Embroidery meditation? 

The current enthusiasm for so called “adult” colouring-in books does not attract me very much. But I think this is probably my equivalent. For me it is a kind of embroidery painting by numbers. I started with a batik cotton panel which I bought several years ago when on holiday in western USA. I have spent the last few months adding colour by embroidering along the outlines, and filling in the shapes. I have added shisha mirrors and couched thicker threads and ribbons, before hand quilting the fish outlines to make them stand out. image

Just like colouring-in, it is repetitive and soothing, requiring concentration  but not much thinking.  Hephzibah Kaplan, director at the London Art Therapy Centre describes it like this. “When choosing a colouring-in book … the convention is generally to keep different colours within different lines. This requires a relaxed focus where the outline is containing and the mark-making repetitive and smooth. So a bit like repeating a mantra where repetition is a means to relaxation, colouring-in is also a type of mediation.” (http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/arts-books/colouring-books-colouring-books-for-adults-johanna-basford-millie-morotta-10464381.html)

The only problem is I have discovered it can become a little addictive!


4 responses to “Embroidery meditation? 

  1. How beautiful, such amazing colours and detail, I am so envious of your ability to produce something so wonderful from a meditative process. I have often looked at the colouring books but resisted the temptation as I know that my lack of skills in that direction would be more likely to have a reverse effect on my stress levels. So today I took myself into the garden to try to get some order into the beds but working mindfully and appreciating the smells, colours and feel of the still warm soil. Yesterday was a sad day of ending but also of release for a dear family friend and there was a strong sense of needing to reconnect with the Earth and the sanctity of life.

    • Dear Anne, thinking of you at a sad time.
      I do hope the beauty of the garden works its soothing and consoling powers this beautiful afternoon, and reminds you of those endings which seed the future. C x

  2. This is so lovely. It reminded me that I once did a fish embroidery for Auntie when I was about eight. I remember being so thrilled when she hung it in her bathroom above the bath ( Evercreech house). There was an octopus which I was especially proud of.
    Where will you put this in your house? It definitely deserves some wall space.

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