This week I’m pleased to get to talk about a small cross-over project I’m doing for Ursula Gullow for an exhibition at Artspace next month. If you haven’t been to Artspace, it’s a huge open studio complex that was created in the old Ford dealership building downtown Raleigh.
Ursula’s colorful paintings have a story-like quality, which I love. She does “confetti” paintings and paintings of crowds–you can see her work here. For the last three years, she’s also painted a self-portrait every day. We’re creating a mixed medium work that combines her painting skills with my needle and thread to create a unique portrait of her in that spirit.
As you can see, the original photo is from Instagram and really evokes her cheerful, happy vibe that comes across when you meet her. I then used the photo as inspiration to work in embroidery using a variety of traditional European beading techniques. For a unique touch, one of her paintings is incorporated into the overall work to show her inner spirit.
Given how warm and sunny Ursula is, I used yellow gold paint as a backdrop to mount the portrait, and I think it shows her happy soul. The major challenge of this work for me is that instead of using traditional fabric, I stitched the entire portrait by hand on paper. It’s the most fragile medium I’ve used to date–I spent half my time holding my breath; thankfully everything safely worked out. Overall I like the end result, and it was definitely fun to think outside the box for a few hours.
I look forward to seeing what response Ursula’s project brings and how her group collaboration turns out next month. If you want to stop by Artspace and check it out, the exhibit runs August 4-September 30. A lot of people don’t know this, but Artspace is one of my favorite local collaboration spaces for creativity in Raleigh, and many of my artist friends love it. Nash and I are both members, although I don’t really get to spend as much time there as I’d like to due to our work schedules. We do, however, love supporting our local community and being a part of it.
August 4th- September 30th, 2017
201 E. Davie Street
Raleigh, NC 27601