"Home Cookin: 2 of Potholders (coins) in the Kitchen Tarot"
by Susan Shie Contact me
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"Home Cookin: 2 of Potholders (coins) in the Kitchen Tarot."
©Susan Shie 2013. 53"h x 31"w. inventory #461. Peace Cozy #59.
Began 9-23-13. Finished 11-3-13. Lots of detail shots of this piece are below this long statement.
Materials: White kona cotton, airbrush paint, fabric paint. AURifil cotton machine thread, Artfabrik hand dyed variegated perle cotton embroidery thread, one Green Temple Buddha Boy bead. Nature-fil bamboo and organic cotton batting. Backing fabrics include Lunn Fabrics batiks.
Techniques: Whole cloth painting. Freehand black line drawing and color areas painting made with Aztek double action airbrush and Createx airbrush paint. Small, black writing made with Silkpaint.com’s basic Airpen and Jacquard Textile Colors black fabric paint. Crazy grid machine quilting, and one row of hand stitching with perle cotton thread (just on the border edge.) Also some hand brush painting, after the quilting was done.
About the tarot card: The 2 of Coinss, which are Potholders in my Kitchen Tarot deck, is the card I drew at random especially for this piece, on September 23rd, when I was starting a Turtle Art Camp here at my home studio. Twos are for partners and opposites, twins, best friends, lovers, Me and You. Coins are the Material World, in which we live and go about our daily lives. Food, money, work, shelter, the Earth - these are all Coins or Pentacles or Disks subjects. I think the 2 of Coins is about helping each other get through our efforts to survive and do our best in this world.
This piece is about learning to bring a balance into my life, about work and making a living. I chose two strong women I've been thinking about, Gypsy Rose Lee and Frieda Kahlo, to be the women in this piece, which I didn't have a real title for, besides the 2 of Potholders, for a few days.
I was reading a biography of Gypsy Rose Lee, called Stripping Gypsy: the Life of Gypsy Rose Lee, by Noralee Frankel, © 2009. I was amazed over and over, by Gypsy's intelligence and determination, her hard work ethic, her liberal political involvement, and her dedication to the many ways she donated to the causes she believed in, including many USO shows over several wars. I grew up thinking she was "just a stripper," but found out that her act was largely about her constant monologue during those strip teases, in which she never took off all of her clothes, and in which she discussed the books she was reading, the operas and plays she'd seen, the social and political events of the times, etc. She was banned from radio and television for years, because of being accused of being a Communist by HUAC - the House Un-American Activities Committee. Gypsy wrote books and plays! She collected fine art paintings (including ones given to her by Picasso and Miro, for her aid to the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War!) I found out that Gypsy was someone I wish I had known. I would love to be her friend and could probably learn a lot from her about how to handle my business. She died in 1970, when I was turning 20.
In my Turtle Art Camp in late September, 2013, my student Connie Lehman and I were discussing life, and I brought up Frieda Kahlo, mainly because of her determined spirit and love for life. In a rather convoluted thinking process, I came up with the new affirmation name for myself: Frieda Coins, who would now become the other woman on this piece: me with a Frieda Kahlo unibrow! (The convoluted thinking had to do with me telling about how I hate how the suit of Swords is treated so badly in standard Tarot, giving it the cards about fear, grief, and loss. I have had this little saying for many years: "Free the Swords!" Swords is the suit of the element Air: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius: thinking, communicating, moving, seeking justice, etc. And as I thought about the card I had drawn, the 2 of Coins, and how I want to get my money flow going better again, I said "Free the Coins!" and then slurred it into "Frieda Coins!" And I became Frieda Coins, with Frieda's eyebrows and my white hair ponytail. THAT Frieda, THAT Me, could stand beside Gypsy Rose Lee and get to work on this task of getting back to Affirmations in a feisty, determined, and loving way.
So that's why the two women are there, and about the rest of the imagery: Let's see ...
