Sowing the Winter Wheat

Suffragists, Feminists and Other Sheroes

Archive for Art

Happy 4th of July, Everyone

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Today, I am thinking about my Dad. I wish I could talk to him today. He died last August and I miss him. He was an honest man and he was a Republican. We debated many times about politics and although we hardly agreed, we respected each other. Not many debates go that way these days. I learned from listening to his opinions and he taught me how to debate. One thing he explained to me is that when your opposition starts name calling, you have won the debate because they have nothing more to add of importance.

I think of that when I listen to all of the Hillary bashing. Conservatives are so consumed with making  Hillary  look as evil as possible that they lead with name calling to destroy her character.  She is a liar, she is cold, she is plain out evil, she is not trustworthy, She is a shrew who cusses as much as she can. She is a money hungry opportunist . She doesn’t follow the rules about emails. How much did she spend on that outfit? Oh, did I say she is a liar. Well, we can add that in several times because I don’t think you can have a conversation about Hillary without pointing that out, straight up.

When will we ever get to the important part of our discussions if we are always being side tracked to address the name calling. Perhaps that is  all the conservatives have.  It is much harder to discuss the issues when your candidate has only offered vaguely what he will do. Most of which are not useful because we don’t live in a dictatorship nor are they legal. So it is much easier to just dismiss Hillary by slandering her. What else can they say?

This election will be the toughest for Republicans because most of them don’t like any of their choices. And they have the worry that if they don’t vote at all, will that be a vote for Hillary? So that makes me wonder what my Dad would say and what he would do. I can only guess but before he died we did talk about Trump. I know my Dad would never have abandoned his morals and voted for Trump. He would never have voted for Hillary either. My Dad would have voted, perhaps not for President but for a Republican Congress to do checks and balances on Hillary.

I wish I could talk to my Dad today.

 

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New Unsung Heroes

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"Hummers"

It has been almost exactly 2 years since I have written on this blog… How did that happen??? OH FACEBOOK … that is what happened… I think I mainly switched to talking more on Facebook .

My work has been evolving and changing because of many things going on in my life… Well, that is what art work is supposed to do since artists are influenced by what they see and do.
My soul searching has had me examining other facets of what it is to be a woman….. Most of my artwork has been trying to give women some heroes to look up to. To share these noble and adventurous women’s stories… I am still doing that but I have added another group of women who are really more unsung heroes…
These women are the ones who are the backbones of who we basically are… They have given us the skills to be emotional, thoughtful, hard working and lovely….. They may be passed off as being more common but really they are just unsung..

I am not sure why the birds are coming into the picture but maybe it has to do with the singing part.
Maybe it is some sort of symbolism….Maybe they mean nothing…
Or maybe they are my way of expressing my gratitude to my Mother (who is a birder) for what she has taught me…Consequently, I never leave the house with dirty underwear on and I strive to be extremely honest even if it ends up costing me money that I usually don’t have…. I may not have always followed her sage advice (unfortunately) but I have tried.
Here are a few of my new pieces…. They are solar etchings with handmade Japanese papers and vintage paper goods…
This one is titled “Waiting”

Waiting

Waiting

And this one is Pie in the Window

And a Bird in the Gallery

So there you have it….. I will try to keep up…..

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 …..

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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….

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…….

An Introduction

Nearing the end of her life, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in her diary, “We are sowing winter wheat which the coming spring will see sprout and which other hands than ours will reap and enjoy”….

She knew that she would not live long enough to see the results of what she fought so hard for most of her life….. the right of women to be able to vote…. On October 26, 1902, she died… It would be another 18 years before women were given that right….

On March 13, 1906, Susan B. Anthony died…. Lucretia Mott had died in 1880….. Matilda Joslyn Gage died in 1898… Lucy Stone died in 1893….. Amelia Bloomer died in 1894….. Basically, most of the women who initiated the struggle did not live long enough to see the fruits of their labor…..

I saw a report one day on CNN explaining that 22 million women had voted during the last election while about 20 million women of voting age did not….. My first thought was “What the hell is wrong with those 20 million women? …. Don’t they know what women went through to get us that right?….. Did the winter wheat not get fully harvested?”

I was disgusted…..

Well, in their defense, most of our history books just gloss over the women’s suffrage movement and unless you take a Women’s History course in college, you might be inclined to think only men made history… Okay, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration …… sort of……

As an artist, I usually research my subjects and end up getting as wrapped up in the history as in doing the actual art….. This certainly was the case in what I discovered about the strong and amazing suffragists….. I wanted to share my journey with you….. And then maybe together we won’t waste our inherited winter wheat……..