Rita has been involved with art and needlework since childhood. Taking early retirement from teaching Mathematics in 2002 has given her the opportunity to develop these interests, not knowing at the time which skill, drawing, painting or stitching, would eventually dominate.
However, Rita has found that instead of being separate fields, sketching and stitching support each other and both still give a great source of interest and pleasure. Nature is always a great inspiration, whether the mood, lines and colour of a landscape or the fine detail within a plant. The creation of a sketch book which tries to capture some of the spirit of a place has become a major focal point for Rita whilst travelling. Over the past few years, life drawing has also provided both discipline and freedom to Rita’s sketching – the continuity of drawing regularly, having only a short time in which to capture an image, and looking for the overall essence of a pose instead of the detail are all skills which are invaluable when sketching on location.
By contrast to the immediacy of sketch, the translation into a textile piece is a lengthy process involving a journey with a variety of materials. Rita’s recent work has tended to involve more machine than hand stitching and the subject matter has sometimes dictated a three dimensional approach.
Clicking on the photo of one of Rita Johnson's pieces below will provide access to images of Rita's work