Saturday, May 14, 2011

Time flys!

This is a blog about not having written here since January! Yikes! And I know I should keep it short, so I'll feel like writing here again soon!  So here's mainly a short peek at what happened in the last four months, but first, a note about the last big piece I made: Kat Soup.  :)

"Kat Soup: 10 of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot" is my favorite piece right now.  :)  It's 86"h x 87"w, making sketches starting on Dec 19, 2010, and painting, writing on, and quilting the piece itself between January 21 and February 25, 2011. (Yes, I did nothing but work on this large piece during that time, and that's how it got made so fast.  I was pretty obsessed!)  It's about my family, but the writing on it is about us and world events, including the revolutions that had begun in Tunisia, and spread to Egypt and beyond, while I was writing my stories.  I painted the Great Pyramids on this piece five days before the Egyptian revolt began.  Eva is reaching up to the ice-cream-cone shaped space station, which she and her folks had seen last Summer, as it orbited over their house. At least Eva drew it as an ice cream cone.
You can read my full statement and see lots of large detail shots of "Kat Soup" in my site's 2011 gallery.

In March I worked on a series of 18" x 24" paintings on stretched canvas, called "Spring in Wooster."  Above are "Rita's Aveda Spa" and "The Coccia House."  (See the actual places' websites: (Rita's) Spa Collections and the Coccia House.)  I also made paintings about the Full Moon / Spring Equinox in Wooster and about the Hero House.

Then I  made a series of eight small paintings on cloth called "Healing Songs for the Earth," which you'll find in my Facebook photos page, as albums. (Click on any of the little images to go into bigger pix mode.)  I've quilted two of the Healing Songs pieces since then, including #7 above.

First thing I did in Cincinnati was to have a little potluck supper at my Garfield Suites apartment.  Jimmy and my guests were Janice Kagermeier,  Cathy Neri of Quilting Books Unlimited, and YaYa Marsha.  They all went home after we enjoyed our pizza and box wine, and Jimmy went back to Wooster in the morning, when I started teaching.

This is my sketchbook drawing in class the first day - of that fabulous potluck at my place the night before. Each day of any class I teach, I open with ten minutes of drawing and writing time I call "Library Time," because you have to be quiet. It really gets you centered into your own self again!

In early April, Jimmy drove me down to Cincinnati, to teach a 3-day class, give a lecture about my work, and have a solo show of 25 pieces at the Spring International Quilt Festival, in its first year at Cincy, having been moved there from Chicago.  I was in Cincy from April 6 to the 11th.  Above you can see a little section of my solo show, which they titled "America Collects Quilts: The Works of Susan Shie."  I like that!  Everything I make is for sale, by the way, all you big and small ollectors reading this!   I make art in ALL sizes!  :)

I saw a lot of people I know down in Cincinnati, and really loved seeing Jane Burch Cochran and Shelley Brenner Baird, two of my favorite artists! Saw David Walker with Jane, too, but he got away!  Shelley had works in the SAQA exhibitions at the Festival, and she also gave a lecture about her work.

My girlfriends Juno (Jancy) McClellan-Ryan, Sherry Boram, and Jeanette Thompson came to the Festival and stayed down the hall from me in the Garfield. They were there Friday to Sunday, and even helped me pack up my class stuff!  They were originally all students of mine, and we got closer when we were all in our Obama show at Montgomery College in early 2009. Now we're all in the art group Fiber Artists of Hope (formerly the Obama Quilters.)  Here we're starving and ordering supper at the Garfield's very nice restaurant.  Did I tell you how much I love the Garfield Suites? It's a one-of-a-kind hotel and the staff is so nice and the suites are HUGE!  Full kitchens!  They gave us free rides to and from the convention center, too!  What a great time that was! You can see these girlfriends on Facebook.

Here are my wonderful students! Shauna Swantek, Mary Bajcz, Meena Schaldenbrand, and Zsuzsanna Schmelzbach (who came from Switzerland, and kept entertaining us with really amazing stories.)  We had a blast, working away up on that quiet second floor, while the ballrooms below us were roaring with the crowds who were looking at all those exhibits and booths.

Here's Becky Hancock, owner of St Theresa's Textile Trove in Cincinnati. I got to go see her new store in the Pendleton Arts Center, thanks to Janet Johnson, who drove me and Juno there. Man, Becky!  You still have the best fabric and embellishments store in the world! Janet, Juno, and I had a big time Sunday morning, looting the store and enjoying the really moving exhibition there, a moving tribute to a young woman named Esme.

Here's Jimmy, when he came back down to Cincy on April 10th, to help me gather up all my class and show stuff to take back home the next day. And beside Jimmy is Murray Heasman, of Purrfect Puzzles, from Cork, Ireland. Murray came to the Cincinnati quilt festival to scout for more art quilters to contract for his jigsaw puzzles of American art quilters.  I was already connected to him, but hadn't realized he was coming to this Festival thing. He had supper with us Obama girls one night and sat with us a little at my show, when I wasn't teaching. I hope to see him next March when I take my class group to Cork City, for my gig "Ireland: Take a Walk on the Wild Side!"

