Absolutely Breathtaking Multilayered “Thread Paintings”

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At first glance, Cayce Zavaglia’s portraits look like realistic paintings, with the slightest hint of a Pointilist influence in the brushstrokes. In fact, none of them is the result of Zavaglia putting paint to canvas. In a process she calls “thread painting,” the artist renders her subjects in embroidery floss, using multiple layers to create the exact hues she wants. “Using wool instead of oils has allowed me to broaden the dialogue between portrait and process as well as propose a new definition for the word ‘painting,” she writes in her artist statement. Marvel at her beautiful, intricate portraits after the jump, get a closer look at some of the work at Better Bookmarks, and visit Zavaglia’s website to see more.

Cayce Zavaglia, Garrett, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 43” x 16”

Cayce Zavaglia, Elly, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 14” x 17”

Cayce Zavaglia, Abbi, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 11” x 27”

Cayce Zavaglia, Aunt Lin, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 16.25” x 29”

Cayce Zavaglia, Raphaella, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 10” x 18”

Cayce Zavaglia, Greg, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 13” x 15”

Cayce Zavaglia, Martina, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 16.75” x 41”

Cayce Zavaglia, Dad, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 14” x 39”

Cayce Zavaglia, Greg, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 15” x 39”

Cayce Zavaglia, Mum, hand embroidery: crewel wool and acrylic on linen, 14” x 24”