Hattie Garden detail.©Susan Shie 2004.Turtle Trax Diary. Page 45

June 15, 2004

Busy Spring!

by Lucky Magnolia (Susan Shie)

At left is a detail of my painting "Hattie Garden." The full image is below.

Topics in this diary: ; My trips to teach in Morehead, KY and Baton Rouge; "Astrology Lesson"; Turtle Art Camp March, 03; "Rhinestone Chicken"; "Peace Porridge"; Uncle Lester and Aunt Nellie move; Arrowmont class: "Peace Porridge #2"; April 17 visit to Gretchen and Mike's place in Lakewood; my trip to jury "Quilts for Change" for the Zonta Club of Cincinnati; Aries paintings; my trip to Lowell to teach at Friends Fabric Art; Taurus paintings; "Eura and June (the Stove Handover)"; Robin's visit and starting the garden; paintings for The Buddha Project; "Pot Pies for Peace"; and "Peace Porridge #3" started. OH, and one "Peace Studio" painting that's brand new! AND a PS picture of the Fourth of July! :)

Hattie Garden.©Susan Shie 2004.This is a painting I made this winter, called "Hattie's Garden" or "Our Yard #8." It's airpen and fabric paint (brushed on) on unstretched cotton, 12.5"h x 12.5"w, and is sold.

I was thinking about what making the garden each Spring feels like, but it was in February when I painted it.

I haven't put new paintings up on the site since my Pisces pieces, which all sold in February. But after QSDS I'll start doing better about this. I have a lot of new paintings, which I'm taking along there to sell, and I'll put what's left in the 2004 gallery, when I get back, before camp starts July 7.

I'm going to quit teaching for a while this November, after my class at Art Quilt Tahoe, as I'll become a nanny for my new grandchild, and I'll be earning my living totally from art sales on my site. So you can bet I'll be working hard each night at my granny pad in Lakewood, Ohio, and getting my new work online a lot more often! Gretchen and Michael are expecting their baby on November 23!

Student samplers at Morehead class.©Susan Shie 2004.Jimmy and I drove down to Morehead, KY on Feb 20, so I could teach two one day classes at Morehead University, where we also had work in the gallery show of art quilts, with David Walker and Rebekkah Siegel.

It's really beautiful driving down to Morehead, which is about an hour and a half east of Lexington. Our cell phones wouldn't work there, but the people were wonderful. Morehead has a pretty incredible Folk Art Museum, which you need to see, if you get down that way. The two classes were full of very interesting students, and above is a sampling of the works they got started in the second class. I think there were 20 students in each class, so 40 in all. That's a lot of new faces!


Greg and Jen making eggs.©Susan Shie 2004.We stayed with Jennifer Reis and her husband Greg Penner, who both teach in the university art department. Jennifer directs the gallery, as well, and curated our show. She had been a student here at Turtle Art Camp a couple of years ago.

Greg made us great breakfasts, and we stayed in their lovely home up on a mountain side. The house is full of the two artists' work. They met while being students at Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. You can see Jennifer's work on David Walker's website, because she is a featured artist there.






Class work in Baton Rouge.©Susan Shie 2004.I got home to enjoy Mardi Gras with our pets, but flew the next day to Baton Rouge (yes, missing the big parties there!) to teach at Katy and Billy Prescott's Co-op Bookstore near the campus of LSU. The four day class was Feb 26-29, and there were 20 students or so from the group CFAL: Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana. I think they have something really exciting going, with very good artists and lots of enthusiasm. The picture here shows the paintings turning into quilt that we made, besides the little samplers and the dolls. This class was working very hard, to cover lots of ideas in that amount of time!

We had two airpens going at once, the first time I'd tried to run more than one in a class. It went well, and people were continually lining up to wait their turn. They had sewing to do, as well as brush painting, but they were clearly eager to get back to more turns at the airpen.

Party Peace Mixer.©Susan Shie 2004."Party Peace Mixer", 16.25"h x 13"w, is the painting I made as a class demo in Baton Rouge, including Mardi Gras images with my kitchen and peace images, since I really do love the whole big party thing, and was sad that I had missed it! It's airpened and brush painted with Jacquard fabric paints.

