Stephanie K. Clark describes her art technique as “painting with thread”. Indeed, at first glance, one might mistake her embroideries as paintings—which is exactly the effect Clark aims at.
“Visually, I love it when people bypass my work thinking it’s nothing other than a simple painting,” she admitted once in an interview with Jung Katz. “Until they look a little closer and see that in fact it is fibers/thread.”
The resemblance to paintings isn’t accidental. Having studied her undergrad in Painting and Drawing at the University of Utah, Clark’s background allowed her to explore embroidery using techniques from the worlds of drawing and painting. In fact, it was during her studies that she first experimented with thread.
“It started when I took a drawing class one semester my junior year, the professor gave us the option to work with whatever medium we wanted,” she recalls. “I wanted to take a break from painting.”
Having gotten a new sewing machine that year, Clark decided to do her drawings with thread. “Doing thread drawings then inspired embroidery and from then on I was hooked.”
These days, most of Clark’s work consists of mixing paint and thread/embroidery. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, she has shown her work in many galleries throughout the country, continuously blurring the line between fine art and craft. “I can’t tell you how many times my art has stirred up all kinds of arguments,” she notes. “Is it a fine art or a craft? I’d like to think I’m a rebel in the art world.”
According to Clark, art is creating or arranging elements in a way that influences and affects the senses, emotions, and or intellect. “I think creating art stirs things up deep in your being and allows you to place your imagination outside your mind,” she reflects. Her art might just stir some happy emotions in you.