The orange Buddha at the top is a meditating Buddha Girl, sending vibes out to the Universe, for this Affirmation stuff I used to be so good at! The roses are my Peace Roses, natch, and the big fan in the middle is to fan the flames of getting the flow going again. Gypsy didn't use fans in her strip act. That was Sally Rand. But Gypsy definitely fanned the flames of Change. She was a rebel who was very vocal about the things she thought were wrong and needed to be righted, and she did things to make those Changes happen. She was a very active reformer and philanthropist (and she spent her life getting people to see beyond her stripper reputation, to the person she was, who did so much good in the world.)
The two potholders are below the fan, one on each of the women's bellies. They are wheels turning for positive change in the world, created by feisty women, the creative cooks in this kitchen! And below the potholders is a big Pie, my symbol for gifts and blessings, and it's on President Obama's head. I didn't draw this face to be Obama, but when it was drawn with my airbrush, I thought it looked more like Obama than any other Obama I've drawn! Then I gave him nice long dreadlocks, so he can remember to enjoy life and let his hair down, as he works through the latest stresses in his life: the Shutdown and the rollout of the Affordable Health Care's new section: getting health insurance plans for those of us who don't have them now.
When I started this piece, the Shutdown was going full blast and the website for Health Care .gov was having a very rocky start. I wanted to give this big pie of good vlbes to the President, to help him get through this period. I think it will all work out, and Americans will love the government health insurance program, which will get better and better, with time.
I put two little hand-held mixers in this piece, one behind each of the two women. I use mixers in my work to show stirring things up, mixing energies, so they're a symbol of the feistiness I think is good. We all need some chutzpah, well-dosed with love, to make life better for others and for ourselves.
I cooked up the pocket book symbol when I was making up my Frieda Coins character. Her bag is really my mother's cool black leather purse, but I made it orange here, and it can be in any color. It's a pocket book with a never ending supply of the money you need. We can all use that, right? Oh, and it has to always come in perfect ways.
I was staring at the piece, trying to think of a title that would embrace what I was getting at here, and the words "Home Cookin" came into my head. Well, I work at home (and so did Gypsy and Frieda, much of the time), and I see the word Cooking as a nice way of saying "Creating." We who use our creative energy to make art in many forms, often work at home, and Home also implies Heart. Our creative energy comes from our Hearts, our Intuitive Souls.
So here's to channeling our creative energy into loving, useful, and healing energies that will improve the lives for everyone, and also in return, give us the money we need, in order to be able to keep making those creations. Money is a form of energy, after all!
So here are some of the things I wrote about, besides Gypsy and Frieda:
9-26-13: My 63rd birthday is in 2 days. Libby Lehman has been moved to a different part of the hospital where she's trying to get her health back, after suffering an aneurysm and stroke in May. She's had some setbacks, and they can't do the therapies they were doing, until she gets back to where she was. Her family has a CaringBridge site for her, and we get severl updates per day. Thousands of quilters read her progress reports, and her amazing family gives us such good information. It's like we're there, and we're all praying for Libby to fully recover!
9-27-13: I wrote a lot about Obamacare on President Obama's face today. It's four days before the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, where you can sign up for a health insurance program, if you haven't got one now. They say only 15% of Americans don't have health insurance, but that's millions of us! Many artists are uninsured!
9-29-13: Turtle Art Camp is over, the last one for this year. I need to make my 2014 TAC schedule soon! I really enjoyed having Connie Lehman here for camp, and we worked hard on our artworks, side by side. When I finish "Home Cookin," I'll send her pix of it, and I hope to see her finished "Hermit" piece soon, too! It's the same size as this piece, and we painted them with airbrush, at the same time, then wrote on them with airpen. She had taken a class from me before in Colorado, so we each made one smaller piece in this camp, then launched into one larger piece each, same size, for the rest of the week. She was a joy to work with!
I enjoyed my birthday, going to watch my yoga friend Brooke do a belly dance at the Woosterfest festival downtown that day! She was beautiful and elegant! What grace! I want to do a piece about Brooke dancing across that stage! We had a birthday party for several friends at Ray and Rita's house, and our dog Libby tried to do the disappearing-birthday-cake trick, but was found out, before blasting through the frosting, to the actual cake part!
