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Look inside The Art of Annemieke Mein
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BB Hardback
  • Publication: 27 August 2019
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782217657
  • Stock: Temporarily Out of Stock
  • Size: 216x292 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: £25
  • Series: Search Press Classics
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The Art of Annemieke Mein


Wildlife artist in textiles by Annemieke Mein (Author)

Book Description

"Annemieke's exquisite textile art makes my heart sing! She is a master at bringing to life her wildlife subjects with needle and thread. What a glorious collection! A must-have for every textile enthusiast."
- Mary Corbet, Needle 'n Thread


The textile works of Annemieke Mein display a rare standard of artistry. She has explored beyond the bounds of craft and developed new techniques in her use of textiles and fabric paints. The illustrations in this book show how textiles can be used as an exciting sculptural medium. The artist's three-dimensional creations are works of extraordinary skill, born out of a passionate commitment to the environment that she observes with a loving eye.

Annemieke uses an amazing variety of materials - silk, wool, fur, cotton, synthetics - carefully chosen for their colour, texture, credibility and aesthetic appeal. These fabrics are then meticulously painted and stitched to faithfully reproduce her chosen subjects and to enhance the tactile quality unique to textiles. Numerous techniques are used in limitless combinations: hand and machine embroidery, dyeing, appliqué, trapunto, quilting, pleating, felting, beading, weaving and plying.

The work of Annemieke Mein will leave the reader breathless with wonder. It encourages an awareness of our natural heritage and of the need to preserve it.

Previously published in paperback 9780855329778.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Charles McCubbin ix
List of Works xv
Profile: Phillip Mein 1
Author’s Note 7

White-faced Heron 12
Coastal Banksia 14
Eastern Water Dragon 17
The morass Sale 19
Bush Jacket 21
Maternity Dress 21
Dragonfly Cape 23
Lacewing Vest 24
Butterfly Ties 25
Fisherman’s Tie 25
Grasshoppers 26
Frogs 30
Dragonflies 32
Cup Moths & Larva 34-36
Sawflies 38
Superb Blue Wrens 41
Christmas Beetles 43
The Potter Wasp I & II 45-46
The Old Lady Moth 49
Squabbling Gulls 51
Pink Emperor Gum Moth I & II 54-56
Above the Channels 59
The Nest 63
Case Moth Cocoons 64
Emerald Moth on Banksia 66
Fallen Red Gum Log 69
Fallen Branches 70
Silvereyes 73
Ameinus McCubbinonymous, Lepidoptera 77
Mythical Moth 78
Mating Mythical Moths 81
Slate Pencil Sea Urchin 85
Barnacles 88
Mussels and Kelp 90
Wattle Seed-pods 92
Here She Comes! 94
Early Birds 98
Lepidoptera Quadripartite 100
Freedom & Samplers 104-106
Night Flight 112
Fantail Rhapsody 115
Fantail Night Watch 120
Southern Blue Gum Blossoms 122
Flight Dust 124
Butterfly Dust 126
Pittosporum Seed-pods & Blossoms 128-129
Fabric Fantasy 131
Grasshopper Flight 135
Dance of the Mayflies 136
Mayfly Life Cycle 140
Frog Down Under 143
Lewin Honeyeater Nestlings I 146
Book on Lewin Honeyeater Nestlings II 150
Lepidoptera Olympia Australis 152
Pheromone Frenzy 154

Acknowledgements 159

About the Author

About Annemieke Mein

Annemieke Mein lives in Australia. She was born in Haarlem, Holland, in 1944. Annemieke has become internationally recognized as an artist and craftswoman. She was the first textile artist to be accepted as a member of both the Wildlife Art Society of Australasia and the Australian Guild of Realist Artists. She is the only textile artist to be featured in Australian Artist.

She won the inaugural Hoechst Textile Award in 1980. She is represented in the Hoechst and Husqvarna international collections, in private, national and state collections in Australia and in private collections in Holland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan and Canada. In 1988 she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal 'for services to the Arts, particularly in textile sculptures and bronze bas-relief sculptures'. 

The Annemieke Mein Gallery, a space dedicated to her artwork within the new Gippsland Art Gallery at Sale, opened in January 2018. Exhibitions change regularly.

