Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Artist special feature: Silk Arts Embroidery

Normally, I would have put this off for my Feature Friday, but I really don't want to wait.  Today, I had a chance to see one of my favorite artists.

We're in festival season here in Edmonton.  At the moment, it's The Works Art and Design Festival.  Along with the usual merchant and food kiosks, throughout the downtown core there are various venues featuring artists' paintings, sculptures and more.  Artists are also working on pieces as the festival progresses, so people visiting can watch how the installations develop over the twelve or so days it runs.  This year, this includes someone filling old vehicles with dirt and planting things in it, and a large number of sidewalk chalk artists - they're having a doozy of a time with the rain we've been having lately.

My favorite artist, however, isn't one of these at all. She is, in fact, one of the merchants.


This is Marie of Marie's Hand-Made Embroidery.  She does custom Chinese silk embroidery, and I was happy to find out she's opening a store in West Edmonton Mall called Silk Arts Embroidery (main level, near the Zellers).

I first saw her at one festival or another several years ago and was totally smitten.  While she also does oil painting, most of what you see in this photo is embroidery.  Yes, that includes the large pieces behind her.  She imports her silk from China and works on a frame set up that allows her to use both hands.  She told me she can do one of the smaller pieces that are displayed on the table in just a couple of days!  Her pieces are incredibly detailed, and her embroidered portraits are fabulously accurate.  I remember seeing her work a portrait of a dog from a photograph, and she captured the image beautifully.  Her skills and talent are amazing.  She can even do double sided pieces - there is no "wrong" or "working" side; both sides are equally perfect and suitable for display.

There are a lot of talented artists featured in the festival, but as far as I'm concerned, Marie blows most of them away, and gives the rest a serious run for their money.

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