Safe and Well

What does it mean to be safe and well? I think of these answers: fed, free, clothed, healthy, engaged, and understood. Having a support system of family and friends is necessary for feeling understood. Being safe and well means being free from danger, assault, loss, addiction, hunger, and many other horrible conditions.

I am embarking on an artistic endeavor to explore what it is to be safe and well. I have committed to one year, but I suspect that this exploration will continue for longer than that.

For now, there will be no more cartoons of a mother and child falling to burning ground with a tornado and anvil threatening from above! There will be no more unpleasantness representing political divides, threats to democracy, or climate change! For now, there will be no more comments about the digital age or Fox news! Will this change be possible?  YES, it will!

Many of my pieces from the last year already embrace the safe and well theme. I have made a good start. I have a few much older pieces that also speak to the same good vibe.

Each year members of Studio Art Quilt Associates ( are asked to donate a 12 X 12-inch benefit auction piece. Peaceful Gwen is based on a photo of our cat sleeping on a cushion. I simplified the composition, changed the colors, and used a nice flower fabric that suggests a happy space. Some of the shadings are done with markers. Her whiskers were done with white thread and free-motion stitching. The choice of an interesting fun border adds to the overall success of the piece.


Reference photo of Gwen sleeping
Peaceful Gwen, 12 X 12, 2022

I was pleased that just days after committing to the theme safe and well, I was able to use it in my newest artwork, Peaceful Gwen. Here are some other pieces from the last year about feeling safe and well.

Shade Tree Meditation, 48 X 35, 2022, $750
Safe in My Arms, 32.5 X 52, 2022, $1,200
detail of Another Time Long Ago, 26 X 30.5, 2022
Haven, 23 X 25, 2022, $400
You’re Invited For Tea, 38 X 16, 2022, $500
Inhale Exhale, 18 X 22, 2022, $375
Love, 11 X 8, 2021, sold

At the end of every blog, I share a recipe. This month’s refreshing salad is the result of having lots and lots of volunteer dill in my garden. You will probably approve, dear reader, of having just 5 ingredients. (The proportions are up to you.) Combine chopped green cabbage, sweet apple peeled and chopped, fresh dill diced, kefir (or yogurt or buttermilk), and a bit of mayonnaise. An alternate dressing is oil and lime juice.

3 Responses to Safe and Well

Franchi Rosenfeld

A theme that is most needed for me and the world after the last 2 years. Keep on with your beautiful work!

Patty Hawkins

Thanks as always Joan!
Search fun to read your thoughts and see your artwork. Appreciate your dedication to do in your blog each month.

Christy Gerrits

I also am looking forward to safe and well! Thank you for your efforts to explain your creative processes. Beautiful work!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *