Archive for the ‘landscape’ 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 I often looked up the story behind a person or historical reference.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

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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″

 

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″

Lower meadow-september 20 x 30 lo res

I made this scene once before, but I felt that it needed a large quilt, so I did it again. My husband has been working on the lower meadow on our property for years, clearing out the invasive Autumn Olive, Tree of Heaven and Multiflora Rose which were choking out the native plants.  Now goldenrod, milkweed, Joe Pye, Boneset, and many other natives flourish there. This view shows an old apple tree, and the new young ones we’ve planted. They are doing well, alongside the Chestnut trees we planted a few years ago too.

Martha Ressler

The Lower Meadow, September

Art Quilt

20 x 30″