Now that our movie LIBERTY and JUSTICE is finished and being entered into film festivals, I’m resuming work on MY BED. It’s a picture book about children’s sleeping places around the world that will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Sept. 2020. A touring exhibition of my original embroidered artwork for the book will travel around the United States. Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches will debut at the Cahoon Museum Of American Art in Cotuit, MA from Sept. 11 to Dec. 22, 2020. The tour schedule is listed here.
It will be a crunch to get the artwork completed by the deadline, so I’ll have to work even more obsessively than usual, if that’s at all possible! In addition to creating 3/4 spread illustrations, I’m making a series of animal icons that’ll be spot art, appearing on the adjacent text panels throughout the book. The miniature stuffed animals relate to the geographic area of each corresponding scene. Other animals in the series that I’ve written about so far are, parrot and sheep, rooster, cat, duck, bunny, giraffe, crocodile, cow, dog and camel.
The page set in India will show a little elephant.
To get ideas, I researched traditional decorated elephants from India. After cutting the elephant shape out of grey felt, I embroidered a blanket with cotton floss and metallic thread. I just love the Indian sense of color and pattern!
The trunk has a wire inside to help it curl.
For the eye, I cut a slit in the felt and stitched it like a button hole for the bead to fit inside. Then, I chain stitched a head covering and added a tassel.
To make the legs, I rolled strips of felt into tubular shapes and embroidered toes onto one end.
The wrapped wire tail came last.
The Japanese scene will have a goldfish icon.
Beside all the yellow and orange tones, the fish needed just a hint of glimmer, so I added some metallic thread to its scales.
To see other animals and illustrations I’ve made for the book, click here.
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