Category Archives: embroidery

The Mondays & My Maira Kalman Crush

Maira Kalman - Skirball Center until 13 February

“My dream is to walk around the world. A smallish backpack, all essentials neatly in place. A camera. A notebook. A traveling paint set. A hat. Good shoes. A nice pleated (green?) skirt for the occasional seaside hotel afternoon dance.”
— Maira Kalman

I’ve love how Maira Kalman sees the world. Especially helpful to remember as I head back to work after the holidays. Le dread. Perhaps with Maira in mind I will come to appreciate new things about the 5 and 10 freeways during rush hour in the rain. Don’t hold your breath.

When my in-laws were here for Thanksgiving we took the opportunity to take the family to see Maira Kalman’s exhibit at the Skirball Center.  The exhibit called “Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World)” is on until February 13, 2011.

I always think of Kalman’s work in gouche and watercolor but she also does embroidery.

Her children’s books are so much fun to read. Oh la la Max in Love & Max Makes a Million are my two favorites.

Oh La La Max in Love

I also think of her New Yorker covers, especially the one of New Yorkistan, which we own in the form of a 1000 piece puzzle…

New Yorkistan as a puzzle...

And more recently for her work in The New York Times for her In Pursuit of Happiness blog, which has so many wonderful images and ideas.

by Maira Kalman

…I almost forgot that Maira Kalman also liked to embroider. Her embroidery demonstrates her monster crush on Abe Lincoln.

Kalman's homage to Lincoln

I feel a sense of dread…

sense of dread

Her desire to capture our country’s history and beautiful names stitch by stitch

While looking at Maira’s embroidery online I’ve found many other embroidery artists also have Maira crushes.

I discovered Texas artist Jenny Hart, who has some embroidered portraits of musicians like Dolly Party, The White Stripes and Edith Piaf.

Edith Piaf, by Jenny Hart

I also discovered Andrea Dezsoa, who uses embroider to pass on wisdom from her mother…

About skimpy underwear

Skimpy underwear

or about people’s foreheads (i’m in trouble)

smart people

What kind of wisdom do you want to pass down to your daughter? While I’m thinking about that it is much easier to figure out what to say to my son…boys are simple.

It pretty much boils down to Star Wars.

Embroider a pillow case perhaps?

May the Force be With you...Come to the Dark Side...

May the Force be With you...Come to the Dark Side...

It isn’t embroidery but a cross-stitch R2 is probably the perfect heirloom to pass on to your little Jedi.




Filed under art, arts & crafts time, embroidery