Marin Arts & Culture May 2017 - Page 34

of things,” says Banghart. “I love the turning of relatively raw materials into finished products.” In 1995 Banghart met his wife, Zara, who had lived previously in Marin, and in 2003, they decided to retire and move to Novato, where they currently reside. Having been “an early morning coffee shop denizen forever,” on his first day in Novato, he discovered Peet’s. One day, while chatting with a coffee shop friend, comparing their art and craft projects, he mentioned the early picture of his son. An idea suddenly occurred to him. “I realized that I could use advances in digital photography, image manipulation software and my own programming skill to create full color patterns for cross stitch,” says Banghart.  He added that although others had created cross stitch patterns from photographs, they were limited to only around a dozen colors. Banghart explained that there are 454 different colors of embroidery floss, and that colors on a computer Rick Banghart incorporated hundreds of colors to create the subtleties and shading in this large portrait of his son’s family. are represented in the amount of RGB (red, green and blue) in each one. Using a color analysis tool on his computer, he created a machine- understandable list of RGB colors that matched all the embroidery floss colors. Banghart finds photos that he likes, manipulates them in Photoshop, and creates a pattern on the computer, which can be hundreds of pages long. The pattern maps out the exact location of every stitch, sorted by individual colors, because he stitches only one color at a time. An average 18-inch square piece requires roughly 32,400 stitches—and takes many months to complete. When he’s not stitching, Banghart is busy with lots of other projects, including designing sound for a few theater companies in Marin, and freelancing as a developer and programmer. Always on the lookout for new things to experiment with, he is currently working on a program that will enable him to create cross stitched pieces in 3D. Banghart admits that you have to be very patient to do this kind of work. “I do this as a kind of meditation in many ways, says Banghart. “When I’m stitching, there’s a sort of magic that happens—it’s almost as if a rapport develops between me and the subject.” Rick Banghart displays a computer-generated image that represents a 3D picture, which will be his next project. 34 MARIN ARTS & CULTURE “I love the process of doing them,” he adds. “There’s love in every stitch.” MA&C