Using fabric as her paint palette, Kenyan-based artist Sophie Standing produces gorgeous portraits of animals on her sewing machine. The one-of-a-kind pieces are constructed by first sketching the image onto a canvas and then appliqueing an intricate collage of fabric on top. Standing then stitches linear details over her work using a variety of colored threads. This creates a painterly look to the piece that’s a combination of meticulous technique and gestural, emotive marks.
Here, we see that Standing has used an extensive collection of fabrics to cover the hide of a large rhino. Some are bold floral patterns while others are geometric, and they seamlessly blend together and flow throughout the animal’s body. Dark-colored thread defines its wrinkles and shadows to give definition to the form.
You can see some of the process of Standing’s work below. While she specializes in animal imagery, she’s also available for special commissions.