Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Season Cycles/Spring no.19

The latest in the Season Cycles Series, this is Spring no.19, which has just been posted at my Etsy shop, MissouriBendStudio.  I'm having fun abstracting plant forms from nature...the variety is so vast and amazing, there's probably nothing I could make up that isn't already out there in the universe in some form or another!

These little pieces are great fun to do--always a surprise by the end, since I never know what I'm going to do when I begin.  Often this means, lots of layers of paint and drawing until the little item announces itself and I know what it wants to be!

I think I'll begin to delve into some watercolors very shortly and see how this changes the way I work...never a dull moment!  It's kind of a cloudy rain day here in South Dakota and while, I'm itching to get out and work in the garden, think I'll be happy to head back to the studio!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Season Cycles no.18

I finished up a couple new pieces in the Season Cycles series last night, no.17 and no.18.  They're both now posted in my shop at etsy.com.  Pictured above is no.18, a whimsical piece that has a column of beads strung in rows, like an abacus...fun to move and play with!  Somehow it's hard to get the color to translate on the computer -- the actual piece is so much more vibrant and lively in person.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Novelty and Repetition

I think, as human beings, we are often torn between our desire for novelty and our need for repetition.  The cycle of the seasons is an endless repetition, on which we depend and which grounds our lives and our activities--even if not to the extent of our ancestors.  I know that I delighted by the turn of the seasons, as by the time each one rolls around, much like clockwork, I have grown weary of the old and am ready for something new!

Still delighting in the unfolding green in the landscape...the view across the Missouri River to Nebraska is greener and richer every day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Season Cycles no.16

A couple of new postings in my shop this morning...featured here is Season Cycles/Spring no.16.  Can you tell I love sewing on paper?

Cool with a gentle rain today...the plants are thirsty and are soaking it up.  Getting the herb garden underway, but hard to tear away from the studio these days.  The days are longer, but still only 24 hours!

Please visit my other blog where I post a daily found text poem: www.missouribendpaperworks.blogspot.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

Color on Color

Pictured here is one of the latest postings in my shop at www.etsy.com/shop/missouribendstudio.  From the Season Cycles series, this is Spring no.13 and it's loaded with tiny random stitches in the cloud and the bush.  One of the delights of my art making practice is seeing the way bits of color interact and work next to and top of each each other.  But I always wonder when it's enough...when are there enough stitches.  I guess that moment comes when my finger is too sore to poke the needle through the heavily stitched paper even one more time!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sewn Paper

Just finished up Season Cycles/Spring no. 13 and no. 14 and added to MissouriBendStudio on etsy.com.  In my last post I showed this piece (Spring no. 14) before any of the embroidery and beads were added.  Here it is in its finished state, many hours later!  It's fun to watch what happens as each stitch is added...a very slow and meditative way of drawing!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Embroidery on Paper--A Work In Progress

I love being in the studio--working, thinking through my hands, holding brushes and pens, along with needle and thread.  And I adore sewing on paper!  There are lots of stages to the work that I make, starting with layers of paint on paper...getting the colors working together just so.  Many of the pieces eventually end up with embroidery and that's my favorite time....the meditative state of slowly stitching through paper.  I love the feel of the needle poking through that very textured handmade paper and the way the colored stitches lay against the color of the paper.  The simplest of pleasures.  I'd love to hear from anyone who also loves to sew on paper!  Here's a shot of a work in progress...before the sewing...you'll see this again soon in my shop, looking much different!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day by Day

What a difference in the color of the landscape day by day.  The unfolding of green seems to be accelerating at a pace I can't quite remember from years before.  A nice rain last night and this morning has given the plants a nice long drink!  Posted a couple of pieces in my etsy.com shop today and am busy working on a several others, which I hope I can post over the weekend.  We'll see...one can't quite control the creative process.

Season Cycles/Early Spring no.11 is pictured above.  Visit my shop for others in the Season Cycles series, all with detail views.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Amazing Color Everywhere

It's a windy day here in South Dakota and the Missouri River appears to have whitecaps, reminding me of my earlier life on the west coast of Florida!  Since coming to South Dakota five years ago, I have been continually amazed by the color in the landscape--in the grasses and weeds, the trees and fields.  I think that people probably view Florida as being very colorful, but I still maintain that I have never seen so much color in the landscape as there is here...no matter what the season!  I find it delightful and now, when I see the softest green glowing on the trees set against the blue cast of the bluffs of Nebraska across the river, it's so beautiful it almost breaks my heart!

Just finishing up a couple pieces in the studio and will post them in a couple of days in my shop: www.etsy.com/shop/missouribendstudio

Here's a quickie shot of one of the
workspaces in the studio I took
this afternoon...

