Still considering herself a painter Zavaglia finds it difficult not to refer to her embroidered portraits as “paintings”. Although the medium employed is crewel embroidery wool, the technique borrows more from the worlds of drawing and painting. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth. Using wool instead of oils has allowed Zavaglia to broaden the dialogue between portrait and process as well as propose a new definition for the word “painting”.