The weather promises to change

March December

Can you guess which one of these images represents December and which one represents March?


Which image is April and which is October?



October, 12 X 16, $175 April May

I have been creating small (10X14) abstract artwork for each month of the year. I use a combinatiion of hand painted and commercial fabrics. All applique and quilting is done by hand, sometimes using embroidery floss.

If you live in Wyoming (Montana and Colorado) you won’t have any trouble with the identity of each month.

October is alive with spicy color. Gold, rust, and red leaves fly around and the sky is crisp blue. The length of the day is speedily shrinking which adds to a hurry up quality. Get the fire wood stacked! It will probably be very cold on Halloween.

March is a breezy 31 day month. The color of October is completely bleached out and dried out. The ground is dull and the car dirty! However, you are aware of the longer days (some of them nicely warm) and you can spot a few shy crocus if you take the time to look.

December is a dark and holy month made festive with strings of lights. The pine and spruce trees provide a safe quiet place to offset the parade of parties and music.

April is the beginning of a miraculous growth spurt, as new green buds plump forth and the pleasing color combination of purple and yellow is everywhere in Tulips, Johny-Jump-Ups, Dandelions, Grape Hyacinths, and Basket of Gold. (Not every April will be purple and yellow. The blizzard of 84 was dominated by many feet of snow and a quick thaw that flooded basements all over Gillette.)

I am entertained by asking those in-the-now questions: How does this day feel? How does it smell? What are the dominant colors and textures? What would I like to say about that?

I am interested in taking a longer look at Seasons Seasons Seasons. Wyoming weather is just one branch of the subject. You too, respond to the here and now. Which toy will you introduce to your grandchild and how will you use the eggplant and chard and beets from the garden?

There are Political seasons ( the pendulum swings back and forth, push and pull)) and the related subject of Healing (Body and Soul). There are also the seasons of Life, a favorite touch stone subject for me. I love to look through the eyes of people from birth to adult to family and then old age. In future blog posts I will write about these other seasons.

Not Mac and Cheese recipe: Saute in olive oil starting with onion and adding in this order –  half a  yellow onion chopped, 1 yellow crook neck squash chopped, 2-4 c. chopped greens ( I used chard and beet tops, but any greens will do), 1/2 c. cut into cubes leftover cooked potato. Stir a bit and turn temp to medium. (Optional – add 1/3 lb. burger in chuncks to top of vegetables. Cover with lid for 4 minutes. Remove lid, break up burger and add salt and pepper.) Stir, and then add 10 slices of chedar cheese over top, turn temp to low, cover until melted. Remove lid and let cool for a few minutes before serving. (Optional – serve with hot sauce and sour cream)

September, 10.5 X 14.5, sold

September, 10.5 X 14.5, sold

Common Ground, 20X 26, $300

Common Ground, 20X 26, $300


Many Fires Burning 47 X 26 $700

Many Fires Burning 47 X 26 $700

Season Cycle, 24.5 X 18, $175

Season Cycle, 24.5 X 18, $175

A day in the life- mid August

      The mid-August brisk air (55 – 65 degrees) is perfect for removing the algae from around the edge of our small pond. This task is only done while wearing knee pads (making crawling easy) and in the early morning cool air before the yellow jacket wake up bell. Before this task I… Read more »

Just add purple and chartreuse

I’m starting a new series of work that will use (spiritual) purple and (rebirth) chartreuse as major players. At least that’s my current thinking. I will use a lot of a formerly used Wyoming color palette with these strong colors added. Here are some examples of older work using many of the same colors.  Taken together they… Read more »

Make Over

Get out the rotary cutter. Sometimes the best thing to do with a piece that isn’t so good, is to visualize cutting it up, and then have fun doing it!  Since you didn’t like it anyway, nothing is lost. Making artwork is always a risk, so I say, go for it. I cut ‘Abstract Figure’… Read more »

Everyone is happy

When a commission turns out well, everyone is happy. The woman who asked me to make a piece based on a photo of herself and her children, was already familiar with my artwork. She knew about my medium, style, subject matter, and my love of light and shadow. She could safely feel that I was… Read more »

Something to Say About the Digital Age

New inventions have always been both delightful and frightening. An autonomous car is no different than a telephone, except for the century in which it is imbedded into human lives.  My Voice (the artistic voice of Joan Sowada) is exemplified by using images of people and animals, usually in relationship with each other and the out… Read more »

New Order and Taking Stock

After reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, I have given myself permission to devote several months to the task of going through everything in my house that is mine. It is simple enough to ask the clarifying question of “Does this thing bring me joy?”, but after that it is… Read more »

Inspiration from Photos

I am often inspired to create art quilts based on my own candid photos. Here are some examples of pieces that started out this way. I am drawn to photos that have good composition and strong contrast of light and dark. I sometimes combine multiple images of a subject to add impact. (Magic Wall also has… Read more »

Is it Good Artwork?

I was recently asked to judge an art show. The art was created by adults, in all media (including photography), from all over the state of Wyoming. The previous time I did this task was children’s art and County Fair. Thankfully in both instances there was a second person judging, making the decisions easier. It… Read more »

If the Power Goes Out

After a week of enjoying 2 hours a day of Spring garden cleanup, Winter has returned for a bit. The power is not likely to fail, but what if it did? Some artists work without power tools of any kind – colored pencil, paint, markers, etc. to render an image, as long as there is day light…. Read more »