Art – Poetry – Sue Dion and Mary McDonald

For our 2017 Art & Poetry pairing, one pairing was with painter Sue Dion and poet Mary McDonald.

Here are the works they created!

Sue provided this painting to Mary:

In response, Mary wrote the following poem:


For an Artist in Her Studio


when early morning finds you standing at your easel
with a juicy paintbrush in your hand
and you wonder why you are here, why you paint, does it matter at all…….
what do you know?

when you play with color
when you dabble in purple-plum blotches
and you pull clementine orange through woven canvas threads
and you drip drip drop your small blue dot………
what do you know?

do you know that by crisscrossing wet, sticky lines
you cross the miles between you and me?
that there’s a wall somewhere that crumbles just a bit?

when you stand at your easel and you stare at empty whiteness,
and you doubt if you can ever paint again,
and you think that you are the craziest person you know
and you really ought to get a real job……
what do you know?

do you know that every leaf on every branch of every tree
in every land feels echoes of your pain?
do you know that the waters that run down mountainsides
hear your call for sheltering arms?

when your back aches from long hours on your feet,
and you have been alone for hours,
and you are surrounded by teal and seafoam green and lavender
and electric blue pieces of your excavated self………
what do you know?

do you know that the world weeps for you, begs you,
requires you to stand at your easel with your juicy paintbrush
and aching back and pour all the colors
of your insides out for all to see?

The second half of this pairing involved Mary giving Sue a poem as a starting point. Mary provided this poem:


Worry Not

sit quietly

worry not of the cares of your day

listen to my voice, words that tell

of clear water rushing a mountain creek

that whisper of glimmering rays at sunset

that tell of warmth and coolness,

melody and silence,

impulse and stillness, water and earth

sit quietly

these words come from love.


In response, Sue created this painting:

2017 Art-Poetry Pairing main page