Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stitched In Time- The Story of a Still Life Painting

A couple of months ago, a dear friend of mine, Christine of One Kiss Creations, asked if I would participate in a fun blog hop with other artisans.  There would be a surprise element, which Christine would send us, that needed to be the main element of our design.  Always up for a challenge, I eagerly agreed, and was delighted when several vintage wooden spools arrived in the mail!  These were quickly added to a little collection I already had!

The spools in my collection are from my great-grandmother's sewing box.  I love how they are all different shapes and have different graphic labels, in various stages of wear.  Christine sent me the very large spool on the left, and the one with the wonderful chain graphic on the label.  Both of these got starring roles in my new painting.

Stitched In Time

Stitched In Time by Erin Fickert-Rowland
Stitched In Time, ©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, oil on canvas, 11 in x 14 in

These spools once contained beautifully colored threads which have now gone on to be woven with other fabrics and threads.  They were used to create something more beautiful and useful than what the original thread was by itself.  I don't know what the color of the spools were when they had their threads, but I hold onto the bare, softly worn wooden skeletons because I know they made something wonderful.

For this painting, I decided to inject my own feelings of color into the plain spools, and imagined beautiful tapestries their threads were used to create.  Vibrant, sunny yellows reflect sunlight, and warm tones of ochre, orange and reds shape the spools.  Strong black semi-circles in the background reflect the graphic design of the spools, and the signatures of the thread manufacturers are echoed by the signature of the artist.

This painting is very special to me because it was inspired by a dear friendship, loving memories of my grandmother, and my deep love of art and all things handmade. It is also the last painting I will create in 2013, in which I produced the most work of my career so far!

Thank you, Christine, for organizing this hop and inviting me to participate!  As a group we have created some truly beautiful, incredibly unique pieces of art that were not there when you found these empty spools in the antique store.  I am so proud to have been a part of this story: 

Photo courtesy of Crafty Hope

Fellow Participants:

It's now time to enjoy everything special about this season, so this will be my last post for 2013.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and
a Very Happy New Year!

See you in 2014!


  1. Oh Erin~I am not even sure what I can say...your work is always so incredibly beautiful and it pulls me in, no matter what it is and this is no different. I love this painting!!! The spools have such a warmth to them and a smoothness. You telling their story with the bright threads on the handwork in the background is genius. And I am so glad these mingled with your Grandmother's spools too :-) I was really hoping you would do a painting!!! YAY!!!!!
    Congrats on having such a wonderfully productive year. May 2014 bring you even more paintings and ideas and inspiration :-) Thank you for being a part of this Hop, Erin. It means the world to me to have you here. Love you, my friend.

  2. What a wonderful painting! I love the vibrant colors and the story these spools tell. These spools are an instant memory for me ... from the minute I opened the package. It was the same smell from the drawers of my Mom and Grandmother's desk-style sewing machine. There is movement in your painting .. like the spools rolled into place. My Grandmother was always sewing, and this brings back memories of her. Thank you for that. LOVE this

  3. Warm and rich. So thoughtful. I love this painting!

  4. This is wonderful! Love that you didn't do jewelry, but painted instead. My Mom, Grandmother and Aunt all sewed and I have great memories of seeing their sewing machines set up and checking out what the latest project was to be.

  5. Ah, the Grand finale of christinne's hop! I not only enjoyed learning of your memories when creating your wonderful work of art, but it brought back many of my own sweet grandma and my mother as well! Beautiful!!!

  6. Christine's brainchild has been so much fun to follow. And what a great way to wrap up this hop - by memorializing her spools (and our collective memories) in your fantastic, vivid painting! I love your color palette. It would be great inspiration for a beadwoven piece accented with carnelian, blue london topaz, amber, hematite....oh, the possibilities!

  7. Oh cool! What a fabulous way to use the spools. Your talent is so amazing and that picture is really something special. Excellent use of them.

  8. Thank you so much for your compliments, ladies! I am so thrilled to have received such a wonderful response about this painting!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to join in the conversation!