Sowing the Winter Wheat

Suffragists, Feminists and Other Sheroes

Archive for postcard collecting

Three Suffragists Etchings…..

"susan b anthony"I started with 3 rather large drawings that I made of 3 suffragists…. Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Carrie Chapman Catt … Sort of the beginning and the end results of the process of getting women the right to vote…. I have been interested for quite some time  in the idea of  creating images of women using words or objects to form their bodies and drawing their heads… These women had so much to say that I thought it would be quite easy to form their bodies with their words…. Since Susan B was on the road so much, I filled her with advertisements of her upcoming speeches and other ephemera promoting her….. And her infamous statement running down her arm, “Failure is Impossible”.. and a photo of Elizabeth Cady Stanton over her heart…..

I have a good collection of suffrage postcards and wanted to include them some way so I made etchings of three of them and matched them up to the three different women…. The Susan B Lives postcard, of course, was obvious and  had to go with my Susan B etching and I think, completes the idea that her spirit is still alive and well in the current women’s movement…. our ever constant fight for equality with the men and generally our place in the world…. Failure is Impossible…. The postcard is something done in probably the 70s…..

elizabeth cady stantonFor Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B’s best friend, I filled her body with her most important speech, “The Solitude of Self”….. If you are not familiar with this writing, check it out by clicking here.. It is probably the best piece she wrote and speaks passionately of full freedoms of individuals… It was her farewell speech when she resigned as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1892….. Again, remember we didn’t get the vote until 1920….. The postcard I chose to be paired with her etching was probably from either the 30s 0r 40s and was a birth announcement. I felt she was definitely born to fight for this cause …..

carrie chapman catt2

And in the third etching of Carrie Chapman Catt, I constructed her body with an article that she wrote for a magazine about Equal Suffrage as an Issue of World Democracy… Carrie Chapman Catt sort of brought a conclusion to the voting struggle along with Alice Paul and all of the numerous courageous suffragists….. I love the postcard that I used with her of George Washington questioning “Did I save my country for this?”….. Well, yes, George W, this is our country too…..

I chose the accent color of red to punch up the striking importance of this part of our history…… Red is a color that is hard to ignore….. And for you printmakers, I printed the two colors on one plate and the color on the postcards was added after the etchings were printed and dried.

Each of these etchings is about 5.5 X 10 inches….

and just a little FYI….. are $145. each,  unframed….

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Speak Up for What You Believe In…….

This is a rare real photo postcard that I was extremely fortunate to buy at the Wichita Postcard Show a couple of weeks ago….. It broke my bank but I had to have it…. I bought it from Tom Mulvaney, a postcard dealer from Helena, Montana…..He had the image researched because he thought it was of Jeanette Rankin, the first woman congresswoman, who happened to be from Montana, as well…. But he couldn’t find any evidence that it was… It would be nice to know who the woman was but it is more the demonstration of bravery that captured my imagination….

Right after I bought this card, I found another suffrage card…… It is by the artist, Bernhardt Wall……

But I didn’t get this postcard for the front, I bought it because of the message on the back…….

The message reads “I believe I heard you say that you favor votes for women. Do you wear a Suffragette button?” …….. A call to stand up….. Can you imagine what it would have been like before 1920, to wear a button on your blouse or dress, saying that you think women should have a voice as important as a man’s.. I wonder if Miss Ida K. Miller was that brave…..

I will be making an etching that will combine the real photo and this postcard back to convey the message that it is important to not just believe in a cause but to stand up and let the rest of the world know what you have in your heart….. I will post the etching when I get it done…..

You know, it has bothered me that I haven’t been brave enough to put an Obama sticker on my van for fear of having the tires slashed….. It is time that we stop living in a world controlled by fear …… We have to stop letting anyone who disagrees with what we believe to continue to bully us around….. We have had enough of that from the present administration….

Right now, the main thing that we can all do is get out and vote between now and Nov. 4th…. I will be voting for Barack Obama for change and for a better future that hopefully won’t contain as much intimidation by fear …… Okay, I guess, I will go put that sticker on my van now……

Hopeful People for Obama

We just got home from spending a week in Wichita, Kansas doing the annual Wichita Postcard Club show… We had a fabulous time with friends we share our love of postcards with….. Now for some reason, most of our postcard friends are conservative Republicans… Usually we all skirt around political issues but we were delighted to find out that this year we had more in common besides postcards… Several of the couples we enjoy being with have decided to switch their support to Barack Obama…. What I loved was their enthusiasm…. One couple comes from PA. and another from Illinios……And another close Republican friend who is the glue holding the postcard club together has become an Obama supporter…. I came home with hope that people are really seeing who Barack Obama is and all of the positive possiblities that come with him…..

