Other Animals

Dazzling Scarlet Macaw Cross-Stitch Wins First Place

scarlet macaw art
photo courtesy Philip Brill

Art is a uniquely experienced event. Whether it be a painting, a photograph, a piece of music, or a written word, art is something that says different things to different people. Art that features birds has been around for a long time. The earliest discovered art featuring birds has been found on cave walls. Even then, they were used as descriptive experiences. Lafeber has celebrated the art of birds in almost every medium imaginable. No surprise. Birds are so deeply enmeshed within the human experience that they are completely irretraceable. And who would deny such a thing anyway?  Art, even ancient art, shows us just how important birds have been to us, and continue to be. For some, such art can be time-consuming but essential to the expression of what birds mean to us.

Cross-Stitch Art Captures Beauty of Scarlet Macaw

Philip Brill recently won First Place for a brilliant cross-stitch work that took over 1,000 hours and more than 18 months of intensive work. The subject of the cross stitch is a beautiful scarlet macaw. The inspiration has a backstory, of course, but the creation is so stunning that it is at once a gorgeous work to view. The work is titled Scarlet Macaw with framed dimensions of 32” by 27”. This large-scale work is representative of his youth visiting Parrot Jungle. It was then that he developed an appreciation of the large beautifully colored exotic bird.

scarlet macaw art
photo by Wednesday Davis of St. Mary’s County Art Council

After more than 20 years of experience with the self-taught art of cross-stitching, Philip Brill entered the St. Mary’s County Art Council’s annual Art Walk contest with the completed Scarlet Macaw stitch-work. He walked away with First Place in the 2021 event that highlights local artwork by the residents of the county. The displays are showcased in businesses around the small town of Leonardtown. Viewers of all artwork pieces were encouraged to place their votes for the best art. Scarlet Macaw was placed at North End Gallery throughout the month of September of 2021.

Philip Brill’s Scarlet Macaw cross-stitch is an exquisitely detailed work that not only reveals the beauty of the magnificent bird but also underscores the deep reservoir of patience required to create art at this level.  He chose the subject for the artwork from an early childhood photo of a scarlet macaw perched on his arm. He planned the craft of the piece carefully before actually pushing the first needle through the chosen congress fabric.

For cross-stitchers, this work is on 22-count congress cloth. The stitching is much smaller to produce a more realistic image. The finished work is 215,000 stitches over a 21” by 28” image area. The actual photo was digitized for the pattern. Sixty thread colors were employed to create this exquisite likeness.

It only takes a single look at the piece to fully appreciate the obvious skill, care, and love that went into its craft. The Scarlet Macaw cross-stitch piece is not for sale and is displayed along with two other bird cross-stitches, both eagles. It has been beautifully and meticulously framed and is expected to become a valued heirloom for generations to enjoy.

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