Friday, September 3, 2010

Turtle Art Camp July 7 - 13, 2010 (catch up on blog!)

We had a super nice TAC (Turtle Art Camp) here at our place in Wooster, Ohio in July, but when it was overwith, I went into crazy mode, finishing my entry for Quilt National, "Stars on the Water (the oil spill): The 5 of Paring Knives in the Kitchen Tarot," which I can't show you yet, due to Quilt National's entry rule on no peeking!  Then I had to photo that piece and do the online entry for QN. Then I was all busy getting ready to go to England to teach and have my show at the Festival of Quilts. Now that I've written here about that, I can back up and tell you all about the cool camp in July!

First I'm jumping ahead to introduce you to Wilma Kenny (left) and Jennifer Bennett (right), in a photo Jimmy took of us at the end of camp, when we had all the work we'd made all week up on the wall to photo and admire. These women are from Sydenham and Hartington, Ontario, Canada, and they drove down together to Wooster for the class.

When camp started, we did our daily Library Time, and here Wilma's showing us her writing and drawing from that first session. We use children's markers, so we can relax into a state of enjoying drawing and writing, knowing we can't erase, and getting into the beauty of the colors.

After we made a list of theme possibilities, we tried to settle on the theme  for the first day, but since we each chose one of the themes from our list, we decided to try to combine them: Evolution, Haiku, and Stars. Hmmmmmmmmm.  Jen got right into her painting, after I did my own painting demo, to show how fabric paints behave.

For Library Time the next morning, I wrote and drew about Jen and Wilma doing tai chi in the front yard early that morning, and letting me jump in and try to follow along. They've been doing it for many, many years, and are excellent at it. Not me. Back to yoga! But I really loved trying tai chi!

Once both women had their one-on-one airpen lessons, they were off and running, bravely leaping right into work on their paintings from the day before. Here's Wilma, writing on her piece about her grandmother, for our three-theme Thursday theme!

This is the start of my painting for the Evolution, Haiku, Stars theme. Quite a challenge! I made up the haiku "A star is born BANG. It grows and shines on and on. Then Red Giant dies." If you really study the painting, you can see the haiku is illustrated.  good luck.

Time flies when you're having fun, and with everyone working hard on their paintings and writing with airpen, before we knew it, it was time to go into town on Saturday morning, to have breakfast at The Parlor and look around the stores and the farmer's market! Above: tasty breakfast has just arrived!

Here are our girls, walking to the farmer's market, passing the LeRoys (my name for those scary statues on the courthouse's doors  There's another set of them around the corner, too.  They scare small children and dogs ... a lot!)

Wilma's buying something tasty from this Amish woman, who's got the most beautiful rainbow umbrella I've ever seen! Apparently there are no rules governing the colors of Amish umbrellas. That's good!

Back to work in the studio on Saturday afternoon: I started an airbrush demo about Jimmy. The theme the day before was Shoes, and I'd missed starting a piece on it, because I was teaching airpen. All I could think about was a print I'd made of Jimmy with his French hammer and a boot upside down on a shoe last, doing some shoe repair, back when I was going to college, and we were much younger.  I decided to make a sort-of lifesize piece and not go back and peek at the woodcut I'd made at The College of Wooster, and just wing it. And I added all three of the black lab girl dogs Jimmy and I had over a 30 year period: Lucy, Elvira, and Hattie. (Lucy came with her name, Jimmy named Elvira, and I named Hattie, our last doggie, who's been gone now nearly 3 years.)

Here's what my Jimmy painting looked like, when I had all the colors airbrushed into it, and it was ready to take down and heatset, before starting to write on it with airpen.  I think its title is "Jimmy Acord, I Love You." Sez so at the top anyhow.

Oh, and the theme for painting on Saturday was Tomatoes, so I stuck a tomato into my shoe piece, and that tomato is ME. (One of my nicknames is Lucky Tomato Pincushion. Ask Elizabeth Owen.)  The "rules" here include being able to lump two themes together, besides not even doing the theme the group makes up. All sorts of cheating are allowed here.  MY rules!

Then it was Saturday night, and we all went over to Orrville and ate at Señor Poncho's, since El Canelo closed in January. We sat outside and had a good time!

Then Jen and Wilma were ready to start their airbrush paintings, and since they work really well together, as such good friends, I set them up to take turns painting with the same color, side by side. Look at Jennifer go!!!! She's working on Sunday's theme of Sisters.

