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, July 31, 2010

Morning Fog Over the Missouri River

This morning there was a lovely fog over the river...by the time it occurred to me to take a photo, it was mostly dissipated...still so beautiful though.  This is a few a bit up the river looking mostly west.  Today, it's time for my husband and I to do some finalizing on our new collaborative works in progress....we're still in the "not quite sure where to take this" stage...I'm confident we'll figure it out!  This photo is pretty timely....as we're pretty much in a fog at the moment...should lift soon, I hope...the show opens at the end of August!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pearls on a String, no.7

I'm finally back here...it's been a long time!  My husband's cousin came for a visit and that was a nice break, but now I'm working my way back into my daily routine.  I do so love a rhythm to my day...I don't mind calling it a routine, because it keeps me grounded and the day has a certain flow.  I have several projects in the works at the moment...enough to make me feel a bit scattered, so my daily routine is even more important so I can stay focused!  I've just finished this little piece up...Pearls on a String no.7  I have a couple more in the works, along with a new Summer piece for the Four Seasons series...great fun and always a surprise, even for me, to see what comes next!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Hand Drawn Line

Pearls on a String no.4 was posted in my etsy shop a few days ago and continues my exploration of line...there is something so direct and beautiful about that movement of your hand across the page that creates a line, however halting or clumsy.  The allusion to writing, to the history of our collective lives...we are all pearls on a string.  

A pattern is emerging for me and Thursday seems to be create a Treasury on Etsy day!  It's just so fun to explore all the great work, even though, with only 16 slots, it's often very difficult to choose.  I always find new shops, new artists and artisans to learn more about and today was no different!  No surprise I'm sure, about the title for today's treasury The Hand Drawn Line.  Have a look at all the work and those oh, so beautiful hand drawn lines.  In case anyone has a question about what makes a hand drawn line...for me it can be in any medium---sewn, scratched into clay, made with marker, paint, anything....you know a hand-drawn line when you see one--it bears the mark of the maker.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer no.4 (Season Cycles Series)

I just finished the fourth summer piece in the Four Seasons series and posted it in my etsy shop today!  Drawing and sewing (another form of drawing) are so satsifying for me.  I've been working on several groups of work alongside each other lately...Pearls On A String, Summer season pieces and works for a collaborative show that my husband, Johntimothy, and I will be having later in the summer at Black Hills State University.  Sometimes, it's been hard to switch gears from one to the other, as I think I've seen them all as separate entitities....which they are, but somehow today I was better able to just be in the moment and watch as the imagery and mark-making became a little more fluid as I moved from one to the other.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How A Tree Gets Its Water....Pearls On A String!

Pearls On A String, no.3 is posted now in my shop, MissouriBendStudio.  That little bird is just calling out to the universe with all of his tiny being, isn't he?  I just want to share with you a little moment of revelation for me. I'm reading a pretty fascinating book that I bought not long ago, A Splintered History of Wood, by Spike Carlsen, and in the early part of the book he talks about trees and their amazing ability to pull water from the ground.  Here's how it happens...in theory.

"...for while water isn't sucked up the tree, it is literally pulled up the tree.  When the minute pores, or stomates, in leaves are open, water evaporates from the leaf.  Each water molecule is part of a continuous unbroken column of water traveling through vessels, or tracheids, reaching all the way to the roots.  The water molecules adhere to one another through cohesion; each time a water molecule evaporates from a leaf, it pulls the entire chain of water molecules up behind it.  At the roots, a molecule of water is pulled out of the soil to fill the gap in the chain.  In other words, the roots, trunk, and leaves form a continuous system that connects the soil below to the air above."

The universe is made of pearls on a string...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pearls On A String, no. 2

Here's the second in the series, Pearls On A String, made just recently.  There are more in process and I just have to say that making these pieces brings to mind how much I love the meandering line.  I've always loved line...such possibilities for expression.  Making a line...any kind of line, feels like I am connected to the pulse of my own being in a very direct way and the line translates that pulse out into the universe...a total abstraction...but somehow knowable.  I hope this makes some sense...especially to those of you who have an affinity for "line"...thanks for looking!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pearls on a String...the first in a series

Pearls on a String, no.1

Here's the first in a series of new intuitive and meditative drawings underway...everything seems to come together here...my interest in language and text plays itself out in the lower portion with the layers of  handwritten quasi-language...it just nice to feel your hand move across the page in the act of writing/drawing...and in some ways, aren't they one and the same?  Pearls on a string is a metaphor for words and language, but also for something much larger...aren't we all particular pearls on a string...of history, of the continuum of time...links in a chain in a way...that goes on indefinitely.