At the bottom left you'll see my colorful little fondue set, which sits on top of our fridge now, sadly recovering from its first fondue, a very bad cheese affair!








Katy Prescott and her mother Katherine Watts.©Susan Shie 2004.The last morning of class, we were graced with a visit from Katherine Watts, Katy's mother, who taught at LSU for many years, and who is a well known quilter. She also wrote the book about the quilts of Anna Williams. Here are Katy and Katherine, looking at some work in the classroom.





Elizabeth Owen and her Watts Tower quilt.©Susan Shie 2004.While I was teaching at Katy's store, I was spending my nights at the home of my dear friend Elizabeth Owen, a well known artist who makes quilts, and who was taking my class again. (She's been my friend since she took my first class at QSDS in 1991, and has been here for Turtle Art Camps, and owns some of my best work.)

Here's IZE posing with her airpen/brush painted "Watts Towers" in progress from the class. She added the batik borders, in order to enlarge the quilt, because she prefers working bigger. We agreed that this is a very nice piece!






Pot Pie Luncheon at Camp.©Susan Shie 2004.A stuffed animal called River Otter greeted Jimmy at the airport, when he went to pick up our March 10-16 Turtle Art Camp students. And before they left, we were having River Otter and my Gretchen Bear hosting a Pot Pie Luncheon! (This was the first Pot Pie Luncheon EVER at our house!)






Students at Pot Pie Luncheon. ©Susan Shie 2004.At this luncheon, were the three March students, from left: Pat Butler of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada; Grace Johnson, of Ann Arbor, MI; and Deborah Sam of Ithaca, NY, sister of Grace and companion of River Otter.

There was a lot of Pot Pie conversation and imagery done in this class, and it's impossible to explain its coolness to anyone else, but suffice it to say the Pot Pies bonded us together in playful and hard working art making.




Group work at Camp 3-03.©Susan Shie 2004.Here's the fake quilt the students made of all the artwork we created in the March camp. Some of the pieces were only started and had a lot of white still showing, but they worked this out with their design collaboration. I think these three worked the hardest of any students yet, to balance and create a very strong composition.







Year of the Hen.©Susan Shie 2004.During this camp I finished my entry for the Quilting Arts Magazine calendar contest. "2005 Hen", aka "Rhinestone Chicken" (the title we prefer!) is 12 x 12" or so, and is my favorite of the three pieces I've entered into this contest. Regrettably it got rejected, so I have work in the last two calendars, but not this one coming up. The good news is that the deadline caused me to push hard to finish my airpened, painted, and hand quilted piece, and it sold before it even got to show anywhere. I have two more paintings in this set, and will eventually get them onto the site, if they don't sell first at classes.






Peace Porridge.©Susan Shie 2004."Peace Porridge" is 34.5"h x 24"w, and I started it in the March Turtle Art Camp. It took a long time to do all the airpen writing and drawing and then brush paint it, but sewing it took a lot longer. Having tried a failed experiment over the winter, in which I made simple machine sewn grids over the airpened paintings, to quilt them, I had learned to not do this anymore! So "Porridge" got all hand sewn, but not as tightly as the microscopic chicken stitches I'd been doing for the last year over my airpen work, which were way more tiny and fanatic than how I used to hand sew.

Anyhow, "Peace Porridge" went to a show of Environmental art at the Sandusky Art Center right away, and will next be shown at Quilts for Change, a symposium in Cincinnati in mid August. You can see the Old Bags for Peace, lined up in peace activism at the bottom of this work. You'll be seeing a LOT of them, I think.








Uncle Lester and Aunt Nellie in their new apartment.©Susan Shie 2004.This has been a very big time of changes for my Uncle Lester and Aunt Nellie, Mom's older brother and his wife. Nellie had open heart surgery in January, and they sold their home of 62 years and moved to an apartment because of their age and health issues. They still have their car, so are able to make a run for it, which they do every day, at least once! Jimmy and I enjoy family stories, garden lore, and eating out with them, and we own some of Uncle Lester's fine plants, like his tiger lilies, daffodils, and black walnut trees. Oh, and two little pine trees we got from them years ago, which we named Lester and Nellie.