Wilma was making a seed-packet design piece for our Saturday Tomatoes theme, but including a very nice looking tomato worm in the picture.  :)

And when we needed a break, we invaded Jimmy's leather studio and watched him work on painting on one of his hand-carved images on a fly case he'd created.

Here's Jimmy taking a break with us, and telling the girls about his work and his love of fly fishing.

Miss Marigold, who now lives in Jimmy's studio, liked Wilma and Jennifer just fine.

This 1914 Singer patcher sewing machine is something everyone falls in love with in Jimmy's shop. Jimmy does hand sewing on his fly fishing cases, but when he needs to repair leather stuff that's hard to get into, this is what to use. (He doesn't do repair work for hire anymore. Forget it.)  I used to use it to repair jeans knee ripouts, when I was The Jeans Doctor, back at our commune. It can sew in a 360 degree angle, so you can sew in every direction, in a tight spot, without having to keep turning the thing you're sewing. Just turn the sewing head! And it has a lovely treadle, like the Singer I learned to sew on at home!

It was made in England. Did I tell you about my new love affair with England?????

We just had our patcher repaired at Akron Sewing Machine Center, and it's happily back home, rarrin' to go!

Back in my studio, Jennifer sets to work to quilt one of her paintings, after I've demonstrated my pretty odd way of doing it. She's using my Pfaff, which Jimmy and I got for ourselves with wedding money in 1990. I still love this Pfaff 1473 very much! It's just not wide enough in the throat to work easily on my great big pieces.

That's why I bought this big Janome 6600 a couple of years ago. Here Wilma's sewing on one of her paintings, making it into a quilt my way.

Now it was the last afternoon of the camp, and the girls were putting up all the work we'd made all week, making a harmonious arrangement from everything.

Here's what we'd made in five solid days of Turtle Art Camp.  We really put those airpens to work, I think more than any group I've worked with before. these two were really into it!  I was, too!

Wilma's big tomato piece. Airbrushed, no airpen yet.

My Jimmy with about half of his very abbreviated life story airpen written on it.  I hope to finish this piece soon!

Here's Jennifer's airbrushed piece about herself and her two sisters. She'd already put a LOT of airpen writing on this piece, considering how big it is!

This is my piece for our first theme, the combo of the themes Evolution, Haiku, and Stars., quilted and all done except for writing and stitching by hand around the border. The haiku is on the left side of my quilt here.

This is Jennifer's painting for that same three-theme theme thing of Evolution, Haiku, and Stars. (After that one, we decided to stick with one-theme themes!)

And this is Jen's Shoes piece, all written on!  "Shoes" was our Friday theme, which both the girls did pieces about, but I didn't.

Wilma got her writing all done on her Shoes painting, about her son Peter choosing shoes with a fancy tread, because he was into what the footprints would look like.

Wilma's completed piece about her Grandmother's story, as her solution to that complex theme thing on Thursday - Evolution, Haiku, Stars. The haiku is in the bottom right corner.

Here's my lifesize Jimmy ... and my lifesize Jimmy.  :) Now I have to go back and read what I've written here, so I don't repeat myself, when I do the rest of the airepn writing on it.

Wilma enjoyed doing her email on my laptop next to Otis Earl Hawkins, who just loves to do the rounds of all bedrooms with open doors at night!

Well now! I was looking for a picture to stick into this blog entry, to show my cat Ome, since I'd already put Marigold and Otis in here. This picture is just from a few days ago, when I collapsed in the afternoon (just a snooze, not a REAL collapse!) and Jimmy took this picture.  Ome gets up on my stomach usually, but if I'm too konked out to hear her meowing for me to roll over, sometimes she climbs up on my back and lays down.

So now we've got all three cats, and that's the end of my story about the fine Turtle Art Camp with Jennifer and Wilma in July.  You can see a schedule of all my classes on the front page of Turtle Moon Studios, including my camps and a separate listing of all the classes I'll be teaching "out."

Thanks for reading this!  Lucky


  1. Wonderful! Campers in shorts . . .such cute legs!! When I come to camp, I want to learn how to get the words out of my head and onto the fabric. I don't want to leave any empty spaces. xxoo Patty

  2. Hi Susi--looks like a great time at art camp!! Brings back fond memories--way back--I think it's been about 13 years ago!! Yikes!!