31 July 2011

New Portrait: “Under Stress”

Themel_trialsSMSo this week I have been watching the news… feeling a mixture of anger, fear, disgust and helplessness.  I needed to break away from the TV and do something constructive!

When I entered my studio, this portrait was right in front of me.  It has been on my design wall for a few months, pieced together but not quilted. 

So I took a second look at it.  It was mostly red and black. Stark. Ominous.  Looking like a person who is preparing for the worst.

It seemed like a good place to work out my anxieties. 

I used blue threads to represent patience, listening, meditation and thought, as a way to “cool down” the hot colors in the fabrics which represent conflict, noise, anger and fear.

I like the way the colors seem to vibrate next to each other.  It looks uncomfortable and jumpy.  Like a person who is quietly freaking out.


Finishing this portrait gave me a sense of accomplishment and control.  In the end, I felt a lot better.

Of course the same problems remain in the world, and I still have anxieties about the future.  But at least I didn’t spend all day stewing about it.  If nothing else, I occupied my brain for several hours with lines and colors instead of worry and frustration.  Good therapy!


  1. Great work, Kate. Captures the emotions really well.

  2. This is amazing, Kate. It's exactly the way I've been feeling, too.


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