We are now the proud owners of one of Uncle Lester's oil paintings and Aunt Nellie's strawberry patterned tea kettle. And one well worn peanut brittle stirring spoon and one very fine, well loved pitch fork for the garden!

Ganesh.©Nancy Matthews 2004.On April 3 we headed down to Gatlinburg, TN, to teach at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, our fifth time to teach there. Since Gretchen and Michael don't live in Cincinnati anymore, we had to get a motel room on the way down, also because I don't drive, oh, and because we're getting older! In our early 50s now, we enjoy not having to go nuts driving somewhere in one big pull.

We had 15 wonderful students, including Nancy Matthews of Bradenton, FL, who made the sampler above called "Ganesh" in our class. Nancy and her best friend Cindy Pitt, along with the rest, made it so much fun to be in the studio, that I didn't mind staying there til bedtime most nights, like I used to do, especially since Jimmy was often out after class, climbing around the Great Smoky Mountains with his pal Doug Hall, fly fishing.



Jimmy demos at Arrowmont.©Susan Shie 2004.Jimmy hardly ever goes to classes away from home with me anymore, but he loves Arrowmont and the fishing nearby. So he taught airbrush and his free motion machine work, the only machine work in our class. From left, the students here are: Elizabeth Allen, Diane Getty, Nancy Matthews, Cynthia Hoad, Bonnie Ouellette, Shirlee Bills, and Amylynn Bills-Levi.





Some group work at Arrowmont.©Susan Shie 2004.A lot of paintings got started in this class, partly because I got really brave and put out all four of my airpens at once! We made a special table just for airpen work, and I got everyone through a primer one-on-one, then started teaching the more interested ones how to clean and load the airpen, so I would be more free to teach other things. And so they'd know what to do with it, if they bought one later. Airpen is used to make sharp, clear, rich paint lines in my style of working, and you can write and draw with a lot of detail. I only put black paint through it, and after heat setting this paint, move on to brush painting or airbrushing in the colors, which also have to be heat set.

This class made samplers first, then moved on to airpen and airbrush, and you can see some of the larger works in progress in the photo above. No one got their hand stitched whole cloth painted quilts finished in this five day class, but some of the samplers, like the "Ganesh" you saw above, were completed. Of course, this meant some of the students did nothing but paint and sew and sleep a little! I adore a group with this kind of dedication, and this was the most cohesive group we've had in a long time!

We also did shrink art and polymer clay, just as little tastes of each, on the last day of class...after Gretchen called from Lakewood, to tell us that she and Michael are going to be the parents of a new baby on November 23!!! Yippeee! The whole class celebrated with us, and we floated through the rest of the day!

Me and Jimmy at Arrowmont.©Susan Shie 2004.Jimmy and Doug went fishing on Saturday, after our class was over, and this is what we looked like after a week of work at Arrowmont. If you've never been there, you should look into this art school. We recommend Spring classes, since Summer is too crowded with tourists in Gatlinburg, sort of a mountain Disneyland.

But Arrowmont, started as a settlement school in the early 1900s, is a little enclave of beauty and serenity, near the new Aquarium in Gatlinburg. It's one of the very best craft schools there is, and you'll enjoy rubbing elbows with artists in many different fields, while there for your own class.




Pot Pies over Arrowmont. ©Susan Shie 2004.This painting is the one I made in class, to donate to Arrowmont's Summer auction, to help raise money. "Pot Pies Over Arrowmont" can be yours! I see that the auction will be either July 8 or 29, but am not sure which. I'll find out which one my painting will be part of and get back to you.

Anyhow, somewhere hidden in this airpen and airbrushed painting is a long joke told over and over during his life, by my father, about the Amish and birth control. Maybe you have to buy the painting to be able to read this sweet little joke about covering the organ...




Peace Porridge 2.©Susan Shie 2004."Peace Porridge #2" is the other main piece I worked on during the Arrowmont class, and this one got quilted. It's 21"h x 22"w, finished on April 26, and is now in a show of QSDS faculty work called "Small Works" at Gallery at Studio B in Columbus, Ohio.