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inside Out vs. Outside In

The day was spent in the garden beds and in the yard...clearing away dead leaves and other debris to reveal the new growth of plants about to shoot for the sky.  Everything changes visibly day by day and growth is happening now at great speed with all the sunshine and warm temperatures.  It was a break from the studio and a reminder to trust my own creative practice, which for me, happens from the inside out.  Many people, and often I wish I was one of them, are able to work from source material outside of themselves.  But, the only way things seem to work for me in the studio is to work intuitively, from the inside out.  The experience of my day, with my hands in the earth, will filter through my being and will come out in unexpected ways in the work.  I'm ready to get back to it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Soft Green Unfolding

Spent most of the day in the studio...almost finishing three pieces that have been in the works...didn't quite make it before I needed to stop to get in a little banjo practice.  My husband are I are teaching ourselves to play the banjo (clawhammer style), so I try to get in at least a half an hour of practice every day, although I don't always make it!  In a moment of inspiration, I named my banjo Martina...after Steve Martin, a fabulous self-taught banjo player. My favorite time to practice is in the late afternoon or early evening as the light is glowing against the cottonwood trees in the front of the house.  Late in the winter, that was the time the deer would come through, crunching through the snow, munching on twigs and any brush that could be found.  But now, in the early spring, I watch the nuthatches flitting about and the robins hopping through the yard....and I take note of the cast of soft green appearing on the trees as I watch the spring unfold slowly into summer.  Tomorrow I look forward to getting out in the garden to begin digging around...it's time!

Posted a couple of new pieces on the MissouriBendStudio shop at etsy.com today.  The sample here is Season Cyles: Early Spring, no.9

Friday, April 9, 2010

Time in the Studio

I am having a wonderful time in the studio these days.  There's really no place I'd rather be and that's something special.  So often, no matter what we're doing, it seems as if we feel pulled in one direction or another..."I should be doing this"...or "that needs to be done"...but all that stops when I'm in the studio working.  It's a place of engagement, creative process and flow....and it's really quite magical.  Watching a new work unfold, slowly and often haltingly, is just a joy! Something out of nothing, but a seed of an idea or a mark on the paper. Posted new pieces from the Season Cycles series on my esty.com space today.  Early Spring no.7 is pictured above. Have a look and feel free to comment!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

View of the Missouri River from MissouriBendStudio

Worked happily in the studio all day and finished up another small group of work for the Season Cycles, which I'll photograph and post on the Etsy shop in the morning.  Evenings are chilly lately, but the light is wonderful and the river looks especially beautiful in the morning.  Trees are showing signs of leafing out and plants are working their way back up through the ground--it's glorious!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Early Spring no.3

Season Cycles: Early Spring no.3...posted
recently in my shop on etsy.com

The Commonplace Book

I checked out a great book on the four season from the library where I work....A Time For Every Purpose: The Four Seasons in American Culture by Michael Kammen (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2004)...it's exactly what I've been looking for as a way to gain a wider context for my recent musings about the seasons and our collective connection to time and place.  As I jotted down a quote I was reminded of my practice a few years ago of keeping a commonplace book, which is a sort of a running journal or collection of quotations and passages from books, readings, etc.   This was common practice many centuries ago--it suits my need for making documentation! Here's a portion of a quote I'll share with you from the prologue:

"Consequently, we will be tracing, among other things, not only the persistence of nostalgia but a profound nostalgia for persistence.  In an unpredictable, disorderly world of flux, the seasonal cycle offers reassurance that at least some fundamentals in this life are eternal."....Michael Kammen, A Time for Every Purpose: The Four Seasons in American Culture.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thinking About the Garden

Can't wait to get out to the garden...I hope it's not too soon to trust that the weather won't surprise us with another round of snow!  As I think about being outside and how the rhythms of my day will change gradually as I spend more time in the garden, I wonder about our collective ancestors whose lives were much more attuned to the change of seasons.  I am reading about the different activities engaged in by people living in the Middle Ages and how their lives were governed by the seasons and by the changing light.  While our lives our vastly different now, we still feel and appreciate the changes and ponder new activities that take us outside...for me, it's the garden.  This year, I'll start a real herb garden...looking forward to getting my hands in that dirt!

New postings in the MissouriBendStudio shop on etsy today.  Season Cycles/Early Spring nos. 4,5, 6

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Four Seasons

For some reason, this year the change of seasons has been on my mind alot.  I'm not only keenly aware of the change in weather, but also thinking about rhythms, cycles and the ebb and flow of time.  The heavy snows of winter have melted away finally and things are quickly beginning to turn green and come back up through the ground to begin anew. Coming to South Dakota only five years ago after decades of living in Florida, I am still astounded when the plants come back to life!

I've begun a new series of work, Season Cycles, focused on the four seasons.  We're in the early stages of spring now and the first of many pieces have been posted in my shop (www.etsy.com/shop/missouribendstudio).  The pieces will remain a consistent 5x5" with the idea that they can be mixed up a bit and shown in any combination of multiples.  All are mixed media works on handmade paper, combining painting, drawing, embroidery, collage and beads, mounted on masonite and ready for hanging.  The first in the series is shown below!

Please send any comments or queries about the work and I welcome your thoughts about how the change of seasons affects the rhythms in your life!