Work samples

  • Untitled

    Wool felt, thread, kleenex box. 9x5x4 in., 2024.

  • 2020-2022, Volume 1 & 2
    2020-2022, Volume 1 & 2

    Books, lettering and page edges in rose gold leaf. 10.25x7.25x4.75, 2023.

  • Letter to the Editor
    Letter to the Editor

    Fabric collage on canvas. 18x18 in., 2023.

  • Nightgown

    Army blanket, camouflage, thread. 56x13x18 in., 2023.

About Claudia

Baltimore City

Born in Athens, Greece, Claudia McDonough is the daughter of a diplomat. She received her BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and her MFA from Southern Methodist University in Texas in 1988. Formally trained as an abstract painter, the canvas gave way to the textures of memory and experience expressed by… more

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Tipping Point

Where were we at the start of pandemic, and where are we now? What's next for us in the United States? There is a lot to consider: corrupt politicians, 1% vs. 99%, conspiracy theories, Jan 6, white supremacy, isolation, tech shifts, fake news, wars, women's rights, immigration, workers rights, the Big Quit, rising costs, and this feeling that we need a break. We are processing, trying to understand, and keep up with the social, political, and personal changes that have happened and are happening as a result of the past seven years. The work included in Tipping Point is a collection of objects in response to an atmosphere of change.

While domestic and world events continue to unfold, we are amid subtle and sometimes invisible trends and changes in our families, work lives, and human interactions. The work in Tipping Point seeks to notice our current atmosphere and ask questions about where we are.

  • Not Sure It's Love
    Not Sure It's Love

    Wool felt, thread, kleenex box. 9x5x4 in., 2024.

  • Nightgown

    Army blanket, camouflage, thread. 56x13x18 in., 2023.

  • Black and Blue
    Black and Blue

    Books, gold leaf. 10,25x7.25x4.75 in., 2023.

  • Letter to the Editor
    Letter to the Editor

    Fabric, thread on canvas. 18x18 in., 2023.


This piece is based on Simplicity Pattern #8406 Yellow Disney Princess.

Growing up in the era of Disney movies "Snow White", "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty," I absorbed all the stereotypical feminine ideals of beauty. When I saw this pattern, I wanted to create a piece that would respond to these ideals of appearance over substance.

I followed the smallest size pattern (waist 23”) and used synthetic yellow felt because it’s synthetic quality aligned with my feelings about the pattern. The heaviness of the felt as the layers got thicker and the way the material resisted the pattern in places was an important part of the process.

Sewing the dress was a physical, performative layer of the piece. The portraits of people from all areas of my life wearing the dress, fundamentally alter the princess pattern by re-presenting the feminine stereotypes. Personal identity and cultural memory combine to redefine the yellow dress as many things more generous. Time and experience, the collective and private aspects of ourselves expressed through a pattern, fabric, and action created change.

My thanks to my friends, Tori Burns, master seamstress, who helped me make the dress, Dianne Schlies, for suggesting the next step to do a series of portraits, and to everyone who shared their stories and posed for me.


  • Dylan

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Dianne

    Digital print, 2021.

  • Michael

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Colleen

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Deborah

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Tim

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Ken

    Digital print, 2021.

  • Sally

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Angel

    Digital print, 2020.

  • Lauren

    Digital print, 2021.


Ghosts appear frequently in my work and I trace it back to an experience I had in 1989 at a open mic poetry event when a woman got on the stage to read, started, stumbled, and started again. "...the soul is a sheet with two holes for eyes..." is how I remember the poem opening. It was a beautiful poem. I was very moved and felt protective of her when a group of hecklers in the back of the room mocked her. She rushed out of the room before I could meet her, affirm her, her fear, her poem, her courage to stop and start and see it to the end. This experience is at the core of a persistent image in my work.

  • Double Ghost
    Double Ghost

    Fabric, marker, graphite. 72x46x20 in., 2022

  • Sugar Figurine
    Sugar Figurine

    Porcelain figurine, fondant. 10x7x7 in., 2022

  • Memory Objects
    Memory Objects

    Clay, styrofoam, fondant, candles, paint, felt. 45x48x36 in., 2022

  • Hand in Hand
    Hand in Hand

    Quilt, rice filling, wood, paint. 30x20x17in., 2021

  • Dark Chapter
    Dark Chapter

    Book, felt. 37x24x16 in., 2022

  • Blankets

    Quilts, blankets, embroidery. 15x18x20. 2015

  • The Wardrobe
    The Wardrobe

    Wardrobe, paint, fabric. 79x40x15 in., 2017.

  • Suitcase

    Vintage suitcase, duct tape. 15X20x7.5 in., 2016

This Too Shall Pass

This too shall pass is a Persian saying thought to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets that reflects on the temporary, ephemeral nature of moments or happenings in our lives, good and bad. Wikipedia

  • Epitaph

    Artificial and live flowers, 35 in. diameter, 2009.

  • Sham

    Artificial and live flowers, staples, 2009.

  • Dirt Nap
    Dirt Nap

    Leaf Grow. 48 in x varying dimensions, 2009.

  • Pint

    Pint glass, sharpie pen, water. November 2009 - January 2010.

  • Unititled

    Balloons, ribbon. 84x72x72 in., 2008


  • Stanchion

    Stanchions, velvet ropes. 84x84x40 in., 2006.

  • Tender Barricade
    Tender Barricade

    Pillow cases, sand. 96x21x28 in., 2009.

  • Self portrait
    Self portrait

    Self Portrait, artist canvas. 5.5x17 in., 2006.


Remembrance. The act of remembering or holding a person or thing in mind.

  • Self Portrait
    Self Portrait

    Inkjet print on paper. 19x27 in., 2018


  • MWMgrid_0.jpg

    Inkjet print on paper. 14.5x30 in., 2018

  • Pink Memory Grid
    Pink Memory Grid

    Inkjet print on paper. 14.5x30 in., 2022


  • Memory Grid
    Memory Grid

    Digital prints on aluminum. 40x88 in., 2016


  • Kodak Instamatic Diptych #4
    Kodak Instamatic Diptych #4

    Inkjet print on paper. 6.75x26.5 in., 2018


  • Kodak Instamatic Diptych #3
    Kodak Instamatic Diptych #3

    Inkjet print on paper. 6.75x26.5 in., 2018


  • Kodak Instamatic Diptych #2
    Kodak Instamatic Diptych #2

    Inkjet print on paper. 6.75x26.5 in., 2018


  • Kodak Instamatic Diptych #1
    Kodak Instamatic Diptych #1

    Inkjet print on paper. 6.75x26.5 in., 2018