Turtle Trax Diary. Page 44
February 15, 2004
Mid-Winter Rapture! Er... it's cold, but that's normal in Ohio in February!
by Lucky Magnolia (Susan Shie)
Above is a detail of my new piece "Studio Blessing #9", which you can see the full image of at the end of this diary. Think Spring, folks!
NOTE: This diary is in progress, as of Sunday night, Feb 15. Ok, I'm behind schedule, but I'll try to get it all done by tomorrow night! Please come back!
Topics in this diary: Camp from November, 03; my trip to teach in Santa Barbara; my trip to speak at Quilt National at the City Museum, St. Louis; Jimmy's pine needle case; Christmas; YaYas; my grandparents' marriage license; Chinese New Year's; "Aquarius #5"; Tamm Wallace's "Red Panties" quilt; visiting Lunn Fabrics; first meeting of the Dough Girls Bread and Art Club; "Peace Cupboard"; Willy's birthday!!
Camp here at Turtle Moon Studios November 5 - 11, 2003 was a wild one! We had three very gifted students, from left: Janelle Duplechin of Spring, Texas; Hill Carter of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Denise Hitzfield of Roanoke, Indiana. Janelle is a doll maker and makes very wonderful textures with all media she touches! Hill is a former gallery owner, and both she and Denise have just begun to make art quilts.
In this photo, taken the first day of camp, the students teamed up to solve a problem: the best thimble for Hill to wear. Everyone has their own opinion on thimbles, and we got some excellent solutions going that day!
Denise celebrated her birthday while at camp, which is something that always makes our home happier and gives us another reason to throw a party! Her birthday was on the Full Moon, which was also called The Harmonic Concordance! Good vibes!
We used to make tee shirt sets in camp, with each student bringing a white tee shirt, and we'd work like crazy to get the fronts and backs of all the shirts done during the camp. But although that was an excellent way to learn about the airbrush and collaborating, I got to thinking it took too much of our valuable class time, and I wondered how many of the students ever wore those wild limited edition shirts!
Now we do a set of similar work, but the format is very small. we use small rectangles of fabric and take turns airpening the starts of all the works, then brush paint the colors in. Just like in the tee shirt project, each artist takes a turn by drawing or painting on their own piece first, and then making the same image on the others' pieces. I started these with little line portraits of each of us, and we built it out from there. Each of us now owns a little 10" x 6" or so painting on fabric, to do with as we choose. It has nice memories for us all drawn and painted into it.
In classes I teach, I always demonstrate my techniques, and I had a little order to make, at the same time I needed to demo airpen, airbrush, and brush on paint for this camp.
So I used my birthday painiting commission for Becky Kelly as the demo piece. She had given me lots of things to incorporate into her piece, which was something like 12" x 12", and it took a little pre-planning to get everything in. I love doing paintings like this, and am always relieved and happy when the buyer gets her piece and tells me it's good. Yea! Becky liked it!
This was an airbrushed demo-started piece, and this is how far it got in camp. I made an astrology chart for the exact time of the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse and then decided it was cool enough to become a quilt.
I used it to demonstrate making my quilted holes and shisha mirrors for the students, and then did some machine and hand quilting on it. I hope to get this one done soon, so I can show it. Even though it doesn't have airpen lines, I think the airbrush work is nicely rich and crisp lined, enough that I don't have to embroider over the lines. Hurray!
The day after camp ended, I flew out to Santa Barbara to teach for The Coastal Quilters Guild.The trip was Nov 12 to 16. It was a wonderful experience, thanks to Angela Moll and her husband Thorsten Von Eicken, whom I stayed with, and to my coordinator Robin Ruge. Well, ok, the whole class was full of super people, and I enjoyed giving my slide talk at the guild meeting the night before the class began.
Here is Angela Moll in her studio high on beautiful Camino Cielo. In front of her are art quilts she'd been making the past year, which are wild and colorful. But AH! On her walls behind the camera, were incredible new works, her "Secret Diary" series of compositions I've never seen the likes of! Using screenprinted writing, Angela is creating very unique, basically not readable writing quilts. The letters, being illegible, become only textures and patterns, and the way Angela is using her colors and textures is outstanding. Just wait til you get a load of her very new, fresh body of work!
Here's the whole class's work output for my Lucky Samplers Class in Santa Barbara. All the pieces are unfinished.
Here are Thorsten, Angela, and Robin, posing on a bench in downtown Santa Barbara, the afternoon we took time to be tourists together. What a pretty downtown this is!
