Elçin Özcan from Turkey’s capital Ankara is a cross-stitch expert with a mini gallery comprising of recreations of famous masterpieces. The Turkish artist's gallery includes recreations of artworks like Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night," Edvard Munch's "The Scream," and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa.” The cross-stitch masterpieces are mesmerizing with their elaborate patterns and fine craftsmanship.
"I was always fascinated by paintings and painters. I used to watch my grandfather paint for hours," she said.
"I would visit all art museums on trips abroad, so I already knew quite a lot about the paintings I have reproduced so far. As I made these miniatures and posted them online, people started suggesting more paintings and I checked them out (by reading) about the painter and the painting and turned some of them into miniatures too.”
Noting that creating miniature versions of famous paintings through cross-stitch has been a learning opportunity as well as a creative journey for her, Özcan continued. "I always (have a) hugely positive response to them, especially when they are displayed all together. I am really proud of my personal mini-museum," she added.
Özcan said it takes roughly a week to create each mini-artwork, although some may take longer. She said the design process behind "The Starry Night" took 10 to 12 days and the stitching process took a week.
She initially uses software to make the designs but added: "The software does a very poor job when the scale is so small.
"I end up changing the design stitch by stitch, adjusting the colors as I go. I also make a lot of changes during stitching. Softwares are never better than the human eye. So a lot of changes come up during stitching. I stitch and frog (term for ripping out a stitch), stitch and frog until it satisfies me."
Özcan added that she comes from a "very artistic and creative family."
"My mother creates all kinds of things – paintings, clay ornaments, cross-stitch, knitting and jewelry, to name a few – and my grandfather was a fabulous oil painter," she said.
"I was always surrounded by arts and craft materials growing up, so I tried everything my household can offer. I knew how to cross-stitch from a very young age. However, it wasn't my first choice for crafting until my 30s."
Özcan is currently working on Sir Frederic Leighton's "Flaming June."
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