Sowing the Winter Wheat

Suffragists, Feminists and Other Sheroes

Archive for Printmaking

New Unsung Heroes

hummers

"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…..

Advertisements

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….

McCain’s attitudes towards Women and his “Friends”……

“Bathing Beauties”

solar etching by debbie little wilson

If McCain wins and I have to listen to him say “My Friends” a hundred times in every speech, I will slit my wrists…. It is bad enough that we have had to endure eight years of Bushisms but the prospect of four years of Palin’s folksy, gosh darn it nonsense and McCain’s breathy “Listen, my friends” will absolutely do me in….Okay, I had to get that off of my chest first before I could continue…

They say that “Actions speak louder than words” and what I have observed of McCain’s actions towards women is a big shout out…. His voting record alone makes me understand how he views women’s rights.. I could list these but they are too long …. If you are interested in viewing them in detail, check out.. WomenForBarackObama.com

or go to Votesmart.org to learn how he has voted on all of the issues….

In my efforts to tolerate Sarah Palin, I have just come to feel sorry for her….. She is really just a pawn for McCain to add a bust, oh I mean, boost to his dragging campaign….. There were other more qualified Republican women whom he could have chosen but they weren’t sexy enough and we all know that sex sells… Now, granted, Palin did accept the position “without blinking” but she should have known that she wasn’t ready for the job….. Maybe if she had really read all of those magazines or newspapers that she couldn’t name to Katie Couric, she would have been better equiped….. she should have said “Thanks, but no thanks” to McCain’s sexism….

I hesitate to bring up McCain’s first wife but since we are talking about how he views women, I might as well go ahead….. While he was a POW, his wife was in a horrible car wreck…. she became disfigured and gained weight…. He comes home and dumps her for a richer, younger, more fit model…. Not an uncommon tale but if you claim that are in the “moral” party, you might as well “walk the walk and talk the talk” or suffer the criticism …..

Recently during the debate, a young black woman got up to ask him a question…… His body language spoke volumes…. Instead of answering her question and looking into her eyes, he totally turned his back to her when he spoke…… I was in disbelief…. A sharp contrast to the hand shaking and drooling he did over the overweight comrade in arms at the beginning of the debate….I don’t know if this reaction was because she was a woman or because she was black or because he was just too old to be standing that long but what ever it was, it was pretty rude

Women are not the only people he doesn’t respect…. I would talk about the “that one” comment but it leaves me speechless…..There was that moment he told the young man that he probably never heard about Fannie and Freddie until this crisis…. how insulting….

McCain doesn’t even seem to have as much tolerance for women or African Americans as Palin has for the gay community…..and that isn’t saying much….It seems like he only has respect for the old guard Republicans and military men…. that leaves a huge portion of our population at risk….. which scares me…..

and leaves me wondering, who are these “friends” that he keeps talking about………

The Tolerating of Sarah Palin…. part one

“Celebrate Your Love”

I have a problem with the word Tolerate…. It can be such a condescending word…

By definition, Webster (a relative of mine, by the way) says…..” b: to put up with <learn to tolerate one another>” and “Latin toleratus, past participle of tolerare to endure, put up with; akin to Old English tholian to bear……”

In her debate, Sarah Palin stated three times that she was tolerant of gay adults and couples, tolerant of her diverse family and dear friends who are gay …. She HAS tolerance….How very PC of her……Well, I am glad that I am not one of Sarah Palin’s friends and I am not even gay …. It would certainly upset me to know that who I am was being merely “endured” by a friend …Who else does she just tolerate?…

The problem with just being tolerant is that usually means that one doesn’t try to understand or accept someone who is different, they just put up with them…. Without that understanding, Sarah Palin will never know that being gay is not a choice…. Just like it is not a choice for her to be straight….Maybe if she realized that it is not a choice then her church could stop praying for gays to change their ways and they could pray for something worthwhile like world peace…

Words are important and they are insightful….. Now, Joe Biden may have said that he agreed with Palin on the issue of gay marriage but I am so glad that he didn’t say that he “tolerated” gay people, too….. I know that is all political posturing but why should they even care?….. And besides, don’t we have bigger issues to worry about like the economy, war and health care?

“Come Out, Come Out”

One of the largest problems in our country is how we have become so divided…. Through either fear or ignorance, we reject what we don’t understand and anyone who is different we tend to make fun of or some how torture …. One of our country’s greatest assets is our diversity….. All the different ideas, religions, ethnic groups, genders, political beliefs….. we should be tapping our resources not restricting them….

“Tell the World”

So, now I have an even bigger problem with tolerance….. With all that I have said, I should do more than just tolerate Sarah Palin, I should try to understand her….. I will try…. that doesn’t mean I will vote for her but I will try to understand what a hockey mom does…..

“Sincerely, I Love You”

The artwork seen here are monoprint collages that I have done….. They are a part of a series that I do to celebrate the normal act called LOVE…

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……..