Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Alan Rickman

(b. Feb. 21, 1946) The first portrait I made in this collection was George Washington, on his birthday. That was Feb. 22, 2012. Alan Rickman marks the end of the project and he will play us out, reading from Shakespeare's sonnets, here:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

- SONNET 130, William Shakespeare

And to close, Alan Rickman (as Colonel Brandon):

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Art Spiegelman

(b. Feb. 15, 1948) There are some artists who take longer to get to in your life and Spiegelman is one of those for me. However, due to my love of the Garbage Pail Kids (and my Pee-Wee trading cards), I guess I've loved his work for a long time. Also, a few years ago I stumbled across his McSweeney's published Be A Nose! named after my favorite moment in Bucket of Blood. I caught glimpses of Raw Magazine and thought where was this all my life. And now, finally, I am smack dab in the middle of Maus and although everyone has already called it brilliant, I will too.

(I think it's also important to note that another comics genius was born on this Mid-February date as well - Matt Groening. Groening and Spiegelman... same day, weird.) 

Art Spiegelman Glamour Shot:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Jen Corace

(b. Feb. 19) Jen celebrated her birthday a week ago and I celebrated by stitching her portrait as part of the birthday collection. She is a brilliant illustrator and crafter, art director of the most colorful store in Providence, RI, and her works in Sweet Dreams are among my favorite children's book illustrations ever. I am also lucky to call her a personal friend. Check out her work here.

Jen Corace (halved):

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Mia Farrow

(b. Feb. 9, 1945) This is one of my favorite portraits. Plus, I really just love her. Stunning looks, brilliant delivery, humanitarian work, Rosemary's Baby, Radio Days, Be Kind Rewind... I like her all the way around. Watch this and fall too. Or this. Here she is with a teddy bear:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stitched Portraits: The last day

I started this project one year ago on February 22. I had originally planned to stitch one portrait for every day of Lent. By Easter Sunday, I would have 40 portraits. I had also intended to do only historical figures but that changed early in the process when it was Abe Vigoda's birthday and I couldn't justify choosing anyone else.

As the project continued and I enjoyed making them, and since I liked the results, I started showing them to friends and one mentioned - "Since you're doing birthday portraits you're going to do the whole year, right?" After that comment I felt that I needed to follow through.

Today is February 21 and it marks the last portrait (Alan Rickman, for the curious). I will continue to post some of my favorites throughout the end of this month, but as of March 1st, new projects will be on the horizon. And after a year of doing this everyday, I am definitely excited for the change.

Thank you to all who have checked this blog regularly and supported me throughout the process. I could not have gotten through it without the encouragement.

Ricky Katowicz

And here, from last week, the most ridiculous Valentine ever -
(b. Feb. 14, 1942) Andrew Robinson (as Scorpio from Dirty Harry):

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Eddie Izzard

(b. Feb. 7, 1962) A week ago Eddie Izzard turned 51. He shares a birthday with another dynamic comedian but I chose to make a portrait of the self-described "Executive Transvestite." When I first watched Dress To Kill roughly 10 years ago I couldn't imagine seeing a smarter comedian perform, and I still feel the same way ( he did his act in heels). He performs shows bilingually, acts in film/television/theater, John Cleese refers to him as the "Lost Python," and his God has the James Mason voice.

Eddie Izzard (Jeezy Creezy?):

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Ronald Reagan

(b. Feb. 6, 1911) One year before Eva Braun and one year after Carlos Marcello sits Ronald Reagan, an actor who became the 40th President of the U.S. and allowed the creation of our Modern America. a place where corporations receive the greatest benefits of all citizens!

Let's all thank him for his vision come to life by watching this video together.

Ronald Reagan (puppetgipper):

Monday, February 11, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Rosa Parks

(b. Feb. 4, 1913) Last Monday would have been the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks.

By those closest to her she was described as 'quiet and serene.' And on a regular day, without malice aforethought, she did something quiet. But it was a something that sparked an unstoppable movement towards desegregation, making her a symbol for civil rights.

For her refusal to move she has my unending respect. Whenever I let others' expectations move me, I feel weakened and small. It seems like it should be easy to refuse injustice, but it is one of the hardest things to do. When my day comes I can only hope to have a shred of her vigor.

Rosa Parks (Radiant):

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stitched Portraits: David Lynch

(b. Jan. 20, 1946) On January 20th, 2 great film directors were born - Federico Fellini and David Lynch. A good friend asked me personally, in advance, to choose the latter. This one is for him.

David Lynch (for Teddy):