I am a textile artist and embroider, a slow-maker in a fast-paced world, a portraitist in the age of selfies.

I look for the chinks in the armors, the unspoken rules and the unexpected tenderness that lurk in the dark corners, then I sew it all up into textile collages on vintage linens.


I started with a cache of vintage linen and synthetic furs that inspired me to create a series of illustrated flash fiction. 


Embroidery was a spur-of-moment addition that soon turned into an obsession.  It is also a slow, patient type of work that gives me time to figure out the stories behind each portrait.  I learned to embroider in the second grade, at a time when little girls were still expected to learn how to make their own clothes.  Although I use digital techniques to create collages or produce the layouts for a particular piece, I feel most connected to the handmade part of the work.  The repetition of movement, the physical effort, the time spent, are my responses to our culture of achievement and mass-production.



To make an object by hand is an act of kindness - the gift of time and attention.  To make a portrait is to witness the miracle of someone's life.  My work can be playful, biting or tender but it is always intentional and connected, by a thread, to a very long lineage of female embroiderers.  I delight in my work with needle and thread.

I find material an inspiration in the mundane: scraps of fabric, thrift shop marvels, an encounter at the grocery store.  I am introverted and patient. Needlework is a patient art that suits my personality.


I am also curious.  Always thinking, drawing, reading, taking notes.   My studio is piled with ink, paint, brushes, threads, buttons, ceramics, and books.  Books, books and more books on embroidering, art, people.

I am always creating.   I have drawers and boxes full of art.  Each piece carries the spirit of someone I have witnessed.

Each piece of art is a prayer and a blessing to this marvelous life.

© 2017 by P.M. Nest

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