Artist Laura McGrarrity Creates Colorful Embroidery Of Animals
Animals have been a favorite source of inspiration for many artists whether they are depicted literally or figuratively. Sure enough, these beautiful and diverse creatures have won the hearts of contemporary fiber artists including Laura McGrarrity. Her series of animal embroidery art captures the irresistible charm of the various species of the animal kingdom. Fierce-looking tigers, majestic birds, opalescent squids, and adorable bees – she brings these subjects to life on fabric through needle painting.
Similar to traditional painting, needle painting is an embroidery technique that uses needle as the brush, the thread as the paint, and the needlepoint canvas as the paper canvas. This popular technique involves the use of long and short stitches to create shade and add volume to the image. Then she gives some depth to the subject by stitching over layers of different colors. The result is an accurate depiction of an animal looking vibrant with a burst of colors.
“I think there’s a very natural connection between embroidering and painting,” McGarrity says. “Just as you create an image with paint—stroke by stroke, with one color at a time—you embroider the same way, slowly building up an image stitch by stitch with one color of thread at a time.”
This self-taught fiber artist has only started making embroidery art three years ago. Although needle painting is a challenging technique, she honed her craft through practice. After discovering the countless possibilities of using different colors, she incorporated her love for animals into her craft and started creating animal portraits with needlework.