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The Four Seasons: Human Metaphors


Martha S. Heimbaugh

Show debuted
October 12 through November 7, 2003
Stocksdale Gallery of Art
William Jewell College
Liberty, Missouri

"My vision for this solo exhibit was that the walls in the gallery would represent different seasons in nature and also different seasons in our own humanity.  My hope was that viewers would be inspired to reflect upon themselves and the season in their own lives.  I also wanted viewers to understand that in every season there is hope, for example, even in the darkness and coldness of winter there is beauty and life.  Our perspective is what seems to be most important."

The Show

The Four Seasons: Human Metaphors Show Banner 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh


"The show began with Spring.  This small work that is painted with both fiber reactive dyes and fabric paints, is a depiction of an iris.  Iris come forth each year from the belly of a bulb buried in the earth.  The same idea that we ourselves are vessels of energy, just waiting for the right conditions that will allow us to also burst forth with energy and life."

Fire Within 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting / Dye Painting
20-1/2" H x 20-1/2" W





Veracious Truth 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Painted, Pieced Fabric, 3-D Frame
29" H x 71" W x 4-1/2" D

"The tulips in the merged painting called Veracious Truth symbolize renewal, or death after life.  If there is one thing you can count on every spring it's the arrival of the tulips.  The word veracious, which means truthful, should not be confused with the word voracious, which means ravenous.  So Veracious Truth means, the truth of all truths."

"This large, framed painting is a favorite must see for quilters and has a special meaning to mothers.  The painting depicts a small child exploring the world.  The captured moment speaks to all of us as we yearn to rediscover that delightful feeling of innocence and discovery."









With Love 2001 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
66" H x 45-5/8" W
Collection of the Artist






"Summer begins with an abstract depiction of fun and playfulness.  The white, over painted swirls inspire the viewer to search for a hidden object or memory within the painting."








Playful Friend 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
27-1/2" H x 44-1/4" W x 3" D




"This painting entitled Summer Garden has become one of my signature paintings.  When my mother first saw this painting, she lovingly said, "We can't let this one leave the family, I want to buy it!"  I wouldn't let her buy it, but instead put it to work for me, displaying it in shows and a couple of galleries.  After my mother passed away, I immediately removed it from any further "duty" and now allow it to hang comfortably in my own home, with an occasional public appearance."




Summer Garden 2000 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
33-1/4" H x 31" W
Collection of the Artist







"This painted and pieced wall hanging entitled Return, represents fall.  The leaf prints were created with leaves from my favorite trees.  Look closely and you will see an image of a cross embedded in the blocks that make up the wall hanging.  The idea here is, that as the leaves fall to the ground, their life is not yet over.  They are simply returning to the earth from whence they came.  Similarly, the image of the cross reminds Christians that death is simply another step in the process of life and that there remains a promise from Jesus to return."






Return 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
66" H x 45" W
Collection of the Artist








"Unconditional Love is a pieced wall hanging.  The center portion is meant to symbolize a waterfall and the quilting also suggests that type of water movement.  Over the years, many people have been drawn into this quilt that seems to have something to say to every passer by."










Unconditional Love 1999 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Pieced Fabrics
86" H x 50-1/2" W





"Filled with the colors of fall, this 3D mixed media entitled Inner Presence is meant to represent the spirit that speaks to us internally."










Inner Presence 1999 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Mixed Media part of the Wildfire Series
78" H x 27" W
Collection of the Artist








"Changing Season and its companion Peaceful Sleep signify the transition from fall to winter.  Initially the tree seems full of life and energy but when winter arrives the tree is stripped of all its color.  By removing the outer leaf layer, the underlying beauty of the tree's branches is exposed."








Changing Season 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
50" H x 46" W









"The painting Peaceful Sleep depicts a tree in winter.  The tree appears to be lifeless and yet deep below the soil, out of sight of the viewer, lives an intricate root system that continues to nourish the tree during this less showy time of year.  We can be in a state of winter at any age, at any time.  And winter does not necessarily mean death or depression, instead winter can be a time to build on our own inner beauty and creativity.  A time when our soul can calm down and rejuvenate."



Peaceful Sleep 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
49-1/2" H x 46-1/4" W










"The painting entitled simply Winter is a simple application of finding objects and painting over them.  I chose objects from my yard that would be typically found in winter time.  Rocks, twigs, leaves, pine needles, pine cones, things of this nature.  I then proceeded to paint yards of fabric this way and then selected the section that I felt made a painting that could stand on its own."

Winter 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
37-1/2" H x 47-1/2" W





"In the painting below entitled, In God's Hands, I tried to tie together all the other individual pieces in the show.  The different shapes in the painting are meant to represent our own human uniqueness and individuality.  These shapes form one large irregular shape in a sea of black, symbolizing how fragile we are and how much we need God.  This large irregular shape represents the idea that we can only be completely whole if we surrender ourselves completely to God.  The idea that ultimately we have no control and that all things are "In God's Hands" is sometimes a difficult concept to understand and concede."


In God's Hands 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting
40" H x 94-1/4" W



"The following free standing, three dimensional bowls and objects, were my first attempt at quilted, completely free-standing, 3D objects.  These are the prototypes for what eventually became Storybowls.  In the show, the Butterfly Bowl represents our own fragile humanity.  Yet we know that as fragile as Monarch butterflies are, they can travel great distances even across spans of water, and thus, also represent courage and strength and will.  This is the idea behind the Butterfly Wings Bowl.  The Snowball is just my "crazy" piece.  It is an abstract representation of a snowball and what it might look like if it were magnified."

Butterfly Bowl 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting Mixed Media
18" H x 31" W x 33" D
Collection of the Artist


Snowball 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting Mixed Media
27" H x 27" W x 38" D
Collection of the Artist


Butterfly Wings Bowl 2003 Martha S. Heimbaugh
Fabric Painting Mixed Media
17" H x 32-1/2" W x 32" D
Collection of the Artist

I hope you enjoyed this show.

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