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Jimmy full view ©Susan Shie 2011.


©Susan Shie 2011. 73”h x 37"w. #394. Peace Cozy #36.
No sketches, I think. Began painting 7-10-10 during July Turtle Art Camp. Finished this piece 1-16-11.

Whole cloth painting on fabric. Beginning drawing and colors airbrushed on with an Aztek double action airbrush, then writing applied with fabric paint in an Airpen. Machine crazy grid quilted with Aurifil thread. One row of hand sewing inside edge of border, using perle cotton, mostly hand dyed from Artfabrik.com. One Green Temple Buddha Boy bead, one Pink Buddha Girl bead. One Peace Cozy appliqué. Nature-fil bamboo and cotton batting.

Finally, a piece all about my sweet husband and life partner, Jimmy Acord!  I was thinking about a woodcut print that I’d made in college, of Jimmy using a French shoe hammer, working on a boot held upside down on a shoe last.  I think I had called that print “Billet Doux,” which means “Love Letter.” But without digging out a copy of the print, I hand drew this piece about Jimmy with my airbrush, directly on the white cotton cloth, as a demo for my camp students here at home. I put Jimmy with his boot and hammer, but this time, I made him full length, with the three black Labrador retriever girls we’d had from 1978 to 2007: Lucy, Elvira, and Hattie, playing together around his legs, even though we’d owned them one at a time.  I put a big apple (or tomato?) beside Jimmy’s face, and at the end of working on this piece, I drew our new puppy Libby’s face in that apple. We weren’t even talking about getting a new dog, when I started this piece last July.

I got about a third of the airpen writing done while the camp was still going on, but then set the piece aside til January. When I started my diary writing again, I added news about Libby, whom we’d gotten on October 8th, our first Double Doodle – a designer dog, a mix of labradoodle and golden doodle. What a lot of work, and what a cutie she is! Now Libby’s 5 months old, in mid January, 2011!

Much of the writing is about Jimmy’s life and our life together, but I also threw in some current events, and toward the end, some about the shooting massacre in Tucson on January 8, 2011, where 6 were killed and 12 wounded, including  the main target of the killer, a US representative, Gabrielle Giffords, who was holding a neighborhood meeting with her constituents, when the killer opened fire.

Right now Giffords is making a fast recovery from being shot through the left side of her brain, and the world is watching. A huge controversy has emerged over how much the viscious rhetoric of the extreme right was responsible for this terrible event, since Sarah Palin had actually put rifle sight crosshair images on a map, over the 20 congressional districts in the US, that she wanted the Republicans to really “target” to get changed to their party. Giffords is even on tape, complaining about this strange and twisted way of campaigning.

Jimmy was born in southern Illinois and moved to Ohio in 1964, when most of his extended family moved here, for jobs in the oil industry. He dropped out of ROTC, when the students were killed at Kent State, and I know I would have loved him when we were kids, if I’d only known him then. It took my divorce, for me to finally meet my Jimmy in the Fall of 1976, and soon we were living together at our little hippie commune, the Needle’s Eye, in Wooster.

He began doing leather work in 1977, calling his business Barnfire Leather, til we moved out here in 1991, when it became James Acord’s Leather. We got married finally in 1990 and had our 20th anniversary last June 30th.

We share Gretchen, my daughter (his stepdaughter) and her husband Mike, and our granddaughter Eva, who’s now 6, and the apple of her Poppy’s eye. They (GEM) live in Lakewood.

Jimmy got into fly fishing in 1997, when the wife of his now best firiend Doug Hall ordered a cigar case with bamboo rods and tied flies on it, starting Jimmy into the concentrated work he now does for fly fishing cases. Before then, he would make a custom piece of any type of leather work, when anyone ordered it. He’s totally immersed in fishing bamboo with handmade split cane rods and making his very unique line of cases, one order at a time, all handmade only by him, for customers around the world. Jimmy just doesn’t get to to fishing enough!  I hope that improves.

I love you, Jimmy Bear!  Your Susi Bunny
in Wooster, January 16, 2011.

You might also enjoy reading my blog entry about this piece, which includes some photos of Jimmy, since we met.

Jimmy detail. ©Susan Shie 2011.


Jimmy detail. ©Susan Shie 2011.


Jimmy detail. ©Susan Shie 2011.


Jimmy detail. ©Susan Shie 2011.


Jimmy detail. ©Susan Shie 2011.

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