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.

5 Responses to I don’t get it


Love what you are doing, Joan!! Your explanation is so on point. This is the type of thing I like to do.


Dorothy G Raymond

Don’t throw out the butternut squash seeds! I cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds, coat the squash with olive oil and salt and roast for 45 minutes or so in a 400 degree oven. I rinse off the seeds, pat dry, put in an aluminum pie tin, season with seasoned salt (Lawry’s) and a 1/2 tsp or so of olive oil. I roast along with the squash, but for about 10 minutes…or until I hear the first one pop. Better than store-bought pumpkin seeds.


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