Beth Markel


Posted on April 22, 2016 by Beth Markel

Sometimes it’s funny what inspires us as artists.  I can say one single word or phrase, and our minds immediately begin conjuring images, colors, or moods.




Shotgun Wedding


Spring Desert




Antique Store

The list could go on and on, with each word or phrase creating something completely different for each of us, based on our backgrounds, interests, and experiences.

I bring this up, because a few weeks ago I put away a piece from a Nancy Crow workshop – I’d been really struggling to make or create something beautiful and it just was not happening.  These are “waves” or “snakes” or “Curly-Q’s” depending on how you feel about the project, and I took advice to heart about setting it aside.

About 3 days ago, my Darling Daughter (DD) sent me a Webster’s Word-of-the-Day word, “PIEBALD” and I just laughed at what a ridiculous word that was.  Seriously, who would say, “piebald” in a sentence?!

Then I read the definition:

Full Definition of piebald

  1. 1:  composed of incongruous parts

  2. 2:  of different colors; especially:  spotted or blotched with black and white


…And the definition was inspiring.  I had been working with these pieces and telling myself I HAD to do something interesting with them, and instead of working to make this piece come together and be something beautiful, I was just frustrated.  It was excellent advice to put the “blocks” away, which I did, and left my design wall blank for a couple of weeks.

Enter “piebald” and the inspiration to use black and white as backgrounds instead of trying to tie it all together with existing shades of yellow/green already found in the “Curly-Q’s”…previously called “snakes.”

So here’s the updated version, and frankly, it’s going really well.  I love the black accents.  It’s very piebald.


It's very piebald.

It’s very piebald.

Look for 3 things that inspire YOU today, and ponder how you would like to use them in an upcoming piece.

Sew Happy,




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