I thank Arthur De Bow for suggesting I stitch on paper, particularly the monoprints I made during my February 2017residency at Mass MoCA.  Arthur is an artist, athlete and former Exhibition Director at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. He critiqued the work I did in North Adams. We agreed: some of the work was ready to show, while other prints were waiting for something to complete the zen of their being.

A bit more about Mass MoCA: I worked on three particular projects. One was my Santa Vittoria project and my intention to produce the images related to the Late Antiquity Roman saint and I made many prints that related to her. A group of the prints were heart monoprints done with red, blue and purple inks.  (Vittoria’s heart had been pierced through by a Roman general’s lance.)  I decided to stitch vein and artery pathways, energy patterns and perhaps text on the paper prints.

To learn the new techniques, I needed to experiment. Since I’d never stitched on paper, I proceeded judiciously. First, I wanted to test paper strength ( would I need to reinforce the back of the paper– and with what–to prevent tearing?). Next, I tried out pre-puncturing the paper before I stitched ( which required planning) vs. puncturing the paper with the sewing needle as I went along (no planning–but less control.)  In addition, I  used different weight threads. Arthur gifted me with multiple colors of linen thread; I had plain ol’ embroidery thread at home; and I was interested in stitching with gold, acrylic thread as well.

This luscious period of experimentation opened doors:  I added collage, gold leaf, pastel and colored pencils during the process of learning and enhancing monoprints.

I worked with prints I made summer (2016) at the Danforth Museum, before the museum closed their print room.  Here are detail views from a few of the enhanced mono prints:  ( I would enjoy hearing form anyone who has stitched on paper.)

Detail, head, from “Annunciation” mono print . Collage ‘bindi’ with gold thread; gold nose ring made from knots thread; zig-zag outline enhancement.
Detail belly, “annunciation” mono print. Belly radiates; head of child born halo.
Text on “Annunciation” monoprint from the Bible:Luke 1:26–38.


Used a knotting stitch to make eyes for horse in “Last Day of Pompeii” mono print