GALLERY den HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

INTRODUCTION + POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART + HAAG'S BIO


BY JAN HAAG







II. UNICORN


Double strand Persian wool on 12 mesh canvas 14 3/4 x 14"
Continental stitch in all four directions
Approximately 29,736 stitches, 1975-76




I took my very first needlepoint stitches on this canvas. Knowing it would take a while to even them out, I started where I thought a little "fur" might be appropriate -- in the middle of the unicorn's body.

It took me almost two days to graph the basic design for the unicorn from a friend's pillow. Then, even though I embellished the design of the original unicorn, the squares of the 1/4" graph paper were so much larger than the size of the 12" mesh I selected that, without realizing the relationship of graph to mesh size, I was shocked when the UNICORN turned out to be the size for a doll's pillow.

Not knowing how to "correct" this, I began to work on my second needlepoint, the I CHING, and only later returned to border the UNICORN. I also decided, from then on, to do only original designs directly onto the canvas with as little graphing as possible.

The UNICORN border designs were inspired by many sources, including a hand embroidered, antique, Chinese, silk spread I owned at that time. In studying this, I learned one of the first principles of Oriental art: though at first glance the whole may seem symmetrical, further study will almost always reveal infinite variation within a seemingly regular or repeated pattern. Or, as I was to hear ALI AKBAR KHAN state it many years later when I was studying North Indian Classical music with him: "When you practice singing, vary it each time. If you are singing Sa to Re, Pa to Ni, whatever, never do it the same way twice."

The UNICORN was stitched as I travelled back and forth across the United States as part of my work as Director of National Production Programs for The American Film Institute. Of all my canvases, it caused the most comment. Perhaps because, at that time, the unicorn was just becoming a well known icon, or, perhaps, because red, white and blue have a particular appeal for Americans. The unicorn is often depicted with one paw raised to indicate that it will not step on any living thing.







Copyright © 2003 through 2015 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jjhaag@gmail.com





The Needlepoints

I The I Ching

II The Unicorn

III Green Pillow

IV Armrests

V Narcissus

VI Chinese Chair Pillow

VII Great Grandmother's Legacy

VIIa OM

VIII Octagonal Beanbag

IX Flora and Fauna Beanbag

X Asian Diary #1, Kundalini

XI Asian Diary #2

XII Tibetan Yantra Beanbag

XIII Kalachakra

XIV Eye of Horus Amulet

XV Erika Sachet

XVI Needlepoint-Cattipoint

XVII Palimpsest

XVIII Cantalloc

THE FOLLOWING NEEDLEPOINTS ARE BASED ON THE RHYTHMS AND MELODY OF

NORTH INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC

IXX Tintal Coin Purse

XX Kaida, Tabla Covers

XXI Tukra, Tabla Covers

XXII Mukhra-Tukra-Chakradar

XXIII The Ten Thats






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21st CENTURY ART, C.E.-B.C., A Context







TEXTILE ART + MUSIC + POETRY + TRAVEL + FICTION + ESSAYS

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO