If you like the picture above, then you like Charley Harper. He’s the iconic artist who drew the picture and his work is wonderfully adaptable to needlepoint. This is a section of the cover he draw for The Golden Book of Biology, a book I got when it first came out and still own. It is full of the most marvelous illustrations and made me a fan for life.
This week there had been lots of talk about his designs in needlepoint because Purl Bee in New York has a small selection of his designs available as kits. Their post has some wonderful background on Harper and also talks about how wonderful needlepoint is. I’m delighted that one of my favorite artists) and needlepoint are getting this exposure.
The Charley Harper canvases that are available from Purl Bee and from other shops, are licensed by Susan Treglown Designs. This company makes available as needlepoint a broad selection of his work, all on 13 mesh canvas. This classic illustration, called Lucky Ladybug, is one of the adaptations and is currently in my stash to stitch for my equally obsessed daughter (we buy each other Charley Harper presents).
Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, where can you find his canvases? Many shops carry them and you will recognize them by his clean graphic style. But here are some I’ve found in on-line shops. A Stitch Above in Cincinnati (Harper’s hometown) has a page with a dozen canvases on it. Top Drawer, also in Cincinnati also carries the canvases (this page has work by others as well interspersed throughout it). Outside Ohio, The Bristly Thistle showcases four wonderful bird canvases, that would be superb together.
If you want to explore his work beyond the confines of needlepoint, check out charleyharper.com, where you can order notecards,prints, lithographs, and lots more. This site also has some work by his son, Brett, and wife, Edie. You can also buy his charming book, Beguiled by the Wild, from Amazon.