"Navalny: 9 of Wooden Spoons (wands) in the Kitchen Tarot."

by Susan Shie Contact me

back to 2023 Gallery page

Navalny.  Full view.  ©Susan Shie 2024.


"Navalny: 9 of Wooden Spoons (wands) in the Kitchen Tarot."

©Susan Shie 2024.  60"h x 60"w.  inventory #533.  Peace Cozy #89. chose tarot card 12-16-23. made sketchbook drawings 2-24 to 3-1-24.  made quilt 3-2 to 5-30-24.

Materials: white kona-like cotton from Test Fabrics, Createx airbrush paint, Posca paint markers, Aurifil cotton machine thread, Artfabrik variegated hand dyed perle cotton embroidery thread, one Green Temple Buddha Boy bead. Pellon bamboo and organic cotton batting. Mostly Lunn Fabrics hand-made cotton batiks on backing and border. 

Techniques: Whole cloth painting. Black line freehand drawing and color areas painted with Aztek double-action airbrush and airbrush paint. Smaller writing done with Posca paint markers, because my wrists were both broken in dog falls, over time, and I no longer have the strength to use my airpen for small writing with paint. Mostly machine sewn, with one row of hand stitching of perle cotton thread from Artfabrik.com (on the border's outside edge.)

Susan Shie.  Turtle Moon Studios.
2612 Armstrong Drive, Wooster, OH 44691  susanshie@gmail.com  330-317-2167 www.turtlemoon.com

I am a social justice activist painter and fiber artist, mixing current events, history, personal experiences and ideas into my art.   I airbrush whole cloth works which I then write on and sew. I also make many large, double-page, finished drawings in my hardbound sketchbooks, and those look a lot like my quilts.  My artwork and writing are all spontaneous first drafts on the artworks.  I don't like to look at my sketches, while I'm drawing with the airbrush and paint, to create the piece's images on the large cloth, because I want my images to remain very fresh and honest, and I want to enjoy creating them.  I let myself sneak looks at the sketches, just to remind myself what goes where, sort of.  I love the feeling of drawing and writing on that big, scary, blank piece of white cloth, using my airbrush and black paint, and "letting 'er rip!"

Many large detail images of this piece are here, below my artist's statement.

My statement about this art quilt:


On Dec 16, 2023, I chose for this quilt, the Tarot card the 9 of Wands, which are Wooden Spoons in my Kitchen Tarot deck.  (Including this piece, I only had 3 more Kitchen Tarot Card Quilts to make, out of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck.  I’ve been making these quilts for the Kitchen Tarot since 1998, so this is getting exciting now!  26 years of making this project so far!!!  The “end” is in sight now!!  Maybe one more year, to make the last 2 pieces, after this one! 


So, back to THIS Kitchen Tarot quilt: Navalny!  I was, and I remain very moved by the heroic efforts Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia Navalnaya made, and she continues to make, to try to free Russia.  Over and over, they risked their lives to keep the People informed of the Kremlin's mafia-like behavior.  Their two children, Daria, born in 2000, and Zakhar, born in 2008, have always been included in their parents' political rallies, etc, and now Daria is also speaking for human rights in Russia, along with her mother.


This quilt is my testimony to both the love between Alexei and Yulia and their amazing devotion to the cause of making Russia into a democracy.  When I was thinking of how to portray them for this quilt, the word "Pieta" came into my head, and instantly, I pictured Yulia holding Alexei's dead body.  I made a rough drawing of that idea, and then did a very detailed sketch of Michelangelo's "Pieta."  I knew that this would be the main image in my painting of the Navalnys, and in the end, I only glanced at my original very simple pen drawing of Yulia holding Alexei, when I drew this piece on this big cloth, using black paint in my airbrush.


In the Tarot deck, the number 9 stands for the final stage of actions, reflections, thoughts, and deeds, after long struggles to reach goals.  Nines are visionary, and both of the Navalnys were visionaries, and she still is.   Monicka Clio Sakki, author of the Sakki Sakki Tarot, says about the 9 of Wands, that it represents being on one's guard, anticipation, defense, resistance, opposition to new ideas, and taking a break from a struggle.  I love to refer to Sakki's ideas about the Tarot cards' meanings, and I often quote her on my works. 

Here are some of the topics I wrote about, on this piece:

Alexei and Yulia's life and love for each other and their children and Russia.

Alexei's year at Yale University in 2010 and 2011, as a Yale World Fellow, was the turning point that radicalized him into becoming Putin's most stalwart opponent.  On this artwork, I wrote a lot from an article from Yale, called "A New Type of Russian Politician: Alexei Navalny's Rise from Yale World Fellow to Kremlin Watchdog," by Ben Raab, published in the Yale News, Feb 20, 2024, four days after Navalny's death.  His very interactive time at Yale is where Navalny changed from being a conservative to a left-wing radical, and where he learned to use the internet to reach the Russian people en masse. Yulia and their children were with Alexei at Yale that year, too.

