The Source for Contemporary Art Quilts, Exhibitions & Appraisals

Shie exhibition

Inside Out: The Art of Susan Shie
retrospective exhibition

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Susan video
Watch a video of Susan
talking about her
2010 exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.

Susan Shie is an academically trained painter and lifelong sewer who has been making unique and often whimsical painted quilts since 1980. Her quilts are in the collections of the Museum of Arts & Design, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, and many important private collections, including the John M. Walsh III Collection of Contemporary Art Quilts.

Susan Shie lecturing about her work
Susan talking about one of her pieces

Susan Shie with Libby
Susan and Libby sharing the couch.
(In case you are wondering, Libby is a North American retriever, a cross between a Labradoodle and a Goldendoodle, also lovingly dubbed a Double Doodle.)

Susan says that to her, art is next to godliness, and her work shows her passionate belief in the spiritual importance of creativity in everyday life. Her art is intensely personal, combining boldly outlined and colored paintings of herself and her friends, family, and pets with images of everyday things like kitchen tools and appliances, pies, vegetables and flowers, and references to peace, politics, and the environment. “I just spent a year and a half being the nanny to my granddaughter, Eva,” she explains. “Being with a very innocent soul so much of the time made me more aware of how important it is for our world to be a safe and whole place for her generation to grow up in.” She describes her art as “personal diary work,” and she fills in everything she paints with detailed spontaneous handwritten diary entries that record whatever she is thinking and feeling at the time. The diary writing, which Susan executes with an AirPen®, adds yet another layer of texture and meaning to her complex work.

Obama Quilts
First Lady by Susan Shie
First Lady: Queen of Potholders
American Pie by Susan Shie
American Pie: 6 of Potholders
Salt of the Earth by Susan Shie
Salt of the Earth: Ace of Potholders
Magic Lama
Magic Lama

The True Story of Sisters on Diets
Year of the Dog by Susan Shie
Year of the Dog
Wilma by Susan ShieWilma

Susan Lets Her Hair Down by Susan Shie
Susan Lets Her Hair Down

Smaller Quilts
Healing Songs for the Earth #6 by Susan Shie
Healing Songs for the Earth #6 SOLD
La Leona of Girona by Susan Shie
La Leona of Girona

Peace Cupboard by Susan Shie
Peace Cupboard
Peace Garden by Susan Shie
Peace Garden
The Kiss by Susan Shie
The Kiss
The Car Handover by Susan Shie
The Car Handover (diptych)
Peace Porridge by Susan Shie
Peace Porridge
The KT Card Back
The KT Card Back
House Juju by Susan Shie
House Juju
The View Out Our Kitchen Window: 7 of Potholders in the Kitchen Tarot by Susan Shie
The View Out Our Kitchen Window
7 of Potholders
Royal Wedding by Susan Shie
Royal Wedding
Knight of Wooden Spoons
Baby Fridge by Susan Shie
Baby Fridge

Kithen Tarot Card Deck cover
Order the deck on Amazon

The Kitchen Tarot

Since 1998, Susan Shie has been working on a massive project called The Kitchen Tarot, which will eventually (she predicts sometime in 2022) encompass representations of the entire traditional tarot deck of 78 cards as full-sized art quilts, reinterpreted through everyday kitchen appliances and utensils, from the stove and fridge (The Empress and Emperor of course) to wooden spoons, potholders, mixing bowls, pyrex cups, and more.

In 2010, Susan published an actual deck of the 22 Major Arcana cards, with a guidebook by Dennis Fairchild, a widely recognized expert in tarot, numerology, palmistry, and other predictive arts.
The Potluck, Kitchen Tarot card by Susan Shie
The Potluck, Card #21 in
The Kitchen Tarot

In his introduction to The Kitchen Tarot Guidebook, tarot expert Dennis Fairchild writes: "For the first time in history, the tarot has been sent to the kitchen: the heart of the home. Mountains of ready-to-explode pressure cookers now replace age-old images of lightning-struck castle towers. Wooden spoons now assume the role of sorcerers' magic wands. And 'St. Quilta,' the patron saint of kitchens who wears a teacup for a crown, currently holds the 22 keys to a lush new culinary kingdom of consciousness raising.

The unique beauty of the artwork of The Kitchen Tarot also lies in the fact that the original size of each ranges from three to eight feet tall! Eleven years in the making, [Susan Shie's 22 Major Arcana Kitchen Tarot quilts] represent a brilliant wedding of painting, fresh mixed media artistry, and illustrated diary keeping."

Selections from The Kitchen Tarot are offered below. More are available or in the works, so if you are interested in a particular card or want Susan to personalize a card she has not yet started, please contact us. Susan recently completed Savannah: The Two of Cups for collector John M. Walsh III and did the diary writing on the quilt about Jack and his life and times.

The Cream and Sugar/Lovers by Susan Shie
The Cream and Sugar/Lovers
The Tower by Susan Shie
The Pressure Cooker/Tower
The Punchbowl by Susan Shie
The Punchbowl/Star
The Blender by Susan Shie
The Blender/Temperance
The Power Out/Devil by Susan Shie
The Power Out/Devil
The Timer by Susan Shie
The Timer/Hanged Man
The Lazy Susan/Wheel of Fortune by Sysan Shie
The Lazy Susan/
Wheel of Fortune
Kat Soup by Susan Shie
Kat Soup: 10 of Pyrex Cups
The View Out Our Kitchen Window: 7 of Potholders in the Kitchen Tarot by Susan Shie
The View Out Our Kitchen Window: 7 of Potholders
Sweet Jane: 9 of Porholders by Susan Shie
Sweet Jane: 9 of Potholders
David Wax Museum by Susan SHie
David Wax Museum:
3 of Potholders
 French Toast by Susan Shie
French Toast: King of Potholders

Gaarage door mural by Susan Shie
As the mural she painted on on her garage door in fall 2008 attests, Susan Shie lives her art. Along with soon to be President Obama, Susan's painting of "her "Personal Landscape," includes portraits of herself and her husband James Acord (at left, holding a pie), her daughter Gretchen, guitar-playing husband MIke and granddaughter Eva, and both families' cats. Turtle Moon is the name of Shie and Acord's home studio, and 2612 the number of their house.

Susan Shie
Susan Shie and her granddaughter Eva helping to hold the CARE pie. Susan's self-portrait is behind her.

Sisters detail
Detail, Sisters or The True Story of Sisters on Diets, showing Susan's journal writing

Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade