Sandy Chism: Everything I Do is Stitched with Color

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 in art, life, teaching | 5 Comments

Sandy Chism
Holding Sandy hostage in the painting studio with Brian, photo probably by Steve

A drawing and overall life mentor of mine, Sandy Chism, passed away yesterday after a year and a half struggle with cancer. Sandy was both enigmatic and direct. It seemed like, even in casual conversations, her statements were straightforward at first glance but imbued with subtleties when one happened upon them from slightly askew.

I had hoped I could visit with her one last time, as my post-Christmas travels took me down I-70 in KS. We had tentatively made plans for such, depending on weather and travel plans and whatever else. When I spoke with her on the phone about it, she just wasn’t feeling well enough for the visit. I’m glad I to got to speak to her one last time, but I wish I had known more what to say.


She, of course, merely said, “It’s an interesting journey, Hannah.”

I will end for now with this quote by a poet she once recommended to me: W.S. Merwin. Being a Sandy Chism fan and overall book worm, I of course went out and directly bought a massive tome of his work as soon as she mentioned him.


Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”
― W.S. Merwin

Artwork by Sandy Chism
Sandy Chism, Tending, 2010, Oil on panel, 80 x 104 in.


  1. brianhitsberger
    January 3, 2013

    My heart is breaking

  2. Joshua Windham
    January 3, 2013

    I know I, and so many others, have so many amazing memories of Sandy. I took just one of her classes while at Tulane, but she made such a tremendous impact on me. Like magic, she always brought out the best in us. I am gutted to know she has left this world, but her creative spirit will be with us forever.

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