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Friday, July 17, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I have a "thing" about the Virgin of Guadalupe. I've always been intregued by the images of the Virgin Mary. I've also loved quilts which show a sense of humor.

At left is the detail of Donna de Soto's "Our Lady of Bling" shown at the Sacred Threads exhibition. Donna's piece combines the two! I don't know what she used for her "glasses" --looks like chips of mica, but they are superb!

"As my mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers did before me, I don't go anywhere without my rosary. I have always had a special devotion to Our Lady. I've not seen her portrayed before with a sense of humor, but I know she has one; she accompanied me to the fabric store and inspired these choices of exuberant array of textures, colors and fabrics. This piece was created joyfully!" (Donna DeSoto, artist statement, Sacred Threads).

The quilt is quite narrow and suprising. Donna combines commerical fabrics, embellishments and traditional pieced blocks in the wild and wonderful representation of the Virgin Mary.

Although I showed you the overall in an earlier post, here's another view, a close up one, of the area in Penny Mateer's quilt "I Could Just Eat Color." This too used one of the commerically printed cut blocks from Luana Rubin's "Enchanted Desert" line of fabrics. Luana herself has a pretty outrageous sense of humor and color, and I just love it.

Now...earlier I mentioned that I MEANT to enter the exhibition, but just didn't feel that what I had was good enough. Here's what I would have entered. This is my "Our Lady of Traverse City."

In 2003, Hoffman fabrics brought out this Cherry fabric used as the background as their challenge piece. I saw it and immediately thought of the roses traditionally used on images of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I had wanted to do a quilted representation and felt that this was the perfect time.

I lept into it. I painted Mary's face, and found a leaf patterned gold and peach batik for her gown. Her robe was a holographic star print on a blue cotton, and the lining quilter's lame. I painted the shading on the robe and gown with Jacquard and Dyna-flo paints.

Mary's hair is a print fabric, I think by Hoffman...or Kaufman, I forget which, which I painted to make darker as it was sort of a yellow ochre and raw sienna color.

The "flames" around the base are quilter's lame and sections of a batik with gold striations I fused onto a piece of muslin. I had never fused anything before. I had never used quilter's lame which has a nylon thread weft and a cotton warp.

I put stabilizer underneath and started zig-zagging around each one of those rays using metallic thread. I had never used metallic thread. I didn't have a sewing cabinet, just my Bernina 153 sitting on the table. As I stitched, the background stretched and humped.....I realized I'd not be able to finish this for the Hoffman Challenge and put it away.

In 2006, I decided it was time to finish it....especially since I had moved and I had a cabinet. I fixed the warped areas, and satin stitched around her with a copper thread. I didn't know I needed to use a stabilizer or interfacing behind her face, so now she sort of looks like she has 5:00 shadow.

I apologize I don't have a better picture of her. I was going to shoot another but I haven't had time and wanted to wrap up the Sacred Threads.

I call this piece, "Our Lady of Traverse City" as Traverse City, Michigan is the Cherry capital of Michigan. She has another which makes some of my Catholic friends cringe, but it shows my off-beat sense of humor. She is one of a series of images of representations of various visitations of the Virgin Mary. I don't know why she intrigues me so much. Maybe it is the history of the rise of the Marianists. Maybe it is the whole story of Mary. I don't know.

I know that the Virgin of Guadalupe is especially meaningful to me as she was the first visitation in the Americas, and she appeared to a lowly Indian who had to convince the Bishop, a man WAY above him in station to build a church based on his report. I can't imagine the fear that Juan Diego must have had as he begged an audience with the Bishop. He was a man of perseverance and courage.

For more information on the Virgin of Guadalupe, look at these two sites:


Jessica said...

I am not of the Catholic persuasion but I found this post very interesting. Thank you for sharing. I don't believe I have commented yet but I have been following your sacred threads blog posts. They were all very beautiful. I think your Mary would have been a good addition.


PS I can imagine what your Mary's other name is ;)

Michigoose said...

Hi Jessica! Thanks so much. You see, the funny thing is that I was raised a Congregationalist with some Methodism thrown in and I'm a dyed in the wool low-church protestant. That's why I find that my interest in the aparitions or visitations of the Virgin Mary is sort of....odd.

:) Lisa

Shady Character said...

Same here, Lisa. Not a drop of Catholic blood in me but for a while I had a bit of a fascination with the Infant of Prague. I should get that statue out again...

These quilts are wonderful and I have to say all the ones from the Sacred Threads exhibit that you've shown us are amazing. And inspiring. I can't see myself getting into a fiber medium again, but I've been feeling the urge to "make art" again lately. Time will tell how that manifests itself.

I'll think of your Lady when I'm making a cherry pie this week.

DMD said...

Hi Lisa! A good friend just told me she saw my quilt on your blog and I wanted to let you know how happy this makes me! I love Our Lady of Traverse City (Our Lady of Bing? Not to be confused with Our Lady of Bling?!) An art quilt teacher who knew that we, her students, wanted our work to be seen by the world always said, You have to play to win. Lisa, submit your art! "Good enough"? Who's to say? You'll never know unless you try, and think of how the rest of us are missing out by not getting the opportunity to see what you're creating? You have a little less than two years before it's time to submit to Sacred Threads, and you're allowed to submit two pieces. So you're halfway done! Please give it a try. This is the very first juried show I've gotten into and wow, it really is great. Take good care Lisa and thanks again. The best thing besides making art is finding out that your art has touched someone, and you've made my day!
XO and God bless,

Michigoose said...

Thanks, Donna. The bigger shows still have me thinking that I have to work harder on technique to enter...but then, for the better part of my quilting life, I've submitted just to share.

While I've had three accepted into traveling shows, and one which took a 2nd in a Florida challenge....I'm still extremely critical of my work.