One of the drawbacks to wearing artwork on your back is the awkwardness of trying to answer the questions of people standing behind you, or continually taking off your jacket to pass it around. This vest was originally part of a dress, which was sewn on at the shoulders and tied around the back. When I decided to embroider an image on it, I was thinking that it would be nice to be able to share it with people face to face, and not have to take anything off to do so. I wanted an image that would be recognizable, but not too complicated, so people wouldn’t have to lean in and scrutinize it too closely. I thought a still life or landscape would work, or maybe flowers. Great, big flowers, really close up, like Georgia O’Keeffe so famously painted in lush, sensual, vivid detail. I searched through the images that I remembered so fondly, and the only one that worked with the color of the dress and the shape of the vest was Squash Flowers. Since the original canvas is square, the image would have been cut off abruptly on the vest front, and I felt I needed to carry the leaves on beyond that border all the way to the shoulders. Then I realized that I would not be able to easily wash the dress with the embroidery attached, so I removed it and sewed a back to the vest to make it a separate garment. There I added a few squash flower buds and tendrils to carry the image around to the back and tie the whole thing together. The entire piece is created with all six strands of floss.

Begun 5-21-05   finished 11-12-06
249 Hours
Level of complexity: low
Value per square inch: $50.00
Dimensions: 18”x 21” = 378 sq. in.
Commission value: $18,900.00