May Gardenista


To celebrate May Day and the work of our hands, yours and mine, dear Reader, I am sharing with you the next in my ‘Botanica’ series of Artist’s Books. On the left (above) is the first ‘Gardenista’ book, beside some of my textiles auditioning for future roles in the series.


As with the Chinese Thread Book, I am working with my embroidered printed, painted and/or dyed textiles. This next set of books in the ‘Botanica’ series is entitled ‘Gardenista’ to recall a full garden at the height of the season, spilling over with flashy colours, striking forms and strong perfumes;  at the same time, I am taking a last look at the modestly lovely but fleeting spring messenger, bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) blooming probably for its last day on May Day, and well before her showy ‘gardenista’ companions strut into the Kaleyard and steal the show:

IMG_0169Below are painted linen “Gardenista” textile book covers, embroidred with the names of the dye plants used for the ecoprinted pages within; the pamphlet-stitched pages have see-and-and-fruit like tassels attached:

IMG_0174IMG_0173IMG_0172The book is made as an accordion with pages inserted into the folds of both sides of the accordion (in both ‘mountain’ folds and ‘valley’ folds; so that there is really no front and no back per se.) The textiles shown under the book (above) are being auditioned for the next books in the set of ‘Gardenistas’. Below are (1) an ecoprinted silk panel (sumac and coreopsis), and (2) linen painted with acrylics and embroidered:

Coreopsis and sumac ecoprint
Coreopsis and sumac ecoprint

The pages inside the book are eco printed watercolour paper. The embroidered accordion spine is double sided. Below are some images of the painted and embroidered linen side of the accordion:

IMG_0186 IMG_0185IMG_0184 IMG_0183 IMG_0182 IMG_0181Here are pages from the other side of the accordion: the eco printed silk accordion spine with ‘trapped’ gold embroidery, with eco printed watercolour paper pages pamphlet stitched into the accordion folds.

IMG_0180 IMG_0179 IMG_0178 IMG_0177 IMG_0176 IMG_0175Close-ups of the stitching: above, handstitched gold on eco printed silk; below, free machine embroidery on painted linen.  And the last two images show the book standing up. Next time: A case for the book.


26 thoughts on “May Gardenista

  1. Thank you for sharing this comprehensive “walk” through your work. I am fascinated by your clever application of materials – especially the combination of saturated color against the more muted eco print. Bravo!

    1. Thank you for visiting, Roxanne. Your work is rich and deeply satisfying to look at and even meditate on. I am glad to know about it

    1. Yes, the winter here is a great time to work on art, Merike! The snow and cold trap you inside but then there is always th studio to make you forget!

  2. I am new to this site. I wanted to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing all this wonderful information. it is very helpful to me. thanks for your generosity. I will pass it forward. I love your work.

  3. I amnew to your work and blog . Very beautiful and inspiring. Merci ,thank you for sharing .

  4. Wendyfe, Your watercolor pages are gorgeous. I am so glad I found you! I am loving the ochre, browns, rusts, and golden colors of these papers.

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