Mathilde Renes

The embroidered days of Mathilde Renes

We turn our attention to the characterful world of Mathilde Renes, a textile artist living in Haarlem in the Netherlands. She lives on a houseboat – what an awesome life! Her work surrounds capturing the everyday, the things which may not be special to anyone else but her and the characters she stitches. Her work lies within embroidery with mixed media approaches added to some.

Mathilde Renes
The artist herself in her houseboat studio setting

She tells us…. ‘In the picture you see me in my studio in the boat. My subjects are mainly my own life (inspired on the drawings from my illustrated diary I keep since 1997) and women in general. The last years I focused on singing women. Part of a project I was working on till covid did cancel it, was a large choir of individual singers to be showed in a church. Some of them you see on the picture.’

What is she currently working on?

At the moment I’m working on the series “Sweet Memories” based on drawings from my illustrated diary of me and my dear friend and soulmate Wilma who passed away last year. We did know each other for more than 50 years. 

On her website we learn that this stitching work was a way of processing her grief – that is something that many of us will relate to.

Mathilde Renes
Her work focuses on relationships

What materials does she use?

Most of the diary inspired work is just hand embroidery with “ordinary” DMC yarn. Sometimes I use linen yarn, embroidered on linen fabric, which comes in beautiful pastel colours and gives a different effect.

Mathilde Renes
Colourful work
Mathilde Renes
Diary style settings
Mathilde Renes
Rooms are a constant setting

She tells us more…..

‘In my other, more mixed media projects I work with a lot of (mostly) textile material and sometimes textile paint. A few years ago I “invented” to print pictures of my work (f.e. old work, details or the reverse site of recent work) on transfers and iron that on diverse layers and embroider on and around the transfer and use appliqué of vintage fabrics to complete the work. Series are “close encounters” “singing”, “the diary” “all my roses” (from 3 years ago) and “Sweet Memories” which I mentioned already. 

Actually I work in 2 very different styles: the diary inspired autobiographical embroideries and the mixed media work.’

Mathilde Renes
Embroidering life

Check out her website and her Instagram for more information!