• Meet the Artist: Madeleine Elizabeth

    Meet 14 year old needlepoint designer  Madeleine Elizabeth. She launched her line of hand painted canvases (with the help of her parents) at the Orlando Spring Needlepoint Show in March of 2019. You can shop her line of canvases on our website here. Read on to learn more about her and her love of needlepoint. 
    Madeleine Elizabeth painting a needlepoint canvas
    1.     Tell us about yourself, Madeleine. Where is home for you?
    I am 15 years old and am a sophomore in high school. I am enrolled in the Cambridge AICE program, which stands for Advanced International Certificate of Education, and especially love my art class.  I live in Sarasota, Florida and spend most of my time in my studio. Formerly, it was my brother’s room but I evicted him after he went to college then transformed it into a space where I can create anything from a needlepoint canvas to an essay for my English class.
    Perfectly Imperfect sign needlepoint canvas
    2.     What was your first experience with needlepoint? Who taught you to stitch?
    I was first introduced to needlepoint at a yarn shop in town. My mom worked there, and I often spent my summers hanging out with the ladies at the shop and putting away inventory. When I was 9, Mrs. Vickie, who now owns Needlepoint Studio of Sarasota, taught me how to stitch. I spent the next couple of summers and weekends hanging out at the shop and helping customers pick out canvases and threads. Sometimes I also helped them with stitches and compensation. After a few years of helping in the shop, I knew a lot about needlepoint for a 12-year-old.
    3.     What led you to start designing your own canvases? What is your process like?
    I have always loved art and often experiment with different materials. I spent a lot of time at the needlepoint shop so it was only a matter of time until I tried painting on a needlepoint canvas. After that, it was a whirlwind of working with Mrs. Vickie’s daughter, Stephanie, designing a line for my first market in Orlando, 2019. Stephanie has her own line and is also a prospering needlepoint artist. Designing a canvas from start to finish isn’t as complicated as you might think. Depending on the complexity of the initial idea, I start with a sketch on my iPad blocking in color to see if the idea will pan out. If I like the end result, I start to paint. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes for the smallest 3x2 inserts to an entire week for one of my largest jungle canvases. However, for the more common sizes it takes 4-6 hours to have the final product.
    Blue elephant needlepoint canvas
    4.     Where do you find inspiration?
    I find inspiration in many places. My parrots were inspired from my AICE Art Theme from first semester. All of my 'sayings' canvases start with the quote and develop through imagery and composition. My canvases will always be something I personally like the look of. My mom loves to give me ideas, however, most of them never come to reality. We made a deal. She gets to choose one of her ideas that I am not partial to and, if it is one of the best sellers at market, she gets to have two designs for the following market! All in all, my inspiration comes from many places including my parents, grandparents, school, and Sarasota.
    5.     Do you have a favorite canvas in your line?

    I have many favorites and couldn’t pick just one. I do love Bruce the Blue Parrot, because it is so vibrant and is one of my favorite color combos, blue and yellow. I also love the Tall Giraffe, which is a very irregularly sized canvas and looks very peaceful. My favorite saying is "Happier than a Seagull with a French Fry," because it is such a cute saying and I naturally paired it with a fun seagull and french fries. My favorite line of canvases is my floral animals, specifically the jellyfish and manta ray, because they are so pretty and the flowers replace their tentacles and tail so perfectly. Lastly, I've always loved The Coneflower.  It looks very simplistic and serene with the bee hovering over the flower.