This piece has a medium amount of hand quilting on it and only one bead, the same green temple buddha boy bead I'm using on all my work these days. I'm truly enjoying letting the details of the airpen drawing and writing be the details that pull the viewer into my work. I want them to mainly see and study the painting itself, and am a lot less interested in the sewing and even less in beading the work. I found out that people didn't like it when I machine sewed my work, so I am happy to sit and hand sew, but it shouldn't take away from the airpen lines, so the stitches are small running stitches with more space in between them, and are next to the lines, not on them.


Gretchen, Mike, and Jimmy on the porch in Lakewood.©Susan Shie 2004.By teaching at Arrowmont in April, we missed Easter with our family, since we were driving home that day (the 11th.) But we got up to see Gretchen and Michael on April 17 and had a nice, quiet and relaxing time with them.

This was our first time together after they'd had their first visit to the doctor about the pregnancy. We got to celebrate the good news finally, besides just jumping up and down in glee over the phone! Gretchen was 8.5 weeks along in her pregnancy at this time. Baby is due November 23! Proud Papa and Grandpapa sit contentedly on the swing.




Gretchen and Mike walking by the Rocky River.©Susan Shie 2004.That evening we all went down to the Rocky River Reservation, which is the top left end of Cleveland's Metroparks Emerald Necklace, a vast chain of wooded and protected public parks that surround Cleveland. Jimmy and I had never been down into this magic land before, but Gretchen and Mike enjoy going there a lot, along with tons of other residents of their part of the city. The Rocky River flows into Lake Erie just north of here, but where we are standing, the river runs between high bluffs on both sides, creating a very other-space-ness right there in the city.

On the west side of the river is the east end of the city of Rocky River, and on the east side of the river is the west end of Lakewood, where Gretchen and Mike live. That evening we enjoyed watching lots of birds and very tame squirrels, and felt like we were down in Mohican State Park, the big state park way south of Wooster, where Jimmy fly fishes. Too bad for Jimmy, the only trout in the Rocky River are steelheads, whcih he's not interested in fishing for, because they're too easy to catch. Jimmy prefers brook trout and brown trout. All I care about is that he puts them all gently back into the water, when he fishes! Yea!

Zonta members, Cincinnati.©Susan Shie 2004.Soon it was time to blast off again, this time to Cincinnati, to jury the Quilts for Change first biennial exhibiton, sponsored by the Zonta Club of Cincinnati. This photo is of some of the wonderful women in the group, who dedicate their volunteer time to raising money to support women's shelters and other ways of stopping abuse of women and children.

The theme of the show is "Quilts for Change: Women Living Free from Abuse - It's Our Right." Carolyn Mazloomi and I juried the show, which includes non-theme works as well as ones addressing this powerful title. This is the first time ever for Lynn Harden, Laura Delaney, and the other Zonta women to conduct a juried show and symposium of classes with national teachers and the speaker Faith Ringgold. Congratulations to the artists whose work we chose for the show, and I really hope many of you can come attend this two and a half day event at Xavier University in Cincinnati, August 12 -14, 2004. I'm one of six teachers. Check it all out at the Quilts for Change site!

Lynn Harden and her cat Minnie.©Susan Shie 2004.while in Cincinnati for the show planning, I got to stay with Lynn Harden, the main Zonta chick for this event. We had emailed and phoned a LOT, regarding the how-to's of doing this show and classes, and it was a real pleasure to finally meet and spend quiet time with Lynn. She's a professional fund raiser, and her diligent efforts have brought super contributions from corporate sponsors to Quilts for Change. Here is Lynn with her cat, Miss Minnie.

Besides getting to hang out with Lynn and Minnie, I got to enjoy a lovely afternoon tea with some of the other Zonta volunteers at Lynn's home, as well as spending one morning with Laura Delaney and her friend, cavorting around Clifton on the Gaslight, where Gretchen and Mike lived for eight years. And we got to rendezvous with my dear artist friend Suzanne Fisher, a respected mixed media and mosiac artist of Cincinnati.

