"Greta and Nancy: 5 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot."

by Susan Shie Contact me

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Greta and Nancy   full view  @Susan Shie 2019

Above: "Greta and Nancy: 5 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot." 60"h x 62"w. Inventory #514. Peace Cozy #79. Made from 9-24-19 through 12-1-19

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"Greta and Nancy: 5 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot."

©Susan Shie 2019.   60"h x 62"w. inventory #514. Peace Cozy #79.

Began 9-24-19. Finished 12-1-19.   Large detail images follow the artist's statement below.

I am a social activist painter and fiber artist. I airbrush whole cloth works which I then sew. My artwork and writing are all spontaneous first drafts on the cloth. This soft painting is about things going on in our country and the world and my town in the Fall of 2019.

In the title, "Greta and Nancy" refers to Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish climate activist, and to Nancy Pelosi, the US Speaker of the House.  the subtitle, "5 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot" places this piece in my tarot art project, begun in 1998, and probably finished by late 2023. There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck. The project began a lot less political, but by the time I finished the first 22 card quilts, the part of a Tarot deck called the Major Arcana, I was making some pretty strong political statements, as we had just gotten through the 2008 primary and then moved into the general election race. 


The 2019 Climate Change crisis and the US Congress Trump Impeachment #1 Hearing meet in this piece, as Greta Thunberg leads the world’s Student Climate Strike protests against ignoring the Earth’s rapid decline, and Nancy Pelosi announces the start of the Impeachment hearings. Rachel Carson, pioneer of climate science, hovers over the scene.  Newswomen Amy Goodman and Rachel Maddow keep us informed, with their expose-style journalism.  The Statue of Liberty reminds us that our Democracy welcomes and solaces all asylum seekers, and that America stands for compassion, liberty, and justice for all.  And my friends and I attend a World Climate Strike led by the students at my alma mater, The College of Wooster.

I made this freehand painted art quilt about these issues, to keep them in our minds. The subtitle of this piece shows which card it is, in my Kitchen Tarot deck of 78 art quilts, begun in 1998.  In Tarot, Fives stand for unrest and quick change, while Cups represent love and compassion.  My deck's kitchen theme turns these Tarot cups into the green Pyrex measuring cups of my childhood memories.  For me, the 5 of Pyrex Cups has to do with us now living in a time of rapid changes, in which we need to keep our focus on love, compassion, and inclusiveness.

My work methods: After I make some sketches for a quilt, I put the drawings away and draw freehand on the much larger white cloth, using my airbrush and black paint for the lines, ad-libbing the composition and images as I go.  I then color the whole-cloth piece, also with airbrush, then write on it mostly with airbrush, but also a little bit with paint markers.  I sew mostly by machine.

My way of creating my art quilts has shifted in the last two years, from a large, wide, panoramic format, to a smaller, square one, averaging 60 x 60 inches.  And instead of creating a LOT of very tiny cursive-writing stories on each quilt, using airpen and black fabric paint, as I did for a long time, I've now switched to using my airbrush and some paint markers to write on the painting.  These changes are helping me take care of both of my wrists, damaged by two broken arm accidents in 2015 and 2018.  And the great news is that I really LOVE working in this smaller format, and changing my writing tools, though I still draw and paint with my airbrush, as I have for many years!

I feel that my artwork is my contribution to keeping records of the events which go on in our world, effecting varying amounts of people, but all contributing to the changes our world is going through.  I hope these artworks remind us of our humanity and our need to genuinely care for each other.  For all others.  And for the Earth and all animals, plants, and ecosystems.  What we do NOW will effect the lives of all those who come after us.  Choose wisely, Grasshopper!

- Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio.  Finally put into my website on 7-23-21

Please keep scrolling down this page now, to see all the 11 detail pix, where it's easier to read my stories, in the close-ups of this piece "Greta and Nancy: 5 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot." Thanks!

Visit my Facebook album of making this piece.

If you want to take a Lucky Drawing online class with me, you can find the information on my website or my Susan Shie Turtle Moon Studios Facebook page. I teach 4-week sessions with 12 day breaks in between them. Most of my students consider my class to be like taking a yoga class: You just keep going with the group. You can find info about my next online freehand drawing classes on my Turtle Moon Studios front page.

In all the classes I teach, I am only teaching freehand, intuitive drawing and painting on paper now, using a format very much like my online Lucky Drawing classes. I continue to make my art quilts, but no longer teach those processes. You can learn quilting from others. I teach how to open up and express yourself as an adult who draws. I work to convince you that there are no art rules, no right and wrong. When you knew that instinctively as a small child, you happily drew and painted wonderful things on paper. That innocence is healing, is un-stressing, and is about impossible to find in our adult world. We can get it back, while we draw together, with curiosity, eagerness, and joy.

Drawing is one of our natural skills, and we each deserve to reclaim it. Like singing and dancing, like making up poetry without rules or jazz that just improvises, freehand drawing is easy, and it feels good. So, that's what I teach now. And I will convince you to let go of your adult-self's ideas of right and wrong. I've found that there's no place for that stuff in real creativity.

Read all about my Turtle Art Camp - how it works for your weeklong artmaking experience here in Wooster, Ohio, and see the changes I've made to the camp agenda. I have many large photos on the Turtle Art Camp page, to show what goes on at this biosphere-like art experience. The emphasis in this adult students' art camp is on freehand, intuitive drawing and painting in large, hardbound sketchbooks now, because I have figured out that with these processes, everyone can relax and focus on expressing herself. I want my art camp to help you become more open to letting your art flow out later, in whatever medium you want it to be in.

I started my Turtle Art Camps in 1994 and they continue, though they stopped for the Pandemic and have not restarted yet, in 2021. See my Turtle Art Camp schedule on the main page of Turtle Moon Studios, along with a link to my current online Lucky Drawing class description and enrollment info.

Detail pix of "Greta and Nancy: 5 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot":

GretaAndNancy_det1 ©Susan Shie 2019



Detail of "Greta and Nancy" ©Susan Shie 2019



GretaAndNancy_det3  ©Susan Shie 2019



GretaAndNancy_det4  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy det5  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy de6  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy det7  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy det8  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy det9  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy det10  ©Susan Shie 2019



Greta and Nancy det11  ©Susan Shie 2019




Turtle Moon Studios: Outsider Art Quilts and Paintings
Susan Shie

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