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Duckie's Box, a Mixed-Media Artwork by Leslie Sinclair

Updated on August 31, 2017

Duckie's Box Will Be Part of My Legacy

The paper box is a found object that I rescued from a thrift store. I enjoy transforming simple boxes with ordinary materials, to create a 3-d mixed-media drawing to give away.

In the bare surfaces I saw the framework for a mixed-media drawing. The box felt like it was made of cardboard, approximately 1/8" thick, and covered with a plaster like substance, possibly even gesso.

There was only the slightest watery black line on little bits of the outlines of the two rabbit figures. Mostly, the charm of the box had been the molded shapes of the bunnies, just a subtle degree of relief, so the all-white surface showed slight shadows as the lighting changed.

The sturdiness of the container invited manipulation. I added bits and pieces from a dear old disintegrating one-volume American Encyclopedia given to me by a friend in Graduate School, to provide that rich old ochre color.

To the collage text I added shapes and images from photocopied excerpts from my Chemo Journal Drawings. I found drawing, painting and collage. I drilled and attached objects from my collection box.

All Photographs copyrighted 2006 by Leslie Sinclair --- NO USE PERMITTED

Duckie is the personal nickname I gave my daughter when she was just the age shown in the photo below. She was old enough to crawl into the kitchen, open a door and pull out a large cake pan, lay it down flat, and climb into it. Then she would sit as shown, rocking back and forth, chanting "ducka ducka ducka" until some activity of her brothers distracted her.

Duckie's In Position to Chant

Duckie's In Position to Chant
Duckie's In Position to Chant

Inside the Lid of Duckie's Box

The lid is rife with images related to our lives, my daughter's and mine. Breast cancer had claimed my financial resources, so, desiring to give a gift of significance, I was delighted to find this blank box.

As another moving element inside the box, I made our own credit card, good for a lifetime of love. The card hangs inside a clear envelope that is supported by copper wires, from the lid's side-ceiling.

The Inner Heart of Duckie's Box

We had spent some months on a Caribbean island, where I met the fabric artist who created the batik fabric from which I hand sewed the tiny drawstring bag. My purpose was to illuminate my love for and respect for her.

Duckie's Box's Bag is Open

Some of my first selections for this piece were the crystals. They belonged to my mother, actual crystals from the ends of her 1950s belts.

It almost makes me cry to look at this image, and to remember how it feels to join the crystals together to insert them back into their bag. Like a peek-a-boo moment. I loved the way one can manipulate the landscape when clear sight is interrupted by facets.

The Bottom Drawing on Duckie's Box

I wanted my daughter to enjoy the tactile quality of this 3-d drawing, with the discovery of differing sensations as her viewpoint of the box changed.

Images on the bottom suggest a connection with the rural lands of her childhood, along with the fresh memories of the 87 degree-ocean swimming connections we made during that wild and warm Caribbean adventure.

A Side View of Duckie's Box

All four sides are part of the total drawing, and each one has special meaning to our relationship. The very dark left side of the box's side has text in gray interrupting the blackness.

A Primitive Side of Duckie's Box

Ink and acrylic with egg yolk provide slight contrasts, as gold paint interacts with the tiniest bits of color. Again, lines of text from the antique book emphasizes the content and visual connections of the piece.

What If I Gave You Duckie's Box - would you like it?

Would you like to own a box like Duckie's Box?

Try Your Hand At Making a Collage

What Do You Think About An Idea Like Duckie's Box?

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    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 4 years ago from CNY

      Collaging ....like many art forms can be very theuraputic.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      Lovely transformation!