Homage to Matisse by Sara Trucksess

If you don't know who Sara Trucksess is, then you'll get to know one of the most amazing and lovely needlepoint designers in the industry.


Sara Trucksess' love for Matisse

Before creating her needlepoint business, she spent her early career in museums and auction houses including Sotheby’s, the Corcoran Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She loves art, and needlepoint was a natural escape for her, when she decided to settle in Kansas City to raise 4 boys.

Being a major art history with an expertise in French, Matisse is by far her favorite artist of all time, so this collaboration with us is perfect and needed to happen!

Why we decided to include a clutch in this collection, despite being the only clutch we have available? Another fun fact about Sara, is that she is the QUEEN of needlepoint clutch designs. 



Odelisque in Red

The Matisse painting that inspired both of Sara's designs is called “Odalisque in Red” from 1924-25, and it is in the collection of the l’Orangerie in Paris (one of her favorite museums in the world).

Below you have Sara's interpretation of this beautiful painting.


"Matisse was a master of color and shape, and as a color and pattern lover this is one of the reasons I adore his work most.

But as a product of his time, Matisse was not immune to the exploitation of women in his work. The Odalisque (another name for an enslaved Turkish concubine) was a common theme in Western European art as it began to turn toward the Impressionist period of the early 19th century. The use of the Odalisque in popular art (first painted by Ingres in 1814) was considered shocking and vulgar, her direct gaze overtly sexual, and her station in life inappropriate for classical painting genres.


Matisse painted a significant series of Odalisques, challenging the status quo of the standards for art and female beauty in his time.

However, nearly all of his odalisques are imprisoned in heavily wallpapered, albeit beautiful, interior spaces, usually inspired by the Eastern/Turkish/Orientalist themes of their native lands that Matisse was enamored with.

Although not all of his beautiful interiors always included women, these spaces would occasionally include an idyllic window out onto the world, while the fantasy of color, pattern and exotic sex were safely encased within the heavily decorated walls he created for himself and his viewers.


In reinventing, reimagining and being inspired by Matisse’s colors and patterns for this project, the history was not lost on me.


These canvases have been named “Hors des Mûrs (Outside the Walls)” and “Hors de Bleus (Beyond the Blues)” as an homage both to Matisse and to the enslaved women of his paintings.


Hors de Murs Sara Trucksess inspiration Matisse

 Hors de Mûrs, by Sara Trucksess


Sara Trucksess needlepoint tapestry Matisse collection contemporary artist

Hors de Bleus, by Sara Trucksess


The women now stitching these pieces are perhaps now safely ensconced in their own beautiful interior spaces, but this time by choice.


The clutch design, when used as a purse, is now moving far beyond the walls of Matisse’s interior spaces, carried by a woman with infinitely more choices to live her life how she chooses.

And the pillow design, when displayed in an interior space by a woman who has made it by her own hand, stands as a reminder that the beautiful spaces of her life are now entirely hers to design."


Shop Sara's Matisse-inspired collection

It's impossible not to fallen in love with Sara's history and description of what was behind her inspiration.


Happy Stitching!