In the top of this piece, I wrote about Navalny's death in prison in Siberia, and about the struggle his family had, in getting Putin to give them his body and let them have a funeral for him.  In the end, there was a small funeral, and Moscow's citizens were told to not even show up on the streets, to watch his hearse go by.  But there were thousands of people lining those streets, in spite of the possible retribution from the Kremlin.

Navalny was born on June 4, 1976 and died on Feb 16, 2024, at age 47. He created the political party Russia of the Future in 2013, two years after returning with his family, from Yale.  He had become the freedom-loving person we knew in his later years.  He organized many, many protest rallies against Putin, and Yulia and their children were often there with him.  He was a lawyer, politician, activist against corruption, and a very resourceful blogger. He called Putin's party, the party of crooks and thieves.

In August, 2020, Navalny was poisoned with Novichok nerve gas, and he almost died.  Yulia took him to Germany, where he miraculously healed, and then he insisted on going back to Russia, where he was immediately imprisioned again.  (Putin had him put in prison over and over, and the last prison, Polar Wolf in Siberia, is where he died, supposedly just keeling over, after taking a walk.) 

I wrote about other things going on in my own life, while I was making this piece, too.  I told about how the World Central Kitchen was very involved in feeding the Palestinians in Gaza, now, during the war there, and later told about how Israeli planes or drones attacked a convoy of 3 trucks of World Central Kitchen food and killed 7 of their volunteers, and then said it was a mistake.  That's when we learned that hundreds of aid workers and journalists and medical workers have been killed, during this horrific war in Israel and Palestine.

I wrote here about the attack on the Moscow Crocus City Hall music venue on March 22, 2024, where 145 people were killed and 551 more were injured and 95 more were missing. The Islamic State of Afghanistan-Pakistan took credit for the attack, which had 4 main attackers. They set fires to the concert venue and then slashed and shot their victims.  The sold-out crowd there, of adults and children, was there for a concert by a band called Picnic.  The US had warned Putin about this type of attack being planned by ISIS.   Putin insisted that the attack was done by Ukraine, but that wasn't true.

I wrote about the April 8, 2024 total Solar Eclipse, which we, from Southwest to Northeast Ohio were in the totality of, for the first time since 1806, when Jefferson was President, and Louis and Clark were on their expidition, exploring the huge Louisiana Purchase, that more than doubled the size of the United States.

I told about the election in Russia on March 15-17, in which many of Navalny's supporters took the advice he'd given them, before his death, to wait and vote right at noon on the last day of the 3-day election.  They did that, and it showed how many people still supported him, often writing his name into their ballots.  It showed Putin how may Russians still support Navalny.

I write a haiku as I think up each line of it, on each of my drawings, and I’ve done that for many years now.  Recently, I also started writing haiku on my quilts. Here’s the haiku I wrote on Yulia's face:

“Their powerful love.
Kept them working together.
To make Russia free!”
And I wrote another haiku on Alexei's heart:
"A fairy tale love.
One is killed, and one goes on.
Pray for Russia now!"
And I added another line to that: "Pray for all the world!"

When a quilt I'm making is almost done, even after I'd done all the quilting, I have to choose where to put the Peace Cozy.  This one would be #89 in my use of them, but I forgot to put one on, and did my big photoshoot and album, and just realized there's no Peace Cozy on this quilt!  It's the Peace Symbol on a little 1" or so piece of light green cloth.   So there is no Peace Cozy here, but I sewed it onto the back!  Yikes!  If I'd have thought of it before the photoshoot, I'd have put that Peace Cozy into Yulia's hair or in the palm of Alexei's left hand.  You can bet I won't forget to place a Peace Cozy on each of my newly-finished quilts, ever again!!!

I hope you like this piece and can read the writing in the detail pix below!


Power to the People.  

– Susan Shie.   Wooster, Ohio

June 4, 2024


Below here are a lot of detail images from this quilt, "Navalny: 9 of Wooden Spoons (wands) in the Kitchen Tarot," so you can see and read my stories better.

© Susan Shie 2024 Navalny detail 1

Navalny detail 2 ©Susan Shie 2024.



Navalny detail 4 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 5 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 6 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 7 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 8 ©Susan Shie 2024.

  Navalny detail 9 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 10 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 11 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 12 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny detail 13 ©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny_det13_©Susan Shie_2024


Navalny_det15_©Susan Shie 2024.


Navalny_det16_©Susan Shie 2024.


back to 2024 Gallery page

Turtle Moon Studios: Outsider Art Quilts and Paintings
Susan Shie

Contact me

| Home | | Classes | | Gallery | | Green Quilts | |Links |
| Resume | | Stuff to Buy | |Turtle Trax |
| Visit Jimmy's Leather Studio

Copyright 1997 Susan Shie and Jan Cabral

Web site design © Susan Shie and Jan Cabral 1997 via Key to the Web. All subsequent web site work, ©Susan Shie 1997-2024.

This page updated by Susan Shie, June 4, 2024.