Sunday, May 18, 2008

Embroidery Portrait Artist & His Studio: Michael Aaron McAllister

I've been spending time lately looking at other artists' studios and trying to gather inspiration for organization, space utilization, and productivity tools. I've seen gorgeous 4,000 sq.ft. farm barn lofts, reconverted spare bedrooms, and sneakily-claimed corners of a home or a kitchen table to serve as a working studio for artists who are producing incredibly marketable works.

The 2008 Special Issue of Cloth Paper Scissors features a host of art studios - or spas for the creative soul - and offers storage solutions, studio makeovers, and ways to personalize your creative space. Within the issue, I fell upon wonderful quilting and mixed-media artist's websites and two notable oddities.

The first is an embroidered portrait quilt artist; an oddity in a day where it is rare to find people who have mastered needlework crafts and are working to keep this traditional art form very much alive. The second is the fact that this particular embroidery artist happens to be a man. Michael Aaron McAllister of Saint Louis, Missouri, is producing detailed works inspired by his heroes. Above is featured Salvador Dali, 2005.

Some of McAllister's miniature quilts are prize-winning testaments to a love of color and technique. He holds a BFA and MFA in Ceramics, and like many artists, does not work in the medium of his professional training. Art is a journey after all, and it's a joy to discover bookmaking when one is an oil painter. McAllister says his needlework is the first thing he does in the morning and the last thing in the evening. When you check out his work and his site, be sure to take a peak at the works entitled, Self-Portrait with the Artist's Mother (2007) and Anne Frank (2006). Of course, you won't want to miss his Studio link complete with pictures of highly-enviable authentic DMC bins used to store all skein colors.