For the last 10 years I've been telling my husband that I wanted to go to Art and Soul; well, 2011 and I finally made it and I had the most wonderful experience with many other first timers and hearing about other's experiences of years gone by. For me, the adventure was even better as my Sister, Jo Beth, was able to attend this year too and it was our first big adventure together. She came from Washington State and I from Oregon - my drive was about 2 hours and her drive was more like 5 hours (sorry Sis).
Machine Embroidered Birds with Janne Robberstad. Janne is an artist, a costume designer and an arts and crafts teacher from Norway. She worked for 14 years in a folk high school. For the past 3 years, Janne has been working as a fulltime artist. Please see her site at Spindlemaker for more information about Janne and her beautiful artwork.
My sister and I attended this class together; we brought with us pictures of birds that we might like to 'free-style' embroider using the sewing machine. Janne introduced us to the art of a machine embroidery that is more like painting with thread. I picked a set of love birds thinking that I would apply them to a card and give it to my husband as a 'Thank you' for letting me spend the money and take the time to attend Art and Soul (more about that later).
I learned a lot about thread painting. Although I had done some in the past creating postcards in my own style, this is the first time I've taken a picture and tried to recreate it on fabric. What I really learned most was that a person has to look deeper; find color that doesn't seem to even be in the image. I didn't consider looking deeper as it just seemed to me that it would be simple to put the colors together and get tremendous results. Well, I was wrong. I discovered that deep purple is often shading itself in the folds and crevices of a picture. So when I first began looking at the birds, I saw lights, brights and darks; reds, greens, yellows, and dark which my brain said, "Oh yeah, that must be dark brown or black." Once I began to look completely at the image; thread painting from a picture took on a whole new meaning. I was excited with the results I began seeing in my own work.
Janne explained to me how to put more highlights on the birds to bring out the feathers and to give shape to the little creatures. She helped me see the colors that were really in the picture and gave me a lot tips on shading and highlighting certain areas.
I have not finished my little 'Love Birds' yet, but I do want to share them with you as they will give you a good example of what I mean: when you see the bird on the left I have added better highlights to bring out the feathers and gave her a little more depth by shading other areas - and the bird on the right...well, he still needs some work before he looks any thing other than flat.
...Let's say I give myself a few days to get the project completed and I will be be back with my next post on Saturday the 15th of October.
Enjoy the pictures I do have posted and if you have questions or suggestions, please send me an email. I'd love to converse with you.