At the beginning of the covid isolation, I was working on my stitch mediations.
I had seen a post by another instagram poster which tagged stitch mediation and slow stitch. I had come across slow stitch before as I have a couple of books on it. With Slow stitch, you use all natural fabrics, wool or cotton. You use a limited number of types of stitches. Running or back stitch which can be used in numerous way like for darning.
Stitch mediation takes it a step further. There is no limit on the fabrics but generally there is a time limit. From the artist who is 1st attributed to the phrase, stitch mediation, the following:
We often use vintage fabrics and linens that we overdye to give them a new life. Then we add fibers, paper and other bits for fun.
There are just a few rules for your stitch meditation practice:
1. Do not take stitches out. Honor the perfection of imperfection.
2. Keep your stitches simple.
3. Don’t think about composition and design. Let your intuition lead you to your next stitch.
4. Feel free to cut or alter the fabrics in your kit and add other papers and fabrics.
5. Most importantly, remember to breathe.
Well, I don’t have vintage fabrics but I do have a lot of scraps. In the beginning I kept them simple and only used simple stitches. As I went along they became more complex and I introduced more types of stitches. I also began to use things like paper flowers or beads. I designated a time and put on music for meditation to aid the mindfulness of the exercise.
I finished in April as I was becoming overwhelmed by my response to the suicide of my ex daughter-in-law. She was only 29.
I have recently started doing them again. I saw as way to get back my creativeness as I have finished a project which wasn’t my design. It had sapped my energy although I enjoyed process.
The pandemic has seen a huge push by artists and organisations to get more people involved in the arts. I have already mentioned Youtube as galleries have introduced guided tours of exhibitions. These were ones that were due to open before the covid crisis. Production companies seem to be pushing out more documentaries on Youtube.
One of the best projects which Sky Arts TV produced. They make a programme called Sky Artist of the Year. Because of the pandemic, they had to put off filming this year’s contest. In place of the normal show, they came up with the idea of Sky Artist of the week. Using Facebook live, they invited famous people to sit via zoom. Each week a former winner from the show, then did a live portrait painting of the person. In turn, the viewers on Facebook live, would also paint a portrait. The viewers were then invited to submit their work via Instagram. The work was then judged by the show’s presenters. 3 paintings out of thousands were chosen and featured on the following week’s show.
I loved setting aside a few hours a week for this. Not sure I would make it as a portrait artist but I made a good stab at it. The standard of work on Instagram was amazing and made me feel inadequate. The main thing was that I enjoyed doing the paintings although one I gave up on one as I couldn’t get the likeness at all.
It must have been nerve wracking for all the sitters. Especially if they checked out Instagram with 1000’s of portraits of them. There were portraits done by professional artists, amateur painters and children.