Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Other Side of the Wall smallThe Other Side of the Wall depicts the color and vibrancy of Tijuana that abuts the US/ Mexico wall just a few miles from San Diego. It is for the Border Wall Quilt Project. All pieces, mine included, are 8 x 16″

The wall on the Mexican side is brightly painted, and the family in blue is my drawing taken from one of those paintings. There are community gardens, a Nuclear Free zone plaque, and other colorful works of art.

butterfly painting on the wall

Part of the wall lists names of those who have died crossing the border. Although theoretically one could swim around the wall that extends into the Pacific Ocean, the US side is highly militarized.

border wall

Life goes on in lively Tijuana. But a pile of “wishing rocks” reminds us of the yearning for peace and unification of families.

wishing stones 3

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I’ve started a new series, similar to Eastern Europe in Stitches.  Recently I asked a good friend fom Tijuana to give me a tour. She was raised there, and holds many happy memories of growing up, especially of her grandmother and her farm.

She is also an artist who could readily understand my interest in viewing the art on the Mexican side of the wall that separates it from the US. There is a memorial to those who died in crossing the border. (top right in the pictures below.) You can see how the border wall extends right into the sea.

So we absorbed the beauty and sadness on the Mexican side of the wall. There was a pile of “wishing stones” including wishes for “unity of my family” and “that everyone finds prosperity and love.”

I’ve made four little quilts (5 x 7″) so far in this series. I bought some used Mexican postage stamp on Etsy, and some small items while I was there so I could add found objects. Each one includes a drawing on cloth (then stitched) of something painted on the wall, or something else I saw.

 

 

 

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