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.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Following Instincts

I'm so thankful for the things I learn while I'm not looking with my eyes open...that's when I seem to see things the most clearly...in some sort of state of dreaming.  I'd been coming to terms with justifying this new work that I'm drawn to make...this simple stitching on teabags, or mending and patching holes in paper and allowing myself to follow these instincts, even as I chastised myself for not making the work I felt I should be making.  I'd started those Season Cycles pieces in the spring and intended to follow it through the year, with the four seasons providing the thread that would carry the work through.  I made twenty-five in the spring and not even half that in the summer, as I explored a myriad of other things in the studio.  Here, autumn is upon us and I kept feeling as if I should get some 5 x 5" pieces of paper going with layers of paint...and yet, I kept stitching on teabags and delicate Japanese paper.  But in my sleep, when I'd let go, I understood that these things don't have to be different at all.  Why would I insist on treating them separately...it's all one thing and the next day I went into the studio and stitched delicate lines in the colors of autumn, arranged awkwardly, like the trace of falling leaves.  Today, the teabags are mounted on 5 x 5" Japanese paper and here is the first Season Cycles, Autumn no.1.  

I think that we have to follow our instincts, one foot in front of the other....there is work that's asking to be made that only we can create.   


  1. I relate exactly to what you are saying. Follow your instincts, one foot in front of the other... So many times I stop and do what I think I should be doing for whatever reason rather than allowing myself to play with new ideas. Invariably the "shoulds" bring my work to a standstill.

  2. Yes, the shoulds of bring me to a standstill too. Perhaps the secret is finding the place where it all becomes one thing...no longer a separations between the "desire to" and the "should do"...a lifetime of work! Nice to hear from you!

  3. I think we all get tripped up by these separations - and must learn and re-learn ways to make it all one...perhaps too many years of thinking in terms of "art" and "work" being on either side of a great divide? For those of us now trying to make art our primary life's work, there are still old notions we carry about categorizing activities' worth according to how useful or necessary or lucrative it is, instead of just going with our inner urges and instincts, which still has that taint of being "self-indulgent" somehow..a big topic! In a few hundred years when I have all the answers, I'll be sure to share...by the way, lovely work, P! Ancient, yet utterly current, like some timeless thing you'd find preserved from an archaeological dig.

  4. These pieces are little meditations.

    I think if you are able (time- and money-wise), instincts should be followed.

  5. Two Tigers...let's meet for tea in a few hundred years and you can share even more of your wisdom...in fact, why wait quite so long?! Yes, aren't we always battling the "self-indulgent" stigma? That's a wonderful reference to the archaeological dig and a true compliment! Thank you.

  6. Kim, thanks for your compliment--I like to think of the pieces as little meditations.

  7. Hi Patti,
    just lovely to read this post and I'm nodding in agreement all the way.
    My inner urgings often defy logic in my art practice.. and yet....I allow them to take me along much of the time because some part of me knows better the need for this these days.
    But it can be an odd thing to do! Sometimes you do wonder what od trying to be born.
    So wonderful to read your ruminations about this...
    thanks you...and most importantly I DO adore what you have done!

  8. Thanks so much Sophie! It's always nice to hear that one is not alone in these moments of doubt! So glad you like the work as well!


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!