August Art

My two most recent pieces don’t look much like artwork by Joan Sowada. How often do I use solid fabrics? How often do I use really bright colors? Not usually. Not often. I watched a Textile Talk by the Modern Quilt Guild, and this motivated me to give solid fabrics a GO.


These two pieces are a comment on the political times. The colorful busy piece is about a new, diverse generation, which I hope emerges into the world of leadership and governing.

Related Concepts

The long skinny piece on the right is about old white men falling.  I am not against old white men. I am very disappointed that old white men have held so much power, for so long.


I may create more artwork using solid fabrics, and I may not. This week I am painting fabrics with Seta-color paints. I am using metalic paints on top of plain cotton and linen, and also over plaid fabrics.  Shiny metalic and cowboy plaid seem like a contradiction in personalities. Maybe they will be unexpectedly interesting (in a good way).

 A hearty cold salad is wonderful this time of year. Tabouli variations are right in front of you, and taste great!  Instead of cooked cracked wheat I use a 50/50 blend of cooked quinoa and lentils. Instead of garbanzo beans I use either black beans or green beans. Instead of mint and parsley, I use cilantro, chives, and red bell pepper. Because I now have garden cucumbers and tomatoes, they are added as well. (If it were December, I might use chopped red cabbage and sun-dried tomatoes instead.) The dressing is always the same. I use olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt.

The quinoa and lentil mixture is handy to have on hand, so I make a lot at one time. I soak one cup lentils for 4 hours in salty water. Rinse lentils and put in a pot with one cup rinsed quinoa, four cups water, diced garlic, and one tsp. each salt and cumin seed. Simmer 35 minutes and let sit before storing in refrigerator.


 I have become aware of dust bunnies and a neglected car, paper piles and soiled slip covers.  These things are on, and then off my radar, with no  action taken. There are a limited number of hours in a day and there is a limited supply of energy in a person. So these things usually… Read more »

Summer is here

I know this, because I have switched on a dime, from planting to weeding and mulching. Lots and lots of mulch is CPR for plants. It is how some of those Xeric (native, tough, pronounced zir’ik) plants survive months with almost no water. It is also how to tackle troublesome weeds, such as thistle and… Read more »

Radical Pruning

For weeks now, my response to the pandemic, has been to do lots of radical pruning. What does that mean?  You might think that it means cleaning out my studio or office or some other sort of spring cleaning that many artists spent the month of March doing. I applaud them!  No. My radical pruning… Read more »


People are influenced by what they experience. The current pandemic has many of us even more focused than usual on what it is we want to do with our time, and what we want to say.  I will share with you my newest artwork (created February to mid-March), and what I was thinking about. This… Read more »

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… Read more »

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 »