By Lada Dedic
170 hours of stitching and 22,569 stitches later (45,138 if you take into account that each stitch is a cross) Self Portrait; Artist's Brain #4 (unofficially known as 'Pea Brain 4 Eva') is complete!
The piece just can't be documented properly before it's stretched so here are some preliminary images.
I decided to back-stitch the sulci freehand which was a bit of a risk, but I'm pleased with the result. I chose a deep shade of purple of which there are already 14 stitches scattered through the body of the work as well as part of the brain stem.
Here's a little video of me stitching. If you could see the world through my eyes, this is what you'd see. Hours and hours of this.
After the completion of the stitching came the process of finding a Picture Framer. I am super worried about stretching the piece so I asked around for recommendations from other artists. It's largish for a cross stitch (1m x1m unframed) with heaps of exposed Aida (think lots of holes with strong vertical and horizontal lines), it also has a bright red vertical and horizontal line and a hangy brain stem which pulls on the fabric so it really needs to be stretched by someone who knows what they're doing. I ended up getting three quotes from the trusted recommendations I received which all came to within $200 of each other. I went with my instincts and am having the piece framed by Rod Denson and Sarah Edmondson at their framing studio in Alexandria. I'd briefly met them a few weeks earlier at Tom Polo's farewell party before his Big European Art Journey. Sidenote: I'm so very pleased to see Tom kicking goals, he's a prolific painter, brilliant artist and a joy to be around. I am proud to call him my friend.
After speaking with Rod, I just know I made the right decision. He was happy to spend time with me, talk to me and offer expert advice about my options and even answer my non-related framing questions. Rod and Sarah both come from a graphic design and art background so I feel confident leaving my brain in their skilled hands. I'll have the framed piece back in my hot little hands in a few weeks, I cant wait to see it in all its framed glory.