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!

7 Responses to Less is More

Patty Hawkins

Thanks for always Joan!
I find your quilt Showers With Bright Periods most fascinating. The abstraction is so alluring. I keep looking at different shapes with my eyes stopped on a particular shape for a while.

Patty Hawkins

Thanks you always Joan!
quilt Showers With Bright Periods is most fascinating. The abstraction is so alluring. Each shape demands my eyes stop on a particular shape for a while.

cyndy parry

These are beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I was amused by your 1957 depiction of Kansas. As I now live in Kansas, I have to say, things haven’t changed much in the 60 years since LOL The drawing looks like you travelled through the Tall Grass Prairie of central Kansas.


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