When seen from above, the world’s landscapes can look like colorful patchworks of abstract shapes and textures. Some people choose to photograph these beautiful birds-eye views, but England-based textile artist Victoria Rose Richards captures them with her needle and thread. She creates colorful, 3D embroidery designs inspired by aerial views of the British countryside.
With an academic background in biology, Richards has always had an interest in nature. She began embroidering in October 2018, and has quickly become a master of her craft. From fields and forests to rivers and lakes, Richards recreates each vibrant landscape in colorful thread using a variety of stitches. Flowers and foliage are rendered in clusters of French knots while short grasses and rivers are depicted in straight satin stitches.
In one piece inspired by the Wiltshire canals, Richards even added tiny 3D boats into the scene made from cardboard. She reveals, “I wanted a strong textural difference in this piece, so I paired the long, waving grass and daffodils on the wildlife corridor with flat, cultivated tulip fields.”
When she’s not depicting scenes from above, Richards also captures landscapes from the perspective of being down on earth. And in one series, she celebrates Gay Pride by stitching landscapes in individual rainbow hues. These works show that even with a limited color palette, the talented artist is still able to achieve plenty of realistic depth and texture.
Richards continues to explore the possibilities of color in a piece she calls Colour Therapy. Rather than depict a recognizable landscape, it simply features long, vibrant stitches that look just like paint strokes. “I had a lot of fun playing with colors for this piece,” she reveals. “I find getting absorbed into colors therapeutic.”