Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Little Red Maple lo res

The smallest of our red maple trees, with the final leaves clinging to its branches caught my eye in late autumn. The background is pieced sections of a hand painted cloth panel from Malaysia, bought at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, PA (a treasure trove of fine fabrics.)

I had actually made most of this piece a couple of years ago, but added the extensive hand embroidery during my recent vacation during long hours riding in the car. I  think it changes it completely, echoing the white of the tree section. Now, it’s done!

Martha Ressler

The Little Red Maple

Art Quilt

17.5 x 16.5″


red barn and spring house lo res

Red Barn and Spring House is a spot I know well, as it’s right next door on my sister and brother in law’s property. They don’t use the old spring house anymore, but I like to think about how it used to keep milk and cheese cool in the warm summer months. It’s pretty muddy there, but the cows don’t seem to mind.  They can always find water in the boggy parts.

My hubby likes to tell the tale of painting this barn when he was a teenager, especially the hex signs.  I do believe it must have been a harrowing experience.

I like the way the roof of the barn turned out.  Even though it was snow covered, you could still see some textures and even some color from the underlying roof and I wanted to capture that.

Martha Ressler

Red Barn and Spring House

Art Quilt

16 x 20″

I am excited that my art quilt “Celebrating the Destruction of Apartheid” has been selected for inclusion in a show at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA. The opening is April 21, which I plan to attend.

This lighthearted moment on our trip to South Africa belies the tragedy embedded in this place. The two figures are seated in front of the High Court Annex in Cape Town, where South Africans had to report annually to be classified as members of one of seven “races.” Our guide, seated on the right, relayed how his own family had been split up by this cruel, subjective process. He is joined on the left by one of our tour group members, a young doctor from Atlanta.

In the past, as persons of color, they would have been violating the South African laws of Apartheid, a system of rigid segregation and oppression of the non-white population. Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, and the Apartheid laws were abolished in mid-1991, pending the historical first multiracial election in 1994, when Mandela was elected President of South Africa. Today the “whites only” bench remains as a historical reminder that Apartheid has been tossed into the ashcan of history.

I was involved in the international fight to free Nelson Mandela and end apartheid in the late 1980’s, and incorporated my collection of political buttons from that time into the quilt.

Today, though Apartheid has been destroyed, South Africa is one of the most economically unequal country in the world. The fight for equality continues as it does elsewhere, including the United States.

The rest of the piece tells the story of our visit to South Africa. The Bushveld, at the top, is where we enjoyed a safari. Nelson Mandela’s prison cell and the quarry where he and other political prisoners toiled, fabrics I bought there, South African money and Jackass Penguins and other animals we saw are among the other items in the design.

celebrating the destruction of apartheid small

Martha Ressler, Celebrating the Destruction of Apartheid, Art Quilt, 60 x 37.5″

What Does the Newspaper Say_ On New Years Day lo res

This piece was the result of a challenge laid down in Cloth in Common, my international art quilt group. We were to use song lyrics as an inspiration for an art quilt. I love song lyrics, and thought it would be easy.  It wasn’t. My mind was blank for the month of December.  Then on January 1, as I retrieved my neighbor’s newspaper, I saw my shadow selfie, and the U2 song, New Year’s Day, sprung into my mind. It was the coldest January 1 for 100 years. The news had been mostly bad, to my mind. All I had to add was the “blood-red sky,” and I had my composition. Even the shadows could look a bit sinister — or not.

Martha Ressler

What Will the Newspapers Say/ On New Year’s Day

Art Quilt

20 x 16″

Linus and Lucy (Orange) Small 2 lo res

This is day 12 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge issued by artist Leslie Saeta. Or I guess it should read 28 paintings in 28 days, since it’s February.  But that doesn’t have quite the same ring.

I’ve been working on a series of jazz themed works based on listening to the happy, rollicking rendition of Linus and Lucy, the theme song of Peanuts, the movie, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Martha Ressler

Linus and Lucy Orange (small, 2)

Art Quilt

7 x 9″ framed

Linus and Lucy (Blue)-small2 lo res

Day 8 of  #30paintingsin30days.  Or Art Quilts, in my case.

This is a small version of Linus and Lucy Blue.  These 6 x 8″ framed art quilts are popular items in the art fairs I do, as well as gift shops around town.  I’m continuing with the series — listening to Linus and Lucy by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Martha Ressler

Small Linus and Lucy Blue, #2

Art Quilt

8 x 6″ Framed

Linus and Lucy (Blue) lo res

I will be submitting work to two art shows to be held in conjunction with the annual Berks Jazz Festival in April. This one is inspired by the happy theme from the Peanuts movie, Linus and Lucy. I was listening to the Vince Guaraldi Trio jazz version at the time.

Martha Ressler

Linus and Lucy Blue

Art Quilt

16 x 20″