I had thought that when our kids moved to Cleveland, we wouldn't see much of Cinci anymore, but I still have Suzanne there, and now have all these great new pals in the Zonta women. I plan to work with them again on the next Quilts for Change, but first we have to get through making sure this one does very well and raises lots of funds to help women and children at risk, and to raise awareness of that need. Please try to attend! If you do, you can buy a raffle ticked to win my Quilts for Change poster painting, or bid on a quilt donated by Hollis Chatelaine or other artists. You can buy the poster and a great and colorful tote bag with the poster image on it, and a super tiny copper enameled pin of it. These ladies are cookin' up great fund raising ideas!

An Aries Blessing Painting.©Susan Shie 2004.Here's one of my Aries paintings for sale. This one is "Aries Blessings #8", is 15.5"h x 10.25"w, and retails for $318. My direct sale price is $239, plus $6. shipping, if you buy it online.

This one is different from the rest of the Aries paintings I have right now. The rest are Peace Buddha Girls, sitting lotus style, but this Aries Mama is prancin' around her kitchen, in the pre-war St. Q muu-muu style.









Maxine Farkas and Sonja's dog Ole.©Susan Shie 2004.Back from Cinci, two days to unpack and pack, and off I went to Lowell, MA, to teach a big old class at Friends Fabric Art, my favorite store, besides our food co-op in Wooster!

Here's our fearless Maxine Farkas, dear friend Riff , to my Raff, working hard at reviewing entries for her upcoming show at Ayer Lofts in Lowell. Beside her is the brains of the outfit, Ole, Sonja Lee's doggie man. You just gotta imagine Max baby talking this fluff ball, who's got it totally made in the shade in that store, with all three store workers and all the customers fawning over him! What a little ham he is, too! Anyhow, secret's out now: Maxine loves Ole!


Sonja Lee in Friends Fabric Art.©Susan Shie 2004.And here's a rare shot of Sonja Lee, who owns the store with her mother Ann. It's a rare picture of Sonja, because she's a) not sewing or painting, and b) not holding Ole. I got her to pose with a nice display of items for sale in the store, which are mostly hand done things with dyed, painted, or printed surfaces, created by Sonja, Maxine, Ann, or another local artist.

When I got to the store this year, I felt like I'd just left, even though it had been a whole year since I was there last. I'll be teaching another class there this September 18 and 19, which may be my last class there for a while, since I'm taking a leave from teaching, for an unknown amount of time, while I do daycare for Gretchen and Mike's baby. (I'll still be painting, sewing, showing and selling my work in exhibitions and on this site, but I can't do teaching and day care both!)

So go to Friends Fabric Art, where you can go right to my workshop page and sign up for my Sept 18 and 19, 2004, class now! I just now looked, and I don't think they have my class on the site yet, but you can call or email them, and ask them to sign you up anyhow! Just talk to them somehow.

Gay Tracy and her dog Oboe.©Susan Shie 2004.While at Lowell, Maxine, Ann, and I went over to Arlington and I gave a slide talk at Quilter's Connection, a huge quilt guild, where I saw some of my dear quilt artist friends from that area, including Judy Becker, Sylvia Einstein, and Beatrice Grayson.

Then I had a couple of free days to play with Maxine, between that talk and the class at Friends. I stayed in her 22nd floor apartment and enjoyed late night quilt world gossip, as only Riff and Raff can do! And we drove out to Gay Tracy's house and had a art day with her. Gay and Max were just finishing up a super project they'd collaborated on: the Ugly Necklace contest. Last I heard, they were getting us all to go vote for their creation, complete with mink stole as necklace fastener, so they can win millions of dollars' worth of beads from the contest sponsor. Gay is a painter, and is just now getting into fiber work. We spent a day out at her home in the country, and had a great supper with her and husband David.

In the photo above, Gay and her dog Oboe showed me the amazing quilt Gay's mother had made for her, when she was growing up, including all kinds of things she loved as a girl. It's a real treasure, and I vote for her to hang it on the wall. I also got treated to a midnight impromptu showing of many of Gay's paintings on canvas from the early stages of her career, carefully brought down from the attic by David. Too bad we don't all have more wall space in our own homes, so we could display all this cool stuff, our personal histories in visual form, all the time.

