“I once was a painter. Making art my whole life. But after finishing art school I was burnt out. The entire art world, the pretense, the self-importance of making art all day and then pandering to a following which an artist depends to make a living. It felt tight. Inspiration and passion ran low… I became a nurse. A really good cardiac nurse actually. There is much involved in medical science that is like creating art. Observing, connecting threads, processes, tactile work, every patient is different and requires creative thinking to meet help heal them. My paints were ignored for years, however, I missed making. Therefore I started trying out complicated recipes, making children’s clothes, sewing costumes, recreating Masterworks with perler beads, and the odd painting here and there.
I stumbled upon embroidery. The thread-making marks similar to the way I once painted strokes. The subject matter though was just fun, not constricted or stuffy. It’s enjoyable to embroider subjects not traditionally thought to be decorative. To pair flowery fabrics with ham or lumberjack plaid with a uterus. The juxtaposition when pairing subject and fabric is a joy. And bonus, I get to create art while watching my children or on my lunch break at the hospital, relaxing in bed before falling asleep because thread is portable and the residual mess is nothing compared to oil paint.
So many people have returned to embroidery lately as an art form, you could talk about it being elevated from craft to art, with the comfort of why you do it as an artist as opposed to being able to paint, because it’s handy and you can pick it up easily and keep returning to it. There is a turning away from slick commercial art, back to “evidence of hand” people want to know the art they are holding was made by someone that is accessible to them and not high brow. Our grandmothers embroidered so it connects us through time and place. The irreverent subject matter makes it even more accessible because it’s humorous. “