Friday, December 26, 2014

String Box 4, for my brother and his beautiful family

String Box 4, 2014. Watercolor and hand embroidery.

I know I'm a little obsessed with these String Boxes. I can't believe that I've only made four, because there is something about the contrast of the wild colors of the watercolors and the precise structure of the embroidered boxes that makes me happy.

Another view. Which way is up?

String Box 4 was made for my brother Joe and sister-in-law Charisse. My family is small (my parents, my brother, sister-in-law and my two nephews, who live in Austin.) 

To be honest, sometimes all of the smiling family Christmas photos on Facebook make me feel left out. I don't have children of my own. I'm divorced. I have the desire for a big family, but it wasn't in the cards for me. Although I'm a non-traditional person, I'm not immune to longing for what I don't have. People who have children are so lucky.

WIP. Stitching the crosshairs. 

But what I DO have is amazing. Joe, Charisse, Kelsey, Hudson and my parents, Peter and Min. They are all so loving and kind to me. They all make me feel like I belong to them. They take care of me. I wish I could take care of them, too. 

Before the first stitch.

All I can do is share my love with them (I try to be a good aunt, sister and daughter) and make them things. And String Box 4 is what I made for Joe & Charisse, who bailed me out of an enormous abyss this year. I can never thank them enough. 

Another view of String Box 4, 2014.

This is all I have to give. 


  1. For the benefit of hard-core arties, here's a standard definition of the hook: "A musical idea, often a short riff, passage or phrase, either melodic or rhythmic, that is used to make a song appealing, to catch the ear of the listener." And the thing about hooks is that they have an almost neurological effect. They do something to you. They get to you. They push your buttons in a way that's hard to withstand.
    It's a pity that useful words like "hook" and "riff" don't find their way more into the discussion of art, because there's some art they can help us to understand. Take that definition of "hook" just provided, and change "musical" to "pictorial". It could be a description of the string box. This work is all hook, it's designed as a simple, strong visual catch; one riff, writ very large. And damnation, it's good.

  2. They are gorgeous. And your gift is tremendous.