Gay, David, Max, and I laughed so hard that night, we had sore faces the next day! What fun!

Michelle David working with airpen.©Susan Shie 2004.The class at Friends included a bonus evening session the first night, after supper, when I threw out the offer to work with anyone who came back to the store that evening, to teach them airpen early, so there wouldn't be so many students to teach it to the next day.

Here is Michele David, who wasn't able to attend the class, but came to supper with us, and is a regular at Friends. She took to airpen like a duck to water, and happily drew away. Airpen is one of those things that you will probably hate or love. Max seems to hate it, saying it reminds her of a rapidograph, which I agree is not a fond memory for me either, due to its nasty clogging. But the airpen doesn't have that evil habit of clogging and refusing to become unclogged. I am in love with it, and many students get smitten, as well. So this picture is an illustration of a smitten student, merrily working away!

PS. I just read on the Quilt Art list this morning, that Michele was on Simply Quilts yesterday! Thanks to Maxine for this news, and a big congratulations to Michele!

Some of the work made in my Lowell class.©Susan Shie 2004.At the end of the class, there was so much artwork to photo, we laid it out on huge pieces of tyvek on the floor. We had to smoosh up against the tables to see it all and photo it. No one could get a shot of all the work at once, as there was tons of it! Here's a cross section of what had been started in a two day class. The paintings were started with airpen and black fabric paint, then brush painted with colors. Then the paintings were sandwiched with batting and backing fabric, and hand sewing was in progress. Everyone had at least one sampler and one larger piece, some had two larger pieces. It was a pretty stunning outpouring for two days!






One of my Taurus Blessing paintings.©Susan Shie 2004.This is one of my pieces made in that class, a painting called "Taurus Blessings #8". It's 14"h x 11"w, and price at retail is $318./direct from me is $231. plus $6. shipping.

I have six other Taurus paintings, but this is the one with the big head and giant third eye. It's my favorite, and it's the only one of them I made in the Lowell class.

I also currently have some Aries, Gemini, and one Cancer painting. I'll try to get more Cancer pieces, as well as Leo soon, since those birthdays are at hand. I don't even have time yet to put up what I have done, online! Yikes!!! See, if I weren't teaching, I would have more time to paint and get the images online!

I also have a bunch of "Peace Studio Blessings" paintings in progress as we speak, and hope to have them ready to sell next week at QSDS, and then bring them online in July. (You can read about how to frame my paintings easily, on my main gallery page.)

(PS. I'm now putting the paintings on this site, so check soon, to see what's there to buy. - July 5, 04.)

Eura and June.©Susan Shie 2004.We just had the one year anniversary of when we bought our new stove, June First. Here is the little quilt I finally finished, which began as a painting about the old stove dying and getting the new one.

"Eura and June - The Stove Handover" is 12.75"h x 18.25"w, and is currently in the Small Works show at Gallery at Studio B in Columbus, the QSDS faculty show. This piece has the overkill amount of chicken stitching for hand quilting, but only the one little buddha boy bead in the bottom corner, oh, and one shisha mirror, bottom center. I've just learned that beading drives me nuts, when there's so much detail already in the work, and the beads squash the interesting airpen lines, which I see sorta like quill pen lines, which are exciting to me. You run a line of bugle beads next to that outline, and the line is lost, even if you don't bead over it. Just lost! Stepped on and wiped out.

I am obligated to chicken stitch and bead to the teeth a commission I'm working on now for my friend Ricki Moffat, but other than that, I don't see much beading in my future. I'll keep on showing it to my students, but I think I'm beaded out for a while! Sorry. Dig the lines, the words, the images. If you require glitter and sparkle, you will have to look elsewhere, at least for a while!

Robin and Jimmy in the garden.©Susan Shie 2004.Ahhh, the garden! Home from Lowell, a few days later, we were blessed with our annual visit from my darling friend Robin Schwalb, brilliant and well known quilt artist from NYC, dear palsy who doesn't have a garden to call her own in Brooklyn, high up on the 11th floor of that Wedding Cake building!

