Sapelo Island Barn Series
Working in textiles is my passion. I love the tactile quality, the luscious colors, and the traditional aspect of cloth and thread. I’m enchanted by the feel of fabric in my hands. The process is continually exciting and satisfying, so time flies by while I stitch at my sewing machine.
I work from photographs, which allow me to capture a fleeting scene. The light, mood and environment can change in an instant; photography enables me to record the moment, ensuring inspiration for new artwork from the images. The melding of photography and stitching empowers me to work with enthusiasm, bringing subject matter of interest to me, to the viewer in a unique framework.
Making art is part of me and working creatively makes my heart sing. I’m inspired by the simplicity and beauty of nature. Trees, fields, wildflowers and vines often find their way into my work. I’m drawn to structures such as old barns, stone fences and old homes because they exude character and history. Capturing the environment and mood of a scene in natural light is magic. The appealing simplicity of these scenes gives me a feeling of contentment and peace. My enthusiasm for such subjects aligns me with the Regionalist Movement. I am especially drawn to Andrew Wyeth’s work because he communicates deep feelings for place and subject. His love of the simple beauty in his surroundings is evident in his art.
The Sapelo Island Barn Series is a collection of images I was drawn to photograph. I don’t question this powerful attraction; I allow myself to explore and record scenes as they unfold. It is my most productive way of working and I am rarely disappointed with the outcome. The excitement builds as I make decisions on images and thread colors to choose, bringing the viewer into the scene as I stitch.
I plan to continue a related series incorporating Sapelo Island’s other structures and natural beauty, highlighting the intriguing effects of time and the elements on the surroundings.
My hope is that people take as much pleasure in viewing my work as I do in creating it.
Threadpainting, 17" x 17"
© 2012 Chris Hartwell, All Rights Reserved
Senior Capstone Exhibit Fall 2012, threadpainting, machine embroidery, photo realism, barns