The POWER of Images

I tend to frequently judge works of art and images on how “beautiful” they are, but recently have been stimulated to think more about the “power” of images.  On our recent trip, our friend Lee talked about how influential the book, “The Story of Art” by E.H. Gombrich, was for her so I recently took it out of our library and have started reading it.  In the very first chapter he talks about “primitive” art and the very beginnings of what we think of as art.  He talks about how images were likely initially used because of their power.  For example the bisons on the cave walls may have been made to create good fortune for the hunt; or certain tribal ceremonies used animal masks to enhance the tribes relationship with the animals that shared their space.  So art may have originally developed because of its power and magical abilities, not just because it is beautiful.  

Further thoughts:  In fact, some art may be powerful without being beautiful.  And some art may be beautiful without being powerful.  Masterworks are likely to be both beautiful and powerful.  And something neither beautiful or powerful is not likely to be a work of art!  I wonder if this line of thinking would hold up if I discussed this with someone who knows a lot more about art than I do?

Regarding the “power” of art and images, I read something on Judy Martin’s blog ( this AM that really spoke to me so would like to repeat it here:   ” During the silent time that we who stitch repeatedly touch and retouch the material, we have our own emotions.  Hope, desire, love, sadness, yearning, all these somehow carried into that material.  Thus, through our touch, our inner self is transferred to the exterior world.  All those feelings that we have when we are in the act of making remain.  They exist in the material object.  Hand made things are very powerful.  They carry something of the maker with them always.  Inner stuff from me, the maker, is felt by you, the viewer.  The toucher.”

From now on, I’m going to be more focused on considering the power of artwork, not just the beauty.  It should be interesting to do so.

On a “practical” note, I did complete my third doll quilt yesterday so I’m sharing pictures of both the second and third doll quilts:

Second one (about 13×16 inches)-


Third one (about 16×19 inches) –


I’ve been busy getting ready for my presentation at the Lowell Quilt Festival this coming Saturday.  I’ll be doing a trunk show of over 30 of my quilts on 8/11 at noon so do come if you are at the show.

I’m also getting busier at work as we get closer to 8/24 when first year students arrive on campus and I’m back at work full time.  This will certainly mean fewer blog posts but I hope to get into some kind of rhythm of posting at least every 1-2 weeks; my ideal would be to post weekly if possible.

Thanks for stopping by!


One thought on “The POWER of Images

  1. Dianne

    Joined you at Lunch and Learn yesterday at the Lowell Quilt Festival. I so enjoyed our time together! You reminded me of something I used to love to do…handwork. I tend to do much more work on the machine because I also love the sound and rhythmic a sewing machine, always have, but my original roots in quilting and sewing is handwork. I think I’ll set up something special near my chair for this winter while I take on the challenge of learning machine quilting as well. Thanks so much for a great lunchtime! Your quilts are stunning!!


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