Can Friday mean Show-and-Tell? Sure!

"If a poem can be improved
by its author's explanations,
it never should have been published."

Archibald MacLeish, American poet

And therein lies the basis of my love affair with poetry --

it says more with less words.

But I find the same principle to be the hardest thing in my artwork.
Where to stop?

There's so much to be said for simple.

There are several games on The Price is Right (all my best analogies are found there) based on the idea I'm talking about. The contestant is presented with a long row of numbers, and has to "frame" the price by moving the frame along until it contains only the correct few.

Those games always seem really hard to me.

In the series 876594, for instance, how am I supposed to determine whether the hot tub is $7659.00 or $6594.00, not to mention the possibility that it's an exceptionally nice hot tub and is actually $8765.00?

It's the same with making -- I just keep moving the frame along until I feel like it contains the right elements. A bit too far, or not far enough, and it just won't say EXACTLY what I want it to. Sometimes I miss the mark. I have an easier time paring down words than I do images.

But sometimes
things turn out
than I hoped.

When I first read Georgia O'Keefe's line,

"I want real things --
music that makes holes in the sky,"

I thought, "now THAT'S poetry."

And I wanted to create some visual poetry to go with it.

But I knew I might have to step outside my regular style to do it. I wanted to keep the usual ingredients, but "frame" them in the sparest way possible -- I wanted to say more with less.

As you may remember, here's where I started:

And here's where I stopped:

It's the first in my
"Music That Makes Holes in the Sky"
and I really love it.

It has just the right "realness" to it -- hand stitching, my own and someone else's -- and the old quilt brings texture and history to complement the piece of New Mexico sky in the wool . . .

Oops! Too much explanation?

Okay, I'll stop.


luanne said...

you sneaky creative girl! the vintage quilt texture against the sky-toned wool is so unexpected and absolutely lovely. your leafy branches are one of my favorite elements too. and your tiny blanket (?) stitches are exquisite.

altogether perfect. love it!

Amelia and Justin said...

Um...wow. What a fabulous piece! I love it! It is beautiful.

Is that an Aunt Gladys quilt piece or is it just a stranger's quilt? (Or someone else's entirely)

Allie said...


VO said...


susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, kids! It's just an old and quite ratty piece of quilt that was already cut up in pieces when I bought it (who knows when or where). I stitched it with my regular old stitches -- I thought it might be difficult with the two types of fabric, both bulky, but it turned out to be just about the same as always. And I'm so glad you like it! Already working on #2 . . .

Anonymous said...

Love the sublety of the blues against each other, and the use of the quilt is just perfect! Everything about this piece is lovely.

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