Artist Joan Sowada


Contemporary Handmade Quilts by Joan Sowada Art

I’ve lived in Wyoming for almost 40 years. The subtle color palette of the landscape makes it’s way into much of what I create. It is often the subtle colors that make the strong accent colors really pop.

I work in my studio 2-4 hours a day. My most productive time of year is in winter months, when I am not pulled out into the many gardens that I care for. My husband and I tend 9 landscape locations in town. Many of these are lightly tended xeric and perennial plants.

I have always participated in both art and music. My college degree was a bachelor of music. My mother, who was an oil painter and High School art teacher, in every day conversation and projects, passed along the principles of art to me.  I have sung with the Gillette Chamber Singers for 32 years.

I’ve used the medium of fabric for 50 years. In the beginning I was drawn to it because it is clean. I now use some seta color (similar to watercolor), and some markers, crayons, and oil pastel to alter cotton and linen fabrics. I use these things sparingly, because it is important to me to retain the soft characteristics of natural cloth. I enjoy the juxtaposition of recycled plaid with hand painted and commercial fabrics. I try to have something unexpected in each piece.

Water 2, 23 X 36, sold


Are you interested in my creative process and technique? The top three publications below spell out how I create most of my figurative artwork. However, one’s process evolves, and more recently I am doing less fusing and more sewing by hand. When doing a figurative piece, I still use a tracing of my image and work flat on a table. If I am not fusing, then I pin and tape things in place until I am ready to sew by hand. I  sometimes talk about my process on blog posts: Conceptual Art, How is it done, and I don’t get it have a lot of information about process.


Art Quilt Portfolio People and Portraits, 2011

Quilting Arts magazine june/july 2011

Machine Quilting Unlimited, May 2011

Abstract & Geometric, 2016

Have the Right , presented by Picture Art Foundation, Nov 2011

State of the Art, The Studio Quilt, no. 6, November 2011Xhibit, 2011

Exhibitions 3&4, preston contemporary art

Quilting Arts magazine April/May 2011

500 Quilts by Lark Books, 2010

SAQA Journal  Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Fall 2016

SAQA Art Quilt Quarterly, Winter 2017

Quilting Arts magazine Dec./Jan. 2010

Quilters Newsletter magazine Feb/March 2010

Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine Nov. 2010

Do I teach workshops?  No

Do I give talks? Yes, sometimes in the Region.



 Artist Statement

My earthy tactile pieces show our connection to nature and to one another. In both my abstract conceptual and my figurative work this relationship is what I am drawn to, as well as ideas about time, impermanence and communion. Within the work I have a balance of unfinished imperfect areas with those portions clearly in focus.