Monday, June 8, 2009

Ricki's piece and my SAQA auction piece "Garden Hug."

In this blog entry I'm only showing you some new little pieces that I've just finished two of, as well as three more paintings for future quilts.

Above is my sketch in my Edmonton, Alberta class in April, for the first day's class-chosen theme of Growing, for which I decided to work on showing Ricki Golick and me growing our friendship. I was staying with her and her family for nine days while I was in town, and she was making me feel really pampered and special. I only get to see Ricki once in a while, so this was just incredible for me! She even played her big, wonderful harps while I did my yoga. THAT was inspiring!

Here's my finished quilt "Ricki and Me," which is 20"h x 24"w. I began it on April 17 and finished it today on June 8. It's drawn with a marker, colored with brushed-on fabric paint, and written on with airpen (using black fabric paint), as a whole cloth art quilt. The painting is on Kona cotton, and the batting is Nature-fil bamboo and cotton. It's mostly machine sewn, with one row of hand stitched perle cotton around the border. It has one Green Temple Buddha Boy bead on it, down in the bottom right corner.

This is the look of almost all of my work anymore, but usually I'm working great big, compared to this and the other pieces I'll show you here. And for the big pieces, I use airbrush, not brushes, to color. And I use airbrush to draw the original lines on big pieces, too. But still, this LOOKS a lot like the results I get with airbrush. This is the size my students and I work in my classes, so we can get something done! And I only teach airbrush at my Turtle Art Camps at my home studio, so when I teach "out," we use paint brushes.

This detail shows me, with the now notorious Pink Lady apple I unknowingly tried to smuggle into Canada on Easter Day. Must have to do with my love of Arlo Guthrie's story Alice's Restaurant. Must have an urge for that same Group W bench thing. Must notta been hungry enough to eat that apple in the Seattle airport on that fateful day!

Ricki bought a fancy new pair of bright aqua blue reading glasses, when we were shopping around in Edmonton, on my days off. We sure had fun!!!!!

Having begun with a really long title, shown here, I smartened up and gave it the shorter name of "Ricki and Me," for ease of labelling! Rivkaleh is what Ricki's father called her (and I call her), and Luckelah is what she calls me.

I'd been kicking around several ideas for my little 12" square quilt donation for the 2009 SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) reverse auction benefit, that'll be held online in September. I wanted to do Michelle Obama's White House organic vegetable garden really bad, but then she and Queen Elizabeth hugged each other on April 1, and everyone made such a big deal out of it, saying Michelle was rude for TOUCHING THE QUEEN, etc. So I wanted to paint and write about that story, too.

Now I may be unaware of the rules about queen handling, but I can tell you that if no one touches a person, that person is going to get pretty sad. Might even develop a loneliness complex. So it was excellent, to my mind, for Michelle to hug our neglected QE2. And besides, I heard that the Palace issued a statement that the Queen herself reached out to hug the First Lady first. What was Michelle supposed to do? Back off???? Nope, it's all good! A very special hug of affectionate first time greetings, between two pretty important people.

Anyhow, I decided to merge my ideas of using the WH garden and the Hug, and to create a little story I'd call "Garden Hug." (The title "Growing World Peace, Women Style" is just too long ... ) So here is one of my drawings on fabric, the start of "Garden Hug #3," which is one of four pieces I've made this week, starting them all on June 3 and finishing this one today, as the SAQA auction quilt.

The drawing was with Rub-a-Dub marker, though I later went over all the lines with my airpen. So I might as well have just started with my airpen and paint, though you could argue that maybe the marker draws faster, so maybe it's a tad more spontaneous.

The paint colors are Jacquard Textile Colors fabric paints, put on with regular stiff boar bristle brushes, the nice, flat ones. I work pretty wet, so that I get pastel colors and can layer the colors to blend them. This takes a lot longer to dry than airbrush would, but since these pieces are so small, I just chose to use good old fashioned paint brushes.

Here are all four of the little 12" paintings on fabric, before I started airpen writing on them.

This is "Garden Hug #1" with its airpen writing on it. I pretty much used the same topics on all of these pieces, but wrote on each painting off the top of my head, not from notes. So they're all different. They tell about the Hug, the Garden, about Obama nominating Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, and about Obama's speech in Egypt just the other day.

