Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Returned from San Francisco...BE YE ALSO READY!


(Above: Grave Rubbing Quilt Series: Be Ye Also Ready. Crayon grave rubbing on fabric collaged onto vintage black lace over severely sun damaged curtains. Recycled felt center, vintage buttons, hand and machine embroidery. 24" x 18". Click on image to enlarge.)

Steve and I had the most fabulous, extended weekend in San Francisco. Mere words cannot possible describe the experience of a whirlwind art adventure mixed with fine dining, sight seeing, and urban amenities...like an efficient mass transit system, multi-lingual signage, and friendly locals accustom to foreigners from the other forty-nine states and abroad.

We traveled by plane, rail, bus, car, monorail, and cable car. We ate Italian, organically "green", and Mexican prepared and served by oriental owners. We saw San Francisco Ballet's modern triple bill, hiked a couple of miles of the coastal trail with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and visited cemeteries. After all, this was a BUSINESS TRIP! Visiting cemeteries has everything to do with my current Grave Rubbing Quilt series and my installation of hanging epitaphs!

The business, of course, was ART! (Yes....I am incorporated and the trip was a totally legitimate tax deduction!) The reason for the trip centered around Colma, City of the Dead and the few other, older cemeteries still existing within the San Francisco city limits. I made dozens upon dozens of grave rubbings and collected too many epitaphs to count. Over 680 images were snapped on my camera and another 200 or so were on Steve's. I'm working on these photos....editing, color and contrast correcting, and labeling them. Each picture brings me back to the enormity of the place and the inspiration it freely gave. I'll be posting soon!

(Above: Detail of Grave Rubbing Quilt Series: Be Ye Also Ready. Click on image to enlarge.)

While traveling, I stitched on another grave rubbing quilt. These images on silk were from my recent trips to England...some from Birmingham and the center motif from London. The black lace was purchased at Terrace Oaks Antique Mall in Charleston. My love affair with kantha stitching...those wonderful running stitches that unite recycled fabrics....is as strong as ever. The taupe colored material once hung as drapery in an office. The black felt quilt center (batting) once protected a kayak or canoe being shipped to River Runner, a local outdoor sporting store. The lace...well...it's vintage. These materials have all had other uses but were stitched together as a quilt....lots of stitches. Only the outlines of the letters and some of the grave rubbing details were stitched in free motion machine embroidery. The rest....all handwork!

With any luck, I'll finish my Photoshop work tomorrow and post some of the amazing images from the trip. Just in time for my sister Wanda to visit from Germany! Other news: Mathias turned twenty-one the day before Mother's Day....He called beforehand and I heard later that he was rather "fragile" last Sunday, a day of recovery after an evening of celebration with friends! Also, Alex, my estranged son, did call for Mother's Day. It was.....well....bittersweet. Steve and I console one another with phrases like, "He's alive; he called; things might get better."

5 comments:

Julie said...

Such beautiful lace Susan. I am so pleased for you that your son rang, it shows you are in his thoughts even if he does not visit.

Doreen G said...

I'm glad that Alex called Susan-it maybe a small thread but it could lead to better things.

Jacquelines blog said...

I agree with Doreen, keep hope.
Big hug
Jacqueline

Anonymous said...

He'll come around, that must have been the best words to hear from Alex, "Happy Mother's Day." Stay strong...

Charlene Westbrook

Sara Lechner said...

I absolutely love these pieces!