Archive for the ‘landscape’ Category

I just finished a busy week teaching youngsters at a summer camp. Yes, a distraction from my artwork, but I like watching them grow up.  And it helps to ground me to the families in my community and feel a part of it.

The week before that, I participated in a Plein Air contest. Luckily it wasn’t a juried entry, as I am primarily a studio artist. I do like participating  — this was the 3rd year. Working outside heightens your senses, and makes you feel very THERE. I’m happy with one of my pieces, and only medium-satisfied with the other two.  I’ll include pictures of all three. Of course it is a logistical challenge working with fabric outdoors. For one of them I took along our marine battery and inverter and my iron. That way I could fuse down the pieces as I composed.  It actually worked fairly well. The first one, Museum Path, was done on a breezy day, and I was constantly chasing bits of fabric.  I was trying to pin them down, which really didn’t work very well. I had to add all the details: light poles, the bench etc. later in my studio.

Also I upgraded to a paying WordPress account. You aren’t supposed to see any ads.

Is it worth it? And — feed back please — do you see ads??

 

I started a new series of small quilts.  They are based on the 72 municipalities of Berks County. The local paper is doing a series – one of them a week, alphabetically.

So far I’ve done four: Albany, Alsace, Amity and Bally. I drove to each place, and picked something to draw. Then drew it on fabric, embroidered it, and composed the rest of the little quilt.

Here they are. Stony Run In in Albany. My mother in law grew up here, and we’ve eaten at Stony Run Inn several times.

Albany lo res

Next is Alsace.  I chose Spies Church, overlooking rolling countryside.

Alsace lo res

And the one with the nicest name: Amity. For that I liked the look of St. Gabriel’s Church in Douglassville. Amity Township is the oldest in Berks County.

and finally, so far, Bally. I didn’t expect it to me much, but it’s a cute little town. I chose this diner, that looks more like a castle.

Bally lo res

Only 68 more to go!  It would certainly help if the newspaper managed to get this series on-line. For the next one, Bechtelsville, I have to virtually drive all the way back to Bally — an hour away. Grump, grump.  I could have hit them both in one shot!

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

As Going Rural is about to come down at Art Plus Gallery in West Reading, I’m preparing two new shows.

“Eastern Europe in Stitches” pieces that haven’t shown yet will be on display in the main outside case at Reading Hospital, 6th and Spruce Street, West Reading, during the month of July.

Martin Luther

Martha Ressler, Martin Luther, 7 x 9″ framed. Art Quilt with found objects and hand quilting.

And newly framed work will go on display at Weichert Realtors, 65 Commerce Dr, Wyomissing, PA for 3 months, starting July 9.

I’ll be teaching a beginning art quilt class in my studio in July, but otherwise it’s a month off from travel or art fairs.

I always look forward to July at home. It equates to peace and happiness for me!

30 for 30 2018

Here’s a collage of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, complete. (I left out a few cats!)

It’s easier to see the stronger compositions when in this format. I think my favorite might be the Red Roof, Purple Sky.  or maybe Red Shed, Orange Door, Yellow Sky.  or Purple Thought.  Or maybe Barn Shadows. What about you?

Martha Ressler

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″

Winter Meadow lo res

This is another product of the screen printing class I took. I made three passes with the screen: the translucent blue shadows and tracks, a tan color of the weeds, and a darker colors of some of the weeds, as an accent.  Then I heavily hand embroidered the piece. I am excited about this one.  The view of our meadow in the snow is special to me.

Martha Ressler

Winter Meadow

Art Quilt

9 x 12″