Annemieke's website can be visited at www.annemiekemein.net.au


International Journal of the Guild of Silk Painters

This book I have had for many years and feel it is a worthwhile book to review, despite being long established.

Annamieke Mein is a superb wildlife artist, her interpretation into textiles is quite incredible. Her work involves painting and embroidery on a very large scale, as well as smaller pieces. The inspiration for silk painters is beyond measure especially if you have a love of wildlife.

Annamieke's drawings of frogs, birds, insects etc. capture reality with humour and are beautifully illustrated in this book. An absolute joy to look through when we need a prompt to get started.

I particularly love the dragonflies and mayflies. The intricacy of detail are combined with a mere suggestion of landscape and delicacy of colour to create works of great beauty.

The Textile Art Magazine - Embroidery

This tribute to the work of Annemieke Mein was first published in 1992 but remains as impressive as ever. Her expressive stitched compositions of nature are a perfect lesson in the artistry of stitch; marrying Mein's acute flair for observation and storytelling with her skill as an embroiderer (she used numerous techniques in limitless combinations - hand and machine embroidery, dyeing, appliqué, trapunto, quilting, pleating, felting, beading, weaving and plying.) Now sadly no longer able to work her legacy is captured in the beautiful photography and vivid descriptions of her processes in this book.

Anne Walden-Mills

So, I started at the beginning. Within the opening of the cover and a couple of the first taster pages before the foreword, pictured were some amazing photographs of works that appeared stitched, maybe with some relief and a colour palette which I would describe as Autumn.

The forward and profile of the artist has been written by a good friend and the Artists husband and is several pages of achievements, awards and a small insight into the admiration of this artist well, how weird I thought, that the artist did not write this themselves? Maybe they were a little shy of the absolute accolade and following she had gained. I discovered however on reading on that this artist is not about the fame and fortune but is all about the extensive study, observation and artistry in her subjects to produce a piece of work using multimedia techniques in such an intricate way you would be excused at first glance to think you were looking at a photograph.

Here I thought these photos illustrate the size of some of these works and how they evolve.
This is the artist herself some years ago.

The whole remainder of the book is dedicated to 60 pieces of Annemiekes at this point, I feel I have been given some insight and personality to the artist that using her name seems more appropriate she is starting to creep into my creative mind!

The pieces are all noteworthy and I have decided to concentrate on three of my favourites to try and give you a feeling for the delights in store.

My third choice work 49
Butterfly Dust
This piece of work draws you into the light by the trees exquisite gold and white beads highlight the feeling of the sun peeping over the ridge and the glow is continued by clever machine stitching. The stitching is continued in a similar shape to represent a valley which the main subject an imaginative butterfly - is making its way towards the light. The movement of the butterfly is represented by darker shadows painted into the background and ways of machine stitching simulating where the wings have flapped. A small scatter of beads behind the butterfly say dust which must have been disturbed as the butterfly took to the wing.
The trees in the background of the picture give distance and sights to come.

In this piece when you look closely materials that have been used are raw wool, beads, silk fabric, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, painting, dying and wool.
I defy you not to want to cup your hands and let this magnificent butterfly flutter into them!

My runner up piece the potter wasp ii
You can see here an insight into the detailed drawing and study of the wasp before the 3D creation begins. This is typical of Annemiekes rather strange pull to the insect world which one would normally not choose as a subject which would give joy to the viewer. A rather unlovable creature is depicted but Annemieke explains that she admires the rather gory survival behaviour and the creatures success.
How can you however not look at this work and see the pure mastery of the artist even if not attracted by the subject?
Female Potter wasps make many hundreds of flights with daubs of mud to make their mud pots and they leave an opening so they can lay their egg. They then hunt a grub and paralyse it before adding it to the pot and sealing each pot with a mud door. All ready for the new birth.
The mud pots shown here are each started as an embroidered square of fabric with a central hole. The fabric was shaped into a pot using tucks and
pleats whilst hand sewing and bunching up the excess fabric to the inside of the pot.
The wasp has delicate-looking wings which are free-standing and made using glittery silk stockings, veil netting, cream silk and heavy iron-on backing.
With the descriptions and background given by Annemieke, I found myself peering closer to the picture to see all the elements and how they were constructed together. Oh, what it would be to see this artist in motion!

