Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

I started using found objects in my art quilts when I was living in Pittsburgh. I lived, worked and had my studio in an old industrial area called Lawrenceville, which inspired much of my artwork. The streets were a source of interesting detritus, which I had the idea of sewing into the quilts.  Here is an example: Walking Sketches, 20 x 20″, 2013.

walking sketches 20 x 20 lo res.jpg

When I moved to the country (Berks County in eastern PA) in 2014, I hesitantly continued to use them in rural landscapes. In the Morning I Am So Tall, 2014, is an example. I was blending the found objects with the values and colors in the piece, but I found it an uneasy alliance. The detritus didn’t come from those locations, and I was never sure the idea was working.

Still, I was and am attracted to the concept of the pieces representing an “archeological thumbprint” — markings made by humans as we traversed the world.

In the Morning I am So Tall small

I stopped using them in the rural landscapes last year. This is Red Roof, Purple Sky, 16 x 20″, 2018.

purple sky red roof lo res.jpg

I still was able to draw upon the “archeological thumbprint idea” thru incorporation of old lace, and sometimes papers — things that did come from this geographical area.

One piece that worked well was “Wild Turkey Parade,” where the found objects became turkeys parading through our meadow. Here is a detail of Wild Turkey Parade 1, 2015.

Wild Turkey Parade 1 detail lo res

The found objects still call to me.  My collection has built back up, after I got rid of most things last year.

They found their place in the Eastern Europe in Stitches series I did last year, as we travelled through that area. Visits to flea markets were a great source. Here is Secrets of Prague, 5 x 7″ 2018.

Secrets of Prague lo res

I became enamored of used postage stamps in particular. I often looked up the story behind a person or historical reference. Thus the tiny quilts encased worlds within worlds — secret histories to explore.

Here is Nicolaus, Karl and George, three unlikely postage stamps companions. 5 x 7″, 2018.

 

Nicolaus Karl and George lo res

Just recently I’ve returned to an earlier idea of creating little birds and other creatures from the found objects in the quilts. Here is Krazy Kat, 5 x 7″ inspired by a Walmart hanger that I didn’t really mean to bring home!

Krazy Kat

For 2019 I want to continue using them, both in created creatures, and in little quilts that represent a place or idea.

My stock is building back up! Here’s what I brought home just yesterday. So, stay tuned!

Found objects 1 3 19

After I made my sampler for my upcoming “12 Ways to Use Found Objects” in art quilts class, I decided I liked the little cat  (#9) so much I wanted to turn the idea into a little art quilt. (see my posted blog for Dec. 22.)

So, here is how I made him. The substrate is black felt (I lined the back with a fused piece of cotton fabric for extra strength. Next I cut the various elements, mostly using a tin snips (Stanley). It makes light work on plastics. The red tool is just a wire cutter. (yikes I really should clean these tools!)

Then I started to lay it out.

 

Hm, it looks like he needs something behind him.

Krazy Kat 1

I had started to add the hand embroidery at that point.

Here is Krazy Kat finished.  He is 5 x 7, and waiting for his frame.  I’ll show him in January.

Oh dear, the ears get a little lost with that background .  .  .  .

Krazy Kat

 

momma's little helper

This is my fourth piece done for the international art quilt group Cloth in Common. Our inspirationthis round was “Kitchen.” Come to think of it, kitchen is home base for me, second only to my studio.

My aged and infirm mother in law lives with us, and I must cook every meal at home for her and us. (Hubby cooks breakfast, so I get a break there.)

My earliest memories, aside from my crib, were in the kitchen, where my Mom set up a play station. I could open a bottom cupboard, take out an empty milk bottle, and drop clothes pins in. I got pretty good at it!martha as baby with the bottle078

The reference picture I chose for my quilt, however, is a different one. It was taken before I was 2 years old. I know that because we only lived in that house until I was two.

It is likely that my artistic photographer of a mother added some extra chocolate to my face, for effect. Of course it is equally likely that I did it myself, in sampling my cake.martha cooking lo res

I used a photo of my mom in the background, grafted onto a commercial fabric 1950’s woman.

The escaping cat represents Butterscotch, our only, and failed, attempt to keep a cat in the house when I was a child. We were told he “ran away” after he got fleas and went to sleep in the clean laundry basket.

Aside from poor Butterscotch, all my childhood memories are good ones!

You can follow Cloth in Common on Facebook or at Cloth in Common.

It’s also OK to play along with us!

Martha Ressler

Momma’s Little Helper

16 x 20”

Fabrics, beads, buttons

Raw Edge Applique

Jack and the Hemp Stalk lo res

Will the now-legalized growing of hemp in PA, and the legalization of medical marijuana bring new success for agriculture?

Either way, Jack is managing to get higher and higher!

Martha Ressler

Jack and the Hemp Stalk

Art Quilt, 20 x 16″

there was an old farmer lo res

I made up a little poem for my fourth day of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days:

There was an old farmer who lived in a shoe.

He had so many debts he didn’t know what to do.

He kicked out the children and grabbed a gun.

As far as I know he’s still on the run!

The piece was inspired by a 19th century moralistic fable book by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman called Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter.) The old guy racing across the front with his musket is from that book.

I am pleased to announce that I am now part of a small new group of art quilters. I was invited by the organizer, Karol Kasmaul of Florida.  We are from the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Norway, Japan and Korea — 11 fiber artists in all. We have committed to challenge ourselves over an extended period of time, using the overall theme of “Unusual Inspirations.” Following the inspiration of a new prompt every two months, we will create a small, medium or large art quilt, and post the results.

Here is our website — you can subscribe to follow our progress. https://www.clothincommon.com/

The first prompt, provided by Karol, is “What did you say?”

She concludes: “Your work could show loud, amplified sound like construction or thunder.  Or soft and faint sound, like a whisper.  How will you represent sound visually?”

The first thing that came to mind is that although I live peacefully in the countryside, my ears are assaulted day and night by the sound of my mother-in-law’s TV. She is a sweet soul who lives with us, and the TV keeps her company, though she pays scant attention to it. Instead her world consists of crossword puzzles and books. From the morning talk shows and Rachael Ray to The View and The Chew, through the afternoon to the evening news: Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Chris Matthews, and everything in between, along with the prescription medication advertisements, automobile, Progressive Insurance, and “My Pillow” ads — my peace is punctured by TV sound waves. I see them as bright, sharp colors crowding the serenity of my space.

Here are some details from Elizabeth’s World.  it is not quilted yet — still a work in progress. Your comments and suggestions are welcome!

 

 

The cooperative gallery of which I am an active and proud member, decided this week to hold a friendly competition among the artists.

As part of our redecorating and re-branding last fall, we bought a comfy and stylish chair —  a place for visitors to the gallery to sit, rest, and contemplate art. It is very red.

The competition is that everyone is challenged to use the chair in their art in some way, any way they please, in a piece of art.

We have yet to figure out how to make money off of this competition. An auction? A raffle?

If you have ideas, please comment!

Meanwhile, here is my entry into the competition, entitled Madame Chairperson. It continues my series of using photos of things in my environment to create a fanciful landscape. In this case, my next-door sister-in-law keeps a pet turkey, Pekkie, who sits on the chair. I’ve used Pekkie before, and probably will again!

The size is 22.5 x 23″, raw edge applique, machine stitched.