So here is Robin, patiently weeding my tansy and coneflower patch, while Jimmy starts to till with the Mantis below her in the Rainbow Garden. This was May 7, I think, the day after Robin flew in.




JImmy tills the garden.©Susan Shie 2004.This is the same day, but a wider angle on the Rainbow Garden. Down in the bottom right, outside row of the garden, see those lovely blue flowers? Those are the Spring-blooming Forget-Me-Nots. Right now, in mid June, they've gone to seed, and there's even a meager second crop of blooms, but I'm fixin' to cut off the seed heads of the spent ones, and scatter them into other seed beds. They're the hardiest things and so welcomed in early Spring! We'll soon be seeing the growth of the late Summer blooming version of Forget-Me-Nots, which are taller and less mounded, and whose seeds stick to your clothing like nasty little burrs, validating their name! I am a firm believer in celebrating plants that choose to grow in my garden, which are pretty to look at, easy to grow, choke out weeds on their own somewhat, and are resistant to varmints and bugs. Among these are the Forget-Me-Nots, as well as Nasturtiums, Sweet Woodruff, Calendula, Nicotiana (mine all died out and I need some new seeds of that stuff, which smells like Petunias and sways in big sprays of white blossoms on long, graceful stems), Pink Primrose, and Cosmos. Ahhhh!

Robin and Chris show off our Wisteria.©Susan Shie 2004.One day during Robin's week here, her pal Crys Woods came to visit from Southern Ohio, Middletown, and we all had a great time. Robin and Chris are showing off the amazing Wisteria that finally bloomed this May, in its third or fourth year. Now Wisteria is not an Ohio plant, but our buddy Stanley Kaufman of Berlin, Ohio, is a plant growing maniac, and anything he touches WILL GROW! We bought this plant from him, and for the first few years, not anything but stringy branches happened. At his advice, we're training it to think it's a tree, rather than a vine. And one day, I was walking past this plant, and I thought I saw caterpillars on the bare branches. On closer inspection, I realized these worms were really Wisteria buds! And the next day, they got bigger! And finally, about five days later, they were 10 - 12" sprays of lovely lavender flowers, hanging down, just like in the South! Oh joy! Thanks for the beautiful Vanna White pose, ladies!

Daily Bread #1.©Susan Shie 2004.OK, here are the three pieces I have in "The Buddha Project", a big group of exhibitions and events in Cleveland right now, til June 26.

My works are at Gallery ü at the Colonial Arcade, on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland, in the Gateway district. All three of my pieces were finished in May, 04, and are each roughly 15" square, all hand quilted.

This first one is "Daily Bread #1" and is the first painting I ever got to work right, in using my airpen! I hand quilted it with very tiny chicken stitches, since the earliest airpen lines I got were with a smaller needle than I use now, and were so delicate, I had to switch to very thin threads. I had put some beads on this piece, but they were too clunky for its dainty stitching and imagery, so I ripped them off again.




Solar Plexus Chakra Peace Buddha Girl.©Susan Shie 2004."Solar Plexus Chakra Peace Buddha Girl" is the second piece. I painted it in Feb, 2003, about a week after the above work, but I didn't quilt it until this year, finishing it in May, for The Buddha Project.

At the gallery, it hangs below "Daily Bread #1" and above the piece below here. So they make a vertical column.

Yoko Ono has a piece in this same gallery venue of The Buddha Project, as does quilt artist and my former student Annemarie Zwack. There are a lot of other artists, both in this venue and at five other venues around Cleveland. I have another work, a small painting, in the show at Jewel Heart Center for Tibetan Buddhism and Culture, too.





Root Chakra Peace Buddha Girl.©Susan Shie 2004."Root Chakra Peace Buddha Girl" is the last of my pieces at Gallery ü. I had painted it also in Feb, 2003, and had been sewing it with very obsessive hand stitching, my chicken stitching, over this whole year. When I realized I didn't need or want to bead these airpened pieces anymore, I had little more to do to this one in May to finish it in time for the show.

