Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hearts: Broken Open

   It always feels sooo good to finish something!
   I have just finished my tenth hand embroidery pattern called Hearts: Broken Open. This piece was absolutely a joy to work on, and it was quite challenging from an artistic standpoint.

    I wanted to illustrate a concept that I first encountered some time ago in a book by Pema Chodron, titled When Things Fall Apart. Pema teaches that the most beneficial approach to any type of suffering  is moving toward painful situations with friendliness and curiosity while relaxing into the groundlessness of our situation.
   Notice how the heart on the bottom is small, dark, and damaged.  As the small, bitter heart is cracked open, an expansive, expressive, evolving heart bursts forth. It is filled with growth and inspiration while emitting little sparks of happiness to infiltrate and heal the hearts of others.
   In Elizabeth Lesser's book Broken Open she states, "May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom."

   I love working on the linen. This piece was especially enjoyable to create and to work on because I only had two colors of thread. That freed up my attention to focus more on the design.
   I always start my embroidery designs with just a simple line drawing. Once I have the basic lines to my liking, it is only a matter of filling in the blanks.
It was especially challenging in this piece to begin playing with the negative/positive space while trying to achieve a variation in value as well.
I am happy with the way this piece turned out and the message that it imparts to me. It is a great reminder that we can be made stronger by the adversity we face.
The patterns and kits will be available on my Sproule Studios Website  by Feb. 22, 2016, if anyone is interested. 

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