Hobby or Art?

Off and on for the past 30 or so years I have enjoyed needlepointing. In those years, needlepoint – much like photography – has undergone many changes and advancements.

My first needlepoint projects were canvases with the design in the center pre-stitched in wool. I simply had to select a wool yarn for the background color and fill in the outside with the basic basketweave stitch. If one would pay attention to yarn tension and make sure all of the holes in the canvas were filled in and going in the same direction, it was pretty easy to complete a pillow, chair cushion, or even a framed needlepointed picture to satisfaction.

As is the case with many things, needlepoint has dramatically changed over the past few years. Rarely, if ever, would one today buy a pre-stitched canvas and simply fill in the background. The quality of hand-painted canvases has reached a new level of sophistication and refinement. No longer is the selection of threads and fibers limited to basic wool or pearl cotton. The needlepoint shop in which I shop has walls and walls of delicate silks, fine wools, luxurious cottons, over-dyed threads, sparkling metallic threads and unique beads in absolutely every color, texture, and weight one could possibly imagine. And, needlepoint books and guides with fabulous decorative stitches have become a necessity since part of the challenge of today’s needlepoint is using creative and diverse stitches to transform a painted canvas to a completed artistic piece that truly comes ‘alive.’

Like I do with photography, I frequent various needlepoint forums and websites for inspiration and learning. Recently a commenter on one forum said, “To me, needlepoint is not a hobby. It is an art.”

Let me say that again, “To me, needlepoint is not a hobby. It is an art.”

I read that a couple of weeks ago and I simply have not been able to get that statement out of my head. It speaks so loudly and clearly to me, especially if I replace the word needlepoint with the word photography.

While not necessarily true for everyone, for me photography is truly an art form.

Photography is a form of creative expression.

© Sue Henry

© Sue Henry

Photography is a way of savoring the ‘little things.’

© Sue Henry

© Sue Henry

Photography can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

© Sue Henry

© Sue Henry

Photography can….well, I suspect you would agree the list could go on and on.

I remain so grateful that years ago I was introduced to the creative arts, photography included.

Contributed by Sue Henry

8 thoughts on “Hobby or Art?

  1. sue

    This is such a well written article. You are not only a genius with a camera but also with a basket of thread. You also weave your words into beautiful thoughts and pictures in our minds. Thank you for sharing some of them with us

  2. Bonney Oelschlager

    Thank you. This message from your heart to mine has found a place to root and soar! It will do both, the soil is fertile and waking to its Springtime.


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