Monday, September 26, 2011

At Rest in Arkansas and other art

(Above: At Rest in Arkansas, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt Series. 16" x 17". Crayon rubbing on silk collaged with vintage household linens. Hand and free motion machine embroidery. Click on image to enlarge.)

A recent SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) newsletter included information about the Texas Quilt Museum and Karey Bresenhan's (of Quilts, Inc.) request for small quilt donations for its gift shop. I thought I'd make something using one of my grave rubbings made in Arkansas; but the piece sort of "got away from me", growing in size and complexity, and becoming something I could use in my upcoming exhibition in Rocky Mount next January thru May.

(Above: At Rest in Arkansas, reverse. Click on image to enlarge.)

Giving this piece a title was momentarily difficult. I already have a piece called At Rest. The title At Rest II was considered ... but it sort of implies a "series" or at least two "related" works. The only thing similar is the concept. I suppose the same name is possible. My mentor, Stephen Chesley has several pieces with the same name. Yet, each one of these grave rubbing art quilts is unique ... even if the image (as in this case) can be found on multiple tombstones. I've seen variations of the "picket fence"/"pearly gates" under an arch with a dove many times. The "anchor" motif in the upper corners were new to me though. I've only seen this combination in Arkansas ... hence the title.

(Above: At Rest. Shown as an example for why I just couldn't call the newer piece At Rest II. This piece is currently at Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona for my solo show ... opening October 7th. I'm going for the reception on the 21st!)

(Handed Down. Vintage, off white kid leather glove on antique quilt scraps. Hand stitched.)

So ... what did I finally decide about a donation to the Texas Quilt Museum? I sent Handed Down. There's a bit of serendipity to this. First, I actually do have two pieces with the same title: Handed Down! Second, the antique quilt scraps for this small piece were given to me by Connie Akers ... of Texas! The piece is sort of "going home".

(Above: Handed Down. Vintage gloves and cutwork tablecloth, antique paisley. Hand stitched. Two pieces, one title ... now I don't have to worry about this as the smaller one has been donated!)

(Above: Reba, my new studio assistant. Click on image to enlarge. Please note: At Rest in Arkansas was "in progress" by my Bernina.)

There's plenty of other art being made in my studio ... including some of the "paperwork" that happens with various installation. Last spring I showed "I Do / I Don't". The public was invited to share their statements about marriage and divorce before the installation ... but also DURING THE INSTALLATION. I still had four large pieces of mat board with all these collected statements (leaning up against the wall in the photo above). My new studio assistant Reba spent hours typing them into a "word document". Thank goodness this is now done ... months after the fact. I hope to use these statements in future, related work.

(Above: Stitching on Anonymous in my studio. Photo by friend and art patron Nancy Chambers. Click on image to enlarge.)

I've been busy with Anonymous, undoubtedly the most labor intensive grave rubbing art quilt to date (with the possible exception of My Epitaph Quilt.)

(Pinning the reverse to the quilt in the hallway at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios ... just outside my studio door. Photo by Nancy Chambers. Click on photo to enlarge.)

The front/top is finished. The reverse is in progress. I'll be blanket stitching the edges. Hopefully, within a few days it will be done.

(Above: Book Arts Class at City Art Gallery taught by Chris Johnson. Click on image to enlarge.)

My book arts class is going very well. Last week we worked on ways to embellish pages. I've never really gotten into stamps, especially those purchased at hobby and craft stores ... but I LOVE carving my own!

(Above: Some of Chris Johnson's hand carved wine cork stamps. Click on image to enlarge.)

I really liked carving wine corks ... especially the plastic ones which we first cut down the middle an used the rectangular "inside". We also carved linoleum and a soft, thick piece of white rubber. I may never use this idea ... but perhaps I will. It really was easy!

Now for some good news ... REALLY GREAT NEWS! The October/November issue of Quilting Arts Magazine includes a six page "artist profile" article on my work and me! The staff was so professional and wonderful to work with. Ellen Seeburger chose perfect words to compliment the photos ... which were taken "in house". The magazine selected which pieces they wanted and paid for them to be shipped for their "photo shoot". I'm totally over the moon about the article ... and the magazine is available all over the place ... like Barnes and Nobles and Books-a-Million, etc.

(Above: Sissy, our rescue cat ... may she rest in peace. She left pawprints on our hearts.)

Finally, some sad news. Sissy, our rescue cat, had to be put to sleep on Friday morning. Something terrible was wrong with her sweet little heart. Fluids were building up and literally suffocating her. It was so sad and we will miss her.


lynda Howells said...

sorry to hear about your catxxx love seeing all your is all so beautifulxxx

Shelly @A Creative Space said...

I popped over from Craft Gossip, first time here. Congrats on your article -how exciting! I plan to take a look for it when I head to B&N. Sorry about your fur baby kitty.

Sharon said...

It was so fun to see you in Quilting Arts Magazine! Congratulations!

Elizabeth said...

Wow!! What a full post!!! The article is so timely and wonderful!! Huge Congratulations!! I love all of these pieces but the At Rest in Arkansas is stunning!!! So much going on - there must be super powered batteries in Susan the Art Energizer Bunny!!!

Elizabeth said...

I adore carving my own stamps!!! It is also fun to cut out shpes in Fun Foam - the stuff in the kids section at Craft stores and mounting it on meat packing trays or another piece of fun foam. This is a very fast process as you can cut the foam with good detail with hand scissors!!! Your books are amazing and the new piece with the embroidered old bits- it magical!!

Els said...

Hi Sus, love to see all your work again. Great view ito the studio.
About stamp carving: why not use normal eraser blocks (here we have them for little money and they measure about 4 x 6 x 1 centimeters, nice and soft to carve!)
Have a good weekend/week (busy !) ;-)


I'm happy to see Sissy's photo here! She was a sweet kitty and we'll all miss her.


Dad has an entire trash can (tall kitchen size) FULL of wine bottle corks! He has a plan for them but I don't see it happening anytime soon (and I'm not sure of the plan either)! Also...please start eating cheese balls...not just any kind, ONLY the kind that come in the HUGE round plastic containers (like what I get at Costco...or I'm sure are available at Walmart) for Dad's squirrel houses! EAT CHEESE BALLS NOW!!!! EAT CHEESE BALLS NOW!