This #1 piece couldn't be considered for my SAQA donation, because it's a bit bigger (12" x 15", I think.) I had two little pieces of cloth left, after cutting out three 12" square pieces, so I glued the two small pieces together and made this one. I actually like its composition the best, but I'll do something else with it.

Here's #2. You'll notice that all the compositions include a funky Big Ben and an equally funky White House, so that you get the idea that the Hug and the Garden are happening in the very same place - London DC!

Here's #4. They're standing on a giant carrot. Would the groundhogs fall for that tasty morsel???

And here's #3, all quilted and ready to send to the SAQA online auction. I think I chose this painting to quilt for the auction, because I like how you can see more of the two women's faces here, and I like their body shapes, and I like how they're standing on a giant pea pod. On the pod I wrote "Stand on Peace: let it rise up out of you."

My guess is that my piece will be on Page 3 or 4 of the SAQA online auction. You can visit the auction any time, to look over all the many entries, all 12" square art quilts. But the reverse auction bidding online won't be til Sept, with the first section of quilts being offered starting on September 10. All quilts will start at $750. that first day, and the prices will go down from there. It tells all about how the auction works, when you go read about it.

It's the best art auction I've ever been involved in. The buyers aren't getting real art for super low prices, but are really doing a wonderful thing: buying art at fair art prices, to benefit a good cause. I hate to give art to auctions where the buyers can buy our stuff for almost nothing and then brag about the great deals they got. That's not helping the charity or the artist, when they buy at that terrible discount price. When artists are kind enough to donate to good causes, the art should sell for regular retail prices, so that the artists know their efforts have helped good causes, and so the buyers can be proud of themselves.

Also, SAQA works hard to promote the auction intensely, so that buyers are really juaxxed to get online and buy. Email reminders go out more often, as the bidding dates near. AND SAQA tells the artist the name of the buyer their work! This is such a courtesy, and it helps the artist keep track of where their art is being collected. We end up knowing who bought the art and what they paid. More art auctions should follow this model, and more artists would be willing to donate their work to auctions!

My hat is off to SAQA, now coming up to their third online reverse auction!

Here's a detail of "Garden Hug #3," showing QE2 being all happy. She's got her little crown on in the garden. And she's carrying her little black pocketbook. You can see the little Green Temple Buddha Boy bead on the leaf, to the left of the peapod here.

And here's another detail, showing Michelle being all happy, too.

I love the song "Teach Your Children" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. It came out when my daughter Gretchen was a little girl, and I thought it was a very important message for all of us. I love how the First Lady is spending a lot of time with school children and leading by example, with projects like her garden with the students of Bancroft Elementary School. She went over to their school last week and helped them plant some veggies there, too! She's teaching that it's good for all of us to work hard and work together and share the benefits of our work with others. And she's showing the kids that we all have the power to create wonderful things, like our own really wholesome food, when we work together.

Don't you love her????? My dad would say that Barack Obama is a good picker, because he had the sense to pick Michelle to be his wife! :) I miss you, Daddy!

Sorry you didn't win the Belmont, Calvin Borel and Mine that Bird! But you still won the Kentucky Derby, which is my fave of those races! And Calvin, you won on Rachel in the Preakness, so you're extra cool! Your cajun wildness reminds me of our housemate Floyd. Long live Floyd.

That's it for now. Love, Lucky


  1. I love this, Susan, and I want it! I will be prepared when the opening of the auction starts.

  2. "Garden Hug" is brilliant, Lucky. And yes, I love Michelle, too. After the Obama sticker on my bumper shredded and faded away, I got a new one that says "Michelle 2016"!

  3. These are all beautiful and amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your works of art. I am sure your piece will be very popular when the SAQA auction begins.

  4. Soon I will be registering for Art Camp and October would be my favorite time. I want to see Wooster . . . especially the food coop . . . and learn from you! You are a beautiful woman, true artist, and it will be a great honor to enter your realm! xxoo Patty

  5. I adore this!

    When I first saw that pic of Michelle and the Queen, I got a little teary eyed. It's so dear. I wonder if the queen gets enough hugs.

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