums.
When I was planning these pieces I began in a completely different manner and with a different idea for the final product.
During the planning phase of the piece, I watched a movie about Jackson Pollock. I was inspired by his drip painting
method and decided to use that as the inspiration for the outlaw. Now, you can’t exactly drip thread. So, instead, I
treated each block as a blank canvas, upon which I added 8 different layers of thread, each layer placed in a random,
sketched style. The end result after the initial test was amazing! There was great depth to the layers of thread, as well
as interplay between the blocks. Each block was stitched separately to intentionally force randomness between the
tiles. When other people viewed this work for the first time they asked me if I was trying to channel Cy Twombly with
the loopy scribble style. Perhaps subconsciously I was, but this goes to show how inspiration, technique, and material
selection can influence a piece and take us on an exciting journey of inspiration. The smaller outlaws use similar
inspiration: very fluid, random stitches placed around the image to form the composition. The small works are the only
pieces in this series that explore negative space to define the image.
I have always been fascinated with geometric abstraction. Artists like Frank Stella, Josef Albers, and Piet Mondrian come to mind instantly. I also love to use icons and symbols in my work. The pieces in this section demonstrate the inclusion of both icons and abstraction. Each element of the abstract pieces is created separately, consisting of various icons and colors. The elements are then combined to form the finished composition. The works highlighted in the Americana Series are both abstract and decorative, exemplified by Navajo blankets, flags and beautiful blends of color.
The edition for Americana is the only work on paper for the series. The image is of the cowgirl from the Rise Up
piece. The edition is created on two separate Giclee’s. The first Giclee is used as the background. This piece combines
collage, embroidery on paper, and assemblage. The composition consists of floral and geometric embroidery.
The top layer is the cowgirl image that has been embellished with 100,000 free motion embroidery stitches, which is
then cut out by hand and mounted as a relief above the background for a 3D effect. The completed artwork is mounted
into a shadow box. The edition comes in 6 different color variations, each color with an edition of 10.