Sunday, May 2, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Wild Blue Yonder
I have written several posts on the influence of travel on my work. I seem to require the contrast between the exotic and mundane to add meaning to my life and art. However, another event has also informed my most recent work. Just a couple of years ago, I considered a move to Southwestern Virginia, a seriously special place. I thought it was just me, but that is what the local visitors bureau had actually chosen as a tag line for their promotion of the area. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture created a magical lure. After much contemplation and soul searching however, I decided I could not leave Ohio.

Homeplace III: Farm at Rockmill - Lancaster, Ohi0

Relatives on both sides of my family have called Ohio home for many years, and on my Dad's side of the family, as early as the 1800's. They were a family of German immigrants arriving in America in the 1790's and eventually migrating to Columbus, Ohio to set up their family business, shoe making. They lived in German Village and one of my female relatives was an elementary school prinicipal and another sang German opera in the Dammenchor. My maternal grandparents were both graduates of The Ohio State University in the 1920's, my own collegiate alma mater.

Homeplace II: Cattle Barn, Lancaster, Ohio
As I was attempting to make my decision, all of these things were running through my mind. I never realized the extent to which I was anchored to this particular place in the world, but I was having a very difficult time when it came to the reality of leaving and not just the romantic contemplation of moving to a "special place." Once the decision was made, a very odd thing happened. It was like the scales had fallen off of my eyes, and I truly saw the beauty and "specialness" of my chosen hometown, Lancaster and environs.

Homeplace: Winter - Carroll, Ohio
After completing my Toscana series, which explored the joy of a visit to Tuscany, I was searching for a subject for my next body of work. Then I thought, why not express the same joy I experience everyday in my "own backyard?" After all, this is the other half of me. As much as I love to travel, I always find my way back home. I decided this would be the focus of this year's work. So far, I have completed four quilts and am still working, with a self-imposed deadline of completion set for July. Yes, I'm dreaming of my next adventure, but most days I get out of bed, slip on my ruby slippers and repeat, "there's no place like home, there's no place like home".... "there's no place like home."


  1. These are amazing! I love this series!! I can't wait to see the next one.

  2. Love these quilts Sue, and there even more fantastic in person. Enjoy your blog, you have a good way of telling a story both in words and visualy in your quilts.

  3. I love the work. I think making work about home is really important as it is one place we should really strive to understnad.

  4. Beautiful work!! I especially like "Homeplace-Winter". I too am an Ohioan...even a member of "First Families of Athens County".
    Glad I found your blog, and hope to meet you soon.