thread painted photo of yellow flowers in Caribbean
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#StoryBehindtheArt – “Hanging”

I suppose that the title of this piece should really be “Hangin'” with a casual dropping of the G. It does refer to the way the flowers seem to be just hanging from the plant, but it is sort of a double entendre because I took the photo while we were “hanging” by the pool. I have had the great privilege to travel to the Caribbean many times during the February school break and this photo was taken on the last of those trips that I took. It was February of 2020, and I went with my husband and daughter to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands for a week of sitting on the beach and hanging by the pool. This trip didn’t turn out to be the idyllic vacation we expected though. The night before we left, my husband’s mother went into the hospital. We debated whether we should leave, but we thought she had a bit of pneumonia, would get fluids in an IV, and would be fine. My sister-in-law was with her and so we decided to go ahead with our trip. She wasn’t fine. We flew home from BVI a day early after my husband and I had both been sick with a flu during the week. We arrived home in the evening, my husband dropped his bags, and drove straight to Providence to the hospital to say good-bye to his mom, who passed away the following day. No one was looking for COVID yet in Rhode Island in late February, but we suspect that to have been what took her and it may have been what we both had while away too. So, this photo also represents the sunny optimism of February 2020 before the world fell apart. My mother-in-law would have turned 85 this week.

To create this piece, I printed the photo onto cotton fabric, layered it over a stiff interfacing and backing, and then stitched over each of the blossoms with multiple shades of yellow, orange, white, beige and even some green thread, using tiny back and forth stitches. I also quilted the ropes behind each flower.

“Hanging” detail

This piece is matted and is available in the shop.

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