What to do next?

We grapple with this question over and over in our lives, year to year, day to day, and hour to hour.

There are some big questions about what to do next, but there are the simple prioritize-my-time sort as well. Because it is summer, I’ve had difficulty smashing-cramming-condensing four hours of exercise and gardening into two hours of delightful temperatures before the heat of the day makes these activities less fun. Eenie Meenie Mynie Moe. If it has just rained, then weeding jumps to the top of my list.

Sometimes I am so desperate to get a lot accomplished, that I shorten my first-thing stretch routine. What! No way! Some days I choose to walk the neighborhood. This takes only 17 minutes, but I might skip it anyway, and launch into weeding and clipping at one of the eight locations that I care for in town. Other days harvesting produce is a must, and sometimes some quick cooking of ingredients is a wise choice, because I might want to eat those green beans cooked and cold in a salad. Or….cook them tonight and eat them in the salad the next day?

In the afternoons, I welcome the retreat to my cool basement-level studio to create artwork. But the question of “what to do next?” is still in motion. Right now I have three competing projects, and only so much time! They are very different from one another.

One: I have a deadline for three commissioned pieces for the state of Wyoming. The first must be completed by the end of November (at the latest). Below is the small version that I created for the proposal. The commission is very large and will require many preparations in order to begin. For example, I will need to figure out a way to iron on top of my ping pong table, because my usual ironing surface is too small.

Long View


Two: I would like to enter something in my local art center’s annual fundraiser event. Other work is sold or committed elsewhere, so they are not options for entry. I must create new work. Entry deadline is Nov. 1st. I just completed an abstract piece for this entry, that I am happy with, but I probably don’t have time to create a second, but wish that I did have time!

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations detail










Three: I have about 40 images of photographers (who are taking photos of people posing.) I am very excited to use many of these, and have been giving this thought while out on my morning walk. (At other times I am thinking about how to use green beans and summer squash.) Below is an example of the cartoon photographers that I wish to use. Yes, I am excited about doing cartoons (after a long time not using them) and hope that my enthusiasm does not leave town, while I work on the Wyoming commission. In the image below I have combined three photos, and in doing so, it looks as though the women on the right is taking a photo of the man’s crotch. Oh dear! That’s a rude thing to do! This might make an additional puzzle to the narrative of the artwork.


Cartoon of photographers


I am very grateful for my privileged situation, and the gift of having flexible time. Three art project choices is about perfect.

No choices would mean that my time is not my own and I am exhausted or in poor health. Sadly, even with extra time, some people have no passion for anything, and so there is no project (of the fun kind) wanting to be done.

Eight choices is too many. It would be much harder to juggle the weeding and clipping of eight gardens and also have eight art projects in play. Even with the cooler days beginning (thus increasing lovely hours to accomplish garden chores), I am still not in favor of also having many art projects overlapping. My working style is to finish one piece at a time, and have control over the moving parts in my studio.

You probably guessed that the recipe this month would feature green beans. For Fresh Green Bean Salad:  Wash and trim green beans, cut into bite size lengths and cook (I stream 5 minutes).  Large salads for two people will need 3 cups of beans. After beans are completely cooled, add half a red bell pepper diced, one avocado cut into bites, fresh herbs (dill, parsley or basil are great), olive oil and apple cider vinegar, crumbled feta cheese, and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy.


Back Side of Good Vibrations


Adventure Abroad

In June I traveled overseas, and for twenty-five days was away from the safety and boring routines of home. The countries visited were Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary (cities – Zurich, Prague, Olomouc, Bratislava, Vienna, and Budapest). I was with my traveling cousin and the Gillette Chamber Singers. The experience was good, great, delightful,… Read more »

Weed Sort Plan

This blog is part two of a discussion about photographs. Do they bring you joy? If you didn’t read last month’s installment, you may wish to do that now. If weeding and oranganizing is not your thing, you can wait until next month, when I’ll be talking about who knows what, but it won’t be… Read more »


Once upon a time, for about 25 years, in the 70’s and 80’s and early 90’s mostly, I really enjoyed the process of making photo albums. This was an activity that “sparked joy”. The albums have been seen with some regularity over time, and do help to retrieve memories of those years.  However, there are… Read more »

I don’t get it

I have just finished a large abstract piece of art, created to hang in the stairwell of City Hall in Gillette. I am 63 inches tall, so at 68 inches high this pieces is taller than me, and broader also – 43 inches wide. Large artwork looks good in this space, and I have mostly… Read more »

Which Path is Best?

The future is unknown, and therefore not a sure thing. Do we proceed with caution, or take a bold leap of faith? At the end of this blog (after a Sowada recipe), there are a list of the conflicting words of wisdom we have grown up with. Most lean towards being careful. But first, I… Read more »

Put Yourself Out There

You won’t get into the show unless you enter the show. You won’t meet new people unless you expand your activities and try new things. Yeah, yeah, I know. And here’s two more – You won’t get the job unless you apply. You won’t find something lost, unless you go looking for it. Wouldn’t it… Read more »

Quick Show and Tell

In my September blog post, I showed you many examples of artwork inspired by relationships with people, animals and place.  Two of the photos I shared then, are now small pieces of art. The first step in my work process, was to do a lot of editing. I limited the number of fabric choices, I… Read more »

Not a waste of time

I meet each week with artist friends, to share our lives and discuss art related stuff. We call it Tuesday Morning Art Coffee. Some people stay one hour and some people stay 2 or more hours. We occasionally talk about flooded basements, food allergies, or dividing the daisies, but usually we stick pretty close to… Read more »

Inspiration Found in Relationships

My artist statement has drifted this way and that over the years, but one thing remains the same. People Together. Relationship. Of course dogs and horses and cats are also ‘people’. There are other Sowada characteristics of outdoors, seasons, reflections, and shadows that usually appear as well. Here are some examples of reference photos and… Read more »