Less is More

In the summer of 1957 our family drove across the country. I was given paper and crayons. I was six years old. Sixty Four years later I found a file of drawings. A few of them were labeled in my mother’s handwriting, “Joan’s pictures of Kansas 1957.”

I have recently been exploring the idea of creating art with a simple vibe, by saying more with fewer parts. Less is more. And here, I stumble upon an example from my six year-old self! It is now on our refrigerator, along with Coen’s dinosaurs and Sloan’s owls of 2021.

One of my creations from last month is Water and Stone. It is 21″ X 45″, and was made to go over the stairs in the kitchen. It is not my natural inclination to limit the fabrics and simplify the composition this much. So I had to work at it! I am happy with the results.    


 Less is more. I have looked back to find other examples of art that looks simple.  They are all abstract.

Fire Season, 12 X 16 inches, 2017
Better Days Ahead, 16 X 20 inches, 2020
Common Ground, 20 X 26 inches, 2017
April, 10 X 14 inches, 2016
Unfinished, 57 X 26 inches, 2013
Showers with Bright Periods, 35 X 14 inches, 2010

(Okay. The last example is not very simple, but I like it, and wanted you to see it.) The recipe for this month uses eggplant and fresh tomatoes from the garden. This is a stove-top dish. I use a pan that is 10.5 inches across and almost 3 inches deep. For a change of pace, I am giving you measurements!  Purple September: Cut some bread (I use gluten free) into cubes- about 2 c., and season with garlic powder and thyme. Dice 2 c. fresh tomatoes (or use spaghetti sauce), and 4 c. eggplant. Slice cheddar cheese into cubes, 1 c. (or more). Saute eggplant in 2 -3 T. olive oil until soft. Add in this order: half of the cheese cubes, bread cubes, tomatoes (or sauce), and other half of cheese cubes. Do not stir. Place lid on pan and let simmer on low for 5 or more minutes until everything is hot. Remove lid and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Looking at Light

Several months ago, I talked to you about art show themes. I also shared three reference photos taken in early morning light. Here they are again. These photos were my inspiration for creating a piece for the Chasing Light show. I combined the three images and used three different sizes, resulting in a compelling composition…. Read more »

New Combinations

  Are you one of those silly people?  – A person who thinks your house can only hold a finite number of artworks?  There are a lot of you out there! It turns out that art can expand and contract and change, just like other things in your house and yard. For example: walls, paint… Read more »

Spring Calling

  I have created an artwork make over. The new piece is Spring Calling. In last month’s blog I shared an image of an applique picture that I created in 1988. I am showing you that image again. Girl on the Slide is 24 X 40 inches. At that time I used trapunto in a… Read more »

March Miscellany

Some of you live in Gillette Wyoming, but you might not know about the wonderful venue for contemporary art quilts at City Hall. Take the stairs, and see my artwork from various vantage points! I change out the quilts in Spring and Autumn. There are four new pieces to enjoy. Evolution, 43 X 53 (above)… Read more »

Art Show Themes

Art shows often come together better if there are parameters. These might be subject matter, concept, color palette, size, medium, or some combination of these things. There are no guarantees that artists will respond to a call for art by submitting strong artwork. A theme that you thought was wonderful, might be greeted by a… Read more »

Show and Tell

In December I had the pleasure of hearing Transendence: How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty and Time, read by the author, Gaia Vince. She follows the story of homo sapiens from their beginnings until now, and her full research and excellent storytelling make this book of non-fiction a real page turner! I was listening… Read more »

Light and Dark Harmony

It turns out that you’re never too old to learn! Five months ago an artist buddy introduced me to the art principle of Notan, which is a Japanese word meaning light and dark harmony. Had I gone to art school, I would already have known about this way of looking at composition. How pleasing is… Read more »