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.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Back To The Drawing Board

Today a couple of pretty wonderful things happened!  I'm part of this month's online exhibition on Papernstitch, which opened today and runs through most of July.  This opportunity gives MissouriBendStudio a new audience and a wider exposure.  There are lots of wonderful artists represented in that monthly exhibition and I'm looking forward to exploring many of them! The next great thing was that I was featured in a delightful blog, Gloria Freshly Art and Design.  Gloria is a wonderful artist, very insightful and sensitive and she wrote a really nice feature on my work. Quite an honor for me!

I spent some time in the studio and have gone back to the drawing board, to use a well-worn phrase.  I felt a bit adrift and decided to go back to my core, to find my inner landscape of mark-making again so that I could get back on solid footing.  Very spontaneous, intuitive, whimsical, layered meditation drawings...it's what I always come back to for reassurance.   Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the history of those drawings and why they are always such delight and revelation.

The image above is a very cropped photo of a couple of the objects on the shelf above my desk...the kinds of things we look at every day, but don't quite see.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Subtleties and the Accumulation of Our Decay

For various reasons, I'm thinking about subtleties these days.  Life has been so busy and I've been frantically trying to create new work and get it posted to MissouriBendStudio, that I found I've veered a bit off course.  Am I perhaps making the work too quickly, without being true to the work, to myself, to revealing the essence of things, which only happens quiety and over time?  Part of the reason I make work that is small is that there is an intimacy in the act of making and in the viewing...small work requires a one-on-one experience, hand-held, at arm's length and it reveals subtleties that can't be seen across a large distance just at a glance.  Life is too rich, too layered and it can't be taken in without a certain slow unveiling.  In my own way, all my work is about this richness, the history of our lives unfolding, the vastness of experience in a moment, in an hour...in a life.  How can we talk about these things...visually or in language...I don't really know exactly, but it's what drive me...the longing that does not go away. And just now, a few moments ago, I read this short line from The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard and I don't think any context is really needed...it's all said right here: :"Why not memorize everything, just in case."

The piece here, Accumulation of Our Decay, was made about a year ago an is approximately 11x15", on handmade paper, and full of subtlety that is only revealed close at hand.  Layers of painting and drawing that resembles writing, as well as bits of ephemera in image in the form of cut bits of paper sewn into the floating clouds...well, this is the richness of our history, the accumulation of our decay.  I must slow down, pay attention.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Treasury of Collage

I created my first treasury today on etsy.  It's title is Juxtaposed and features sixteen artists working in collage.  I had a lot of fun exploring all those shops and of course,  I could have gone on and on, but there's room for only sixteen items, so I was forced to make selections.  Have a look...some wonderful work here!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer no.1 (Season Cycles Series)

It's the first piece in honor of summer in the Season Cycles series.  Like the others in the series, a petite 5 x 5" and mixed media on handmade paper...painting, drawing, collage and embroidery...my favorite combination!  I am experimenting in a new format with the little 1 1/2" square in the middle.  It may prove to be too limiting, but we'll just have to see!  Love to hear comments!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice

Nothing says summer like daylilies in bloom, so thought I'd share a celebration of the summer solstice with a shot of daylilies from our garden!  Hard to believe summer is here...it's the longest day and now, ever so slowly we move back the other way.  New work started in the studio...Season Cycles/Summer pieces have begun with a new format...very exciting!  Hope to have a couple to share in the next day or so.  For now, enjoy the warmth...unless it's winter where you are!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Grounding

I realized today that this little embroidery hoop that's been hanging so quietly on the wall of my studio had never been posted in MissouriBendStudio, my etsy shop...don't know how it got missed, but I posted it this afternoon.  Seeing it anew, this afternoon, was a gentle reminder for me...a kind of reining back in, as I've been a bit frantic of late, exploring so many avenues in the studio that I found myself getting frazzled.  I think it's so important to remember that we need to make the work that is inside us...because that's our job...no one else on the planet can make the work that we are called to make.  It's just another way of saying, be true to yourself and not what you think others would have you do and be. It's the way to stay grounded.

