I’ve always wanted to embroider a Green Man. But looking at embroideries of him, I’ve never seen one that has inspired me to do my own version.
“A Green Man is a sculpture(SP), drawing(SP), or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves(SP). Branches or vines(SP) may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament(SP), Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches(SP) and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical)” (Wikipedia)
Finally I’ve found a source of inspiration! From the Mira Calligraphae Monumenta, of which I own a copy :
” In 1561-62, Georg Bocskay, imperial secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, inscribed the Mira calligraphiae monumenta as a testament to his preeminence among scribes. He assembled a vast selection of contemporary and historical scripts, which nearly thirty years later were further embellished by Joris Hoefnagel, Europe’s last great manuscript illuminator. This book, now in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, is reproduced here in complete facsimile form,… Topics include Hoefnagel’s nature imagery, which encompasses plants, fruits, and small animals, and its relation to the spread of interest in botany and zoology at the end of the sixteenth century. ……” (Amazon)
Never mind Herbals – I regard this as my best ‘natural image’ source book for embroideries. Here’s a couple of images from it :
The Green Man that inspires me :-
Laid gold passing for his hair and whiskers, with some darker gold for the shadows (eg the underside of his hair), some padding around his eyes and mouth, and the actual face done in needlepainting. The beard would be interesting to do – in silk or in shades of gold metal thread, or a mixture?
The actual eyeballs would be really hard to get correct – I’d have to think about that. Maybe consult with Jane of Chilly Hollow Adventures – she’s good at things like that.
I don’t plan to do the branches with the acorns that extend out the top sides of his head, or the red thingy on top. Just his face would be enough. I think that I would include the horns, to provide balance in the ‘weight’ distribution in the piece.
More images :-
Green Man Embroideries
More images from the Mira Calligraphae Monumenta