October 14-19 I was teaching at Maiwa Textile Workshops in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, my second time to teach for them (also in 2011.) I took this piece, in its painting form, before quilting, and hung it in the classroom, along with my 2005 piece "Katrina Blues." What a great group I had in that class! Thanks to everyone!
10-24-13: The Shutdown ended late on October 16th, within hours of catastrophy, while I was in Canada. Then Congress got busy, holding hearings on the healthcare's new and broken website, since they couldn't destroy Obamacare with the Shutdown. Some things never change. Our cats Otis and Ome killed three mice this last week, as the weather turns colder. Today, Oct 24, we got our first snow in the air, of the season, and Cleveland got up to 6" of it on the ground! Also today I got invited to have a solo show and teach at the 2014 Festival of Quilts outside of Birmingham, England. I had hoped to go this year, but it got postponed. I'm so psyched!!! I did this three years ago, in 2010, and it was a wonderful trip!
10- 25 to 30-13: making the backing fabric panel, and making the quilt out of the painting. Hand sewing around the border, making the label, sewing on the Green Temple Buddha Boy bead, AND figuring out where Peace Cozy #59 goes! Can you find it on the piece???
10-30-13: back to airpen writing, on the wide border fabric. Today Jimmy and I went to see myAunt Mary Jo, who has cancer and is going downhill fast now. She's a lot weaker than when I last saw here in September. I made her a birthday card (she'll be 90 on November 1!) of her in her lovely garden. How I love her garden, full of peppermint and lots of flowers! She stayed in her little hospital bed in the livingroom and smiled as we talked. So, so many people are going to miss her a lot. I wrote about my mother and all her siblings, who've all passed away, and about Mary Jo and Pauline, the two still alive, who married two of Mom's brothers. What a sweet family the Snyders are! Today my YaYa friend Marsha had cancer surgery in Cleveland, and we are all praying for her perfect healing.
10-31-13: I thought this piece was about done, but have decided to add more paint, to bring out some of the forms. I used a regular paint brush and added orange paint in the words "Home Cookin," and soon needed to add orange paint here and there, to balance the new color around the piece. I made the casing, but couldn't sew it on yet, because of the very wet paint.
11-2-13: I finished the border's hand stitching with ArtFabrik's variegated, hand dyed perle cotton thread and sewed on the casing by hand. More brush painting additions, with green this time.
11-3-13: More green paint! More airpen writing, about the very rare Hybrid Solar Eclipse (both annular and total) today at 11º Scorpio, right by my own 12º Scorpio ascendant! I didn't see the eclipse, but a lot of people did. Then I did my final heat set, one of many in the making of a piece of mine, and ... this piece is done!!!
You can see this piece in its first stages of me drawing, painting, and starting to write on it, during the Sept 22 - 28 Turtle Art Camp here at our house, in this Facebook album, even if you're not on Facebook.!
My Etsy Shop, SusanShieArt has a wide price range of my smaller works of mine. It includes some of my small drawings on paper and prints, as well as small paintings and small art quilts.
If you are interested in studying with me, please check out my Turtle Art Camps at my home studio, and the classes that I'm teaching "out" at other places listed on the main page of this site.
Read all about my Turtle Art Camp - how it works for your weeklong artmaking experience here, and see the changes I've made to the plan. I have all new and large photos on that page this year, so you can really see what's going on. I think you'll especially want to come when you find out you can draw and paint all week on paper or canvas, instead of drawing and painting on cloth, if you like, and you don't even have to try my airpen and airbrush, or my sewing techniques, if you don't want to. I'll be working on cloth, as will most students, I think, and I'll demo how I quilt my paintings, and you can quilt one of yours, too, if you like. We'll all be doing a lot of drawing and/or writing in our sketchbooks each day. We're doing this art camp thing together to get you more opened up to letting your art flow out, in whatever medium you want it to be in. Just come!
Many thanks, Susan, aka Lucky
Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio, November 6, 2013
Here are some detail shots of this piece:
Turtle Moon Studios: Outsider Art Quilts and Paintings
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