I like this one for its political imagery. It was part of a series of paintings I was doing with the idea of Duct Tape Peace Charms, since the Homeland Security advice was to swaddle a room in plastic sheeting and duct tape, in case of enemy attack with chemical warfare. My Peace Buddha Girl St. Quilta the Comforter chose to wrap the Earth in conceptual Peace Duct Tape, to create these peace whammies. This one is spilling out of the green Pyrex cup, to the left of St Q's head. Ok, to HER right, but to OUR left. She's also got some Creation Gumbo in a pot in her lap, and a Peace Palm, among other Peace images. I'm sad to say it's a whole year later, and I need to make my Peace Paintings more than I did a year ago!

Pot Pies for Peace #1.©Susan Shie 2004.Pot Pies for Peace #2.©Susan Shie 2004.Pot Pies for Peace #3.©Susan Shie 2004.










So it's now, and in late May, I started making tiny "Pot Pies for Peace" paintings. These little paintings are between 6" and 11" high, mostly 6 - 8" high, and they all retail for $133, direct sale from me at $100. plus $6. shipping. I've got these three and some more, and a set of 12 little Astrology Pot Pies for Peace. We'll see what's left to put in my gallery online, after QSDS, but I think this size will keep showing up in my work. It started because I wanted to use up some little scraps of fabric, and the intimacy of tiny works really appeals to me.
Start of Peace Porridge #3.©Susan Shie 2004.As of May 29, I started this piece, a big painting now turning into a quilt for a show at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, an invitational called "Specail Interests - The Art of Politics", which will run from August 24 to October 31, 2004.

My piece is called "Peace Porridge #3" and is going to end up about 41"h x 25"w, after the shrinkage that happens with hand sewing it.

It's got some Old Bags for Peace in the middle, and some bigger Peace Buddha Girls (St Quiltas. You can tell, coz they all have that St Q Fiesta Ware teacup on their heads...) It's got a LOT of Pot Pies for Peace on it, and some good kitchen appliances and gadgets. And it's got a lot of my true political opinions, which I haven't ever put this much into my artwork before, not after the students got killed at Kent, and I somehow decided inside that if you make too much noise, they kill you. And look where that silence has gotten us. Vietnam returned as Iraq and Afghanistan. So now I tell what I think.

At first I was very upset with myself for putting my ideas out there on this piece for just anyone to read. It's like a visual letter to the editor, and I NEVER write those. I just don't argue politics. But as I'm sewing this piece, I realize I'm not trying to argue with anyone. I'm just saying my piece, which is what all good citizens need to do. We still have that right of free speech, so we'd better use it.



Peace Studio #1.©Susan Shie 2004.Here's one last image: "Peace Studio #1", finished June 8, going to QSDS to see if I can sell it. It could come back and be for sale here later. It's 12.5"h x 11.25"w, retailing at $282, my price at $211 plus $6. shipping.I added a few more peace symbols to it, after I photoed it, as it was a little under-peaced before, so you have to imagine them here and there, in spots that look bare in this picture! I hope to have 15 or so various Peace Studio paintings by this Friday, since most are airpened only. One finished one went to the QSDS auction, and I have #2 to sell, that's painted and looks a lot like this one. The others may have different color schemes, since I do get bored, but I also really like these color!

PS. Today is July 5, and I'm working on adding paintings to my 2004 Paintings gallery page. Aries paintings are up, and soon I'll have more, including what's left of the Peace Studio pieces. Or, if you can't wait, call or email and ask me to send you images.

Enjoy! See you next time, say around November 22, the day before Gretchen's due to have her baby! I'll see if I can get a diary up before then, but I've got a lot of teaching to do, both at home and out, so I can't promise anything. BUT I will start getting my paintings up into a new gallery in July, and I do promise to be way more active in that department!

Adios and thanks for reading this diary, Susan/Lucky

Mike and Gretchen watching the fireworks!©Susan Shie 2004.PS. OK, it's July 5 and we're home from the big Fourth of July Family Barbecue at Mike and Gretchen's house yesterday. Here are M and G, watching the Lakewood Fireworks last night. Their pregnancy is exactly halfway along, as of tomorrow! See how happy???? Bye now, from Proud Granny-to-Be.

Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord

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