Next trip: St Louis, Nove 21-24. In Maryanne Simmons' Wildwood Press studio, I climbed up a huge ladder to take this shot of the first and current Cookbook Print Quilts laid out side by side for comparison, when I flew to St. Louis to have a conference with my Island Press Print Quilters and give a talk at Quilt National, at the City Museum.
These quilts are each about 75"h and 48"w. Each has eleven panels. There will be 19 full print quilts when the project is done, and we're working on #8...Devilled Eggs, right now. You can always read my diary entry about the making of the first one of these Print Quilts, here at a Turtle Art Camp in June, 2002.
Here are Amanda Verbeck, Jessie Van der Lann, and Roxanne Phillips, the three amazing women working with me on my Cookbook Print Quilt Project in St. Louis. They've got the bottom panels of Cookbook Print Quilt #1 and #7 laid out together for comparison.
In Feb, 2004, they've finished #7 and are working on #8. I need to get the diary writing, drawing, and recipe onto the panels and to them by March 25, if they're really able to make each quilt in ten weeks' time now! I am stunned!
This is Maryanne Simmons, the Master Printer of Wildwood Press in St. Louis, in her loft, showing me one of her own artworks. This is a very process oriented, conceptual and site specific piece, made with and about the earth of her land property. I need to get a little paragraph about it from Maryanne, because that doesn't say it well at all!
Maryanne hosted my visit to St. Louis, and I stayed at her loft while I was meeting with the print quilters and giving my talk at The City Museum.
Quilt National was wonderful there, as it was the full exhibition, not just parts of it, which is what most of the tour venues are. Jill Fisher, Maryanne Simmons, and the Women's Support charity of St. Louis have hosted Quilt National since 1987, to raise significant monies for their work with women in need. I feel honored that this was my third time to speak at Quilt National in St. Louis.
Jimmy's been making some really beautiful custom leather case orders this year, and this is one of my favorites. Made for Jim Holm, this piece includes a hand tooled and painted May Fly in the center insert, and hand carved and tooled pine needles and cones encircling the insert. It's all hand sewn, of course, made all by hand, from scratch, with Jimmy'ss own molds to curve the leather case.
Inside the case holds fly fishing flies, on cork strips on one side and on sheep shearling on the other.
See more of Jimmy's work on his site.
My sister Debi, my California cousin Linda, and I had some good times when Linda came to visit this Christmas and spent a week at our house. One day the three of us went shopping, with us getting to show Linda a really good Ohio time, hanging out in the Smuckers Jelly store and Lehman's Amish Hardware Store. We ate lunch at Bishop's Drive-In, known for their famous onion rings They actually decorated the Christmas Tree with onion rings, too!
Oh, in this picture, I'm holding up the Magic Eight Ball that Linda (right) has just given to me for my Christmas gift. Debi is responsible for us all wearing Christmas garland necklaces, AND, you can't see them, but she got us earrings that flash really bright lights like police cars, and yes, we wore them ... part of the day!
We always have a YaYas Christmas party, and it's always at our YaYa Queen Pat's house. So here are YaYa Pat and YaYa Rita, who is my YaYa roommate when we do YaYa adventures with any group of our 8 to 10 YaYas. It's a secret society, of course, so don't even ask.
We also bring husbands and Cousin Lindas to these YaYa Christmas parties.
I had a super wonderful time with Debi and Linda, and enjoyed doing some family genealogy with Linda and our Uncle Charlie and Cousin Tom, exploring family cemeteries and checking out our grandparents' marriage license.
This is the marriage license of Orville Snyder and Lydia Ellen Hartzler, our grandparents on Mom's side, from Plainview, Texas, Sept. 29, 1910. I found it years ago in the bottom of a big blanket chest my Great Grandpa Joe Hartzler made, and which we'd always called The Organ Chest, because it had been made from an old organ's wood. When I found the license, I realized this chest was my grandma's hope chest, made by her father, and that my mother had inherited it from her mother. Now I have it, and I plan to give it to Gretchen.
Isn't this a quite fancy marriage license for a Mennonite couple in 1910?????? Wow! And add to that that the whole little Snyder Community, outside of Plainview, was a pioneer project, really roughing it, irrigating and farming a very dry prairie.
We're hoping Linda comes back next Christmas, and that Debi can somehow get more time off from her job to play with us. My job has flexi time built in, so I can paint, sew, and teach around holiday family visits, and yes, catch up on paperwork later!
Here are four happy Santa Boys: Jimmy, Brian (Mike's brother), our son-in-law Mike, and Bud (Mike's dad.) One Santa Boy was missing, since Frank and Kristi went to Florida over Christmas, but the rest of the Miller family came to our house for Christmas Day.
