Stunning environments come alive in the lush embroidery of Erika Tu'avo. The Utah-based artist stitches layers of colorful thread to create compositions full of depth and mesmerizing texture. From fluffy clouds to thick fields of grass to swirling tornadoes, all of her designs are so vivid, that they appear to pop out of the hoop.
Tu'avo picked up hand embroidery three years ago. “In summer 2019 I was anxiety-ridden and knew I needed a creative outlet—so I got some embroidery supplies, drew a design, and started stitching,” she tells My Modern Met. “I never imagined that I would become a full-time embroidery artist, but painting with thread has opened my life to so much positivity and beauty. Stitching colorful landscapes and animals has brought my mind to new worlds and I can’t wait to create more.”
The detailed way in which Tu'avo stitches these numerous colorful threads mimics the appearance of some paintings. In this way, she creates light, shadow, and modeling in her subjects. Additionally, she renders expressive skies that enhance the drama of these natural settings.