The little collaged pieces are drawings done in India ink on dry used teabags, which are then dipped in beeswax.  I fell in love once I stumbled onto this....there are more in the works.

Enjoy and love to have questions, comments and conversation!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Black and White and Red All Over

This is a view of a recent handmade blank book I now have available at MissouriBendStudio...another little homage to collage!  I love the way that different bits of text look when they bump up against each other...different paper, type sizes and styles...so fun!  And sewing on handmade paper dipped in beeswax...nothing better!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

View From The Twilight Valley

Meet, View From The Twilight Valley, a little drawing that still delights me years later...perhaps because it is one of a group of five drawings that I made some time ago that seemed totally free to invent themselves as I let go and let the play take over.  That's when it's best, isn't it, when we cease to struggle?  Step away, but remain alert, and watch something brand new come into being, as if by magic!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Swing of the Pendulum

Here is a little meditation drawing in the form of a book page--Freefloating Whimsy no.1.  Working intuitively, I just follow my instincts as the drawing builds, scumbling acrylic paint, then drawing, perhaps more paint here, a few stray marks there...and some flowers...are those pearls?...letting my thoughts flow through my hands.  Added embroidery where the gutter would be on a book page, I think of these drawings as intimate and personal as the experience of being transported in the pages of a book...and yet....

after a few freefloating whimsy works, it's structure my intuition demands and I find myself drawn to the grid...seeking order, pattern and simplicity.  This is all a process and when I detach myself, so interesting to observe.  I can't keep up with myself...all these changing desires.  Thank goodness, there is room in the universe for everything...if only there were time!

Happy to hear comments and thoughts about your creative process!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Homage to the Book

I love the written word and I cherish books, as objects and as channels of communication across vast distances of time and space. This little "book page", Homage to the Book, is all hand-embroidered with a tiny sewn bowl "illustration" at the bottom right.  That little bowl is filled to overflowing with stitches...the knowledge and outpouring of countless generations, handed down to us, simply and gently on the pages of a book.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meditation Drawings

When I was in my late twenties, I decided to go back to school to get a teaching certification in art.  At The University of South Florida, I had a number of wonderful professors, but one of them, Richard Loveless, taught me some particularly valuable lessons, many of which had to do with being an artist.  One of the exercises we did individually involved taking a stack of 50 sheets of blank paper, along with a favorite mark-making tool, and sitting in a quiet place, without interruption, begin making marks on those pages.  The rule was not to think about it...make marks, without judgement, without thinking, without planning and without editing.  Page after page, we weren't to make finished "drawings", but making marks that came from the inside out, turning the page and beginning the next when the moment felt right.  On a certain day, we all came together as a class and laid out our 50 drawings at the same time on the floor, filling the room entirely.  What was immediately clear, and this was obviously the point of the exercise, was that each person in that room had a very individual inner landscape of mark-making...a way of "drawing" that was unique to them.  It was a very powerful moment for me...to see my own marks, pure, having come from the place where my intuition resides.

So, even now, when I find that I'm overthinking my work or  I have a sense I'm trying to make art from a place that isn't my own in order to please an audience, I come back to making what I call meditation drawings.  I still have that original stack of 50 pages, which I cherish, but the drawing above is from another time, a decade or more later, when I came back to make those very intuitive meditation drawings.

And here I am again, yet another decade or so later, making mediation drawings, now more minimal, along with bits of text pieces collaged on during various stages of the layering of paint and drawing...but there it is, the recognition of my own voice...my own voice loud and clear.  As an artist, there is maybe nothing more important than discovering and rediscovering your voice.

By the way, I never did get that teaching certification...I found that really what I needed was to be back in school...and perhaps it was just in order to have that experience of finding my own voice.  It's an exercise I recommend to anyone that is willing to let go in order to find their own set of marks.