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.)