Ruth Miller: A Contemporary Artist Who Uses Wool Tapestries and Thread Drawings to Enhance Light and Shadow

“Congregants,” 20 x 35 inches. All images © Ruth Miller, shared with permission

If you’re searching for a new way to enjoy art, you should consider Ruth Miller’s work. She is an embroiderer based in the United States who uses wool tapestries and thread drawings to create one-of-a-kind pieces that investigate light and shadow. Her portraits are fascinating – she begins with a line drawing in pencil, then layers stitches in yarns of realistic and fanciful colors. The result is something genuinely unique that allows you to appreciate the material’s texture and aesthetics. “When coupled with realistic drawing, this modest amount of physical depth adds to the images’ sense of presence and immediacy… The stories they tell in my studio become more concrete and nuanced in my imagination, as they would during a conversation that is continually extending,” the artist explains.
In addition to her professional work, Miller creates life-sized embroidered drawings that can take several months to complete. On her website, she describes the process in detail. “I spend a lot of time at work just looking; first seeing, then wondering,” she says. “Each item on this page affected me in some way, as the tales within them took shape in my mind.”

“The Impossible Dream is the Gateway to Self-Love”
Left: “Teacup Fishing,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 58 x 31 inches. Right: “Our Lady of Unassailable Well-being,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 19 x 21 inches
Detail of “Teacup Fishing,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 58 x 31 inches
Detail of “Unspoken Truths”
Photo by Ann Madden