16 May 2017

The Goldfinch

A couple of years ago I read Donna Tartt's excellent book The Goldfinch 


I really enjoyed the book, but I only picked it up as it had a copy of one of my favourite paintings on the cover! 'The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius which hangs in The Mauritshuis in The Hague, we lived there for more than seven years and I often visited it. It is a small painting but very poignant, the poor little bird is chained to his perch.


Last year I was looking for a new design for my embroidery class, I knew I wanted to try a silk shaded bird, hopefully one that visits my garden regularly and was a little colourful! I have seen a Goldfinch only once in the 6 years we have lived here and of course it flew away before I managed to get a photo of it!  I found this image online


With the help of my embroidery teachers I started to try and recreate it in threads.  I am using DMC stranded cottons. It seems a little counter intuitive but you start at the tail...


and work towards the head, at this point I was a little worried that I had made him look sinister!


Once the rest of head was stitched he looked much better!


He is all mounted and ready to frame - it was tough going mounting the embroidery and very hard on the hands :( I have to confess my teacher Sophie did most of it!


Here he is in all his glory :)




18 comments:

  1. Wow! So amazing! Beautiful work. I loved that book, I have to say. I'd love to see the painting in person someday.

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  2. He is truly wonderful! You did a great job.

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  3. Isn't he a fine fellow!

    Mounting is hard work, I agree - but worth the effort!

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  4. What an amazing effort. It turned out to be wonderful!

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  5. He looks like a painting. Great job.

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  6. Wow! Your work is beautiful and you captured the image perfectly!

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  7. Such a beautiful piece of work. Amazing. I have had many goldfinches in my new garden this Spring. They love the sunflower seed I have put out. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the book. I found it started well but I lost interest in the main character as the book went on. Still, we can't all love the same things!

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  8. Magnificent. Youave done a wonderful job of stitching him.

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  9. That is a masterpiece! The blending of colors to resemble true life so well is outstanding. Where are you going to hang this beauty?

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  10. That is just spectacular! I always thought in terms of machine embroidery versus hand embroidery, both using designs that someone else already worked out. But it never occurred to me that someone like you could magically just take a photograph of a bird and translate that into strands of embroidery floss. You did a great job. I am thoroughly impressed!

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  11. Beautiful stitching! He came out so well

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  12. Stunning! Thank you for sharing. I have always wanted to try something like this, but fear it would turn out poorly - you did an excellent job.

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