Monet has captured his motif outdoors, probably in a single several hours session. The “snapshot” depiction of his wife and son conveys the feeling of a casual everyday outing rather than of a formal portrait. His wife’s veil and dress are blown by the wind, their spiralling folds and waving of grass are a physical embodiment of the breeze that can be discerned fluttering across the canvas. Sunlight coming from the right and the wind blowing from the left coalesce in the centre of the image to form a swirling vortex. The figure of the painter’s young son is hidden behind a rise in the ground, balancing the composition and creating a sense of depth. The brevity of the moment is conveyed within spontaneous brushwork and splashes of vibrant colours which are the hallmark of impressionist style.
It is always a challenge to paint with embroidery threads, and it took several trials and revisions of colour palettes and embroidery details before the final artwork was created. Top quality embroidery threads give the art piece a life of its own, a deep tactile quality. The thread colour palette was used to its full potential.
Contrast between smooth sky and defined colourful details of the woman and the boy are achieved with hand stitching of the smallest intricacies. The image comes to life with embroidered grass, a special care being taken on individual blades of grass waving in the wind to ensure that the piece is rich and vibrant in colours and at the same time lifelike in movement depicted.
About the artist
A founder and most admired representative of impressionism. Monet was a master of capturing a moment, a glimpse in time. Working with fast brushstrokes outdoors, en plein air, he best expressed the impressionist movement’s philosophy of revealing one’s perceptions before nature. He adopted a method of painting the same scene many times and his works show effects that changes in light and atmosphere have on a subject.
Extraordinary number of stitches
In a classic embroidery, the number of stitches is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000, and is limited by stretching and contracting of materials. By overcoming this limitations, we are able to make embroideries with millions of stitches which enables us to produce photorealistic embroideries and recreate any painting of any artistic style.
Innovation of layering
We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.
Smooth transitions and shading
By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.
Sophisticated colour calibration
Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.