South Dakota. inspired.

This is one of the items in the silent auction at the Billie Sutton Grit for Governor event this Saturday, November 18th, in Burke, South Dakota.  The imagery of road, earth and sky are meant to give a sense of spaciousness like the prairie.  This bag has been sanded, ironed, hammered, painted and sanded again.  I like my work to look a little tattered, worn out and yet, still hanging in there.

I wanted this project to reflect my love of South Dakota and acknowledge the road ahead for the SUTTONforSD team.  This gubernatorial race requires a lot of heart, courage and grit.  I suspect there will be times when everyone is going to be a little tattered…and yet, somehow, still hanging in there.

The road to me is about leaving, coming home, exploring points unknown & so much more.  I never get tired of working with road imagery.  My creative inspiration for this bag came from Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo (who made a lot of her own wardrobe and accessories) and Calamity Jane (who wore a lot of men’s clothing).  These women had a lot of duality and refused to conform to social norms…talk about grit.

kelsea-and-billie-and-liam.jpg

Billie Sutton is married to my niece, Kelsea Kenzy Sutton and grew up in my hometown.  He’s currently South Dakota’s State Senate Minority Leader (and the father of my brilliant & hilarious great-nephew, Liam).  This gubernatorial race is one to take notice of, regardless of where you live.  Please take some time to visit their campaign site.  The link is below.

Now, won’t election day 2018 be even more fun now that you’re paying attention to South Dakota Governor’s race? 

Go ahead, share the link, make a donation & really have some skin in the game.

https://www.suttonforsd.com/

 

Process calms me down. Thank you, Willa.

Last week I was sketching and I left out colored pencils, big paper and a cup of coffee with a paint brush.  I knew my daughter, Willa would be unable to resist the supplies and would have to make something.  This painting is what she created.

Her eyes are so sorrow filled—as we all are about the events in the last month in America.  This girl clearly has “Well, you know what kind of eyes she got…a girl with far away eyes”  You can thank The Rolling Stones for the lyrics.

IMG_8741

THE ROLLING STONES  •  Album/Some Girls  •  Song/Far Away Eyes

These are strange days indeed.  Sometimes the news, the violence, the same excuses over and over from politicians are simply too much.  I have to calm myself down and process is usually how I do that. My daughter helped me realize this.

I made this bag out of a friend’s stained leather from her Audi seat repair.   I know this bag (inspired by Frida Khalo and Calamity Jane) isn’t curing the ills of the world, sparking the necessary dialogue or starting a revolution.

However in my small way, it’s an act that represents taking the time to slow down, get thoughtful during this time of chaos and try to understand what my part might be in all that’s going on in the world.

IMG_8751    IMG_8755    IMG_8762

PS Chuck don’t show the post to Colleen.  It’s a gift. She can keep her auto paperwork in the stained seat reincarnated. 🙂

a south dakota road trip in leather

I made this bag for a group show opening this Friday night at SEABA (South End Arts and Business Association) in Burlington, Vermont.  I like the idea of this piece being usable…although it has a few structural challenges for heavy use.  I’ll get it right next time…oh, how I love the process of trying to get it right.

IMG_5998_2_3_4_4I used the road image I love to work with for my muse.  You might be tired of all the ways I’ve played with this image…sorry, I’m not nearly done yet.  Too me this photo represents what I’ve always loved.  Independence.  Adventure.  Spaciousness.  Freedom.  As well as beef jerky, bad road coffee, Hostess® products, potato chips, loud music and infinite possibilities.

When I finished this bag I had a strange thought—I wished that Calamity Jane and/or Frida Kahlo had bequeathed it to me.  The road is always an inspiration to me and so are those two bad ass women.

I used a bit of ecodyed organza from Elizabeth Bunsen on the bottom to lend some contrast.  I love the lightness of the fabric with the leather and heavy stitching.

IMG_7607 IMG_7604_2

IMG_7606

IMG_7658  IMG_7662

IMG_7664

IMG_7667

The prairie is pulling me now.

I’m working on a collaborative project with Nebraska native native artist Elizabeth Bunsen who also lives in Vermont.  I’m reading South Dakota history, looking at old photographs and accessing the recesses of my memory for the stories, objects and images that trigger my creativity.

I have to tell you that this South Dakota girl who is turning 50 years old in October is longing for the prairie.  It isn’t a big mystery to me why this is happening.  I’m just exploring what’s organically coming up and seeing where the pull leads me. I’m pretty sure Elizabeth’s inner Nebraska is tugging at her too.

Elizabeth Bunsen FACEBOOK

Here’s a couple of quick sketches that I played with in Illustrator this morning.  I painted with coffee which is greatly influenced by Elizabeth’s work and layered with my photographs.

P.S. Hey, when the ground thaws if anyone would consider sending me some South Dakota dirt I would greatly appreciate it.  Not much, just a small container or quart sized bag would do just fine.  Thanks.  I’ll send you a print or something in kind.

Lisa

south dakota road sketch lisa lillibridge

layered coffee road sketch lillibridge