Truth Like Fine Felt/My Love of English Ivy

Item two in a series of mixed media works using ruined or unwanted apparel as canvas, Truth Like Fine Felt/My Love of English Ivy started out as a suede bag bought for four dollars at Northern Thrift in Huntington Station, New York.  With the exception of the painting on the sides and handles of the bag, all of the work on the bag was done in one night.  The piece has already found a home in a private collection.

Truth Like Fine Felt uses two different fabric swatches, letter stencils, acrylic and oil paint. The words read:

IT TAKES THREE STRONG WORDS TO SWAY A NATION.
IT TAKES ONE SOFT CHEEK TO QUELL ORATION.

These words had been kicking around in my head for a while and I wanted to get them down somehow.  I like to think of it as an “anti-slogan”.

In My Love of English Ivy, I used papier-mâché to cover the bag in three types of paper stock: an argyle pattern, a pine tree pattern and a rock pattern.  For the lettering on the bag, I used adhesive lettering, painted over the paper in blue watercolor and then removed the lettering.  The text reads:

save me, slave me,
waive me, bathe me

bury me, close to thee
under the clock in the garden