“welcome to the stitching and sketching world of Emily's brain”

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About ArtyEmily


thread painter inspired by the wonders of wildlife and the seasons.

My name is Emily Tull and I’m a thread painter.
I’ve enjoyed sketching since my childhood. I trained as a painter, so drawing has always been an important part of my artwork. I started stitching in 2008 and most of my craft education has come from family knowledge or my own self teaching.
Lucian Freud, Jake Wood Evans and the Pre-Raphaelites have all influenced my work (both painting and stitching). My earlier thread paintings were inspired by Egyptian Tomb paintings and relics – I like the broken-up imagery. This interest in fragments has now progressed on to ripped wallpaper. My wildlife artworks come from my love of botanical illustrations, folklore, curiosity cabinets and my mother’s bee collection.

Once an idea is in place, I work out what fabrics I’m going to use – sometimes a piece of material can inspire the subject. My base fabric is stretched on to my wood frame and then I draw a rough sketch of the subject. Once drawn in, I can work on any background that needs to be placed and pinned. Then the stitching can begin.
To help get the detail of colours I work with my laptop next to me with the imagery zoomed up close. Whatever the subject I always start with the eye, and once I’m happy with that I can move on and progress across the image. I vary the size of stitching to create the right feel for feathers or fur. I find the hand stitching therapeutic, though painful on the fingers.