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 been making small figurative pieces in the last few months. So …. it was time to clear off the ping pong table, and get going.

I had also been given permission to use a gifted pristine linen table cloth in any way that I wished!  (Thank you cousin Alice.) So I began by cutting this fabric in sections and painting some of them with seta color.  It was decidedly not pristine any more. I painted other linen (and linen look alike) as well. After seeing the results, an idea emerged as to what I might like to “say” with these rich colors. Fabrics were pinned to a black background and sewn down by hand.  This is the completed artwork. I have at least one friend who is made uncomfortable by abstract art. Her response is usually,”I don’t get it”.



So I will explain a bit.  We start by looking at the fabrics closely, because they tell a story. Do you see some frayed edges and  some bruising? Do you see passion, spirit, and ethnicity? Do you see dynamic forces and new ideas?  Femininity? Difficult points of history, and also joyful celebration? Maybe you don’t see any of these things, but do see something else. There is no exact meaning to any piece of art, even when it is a more easily understood realistic image. There is no right or wrong answer.





















The title of this piece is Women of Color Rise. Their individual voices join forces to be heard.  Strong women give me hope. I am glad that I have given myself permission to create conceptual artwork of the political kind. I enjoy making abstract art that is about something.

And now…. a reward for having read this blog. Some of my recipes could also be categorized as abstract, especially because of my fondness for sometimes not giving amounts!  It is still very cold this winter, so I have created another soup. About once a month I bake a whole butternut squash – Poke it with a knife, place in 350 degree oven and bake for one hour. Let cool, remove skin and seeds, Use the pulp in Butternut Delight (Jan. 2019) or Butternut Pancakes (Feb. 2018) or use it in Sweet Curry Soup: Mash about 2 cups of cooked squash, add 1/2 t. salt and 1 t. curry powder, and set aside. Saute 1/2 yellow onion, chopped, in chicken fat or butter until browned a little. Put this in a blender with a can (13.6fl oz.) unsweetened coconut milk. I use Thai Kitchen. Add mashed butternut squash, and blend until smooth. Heat and serve with pepper.

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 »

How is it done?

I create artwork in two styles. When I am making abstract artwork, there is no pattern. I begin with an idea and a group of fabrics that would play well together. When I make a figurative piece the process is more structured, and in this blog I will talk about those steps. There’s a part… Read more »

Cat Fights and Tornados

I didn’t know whether to call this blog post “Planning for Everything” or “Cat Fights and Tornados.”I thought that Cat Fights might catch your attention. It is summer time, so you might open the house to the welcome cool breezes at night. That’s why it’s easy to hear the cat fight outside your window at… Read more »

At the Art Reception

When I attend an Art Reception, I usually seek out the company of another artist, preferably to sit one on one in a quiet corner. The patrons are OK too, but the conversations differ. I have thankfully out grown the extreme shyness of my youth. It is no longer impossible or painful to talk to… Read more »