Big thanks to all the fine staff of Quilts Inc, who produce the International Quilt Festivals, and especially to the volunteers who put up and took down my show! To my left is my new girlfriend Janet Johnson, who was volunteering at the festival, along with her husband Don, and who helped me out a LOT! In this picture, they'd just taken down and repacked all the quilts it took me days to pack up at home!  Amazing!!

Jimmy and I had the joy of going over to my dear friend Suzanne Fisher's house for supper with her and her husband Sergio the last night we were in town. Suzanne and I met in 1987, because we were both selected to have a six-months' residency in NYC at P.S.#1. She went first, and I went a half year later, and we became penpals over it and have been friends ever since. You can enjoy her incredible and really classy artwork on her site.

In mid April, after I got home from Cincinnati, I made a series of 6 paintings on canvas, called "Studio Muses."  They're each 10"h x 8"w, made with acrylic paint and ink.

Then my cousin Candice commissioned me to make her a series of 6 paintings, called "Feisty Shie Women." Above is my painting of Candice and below is her mother, my Aunt Pauline. The six women are shown in JAX Beach, Florida, where Candy and her husband David just bought a condo to enjoy winters in. Each painting has two local restaurants that Candy loves in it, along with that woman's cats. These are 12"h x 10"w on stretched canvas, made with acrylic paint and ink.

Here are all six of the "Feisty Shie Women" paintings: Candice, Pauline, Cathy, Tamara, Cassandra and Annabelle, and me.

Speaking of feisty Shie women: I was finishing those paintings up when my Gretchen brought her Eva down to our place for a four day visit, to get her used to staying here for a longer period, since she'll be here more this Summer, with school being out. Above Gretchen and Eva skype with Eva's daddy Mike for the very first time, that first night, after Gretchen brought Eva down to our place.

Jimmy's mom, Mama Wanda came over and hung out with us one night while Eva was here, busily drawing away in my sketchbook.

Eva and Libby hung out, while Kathleen and I weeded the Moon Garden. (Kathleen got here from Washington state, the same day Eva came.)  Note the fancy haircut I gave Libby back on April 20, the first day of Spring.  She looks so much lighter! AND it takes about one tenth of the time now, to brush her hair. It took 2 hours to cut off all that wool by hand  though!  I was pretty scared!  :)

Eva started drawing her current favorite band, the Monkees, in my sketchbook, and just kept on drawing for many pages.  Libbys and gardens and more Monkees!  On and ON!

After seeing Eva's drawings, Kathleen got on You Tube and played a bunch of Monkees videos for her to enjoy. Then, because Eva studies ballet, she found her some great dance videos.  They were rockin'!

Each morning Jimmy and Eva gave Otis his paper rub, after Libby faithfully brought in the paper. Eva still adores Otis and his sister Ome (Eva's cat Cricket's siblings), even though Libby has definitely stolen Eva's heart!

Eva, Libby, and I took nice walks twice or three times a day, sometimes with Kathleen, sometimes with Jimmy, sometimes just us. Man, look at how tall Eva is now!  You know, she's gonna get way taller than Gretchen and me!  Eva's only six and a half now!

Mike came down to take his Eva home, and he and Jimmy got to talking about the big drag of some albums never having been converted to CDs.  Here they're swooning over one such rare Neil Young album, "Time Fades Away," which Mike's going to see if his brother Frank will make CDs for them from.

Time for Eva to go home. You can see how these two got really close that week.  Eva and her twin Meeva.

Before they went home, Eva and Mike watched the end of the movie "East of Eden" with me. Now Eva was sitting in her car seat, making drawings on postit notes, possibly of the cast of StarTrek, whom she also loves right now, besides the Monkees. We're all sadly saying goodbye.

In rhe next week or so I'll show you my May 4 - 10 TAC - Turtle Art Camp, which had an Irish theme!

Meanwhile, tomorrow's the Cleveland Marathon, which Mike's running in.  Go Michael!  And Go Daisy!  I hope this RAIN gets itself all rained out, so all of you have a lovely day for the big race!

Thanks for reading this once again long blog post!  Can't seem to make those shorties!

Love, Lucky


  1. Love to see all the busy ness you have been up to. And what fun Eva was. Am looking forward to my grandson spending time with us this summer. Will love to see the camp pix.

  2. Wow, wonderful visuals, as always. Love KAT SOUP. Wow! Trip to Cincy looks like it was great, too. Can't believe how big Eva is already, and wow...her on the right foot!

  3. I love your posts and hope you really will do more! Monkees???? Star Trek???? How funny! Love to you, Jimmy, Libby, Otis & Ome!! xxoo patty & Bhu

  4. Great Lucky! Nice to see Other Janice, too. Looks like you have been super busy spreading smiles along the way. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks all of you! Other Janice, I'm so glad you saw Other Janice here! We need an Other Janice reunion! :) I could come as an Other Janice imposter!

  6. Hi Susan,

    I love your work and find it so inspiring!Lovely New pieces. I can see Emily is very artistic too. Hope she keeps drawing.