Self-portrait as Saint Pompette, No. 2, detail | 2012 | Damiani Vino Rosso, bronze powder, acrylic on cotton | 29" x 22.5".
I create portraits by staining fabric with red wine using a wax resist (much like batiks) to build a light/dark pattern. I may decide to add embroidery (split stitch, to be precise) or machine sewing to reinforce the design or composition. The end result is a blend of chaos and control.
A portrait artist at heart, I am particularly intrigued by the challenge of trying to control the unpredictable nature of wine bleeding through fabric in order to channel the equally imprecise nature of a person’s character. In addition, the sacred aspect of wine lends itself to religious iconography, reminding many of the Shroud of Turin: one who drinks wine may come to feel a certain level of saintliness sipping on this liquid form of divinity. So, this is a form of consecration.