Figure, 1905

by Anne Bennett on July 20, 2011

In “The Wizard of Oz,” when the Wicked Witch of the West is doused with water and dissolves into a pool of cinders, she cries, “I’m melting, I’m melting…”

She should have been here in the American Midwest if she wanted to die a quicker death. It’s hot, not fit for man and especially not for furry, coiffed poodles.

No sane person is cooking. Neither am I.

I have, however, embarked on a new needlepoint project which I am sharing with you here.

I saw this painting by Dutch artist Kees Van Dongen over the July 4th weekend at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. I’d never heard of him before.

Van Dongen was part of a group of early twentieth-century artists, which included Henri Matisse, whose paintings emphasized wild brush work and strong colors over realism. They were called Fauvists (“Wild Beasts” in French)!

After photographing her with an iPhone (no flash in a museum!) and blowing up the picture to exactly the size I wanted, I copied the painting on canvas with acrylic paint.

I finished stitching her face and hair this morning, and now that she has “come to life” for me, I can continue to work on her.

I always start with the face, because if the figure I’m stitching doesn’t take on a personality right from the git go,  I don’t feel sufficiently connected to endure months of stitching. I’m happy to say that she and I have already become good friends. She’s certainly wearing an appropriate outfit for our weather.

Finished size is 11″ by 13″; at 18 stitches to the inch, I think I’ll be seeing red for quite awhile.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

MarieSnook July 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

WOW!!! That’s amazing!! What a cool painting and how awesome of you to put so much effort out to bring her to life! You inspire me! My daughter and I enjoyed the Money exhibit and tour that same weekend. It was truly a treat for both of us!

Lin July 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm

So glad you feel the connection; it would have been sad to not see it finished.

Mike Boothe July 25, 2011 at 7:45 am

Anne– I didn’t get a chance to tell you Saturday, but I have a suggestion for your next project. “Poodles Playing Poker”. Just get the famous “Dogs Playing Poker” and Photoshop your dogs in around the table. Great idea, huh?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: