Studio time & a new self portrait

My five week sabbatical from the corporate salt mines has been a fantastic creative time for me.

 Thread Self Portrait, 2016. Hand embroidery on linen.

Thread Self Portrait, 2016. Hand embroidery on linen.

Especially the weeklong retreat I took at Arrowmont School of Art and Craft in the Smoky Mountains where I studied under an artist whose work I've admired for so long -- Lauren DiCioccio!

 Studio critique time, Arrowmont.

Studio critique time, Arrowmont.

The warm, inspiring and hugely talented Lauren taught a "Painting With Thread" embroidery portraiture workshop. To say I learned a lot is an understatement.

 Process shots of my self portrait.

Process shots of my self portrait.

I spent nine or more hours a day in the studio, really pushing myself to see faces, color and thread in a new way.

 Thread Self Portrait, 2016, from the backside.

Thread Self Portrait, 2016, from the backside.

I'm a self-taught artist, so this was exciting and exhausting. Especially thinking about color. I have always gorged myself on color... now I want hone my understanding of it in a more cohesive way. 

 First version. I struggled mightily and went through three different versions of the portrait.

First version. I struggled mightily and went through three different versions of the portrait.

Since coming home I've let myself turn my tiny apartment into a home studio.

 Detail from Thread Self Portrait in process.

Detail from Thread Self Portrait in process.

This means that I'm letting myself spread out and make a mess and not worrying about keeping it neat for guests.

 

 Study for my lips.

Study for my lips.

I'm following my days where they take me.

 Studio day, chez moi.

Studio day, chez moi.

This glorious, creative time started with Lauren and my studio mates a Arrowmont.

 The studio group. Lauren is on the bottom row, the second from the right.

The studio group. Lauren is on the bottom row, the second from the right.

What a June!