Sunday, November 11, 2012

Art Nouveau in Cross Stitch Review

So today I randomly grabbed Art Nouveau in Cross Stitch. I thought that's clever; it will complement the William Morris review since art nouveau springs from the theories of Morris. And then it turns out the same woman wrote both books. Sigh. Now it just seems inevitable.

Again there is an introduction to the period and the artists. These patterns are also symbols with color. There is also a brief tutorial section at the end.

If you start flipping through from the front, you will leave the book on the shelf. You will be completely misled. The first two patterns are my least favorite. The first is a gold and blackwork version of a Mucha poster. It is so ugly I can't articulate it. She gives me the creeps. The second is some red sunflowers which just leave me cold. They probably aren't horrible, but not great.

Turn the page, and WOW! the piece de resistance a peacock rug based on the work of William de Morgan. It's just fabulous! I bet you could scale it back to be a large picture. The colors, the peacock's like the opposite of the Mucha: I'm speechless with wonder.

Klimt's golden spirals decorate a frame project. I like the idea of this better than the execution. I think I'm put off by the metallic floss used. (Did I say that in the last review? I feel like I said that in the last review.) There are also some small projects that match this larger piece.

There's an interpretation of birds on a vine by Tiffany mounted in a box coupled with a Tiffany landscape of a sailboat on a lake framed by wisteria and irises.  These are both pictured on the cover, and are, I think, really quite well done. I think you can recognize them as Tiffany even without all the suggestive lamps on the cover!

The book includes several interpretations of flowers, among them a pillow decorated with snowdrops. Walter Crane's flower ladies--daffodil, poppy, and anemone--remind me of those DMC fairies. A little clunky, not quite as lovely as Nora Corbett's flower fairies. Another section offers a trio of Art Nouveau flowers--iris, tulip, and columbine--framed in the flowing borders of the period.

Vysey fabric informs a project that features two swans and stags in a landscape that is mounted as a clock. The trees on this one are fantastic. The hands are surrounded by a medallion of flowers above, bluebirds circle the  motto, "Time Enough." It's quite a nice project; though I can't imagine where I would put it or for whom I might make it. Oh, I love the way those trees look.

Several projects offer interpretations of Mackintosh roses including a portrait of a woman, two pillows, and another clock (a square with roses in each corner). Work by Mackintosh's wife (Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh) is also included; a picture based on "The White Rose and the Red Rose," which is a very yellow picture of two women. The cross-stitch project offers a rather loose interpretation of the colors of the original. Which is gorgeous. And golden.

The book ends with six pages of smalls patterns and five pages of border patterns. If you like the art nouveau style this section alone is worth the price of the book.

I hope this isn't too boring. If I had had more time, I would have written a tighter piece. Unfortunately, it was our turn for Sunday dinner. You can't eat a book review.

1 comment:

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

You're making me want to buy more books now!