Centreline by Liz Payne


Artist: Liz Payne / @lizlpayne

Medium: Embroidery, paint, and beading

Location: Sydney, Australia


Liz Payne is an embroidery artist based in Sydney, Australia. She is the owner of Flirting with Yellow and creates wonderful stitched works of art and wearable work as well as interior objects. We found her on Instagram and fell in love with her designs, luckily, we were able to ask her a few questions about her embroidery and inspirations. Visit her website linked above for more about her work.


Hi Liz, we love your work and are grateful to learn more about your practice and inspirations. To begin, do you remember your first experience with embroidery or stitching? 

I was always creating in different mediums as a child - painting, making necklaces, embellishing clothes with thread, etc. I think I was doing embroidery long before I even knew what the word ‘embroidery' meant. I just loved the art form of stitching, the variance of different threads and all those colours! 

Are there any artists in particular that have inspired your work?

I’m inspired by many artists from varied practices - from painting to textiles to fashion. I think it’s wonderful that embroidery and other ‘craft’ arts are having a resurgence. I find inspiration in weavings, knitting, rugs, fashion, Suzani and Ikat fabrics. Also, I have much fascination in the history of textiles, specifically from Uzbek, Guatamala and Mexico. As far as embroidery in particular goes, there are two artists doing wonderful things right now that I've been admiring: Lisa Smirnova & Marie Sophie Lockhart, definitely check them out!

Have you ever experienced periods of time where you were uninspired to create? 

Yes but it's definitely about what you do what that time that is important! For me, if I feel uninspired by what I'm working on, it’s a great time to go for a walk, take a breather and gather inspiration. I’m always working on multiple projects at once too, so if I’m feeling uninspired by one piece, I’ll switch and work on something that feels right at that time. 

What other art mediums have you explored? 

Many! I have always painted and done crafty things, so after High School, I studied Visual Arts which was great for experimentation with different mediums. Even now, I like to get inspired by different types of creation like clay and then see if it can be incorporated into my current work, for example, making clay beads to weave into fabrics.

Where do you get inspiration for the patterns you create in your work? Do you plan your patterns out beforehand or figure them out as you go? 

Every piece of mine is different, I don’t have a regimented method at all. Sometimes I’ll sketch a design that’s been lingering in my head, I need to get ideas onto paper quick before it’s too late and I forget! Sometimes, I’ll even take that initial sketch into Illustrator or Photoshop to plan it our further (I have a background in Graphic Design so I guess there is a certain level of comfort there for me.) Other times, pieces are entirely random, and I’ll let colour, pattern and intuition take over. Usually, patterns emerge from colour and shapes and begin to evolve as I work.

Have you noticed any type artistic patterns in your work?

The initial step for me in creating work is painting the fabric. This can be a lengthy process! I always paint a couple of works at the same time, not knowing which piece I’ll actually work on later. After the fabrics dries, then comes the fun bit of embroidering. I see working with the thread as a replacement to the more traditional paintbrush or pencil; with embroidery, I add colour and texture to a piece and build in dimension. It’s a lengthy process but it is definitely my favourite part. I love that with each stitch made, it adds to the uniqueness of a piece, and it’s my aim to create synergy of movement so your eye dances from one intricate detail to the next. Some days can feel like there has been no progress made in my work - even though hours and hours have been put into a piece. But it’s a great feeling when it finally comes together and I can prepare to frame it (which I also do myself - I know - control freak!)

Does fashion ever inspire your art? Does art ever inspire the way you dress? 

Yes, most definitely. Especially nowadays where there seems to be a big revival in handmade products and crafts. I love the crossover between art and style and would love to explore fashion more in my work someday. I myself can’t say no to any clothing or accessories that are embroidered or beaded! 

For our fifth issue Prints and Patterns, we have been all over the internet looking for pattern information and resources. Do you have any online resource recommendations for pattern inspiration? 

I’ve been a big fan of the website Patternity, they are a great resource for information and visuals.

Do you plan ahead with your artistic endeavors? Do you have any upcoming projects in mind? 

I would love to have a solo show one day and I’m really keen on expanding my work into clothing, accessories and housewares!

We can't wait to see where you go with clothing and accessories and are looking forward to your future creations. 
Thank you for having me, hope you and your readers enjoy this Contribution to Issue Five!


© Liz Payne 2016