In a Missouri painter's portraits, natural beauty comes alive through embroidery. Cayce Zavaglia hand-stitches cotton, silk and wool threads to create cloth pictures emulating the mottled, brushstroke style of classical oil painting.
Her portrait subjects – friends, family members and fellow artists – gaze at viewers with natural expressions, giving each piece an intimate persona. With intricate cross-hatching of stitches and thread colors, subjects' imperfections and organic beauty are celebrated in vivid detail.
Zavaglia earned a master's degree in painting but returned 12 years ago to embroidery, a familiar medium she loved as a child growing up in Australia.
“From a distance they read as hyper-realistic paintings, and only after closer inspection does the work's true construction reveal itself,” the artist wrote on her website. “My stitching methodology borders on the obsessive, but ultimately allows me to visually evoke painterly renditions of flesh, hair, and cloth.”