I’ve always been fond of my birthdate, it pleased me as a nerdy kid to have a birthday right after Earth day (rhyme!) and when I later found out that Shakespeare was born and died on the day1 it added some class. Two years ago I learned that the day is also St. George’s day, but it wasn’t until very recently I even looked at what he was patron of. Turns out, totally appropriate birth-day saint, since he was also Palestinian. Rock.
Anyhow, as of late I’ve been all embroidery-y and trying to use stitching as just another media, something to draw with and be just another “graphic mark“. I am not a single media person at all, and I’ve been trying to better integrate my stitching into the other work I do and have done. So. I figured, birthdays? Totally a good push to do something about it and what better than a haiographic saint icon to work with as a subject?
There was a lot of image searching to get the brain churning. What bothered me about a lot of the traditional icons was that a) the dragon came from a lake, not a cave guys; 2) always the dragon is being stabbed in the image, which is false advertising as St. George doesn’t kill the dragon right there— he puts this princess’ girdle on it and takes it back to the village to bully them all into being baptised; 3) he was a Roman soldier and part Palestinian, something not often reflected in his face or clothing (which is just how religious arts work traditionally, but still2). So I did a drawing, transferred it to my fabric and got to work.
Overall, it worked out to eight days of stitching on the MAX (I tend to read on the bus legs of the trip, as it is jouncy and hard to work precisely) and a lovely afternoon of painting, 12-15 hours total. Which isn’t bad, especially considering that a chunk of that was technical dead time anyhow.
The end result I’m super happy with, its a step in a good direction, I think. I love stitching and embroidery because it is like painting and sculpting and sewing all together.
All in all, a nice way to ring out my 25th year and bring in the next.
1. According to the Julian calendar.
2. I think this is partially why the knight/dragon thing is so medival and England, because it was painted that way so often, despite the whole thing going down in the late third century.