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How the Painted Pieces are created

How the Painted Pieces are created

Painting with Fabric

I have been experimenting with this technique for years in my work, painting with fabric. The technique involves using embroidered appliqué as my paint so to speak. I start by choosing a silhouette, then I draw in the motion lines or pattern to give the silhouette internal motion. Each section of the shape is then “painted” with fabric and thread. The fabric used for the pieces is taken from deconstructed luxury scarves that are hand selected and placed one at a time to create something entirely new.

choosing the fabrics

Each of the painted pieces starts with a grouping of up-cycled silk scarves. Each art piece uses at least 6 different scarves that are placed side by side to create the custom arrangement. The interplay of colors and patterns is what makes each painted piece unique. 

Creating the blueprint

Once I decide on the shape I draw each stitch in by hand. The drawings are then transferred to the embroidery machine with detailed instructions on where each scarf is placed. 

embroidering the artwork

Each scarf is hand placed on the embroidery, machine, stitched in place and then trimmed. Each of the painted pieces uses multiple scarves so careful placement is critical in each piece. 

Finishing the piece

Once all of the fabric is placed the embroidery is finished. In this example the silhouette is outlined in lush metallic gold thread. Once the embroidery is finished the piece is hand trimmed and mounted in relief on the background. 

each painted piece comes in multiple sizes

The painted pieces range in size from 12"x12" to 40"x40". They can be mounted on either a pure matte background or with any luxury background. This is an example of the 40"x40" Painted Bronco hung in a home for reference. 


Stephen Wilson expertly crafts extraordinary and timeless designs using sustainable materials. Each art piece embarks on a journey, starting with an up-cycled luxury bag, box, silk scarf, or album. Wilson meticulously creates a bespoke embroidery design, delicately intertwining every stitch by hand. 

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