Abraham Lincoln

The Carroll Arts Council is having another call for artists.  This time the theme is the Civil War and I couldn’t be more excited.Louise and Bill Joyce, Sr.  My dad’s dad, Bill Joyce Sr., was a Civil War nut.  When Terry and I first moved into our home back in 1995, I thought of him time and again.  We knew our house was on one of the routes to Gettysburg and we soon discovered that both the Northern and Southern troops marched past this very house.  The dust from their boots would have drifted in our windows.  During the Gettysburg battle, no doubt the panes of glass that are still in these old windows shook with the vibrations of the cannon blasts.  Too exciting for a girl who grew up learning to love history.

Ed as soldier in fighting 69th 2007Over the years we have had dozens upon dozens of trips up to Gettysburg, which is only about 25 miles north of here.  We visited the old 1950’s style National Museum, with its low ceilings and dim lighting.  Then celebrated when a new beautiful museum was built in 2008.  We went on Ghost Tours, climbed on the rocks at Devil’s Den (which are now roped off) and Terry and the boys climbed the old observation tower before it was demolished 10 or so years ago (terrified of heights, I couldn’t even watch).  Eddie even went trick-or-treating as a Union soldier twice (a member of the NY’s Fighting 69th, to be exact).

 

Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863Now it is the 150th anniversary of the battle and the whole town is gearing up.  I started a series on the barns of Lincoln full size quilted recroppedGettysburg in honor of this occasion, and then decided to try my hand at a sepia toned Lincoln portrait.  An interesting side note: I am actually related to the man who took this original photograph.  My husband is a descendant of the  famous photographer, Matthew Brady (his dad’s mom was a Brady).

I am including here some close-ups so you can see the detail on the stitching.  The finished piece is larger than my usual 11×17, measuring 36×46.  I like the grandeur of it – it lends itself to the larger than life view we have of Abraham Lincoln.upclose eye quilt

side head upclose quilt

 

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I have always loved the process of transforming pieces of fabric into quilts. For years I collected scraps, just to be sure I'd have the right piece for the project at hand. Eventually, as my skills progressed, my hobby grew into art. I moved from simple quits, to 'landscape quilting' and then eventually onto portrait work. I am new to the art field and am self-taught, learning from my mistakes as well as from my successes. I create my images using only fabric and thread. I remain true to this limitation for two reasons; first, I love the challenge of finding new ways to depict ever more challenging subjects. Second, fabric work remains my true love. I enjoy the hunt for fabrics; where other artists might blend oil paints, I love finding that perfect shade or pattern for a specific need. I refer to my style as "gestalt impressionism" for one needs to take a step back from my pieces to get the whole picture. My view point changes by what is influencing me at the time. Recently I've begun to focus on the journey of the individual. I enjoy working on portraits of people whom I feel have lead interesting lives.

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Posted in Art Quilts
3 comments on “Abraham Lincoln
  1. lisa duff says:

    Mary, your Lincoln is incredible! I was blown away when I pulled this up…

  2. Boudicca says:

    That’s it. Who can look at this piece and NOT be blown away?? What do you do, finally, with the portraits? I am SO PROUD of you and what you’re creating – although I had nothing to do with your affinity for it! ❤

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