Go Big or Go Home

I know.  You thought I’d fallen off the face of the earth.  Well, no such luck. Life is life and sometimes it carries you away down various paths and you don’t have the time, energy, or cares to send a note; you just follow. But today I’m back and I thought I’d drop you a post card of what I have been up to.

Recently, I’ve had to turn down a few opportunities to show my work at various institutes or art crawls because I just don’t have anything.  You see, that’s the trouble with all this custom work- you have pictures but nothing tangible to show anyone. Nothing to hang; nothing to sell. Big fat nothing. I’ve been itching for a new project and to get back into painting. Since painting is a little impractical with my life at the moment I thought I’d like to try something new, something a bit closer to “needle painting”. Being a glutton for punishment I came up with this:

It is the story of Deborah from the Bible and portrays Deborah in the upper left, Barak in the circle, Jael in the upper right with Sisera below her. It’s an amazing and gruesome story; if you haven’t read it you can read it HERE.


The piece is on white cotton and is the size of my dining room table (about 40 x 72 inches).  It’s hard to tell the large size from the photo- I need to remember to include something for gauging perspective next time. I wanted to work on something that would take some time and let me experiment with a bit more looseness than what I previously have done. Because it’s a textile I should also be able to roll it up and easily store it, unlike large scale paintings of the past.


Ultimately, the piece will have some applique (the women’s dresses), some beading, but primarily all hand-stitched embroidery. I started on Barak because it simply felt like as good a place as any. He is nearly finished other than I ran out his sleeve color and am holding off on the buckle on his as I am worried that the metallic thread I wish to use will not wear well so I am leaving that until last. I was nervous about how the variegated thread for the helmet would look, but I think it looks pretty cool and will add some visual interest.

After that I jumped to working on Deborah. I needed to liven things up after dealing with all the brown of the beard and his armor.  I decided to go a bit more bold on the shading of her face. I really want her to stand out with a look of weathered authority. Unfortunately, I keep running out of colors and so I haven’t been able to finish up her face. I’ve moved onto her hair which promises to be a long and arduous task. I will be pulling some other colors and some lovely grays into it as well.

Check out Deborah in progress shots:



2 Responses

  1. Lori

    Wow! Exciting! I’ve been enjoying all your WIP updates :]

  2. Lex

    This is incredible! I’ve recently started picking up embroidery and I really want to get into portrait embroidery…do you have any tips?