And as McCain continues to badger the crowds with fear and lies about his opponent, Obama stays the course in his calm and honest way, showing us how presidential he will be….. I want Barack Obama to be President because he doesn’t make me feel afraid…

In Kansas, there is a sign in a field off of the highway that has always bothered me when I pass it….. The sign reads……” Accept the Lord or you will regret it for the rest of your life”…. To me, that sign plays with fear and would be much more inviting if it read, “Accept the Lord and you will not regret it for the rest of your life.”….. It’s not that I am that religious but I am tired of control by fear in practically every aspect of life….. And that seems to be the Republican policy…..

Anyway, before I get back to writing about the suffrage movement, I want to speak about how people are attracted to the positivity that seems to fuel Barack Obama….. I love that Colin Powell has come out endorsing Obama and he did it so eloquently…..

And then I found several other videos I wanted to share … First, Women for Obama…… (this one is about 19 minutes but well worth watching……

Mexican Americans for Obama…….

Israelis for Obama…….

So, in order to make this happen, don’t forget to vote….. And be careful when you vote, make sure every thing looks right before you pull the lever or push the button…..

Vote….. it will make you feel like you are a part of the change and it will make you feel hopeful and good…..

Oh, I bought some great suffrage postcards and I will be sharing them in my next post…..

Will the Circle Be Unbroken…..

I found this real photo postcard at the Wichita Club Postcard show in Wichita, Kansas last year….

First of all, as you would imagine, it is pretty rare to have women as pallbearers, even today… Because of their dress, I assumed that these women were carrying a fellow suffragist to her final resting place…. They have grief and determination in their faces and the woman at the foot of the coffin has her arm outstretched to balance the weight of her load…..

Needless to say, I had to own this card, at any cost…. Luckily, it was priced a lot lower than I felt the value should be…

So I made an etching plate of the image and have been using it as a part of a monoprint collage…. I had also made etching plates of three suffrage poster stamps and used them as part of the collage….. Poster stamps were used as advertising of all kinds of things, like companies, states, causes and a variety of topics….. they were then pasted on envelopes and other paper items but they had no postal value and stamp collectors usually don’t care for them….. thus giving them the name “Cinderellas”…..

I wanted to portray the idea that these women supported each other to the bitter end… and had a little trouble finding an appropriate title…. “To the End” was at the top of my list but then I decided to watch Iron Jawed Angels for some inspiration ….. there was a scene where Alice Paul is taken out of the dining room of the prison for refusing to eat….. All the other suffragettes pushed their plates away and started singing, Will the Circle be Unbroken to show her support…. In our family, we have sung Will the Circle be Unbroken at the grave site so, it made sense to me to use that as the title…..

I do this monoprint in different colors but usually in the same composition…..

I colored the roses on the top of the coffin yellow….. Yellow roses were worn in lapels to show support for Women’s Right to Vote….. Red roses were worn to show opposition.. my next entry will be about the yellow roses…..

Inherited Voices


I thought that I would start off by showing my etching titled “Inherited Voices” and give some background about it…. It is the full version of what I have used for the header of my blog..

inherited voices

This is a two color solar etching….

I took the image from a real photo postcard that I bought in an antique mall in Virginia on my 50th birthday….. I was thrilled….. It is of a very famous suffrage parade that took place in Washington DC on March 3, 1913… Organized by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, the parade consisted of 6,000 to 8,000 women, ten bands, 26 floats and many congressmen and politicians…. The infamous Inez Milholland lead the parade on top of a horse named Gray Dawn…. She was dressed to symbolize a free woman of the future……. Towards the end of the parade, drunken men and boys converged on and attacked the women…. tearing at their clothes, ripping their banners and hitting and spitting on them…. and nearly stopping the parade…. But the calvery from Fort Myers was called in and the women marched on…..

In the postcard collecting world, suffrage postcards are highly valued….. I have been offered up to $300 for my piece of history… But I have become a collector of suffrage items so it will remain in my collection….

I superimposed a poem about mothers over the photo to create this image with the thought that you get your “voice” from your mother…. either you saw that she didn’t have a voice or she taught you to have your own AND in a corny way, the suffragists are mothers to us all…..

This is the first Suffrage piece that I did and the reaction that I got from it made me decide that I needed to explore the subject more…. Many of the younger women who looked at the piece didn’t know what the word “suffrage” was even about……. After answering that question for about a dozen times, I wanted to show more examples of what went on before 1920 ( the year we got the vote)……

I have sold this image to a variety of women….. doctors, lawyers, judges, women who were a part of the women’s movement in the 60s, women working for the Barak Obama campaign, accountants and women from just about all walks of life….. It has been exciting to feel the enthusiasm about our history…..

So this was just the start…….