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Needle Techniques in Art: A Personal Reflection

work in progress of abstract with tangible textiles and repetition
W.I.P. abstract painting 120x100cm canvas, untill now acryllics, textiles.

Choice of Tool

Should I choose a knitting needle, or could it be a sewing needle or crochet hook? In the past, these techniques were categorized as ‘textile forms of work,’ which was then a modern term. Previously, it was simply referred to as embroidery, knitting, etc., or more generally, women’s crafts. Although men are now engaging in these crafts, they remain the exception. For me, needle techniques are intuitive when I want to create a form.

Creative Decisions

Should I look for a piece of fabric with an existing design or pattern instead of painting it? Or should I embroider it myself? Should I use crocheted doilies? These are all legitimate considerations that most men probably wouldn’t think of.

The Creative Process

I notice that I like to work as if it’s a collage. A stain can simply be moved if it’s not in the right place. This way, I can thoroughly test the design. I often work without a clear plan, with an open end, and that’s also how I want to express the final work. It should be open to the viewer’s interpretation. However, this is not easy; in the pursuit of perfection, you can quickly give away too many details. Or the work comes across as intended to be humorous, which can actually be unpleasant to look at.

Referring to a traditional Finnish-Swedish folk song. The lyrics explore themes of independence, resilience, and the emotional weight of parting from loved ones. The song serves as a reminder that while we may find strength and independence within ourselves, the pain of separation is an inevitable part of the human experience.
“Vem kan segla förutan vind?” Photoart on alumium after collage on recycled wood panel with textiles, flower leafs, acryllics, © 2024 Erica Fraaije, May 2024

Meaning and Craftsmanship

I wonder what a knitted or crocheted element in my painting does to the viewer. Is it a hint to the creator, who will then likely be female, or to softness, friendliness, and domesticity? I don’t use these elements for those reasons; it’s simply because I love handcrafted things with texture and rhythm. Knitting involves a repetitive action, and that is reflected in the knitted item. This repetition may provide peace, something we desperately need in a time where we constantly learn new things and development is a daily activity.

repetition as repeating (😄) element in my art from left to right mosaic, multi media art and a sketch.

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Johannes Fraaije
Johannes Fraaije
May 16
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Vem kan... what is it? Repeat!

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