So, to my favourite Frog down under
I was captivated by the whole wall sculpture. Wherever I look I stared intently to work out how the composition was created.
This frog has featured in a few of Annemiekes designs in the past but has been recreated in a more feline form here with a more delicate and athletic look.
This sculpture uses a technique perfected by Annemieke, which is sewing with an exceptionally tight bobbin tension and loose top thread tension to the absolute limit- This has created the almost scaly skin of the frog and when you look closely you can see the bubbling and dimpling of the thread which has created this look. The gum blossom plants shown are such a joy of French knots that I found myself wanting to reproduce the plants almost immediately!
In later sculptures, Annemieke tells us the gum blossoms were first hand-painted on the canvas, machine-stitched in different coloured buttonhole threads before the thousands, yes thousands! of French knots were added a true breath-taking result.

This book has been summarised by Mary Corbet, www.needlenthread.com as a must-have for every textile enthusiast. Annemeikes close friend Charles McCubbin sums it up as a rare standard of artistry

I whole heartily agree with these snippets.
I think every artist that uses paint, hair, stitching, material, silk, beads, threads, wool, felt, and even tights can use this book as inspiration, not to reproduce, but to take a different look at their work using techniques and colours in Annemeikes pallet to discover a different side to their work.

A truly inspirational read and insight into the techniques we probably all know but have not seen used in such world-class textile sculpture.
For those interested in these works why not have a look at Annemiekes website - https://annemiekemein.net.au there is a short video on her website about the steps and techniques used in the making of the work Superb Blue Wrens which also features in the book.


East Kent Embroiderers'

First published by Search in 1994, this re-issue is as fresh and beautiful as ever, showcasing Annemiekes timeless textile art.  Dutch-born, she has lived in Australia from a young age and specialises in depicting the wildlife of that country through works of art that delight both the artist and the viewer;  although realistic in style, by her own admission, they are not correct in every botanical or anatomical detail.  Sixty pieces of her work are shown in this volume, to be looked at again and again to fully appreciate the painstaking and meticulous detail and the level of craftmanship achieved by Annemieke.  Sumptuous colour photography justifies the higher price this is an invaluable book for every embroiderers bookshelf.


Marvel at the textile skills of Annemieke Mein in this wondrous book of her work. Find skilful and amazing use of fabric, stitch, paint and embroidery to create imaginative flora and fauna that is sheer delight. Her subjects come to life; Mr. Frog is so textured you can almost feel his skin. Annemieke uses textiles as a sculptural medium to portray insects and other wildlife in natural settings. There are no less than 60 works of art shown in this book. Step into the world of a wildlife artist, outstanding in her field. See the detailed drawings and notes she makes. Discover how she selects fabrics and stitch to convey her subjects. She reveals the progression in her work, from early flat works through relief work (I am certain that Eastern Water Dragons eye just blinked) to the more sculptural work. Backgrounds blend, as they do in real life, as camouflage; the colours being very natural. Stitch just flows along leaves or quietly in the background. Even intense stitching just seems to blend at one with the fabrics and subjects; like a symbiotic relationship. In the high-relief wall sculpture, Cup Moths the background shapes and colours are repeated in the leaf work, the cocoons blending beautifully; the moths themselves in relief but beautifully camouflaged. Other subjects include birds, beetles, wasps, gulls, branches, sea urchins, barnacles, mussels and kelp, seed pods, gum blossoms and grasshoppers. Each piece is accompanied by a description and often by drawings. Note the size of the panels, they are reasonably large wall pieces. Annemieke has also worked on costumes. She captures Australian wildlife like no other textile artist, detailed work to marvel at and admire. There is so much the textile artist can learn from this book how to approach work, how to instil a feeling of reality, how to use colour and stitch to give form. This book was previously published in Australia in 1992. Highly recommended.

Postcard Reviews

This is a beautiful book, filled with intricate designs created through embroidery and paint.

While there are no instructions on how to achieve one of the pieces yourself, there is a basic description on how they were made.

From wall hangings to free standing sculptures each one is stunning. The photography is just amazing and the skill involved is there for all to see.
All are very life like and the reality of some pieces are frightening.

I loved the stories that go with the designs, the author tells how each piece was born and brought to life.

There is no doubt of the talent and the expertise of Annemieke Mein and only in my dreams would I ever hope to be as good. This book is amazing and while filled with inspiration, it will definitely be a talking point.

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