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The Bunka Embroidery Portfolio of Mary Lee Chisholm

An embroidered image of a floral sceneFloral Rainbow

Mary Lee Chisholm-Morgan works in Bunka embroidery, a style of embroidery that originated in Japan, and became popular in the United States in the 1970s. In her art portfolio, Mary Lee uses the technique to create images of a wide range of subjects.

A bunka embroidered image of a dragonTurquiose Dragon


I’m really impressed by the level of detail that Mary Lee is able to capture in each of her works. Seeing photographs of finished and framed pieces, I wouldn’t immediately guess that these are embroidered -- many of the pieces look like detailed paintings or drawings. Many of the artist’s works depict animals and flowers, and there’s an aesthetic to these pieces that seems, perhaps, influenced by traditional Japanese modes of art-making.

The front page of Mary Lee Chisholm's Bunka art websiteThe front page of Mary's art portfolio website


Mary Lee tends to emphasize composition and negative space, not filling the picture plane with detail but instead drawing the viewer’s eye across a clear path, and leaving blank space for contemplation.

An embroidered design of autumn leaves with snow on themWinter's First Snow

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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