- Find new contemporary art, create your own gallery of art - Find new contemporary art, create your own gallery of art

Cayce Zavaglia  St. Louis, MO

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Cayce

I still consider myself a painter and find it difficult not to refer to these embroidered portraits as “paintings”. Although the medium employed is crewel embroidery wool, the technique borrows more from the worlds of drawing and painting.

Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating. Unlike painting, I was unable to mix the colors by hand. Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the illusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth.

My work unabashedly nods its head to the tradition of tapestry and my own love of craft. Using wool instead of oils has allowed me to broaden the dialogue between portrait and process as well as propose a new definition for the word “painting”.

Cayce appears in the following Top 10 lists



10 of 35 reactions displayed

"Thank you for sharing such beautiful work. I really like what you have been able to do."

"I want to see more of his work. This one stops the day for me. The expression of this young man's eyes so perfectly in tune with the features and the position of the head, would be arresting captured in oil paint, but in stitches... it is incredible. And it does make it a "painting" indeed !"

"I have a tudor and a couple of students and myself, for a workshop next week. I was wondering if we could possible tour your work. When my friend Susan O'Connor, from Australia, was here earlier this year, she was telling me how wonderful it was. I know the tudor from the Royal School of Needlwork in London would love to see your work , as well as I would I have been wanting to come since Susan was here. I also saw on your bio that you are a Wheaton grad, my husband is also a Wheaton grad he graduated in 77, I was wondering about next Wednesday morning but I am sure we could do it any time. Please email me and let me know. Vicki"

"You obviously have control over your medium of expression."


"Great to see textiles work that challenges the boundaries of fine art painting - a painterly use of threads and colour."

"fantasticly worked"

"To those of you with negative comments, it is obvious you have never worked with yarn of any kind before. If you had, you would realize how difficult it would be to create this work. Just looking at the intricacy of the eyes should convince you."

"I have done almost any craft using some form of yarn; cross stitch, counted cross stitch, crewel, crochet, knitting, etc.I could not believe that you created this masterpiece using wool, not even embroidery floss!Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, etc. move over!"

"I'm somewhat in agreement with "Shrugs". There seems to be a lot of detailed realism/photorealism on this site. Perhaps that is the rage for young artists now. I'm all for great skills but I can't help thinking that it is the equivalent of Victorian realism/narrative painting. Well done but ultimately 'so what'. I would like to see artists getting beyond the superficial sufaces of photographs to some deeper essence. Think of the greats like Manet, Degas, Lautrec, Van Gogh. There again, maybe I'm wrong."

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