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, November 19, 2010

The Language of Mark Making

I was walking up the gravel driveway the other day and chanced upon this charming stick!  I think it's quite charming anyway and have decided to take its portrait.  I'm quite jealous of the intuitive drawing ability of whatever creature made those marks on the stick, so reminiscent of counting and marking time.
My first thought was the squirrel, the same culprit who has not only foiled practically all our attempts to hang a bird feeder but who chews away at the recycled material in the posts on our back deck when he is especially peeved.  Perhaps he is doing some sort of counting there....is that the number of times he has chewed a big hole in the thistle bag, causing the contents to spill everywhere...or maybe that's the count of the number of times he has been able to yank the whole bird feeder contraption (feeder, sturdy pole and clamp) off the railing of the deck!  Oh, but doesn't the world just revolve around us?!  My husband thinks bugs or worms drew those lines...what could they possibly be counting, I ask you? 

I've had quite a week, just too busy, with a list of so many things to do and so many things to take care of, that any short window I had in the studio was nothing but frustration because, with so many things left on the list, I couldn't relax!  But, today I'm feeling better and spent a bit of the morning finishing up this little meditation drawing...random marks, entirely intutive, no pressure, no wrong moves...it is what it is.  I wish it could always be that way when I'm working and now, I'm heading back to the studio, before the spell is broken!
Winter Meditation no.1

Thank you so much to all the new followers who came this way, no doubt, through Bridgette via the interest in her Monday feature on The Walk Through The Universe!  Welcome to all and wishing each of you a fine weekend!


  1. This is BEAUTIFUL! I want one!!! Do you sell them? Maybe I should look around a bit more before I ask that. Off to do some more looking now and thank you for the lovely comment over at mine :)


  2. Amelia...great to see you here! I'm enjoying your blog! So glad you like the piece and yes, all my work is for sale...over at my etsy shop. There's a link on the right, but you can get there this way too! http://www.etsy.com/shop/missouribendstudio

  3. love this post and your blog.
    marks on sticks speak to me too.
    and stones. and puddles...

    i found you by way of both bridgette
    and donna at layers - a convergence
    that i couldn't ignore.

    your list of links is daunting but thrilling
    and i'm looking forward to exploring them as well as the "back issues" of your blog.

  4. Welcome Magpie! Yes...stones too! Puddles...that's interesting...I will probably look at puddles with a bit more attention from here on out!
    Interesting you're here by way of Donna and Bridgette...all so circular. I think Donna was one of the first blogs I followed...found her on Art Propelled! And as you saw...NOW look at the list! It is daunting and every morning when I open them in Google Reader I make sure to have a full mug of hot tea. The list is long, but filled with such richness, I can't bear to cut it down...in fact my list still grows...a bit more slowly! Glad you liked this post and happy backtracking!

  5. I love the stick and the story..I love things of nature..sticks, stones and rusted metal things.
    Your work is so calming.
    Thank you,

  6. Hi Katelen...that's a lovely compliment and I'm glad the work is calming. Sticks, stones and rusted metal things are all good, aren't they!?

  7. What a beautiful portrait of the stick. Nothing quite like the creations found in nature and nurtured by the artist's eye.

  8. Thanks for your comment Seth...glad you like the portrait of my stick!
    Now I realize I should have taken a close-up shot...it's a pretty special stick, I think.

  9. Perhaps that's just what they like to do. Like how I would knit, or you draw. Just to count to do, to be.

  10. I love your winter meditation, it's beautiful!
    I have sticks and rocks and general nature mayhem all over my house, so I know how a stick can grab your attention. The portrait of it is just lovely!

  11. Thea...that's a lovely insight. It is what it is...just being is enough!

  12. Kira, I love that description...sticks and rocks and general mayhem!
    So glad you like to portait of my stick and the winter meditation!

  13. Patti I really loved this piece - the winter meditation. My heart nearly stopped. It takes me to such a quiet and restful place; the world around me disappears and I am just in the moment. I am just being. What gift you have to move us thus. Thank you.

  14. Fiona...I thank you for the honor of your heartfelt comment. I think there is something very powerful that can happen when we just "are" and when we allow things to unfold...that's where I was when I made this. Somehow those moments of being are buried in the fibers of the paper and able to travel time and space. In my heart of hearts this is what I hope to have happen with the work...that it has the power to take you to a place you can't quite name. But that is also the place where it must originate.

  15. I am looking out my window at a minus4, white lansdscape, and on my screen your 'winter meditation' is in harmony with my view-Lovely work-Have a great week-

  16. Hi Annamaria....brrrr, you must be freezing! No snow here yet, but of course, any day now! Glad you like the winter meditation....a white landscape is a lovely sight. Enjoy! And you have a great week as well!

  17. Beautiful. You've got the touch, and it is just wonderful!

    (By the way... back when I was a teenager, a friend and I were at the woods edge on the muddy shore of a river, looking for driftwood. We happened upon an exquisite stick, much like yours, but way longer. The markings looked like some sort of hieroglyphic/petroglyph mix, and we were convinced that we had stumbled onto some priceless artifact. We took it to a local history museum, and were very nicely told that the marks our found treasure were the result of worms. Well, maybe so, but the stick was still exquisite to me, and I kept it for some time. (There are apparently some very talented worms out there!)

  18. Thanks so much Victoria! And I suppose my husband was right about those worms making the marks....but rather than being disappointed, I now think it opens up a whole new bit of inquiry...do they always make such irregularly regular marks and why those marks, why those parallel lines? Hmmmm. I know you must have disapppointed about having to lower your stick's status from priceless artifact to merely worm eaten...beautiful nonetheless!


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