I find it hard to believe that so far I have only made one embroidery inspired by my trip to the Scottish Highlands. The landscape just spoke to my soul. Particularly the Isle of Skye, which was the final destination of our epic road trip. It was just so otherworldly and remote in a way that I had never experienced before. The way the mountains rolled up and down created contours that I felt I had been making in my abstract landscape paintings for years but had never seen in person. It was like my personal language of painting was confronting its counterpart in the real, live landscape. Pretty incredible.
In order to convey the feeling of Skye through my own language of shape and form, I began this embroidery the same way that I begin an abstract landscape painting. I started with a limited color palette and began interlocking shapes in order to give myself something to respond to. It's the framework for making abstract painting that I have developed over the years.
With my other painted embroideries, I preplan where the two different materials will exist on the surface, separate but harmonious. For this piece, I worked back and forth between the paint and the embroidery, allowing the two to overlap and build up a new kind of surface. It was very exciting!
Confession: I became obsessed with visiting Scotland after reading the first book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Historical fiction from not one, but TWO different time periods in a stunning location...? I'm already obsessed. Then after watching the show I knew I absolutely HAD to see it for myself.
Uuuuugh! This landscape! I'll dream about it the rest of my life.
And hopefully find time to make more art inspired by these rolling lines and forms!
Okay, back to stitching: I think this is by far the most beautiful back of an embroidery that I've ever made. Sigh... the things you make when you aren't even aware of it!
It was also an interesting challenge to echo the organic forms from the landscape in the sky. This definitely feels like my abstract landscape paintings. I always approach painting by interlocking shapes until I create the sense of space that I want.
What am I working on now? Follow me on Instagram to find out! @libbywilliams