“I Paint with Thread!” -Cayce Zavaglia

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November 22, 2011 by thisisemilypaul

Note: the above quote is not actually a quote from the artist.

Helloo my pretties, I know it’s been awhile. I spent the last two weeks in beauty school in Utah (I’m dead serious, new post about it coming soon). Anyway…….here’s an artist I found who “paints” with thread.  She embroiders portraits in unbelievable detail, but the part that I find even more amazing is the back of each piece.  Because she is using long pieces of thread and filling in wide areas the back becomes this scary expressive portrait that I find to be both unsettling and mesmerizing.  It’s weird to say the least.

Here’s what she has to say for herself:

“I still consider myself a painter and find it difficult not to refer to these embroidered portraits as “paintings”. Although the medium employed is crewel embroidery wool, the technique borrows more from the worlds of drawing and painting.

Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating. Unlike painting, I was unable to mix the colors by hand. Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth.

My work unabashedly nods its head to the tradition of tapestry and my own love of craft. Using wool instead of oils has allowed me to broaden the dialogue between portrait and process as well as propose a new definition for the word ‘painting’.”

Hmmm interesting.


Wow that last one is creepy.

Here’s Cayces’ website if you want to peep some more.






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