Courtney Cox has been interested in textile art since early childhood. She was fascinated by the cross stitch works made by her grandmother and the crocheted blankets made by her great-grandmother. Beginning as a young child by weaving hundreds of pot holders and sewing them into blankets, she graduated into experimenting with yarn, playing with finger weaving and braiding techniques. In middle school, Courtney became enamored with the idea of the lady’s favors of the Middle Ages; small gifts bestowed upon knights during jousting tournaments. She hand stitched dozens of them, working mainly with lace and ribbons. For several years in high school, she designed jewelry by knotting and braiding hemp rope and embroidery floss. As a young adult, she taught herself to crochet and made blankets large and small, as well as decorative motifs.
Finally, in her mid-twenties, Courtney was introduced to hand embroidery. She was immediately taken with the medium and worked tirelessly on various freehand, original designs for hours every day. Soon, she started accepting commissions, and then entered her work into a state-wide juried art show in Texas. Her work, “Self-Impression,” pictured above, was juried into the show in September 2018. This began her journey into the world of fine arts.
More recently, her work has turned from florals and abstract pieces, toward portraiture and figurative studies.
Working as a fiber artist with a specialization in hand embroidery, my art addresses modern observations through an ancient lens.
Using the everyday tools of a needle and thread, I explore my subjects and tell their story one thread at a time. Investigative and communicative, my process of creating images through thousands of stitches begins with photographic references. The photograph is converted to an original design, transferred onto fabric, and hand embroidered over days or weeks.
My portrait work ranges from a romantic observation of the human existence to commentary on politics or global crises. My non-portraiture work has included subjects just as varied. These hand embroideries may be embellished with watercolor, cut away partially or entirely, or mounted in unusual ways, such as onto a backward canvas or a fly swatter.
Self-taught in the art of hand embroidery, my work does not consciously adhere to any rules or traditions apparent in the legacy of hand stitching. In every piece, my careful use of needle and thread invokes a sense of discovery.