Keep Going

In any creative activity, whether it be gardening or building an image of a donkey, it is not easy to know when to stop. Creators in every medium are often warned about this. Art: If you go too far, the paint will become muddy! Poetry: The freshness of an idea might be lost. Cooking: The flavors might become confusing. Songwriting: Maybe a simple orchestration is a better way to highlight the lyric. Interior Design: Will the feeling in the room be overwhelming with so much color and pattern? When is it time to stop, and when is it good to keep going?

Editing is a process that requires addition and subtraction. The fabric medium is usually accommodating to both removal and addition of elements. In my recent commission piece, it was necessary to have faith in the process. “If I keep going, it will end up OK.” The donkey was “not there yet” for an uncomfortable amount of time. It was by accident (a bag of plaid fabrics I stumbled upon while looking for something else) that two fabrics made the donkey finally look OK. There was also much self-reassuring about it being completely natural to add more dots and scribbles!

Both voices were there in my head. Go for it. Have fun! and also Don’t muddy the paint! Even after the sleeve was on and the quilt hanging in the livingroom, I saw things that I wanted to change. The piece refused to be completed. Because there was no looming deadline, I had the luxury of living with the art quilt for as long as it took.

In the next few days, I removed some of the quilting, added fabrics to the tree and sky areas, added a few more dots, and added more fabrics to the woman’s hair and shading to her face.

Donkey Face

Full image, 30 X 36
Color ingredients for Wyoming commission.

Donkey Photo

And now a recipe. Easy Leap Year Salad Hot or Cold: Bake sweet potato and allow to mostly cool. Wash, rinse, and pat dry a can of black beans. Cut sweet potato into small cubes and combine with black beans and chopped red bell pepper. Add olive oil, salt, and juice from one or more limes. Optional ingredients: cilantro, red pepper flakes, diced red or green onion, diced red cabbage.

Just Right

Goldilocks tried out bowls of porridge, chairs and beds, to find the ones that were just right. When this child wandered into the home of the three bears, I assume that the bears were out doing work, or getting their exercise, or attending choir practice. Maybe baby bear was climbing trees or swimming with a… Read more »

Two Gems

This blog is just a quick show and tell, to share with you two commissions completed recently. I am showing you the reference photo given to me, next to the artwork I created for a friend. Notice all the things that are removed (background and shirt logo) and the things added (bottom of shoe and… Read more »

Abstract Art Quilt

I recently visited the art room at an elementary school, as a guest speaker. I was at school all day and talked to 7 different classes of all grade levels. I brought along three examples of my artwork, two abstract and one figurative. I explained my ideas and why I had made the choices of… Read more »

Art Plus Location

I have recently returned from a wonderful visit with my girl (old lady) cousins that took place in Lexington MA, near Boston. We did a great deal of talking and eating and seeing artwork. My dream vacation realized!  So even though some of the conversation had to do with aches and pains of old ladies,… Read more »

September in the Studio

    Above is the small mock up version of “Long View”. I have been working on the large version that, when complete, and remodeling to the building is done, will hang in the State Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming. It is 38 X 54 inches . I was able to use my usual ironing surface… Read more »

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… Read more »

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 »