date: 2024

size: 12″ x 14″

‘I would describe my technique for creating the Gardener King as ‘free hand stitch painting’. 

‘I start with a rough pencil outline on soluble fabric which I then tack on to my ground fabric and mount in a large embroidery hoop. I need to see the whole face or as much as possible.

‘Using reference photos, I literally ‘paint’ with my needle and thread. I’m constantly looking back and forth from the photos to my work, ’tasting’ little bits of colour, here and there, all over my design… correcting and rework tiny areas until the colours look right, building up lots of little different colour stitches to look like the shade I need. I still don’t own a full range of colours so I have to work with what I have and trick the eye into seeing the shade I want to represent.

‘I chose my colours by eye and use what ever number of threads I feel is right, it’s all very intuitive. It’s almost as if I’m trying to sculpt the face…choosing colours and stitch direction that will create depth or highlights to make an area look rounded and plump. 

‘Once the stitching is finished. The piece is gently hand washed to remove the soluble fabric and then blocked and left to dry naturally.’