This little found text poem on the right is accompanied by cropped circles from photographs my mother took when she was a young woman in the 30's and 40's.  The poem reads:

this time
around still
many questions
but what of golden
spinning bees glistening
in the sunlight
by and by
open the glass door
into a reluctant

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spring Into Summer

I posted this piece, Spring no. 24, from the Season Cycles series today in my Etsy shop...the last one for spring as we move into summer.  Doesn't quite feel like summer here in South Dakota.  Nights are still cool, as are the mornings and we've had so many violent storms, like many other places in the midwest.  This bunch of daisies is a delightful reminder of the garden and the cheeriness brought by all those flowering gems out there.  I suppose I know it's summer because the weeds are gaining a foothold and the daisies need to be cut back, but I'm happy to report all the varieties of day lilies have begun to bloom!  Perhaps they'll be featured in the first piece in honor of summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inspired and Energized

This is one of the collaged blank cards I have started making.  Went away last week to Chicago, with my husband, to celebrate our 16th anniversary!  We saw Steve Martin play at the Ravinia Festival, which was quite a treat, as he is a wonderful banjo player...John and I are learning to play the banjo and it's always fun to see people perform.  One of the other highlights of our trip was the day at the Art Institute of Chicago, where we saw so much wonderful art, that we were both ready to come right home and get to work in the studio!  We made an appointment at the Print and Drawing Room and were able to see a few amazing works that they'd pulled out for us -- prints for John and collages for me.  I had always been somewhat ambivalent  about Kurt Schwitters collages...until last week when I had them in front of me.  They were stunning!  I was struck going through the museum, taking in only a fraction of what we could have seen, that one is drawn to different works as life and the creative pursuit goes on.  When I was in my twenties I was fascinated by Picasso and Dubuffet, Gorky and a whole host of other artists...now there is a different group of people that command my attention...one of them being Kurt Schwitters.  Saw a lot of Joseph Cornell boxes and collages and I continue to love his work.  So, here I am, back at home, ready to dive into new work...inspired and energized!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dreaming in Collage

This is the front cover of another little book I just posted this afternoon in my shop (www.etsy.com/shop/missouribendstudio).  Lately I have been very much immersed in collage, partly because of the new work I'm making on my own and also because my husband, Johntimothy, and I have a show together at Black Hills State University late in the summer.  He's a printmaker and I would say a master of collage, pattern and surface so we are immersing ourselves in figuring out the work for the show...sort of the logistics of how our collaborative effort will work to make a whole new group of pieces for both of us.  Challenging, but fun!  In the meantime, I am making collages for covers on small pamphlet books, cards, etc. I'm dreaming of collage in my sleep, as I often do when my inner self is trying to figure things out.  It's best that I stay out of the way!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Handmade Blank Book With Collage Cover

I've started making a few simple, pamphlet-stitch blank books with the handmade paper my husband Johntimothy made.  This is the paper I use for almost everything...it's just so wonderful to work with.  The paper ends up painted in most of the work that I do, but here it is shown dipped in beeswax.  The paper starts out pretty white with light flecks in it, but the beeswax turns it much darker and greenish...still beautiful!  I'm making little collages for the covers and I must say, they are ever so much fun!  Listed this piece on Etsy this afternoon, along with another one, and had a sale almost right away.  More books to come!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Season Cycles/Spring no. 23

I posted this piece, Season Cycles/Spring no. 23, in my shop this morning! This is all about the wind, which once again, has stirred up and rustles the cottonwood trees noticeably. The wind is a fact of life on the Plains, but seems like this spring has been more-than-the-usual windy! Plants are blown in one direction hour after hour and the next morning, when the calm returns, they stand upright none the worse for wear...except for the daisies, that is.  Those little flower beads on this piece are about to get blown off the little piece of paper!

Had a productive day in the studio today.  Don't think I've mentioned it here, but I went ahead and quit my day job, which was only 1/2 time anyway, so that I could be in my studio full-time.  I am so much happier and hope that my creative life will also bring some financial stability--that would be even better!

Here's to all the artists and craftsperson creating something out of nothing--bravo to you all!