Knit Prints celebrate our common thread. Combining the visual symbolism of knitting with the expressive color and rendering of digital drawing. They create a comfort and familiarity between viewer and subject though they may be strangers.
Faces are a fascinating subject. Through them we connect with others. We sense their feelings and learn about their experiences. Faith enjoys the process of learning about others through visual observation. For this reason, she prefers to use reference photos of real people she hasn’t met. This allows her to use her eyes to learn about the individual. While creating the drawing she finds herself mirroring the subjects expression resulting in her bringing some of herself into each portrait. Additionally, Faith prefers a portable studio practice where surrounding voices, stories and faces can enter each finished artwork. Creating a finished portrait that is an amalgamation of many individuals.
Knitting has a vast history that Faith references by including it as a layer in her finished artwork. Everyone owns something that is knit and used for warmth and protection. A knit hat is one of the first textiles we touch after we’re born. It’s a medium that has been a political tool and often tied to women’s history. Faith will at times utilize a non-electric 1950’s knitting machine. Machines like hers were invented so women could earn an income from home to support their families. Knitting is a software and that idea also intrigues Faith. It has an order and process that is very different from her drawing skills. The knit portraits reference these ideas by introducing knitting for it’s visual symbolism.
Faith’s first love was drawing and the simple pencil has been a best friend throughout her life. Her BFA is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago which houses a vast collection of Impressionist paintings. Perhaps that exposure influenced Faith’s use of color because she has become best known for colorful cross-hatching. Her layers of intense colors like acid green with muted mauve pinks combined in clean lines mix by the viewers eyes to create new colors.
Faith was trained in oil paints and charcoals but didn’t find an artistic voice until she started using digital tools. These allowed her to be portable and not limited by how many colorful supplies she could carry. It enabled her to work in layers introducing different textures and techniques. She has curatorial experience and loves how digital tools allow her to explore scale when exhibiting her work. Her work can be reproduced at different sizes, at various price points, and sharing her work with an online audience is easier. Faith also uses digital tools to help her design and organize her knitting patterns. Moving forward she is using digital tools to create animations and integrate 3D printing. Faith has found a way to embrace the aesthetics of the traditional techniques of knitting and drawing while utilizing all the benefits that digital tools provide.
Two elements combined together:
Faith is ever curious of the human condition and using her eyes to uncode the experiences of others. She wants to create a warmth and connection amongst humanity. Expose our common thread. Using seemingly juxtaposing mediums and processes to create a unified whole. This feeds the viewer’s eye with a sense of comfort and togetherness.
Faith Humphrey Hill is an artist who is always experimenting and playing between the lines of traditional and technological. Follow her journey into knit prints, knit animations and beyond via her website, www.dartily.com.
Faith Humphrey Hill (she/her) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Masters in Arts Management from Columbia College. For 20 years, she helped others discover and make art daily through leadership positions in galleries, museums, and community arts organizations. While she continued a studio practice during this time, she felt a pull to further discover and make art herself. In 2016, she gave art-making her full attention through her website www.dartily.com [dartily=art+daily]. This became a platform for discovering artists, artwork, and art theory as well as experiment with art mediums. In this process, she began creating the artwork she is best known for: portrait artwork that combines digital drawing with knitting.