Learning to draw
Learning To Draw, an extensive series of small hand embroideries begun in 2002, is still in progress. Based on details from 16th and 17th century master landscape drawings by male artists. Working from photocopies of reproductions of drawings and engravings from books, this work plays off the notion of copying, referencing the sampler and the status of women’s work. Historically, women were excluded from the studios of male masters (with very few exceptions, i.e. Artemisia Gentileschi). Male masters made Art (paintings and drawings) while women were limited in their creative expression to embroidery for the home and ecclesiastical needlework.
Still today many women, intimidated, convinced they can’t draw, stitch pre-fab kits. A secondary intention is to question the hierarchy of value surrounding art and craft. At a distance these embroideries look like the master drawings and engravings they mimic; matting and framing helps to elevate them to the status of Art.
As a further Feminist comment, I boldly include my own embroidered drawings among those of the Masters.