And the best part was that Gretchen and I made Christmas Dinner together in my kitchen. I haven't done that with her since she was a girl at home! We made a really yummy meal, if I do say so myself! Eileen, Mike's mom, woulda been in there with us cooking, but she got here a little late for that. Next time!
On Jauary 17th, five days before Chinese New Year (which was Michael's birthday this year!), Gretchen, Mike, and I went to see the Lion Dance at the Pearl of the Oriend Restaurant in Rocky River, near their Lakewood home.
We had no idea what to expect, but thought it would be pretty cool, since Mike was having a Chinese New Year birthday that Thursday. Wow! What a spectacle it was! The two guys in this costume (yes, it's only a costume. Sorry!) really made the lion look alive and powerful!
There were drummers, too, and their driving beat gave the lion extreme energy. We are totally convinced that any evil spirits hanging around us were driven out that afternoon, just in time for New Year's!
Next year we're going back, taking all the Millers with us and anyone else who needs a good purification and adrenalin rush! The lion, who for all practical purposes, looks like a dragon, storms into the restaurant, after receiving gifts of candy and lucky money at its altar in the hallway. Then it dance around the whole room, stopping at each table, and then whooshes out the door, visiting each table at each room in the place.
Jimmy missed it this year, because he went over to the far east side of Cleveland to a fly fishing expo that day. Then it snowed like crazy, and he came back to us, to hear our amazing stories, and possibly to regret missing the Lion Dance? So we made a huge lasagna, and Mike's folks and Frank and Kristi came over. Yum! We had full little Lion Bellies after that!
A great new bakery had opened near Gretchen and Mike's house, and we got a super loaf of old world style bread there for our lasagna fest. Yoou've gotta visit the Breadsmith Bakery in Lakewood or in any of its other 26 cities, if you get a chance! As good as my new homemade bread!
This is me and my daughter Gretchen, while we were happily building a big Chinese New Year's Eve lasagna in her kitchen. It was the same day we saw the Lion Dance and went to the wonderful new bakery, and watched the remainder of the big blizzard from the safety of her and Mike's house.
This is my "Aquarius #5" painting. Finished 1 - 29 - 04, as part of a series of paintings on Aquarius and on Kitchen Blessings (really two sub series, I guess.)
This one is 15"h x 12.5"w. It retails for $375, and I will sell it directly for $281. See my framing suggestions.
This piece, like all the paintings I'm making these days, began with airpen lines and writing. Then I work with airbrush and brush on paint, or maybe just brush on paint. This piece has both.
I came up with the birdbath filling as what St. Quilta the Comforter would really do to be a water bearer. I guess she could be watering her garden, too. But she wouldn't just be pouring water back into the water, like you see Aquarius doing so often! St Q is way too practical for that!
The tiger here was definitely inspired by the Lion Dance Gretchen, Mike, and I saw for Chinese New Year!
I'm really enjoying the time this Winter when I haven't been teaching, because I've been making a lot of paintings, and have put some on eBay. I hope to keep at least one painting on eBay at a time now, and you can search for them under my name. BUT remember that I have a lot more, a virtual TON of new paintings I've made this Winter, and I will happily sell them to you outright, besides through eBay. I would rather sell them directly, so email or call me, and ask to see some things. I don't have a new gallery set up for them yet, coz I've just mainly been painting, but I hope to soon. But just ask what I've got! And I take payments.
Note Feb 18: I just put a new 2004 Paintings Gallery online, and it has four Pisces Blessings paintings in it. Lots more to put up, but I have to pack for my trips. Look for more paintings there later. (There are only 4 Pisces paintings. The earlier numbered pieces were Year of the Hen and Love Whammies, painted at the same time as the Pisces paintings. You'll see them later!)
This is a brilliant quilt, made by my friend Tamm Wallace, who runs the John Ross Art Museum of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. I met Tamm when she was curating a show about food art last year, "Consuming Passions: Edible by Design," and we had some quilts in it. It was a great show, and I taught a workshop and was part of a slide show/panel discussion of some of the artists, and the show was also cool because it was all media. The museum is really elegant, so if she asks you to show there, do it!!!
Anyhow, Tamm and I became friends over that project.
And she started telling me about her red panties, which are her secret source of amazing Woman Power. In the workshop I taught, she made a small Lucky Sampler of this story, but this piece at left is a larger quilt. It's one of her series of Red Panties Quilts, which she exhibited in her museum in December. The series is growing.
I just wanted to share this super idea. I love it when artists come up with their own very personal and powerful images, and Tamm's Red Panties fit the bill!
We have also had get together days when Tamm comes up to Wooster and we shop and eat. We really enjoy invading JoAnn Fabrics together, and we've made challenge pocketbooks of fabrics we bought there together. We even got her sweet daughter Anastasia to put up with us on Martin Luther King Day!
On REAL Chinese New Year, Jimmy and I went down to Lancaster, Ohio, and spent the night with Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka at Lunn Fabrics, going out to supper at their Chinese Restaurant, which had a lifesized, 3-D Santy Claus at the door and lots of Christmas music playing for our Chinese New Year's dinner enjoyment! How funky can you get???
This picture of them was when we were having snacks before heading out for supper. My "Tomato Head" painting, which hangs in their kitchen, is in the background, behind Debra here.
Debra and Michael have begun working with Timeless Treasures, a great fabric company who's putting out more and more Lunn designs. Deb and Michael are happily learning the Indonesian language, in preparation for their trip to Java and Bali, to work with fabric workers there.
Go to their site and check out the new lines of "Inner Light Gradations" and "Optical Illusions" Timeless Treasures fabrics there! They feel to me like a wonderful sort of late sixties/early 70s energy designs. I bought a bunch and have begun to use them as backings for my new machine grid sewn quilted paintings.
At left is the Dough Girls Bread and Art Club's first quilt, about the new little group of three of us, who get together with our bread machines, and make bread and art, and oh, we go shopping, too.
The quilt is 16"h x 13"w, and it's machine sewn in a loose grid pattern. I added a little hand embroidery here and there, but not much. Maybe it's done now, maybe not. It has some Lunn Fabrics' new Optical Illusions fabric for the backing, which you see as the border here.
The photo above is of the very first meeting of the real Dough Girls Bread and Art Club, with Renie Meier and Margaret Freed, my cohorts in this caper. They are both watercolor artists, and Margaret is also a book illustrator. Renie also has made welded sculpture. We all belong to a larger local artists' group, WAGE, but this is a special small group. We drag our bread machines around to each others' houses and make art together, while the magical little machines work hard, baking bread!
At the bottom of the painting, you can see my new bread machine, a Zojirushi X-20, that Jimmy got me for Christmas. I named her Zojie Girl, and she makes us bread about twice a week.
"The Peace Cupboard", finished 12-31-03, is 16"h x 21"w, a whole cloth painted quilt with overkill hand quilting and beading.
I think it's my favorite piece in a long while, in spite of its small size. it's about wanting peace in the world and buying a cupboard at my friend Early's store, Uptown Downtown in Wooster, and painting it green and picturing it holding all kinds of good peace energy that you can go get into whenever you need it. St Q is playing a peace tune on her magic accordion.
This piece first showed Jan 4 - 24, 04, at Lowry Center at The College of Wooster in our WAGE (Wayne Artists Group Effort) art show, with the theme title "Three." St Q has a very nice third eye in the image, which is what qualified this piece for the theme. (Well, now all my faces seem to sport much bigger third eyes this year, and I started adding Chin Eyes or Neck Eyes, too. Yes, they are my special new invention for even more intuitive awareness!)
Now this quilt will be in a show at the Ayer Lofts in Lowell, MA, called "Mother?" The theme's point is questioning the traditional roles of mothers and how those roles have changed or not. I feel that mothers all want peace. Anyhow, the show at the Ayer Lofts runs Feb 26 to March 28, so get over to see that, if you're in Lowell. Or see it on the web. The curator Mandy Shear says it's just an info site now, but she'll add the show images once thee opening - unveiling - is over!
This quilt is also on my About Me page on eBay. You'll find several other new works on that page, too, and they're all pretty large.
Our cat Willy Pendejo turned 10 on Fab 10, which was also Debra Lunn's birthday. They are both fabulous and trail blazing Aquarians! Debra didn't get any sardines, at least not from us, but Willy got a can of them to share with his women. Here are, from left: Meeper, Marigold, Rita, Willy, and Evil Tulip.
Eating treats is still one activity in which all the cats can get along in our house, but most of the time Meeper and Rita live in our bedroom, under the Witness Protection Program, safe from the Gangster Rapper Posse of Evil Tulip (T Biddy) and her thugs, Willy and Marigold.
Why can't we all just get along? Would it happen if they ate sardines all the time???
That's all, Folks! I'll try to have a new diary installment around June 15.
Below is "Studio Blessing #9, a painting on unstretched cotton, finished Feb. 9, O4. Size 13.75"h x 12"w. This piece is now sold for $254, wholesale, as of March 2, but I have more, so call or email if you want to see some more Studio or Kitchen Blessings paintings, or Aquarius, and other astrology paintings, as I can get time to paint them.
Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord
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