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.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Scroll for Counting Backwards

Well, now I've got two tiny scrolls listed in my shop!  The Scroll For Random Phrases was listed yesterday and today I'll introduce you to The Scroll For Counting Backwards...another one inch scroll with clusters of tiny seeds that go from twenty to one.  This is volume 1...there could be an infinite number of scrolls for counting backwards, I suppose!  These are great fun to make...another one is just about finished.  I just have one problem with them...I am constantly misplacing these little guys!  I spend a lot of time trying to remember where I last put one of them...somehow they are so small and blend in with the background that I find myself scouring the studio and then the whole house trying to find the one that has been mislaid.  Such silliness!  Hope you enjoy these and thanks so much for stopping here to look and read!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And Now, For Something Completely Different--Tiny Scrolls!

Tiny Scrolls! I've made a huge leap...off the wall, out the two-dimensional flatland I'm so familiar with, into three-dimensional space!  I've wanted make objects, and for the most part, I feel as if much of my previous work is object-like, but I still have had a desire to make something that had dimension, as well as surface and texture.  I saw these tiny scrolls in my sleep several nights ago and here is the first one, out in the world...The Scroll For Random Phrases.  So much fun to make and now the ideas for these scrolls are spilling over.  This is made with Japanese paper, pieced together with used, dried teabags and gel medium.  There are all manner of random phrases inside the scroll held by bits of teabag and the miracle of acrylic gel medium!  If you are familiar with my daily found text poem blog, MissouriBendPaperWorks, you'll know I have a million bits of found text phrases at my finger tips, so that became the subject of the first scroll.  It was also kind of a test to see if my dream was just a fantasy or not.  There are three more tiny scrolls in the works, all in various stages of completion, on one of my work tables.  Not enough hours in the day, that's all I can say! Hope you like them!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Awakening Breath...The Finished Work

Awakening Breath, no. 1

Awakening Breath, no. 27

As promised, I am posting a couple of the finished pieces from Awakening Breath, the collaboration exhibition with my husband Johntimothy Pizzuto.  These are just quickie photos--sorry not the best views.  There were thirty pieces in all...in many ways the same and in many ways different.  Once we finally had a beginning vision of the work, we knew each would be a triptych, something resembling an altarpiece in shape.   Johntimothy created the side panels and I did the center panel.  Johntimothy is a printmaker, so the sides are built up with layers of silkscreen texture and pattern at the base, then lots of rubber stamping, both with and without stencils.  Actually those strong organic shapes that float in the space on the sides are made with stencils he carefully cut out from each of the shapes I created in the middle panels.  The middle piece has a pattern of pencil on top of blackboard paint, layered with another pattern of an organic seed or cel-like shape and the surrounding field of linework  in ink.  Each "roof" has a layer of a different pattern in pencil with an ink and acrylic drawing on top.  That's a short description of the pieces that seem to have been stepping stones for both of us.  As I mentioned earlier, we wanted to embody subtlety through layering and pattern, along with a meditative quietness.  We won't see these pieces installed until we go out to take the exhibition down at the end of September.  

I think for me, this work was very important and brought me closer to a place of letting go of the image.  I found that I was so at peace and in a flow while drawing the underlying subtle pattern in pencil and then the seeds and the surrounding lines that seem to evoke a zen garden.  There is a part of me that has been wanting to let go of the image, but another part that is tied to creating some tangible link to our daily lives through a familiar image.  But so much that I need to say is all about the intangible, the fleeting...perhaps I'll now speak in the language of abstraction.  Let's see what unfolds from here....I have a feeling it will be scrolls....

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Same But Different

"Awakening Breath" in process

"Awakening Breath" in process

Thought I'd share some of the work in process for our collaborative show, Awakening Breath.  These are some of my center panels laid out on the table in different stages.  The final pieces will be triptychs, with Johntimothy, my husband, doing the side panels.  We've talked a lot about meditation, the breath, reflection, quiet, balance....all manner of issues related to trying to live in a mindful way.  There is a lot of drawing on my pieces, a layer of different patterns in pencil and then ink drawing on top.  What we realized after my last finished Fork in the Road work, shown in  an earlier post, is that there is a feeling of a zen garden....a sense of quiet, but with energy flowing and that idea was the springboard for our collaborative show.  We've also talked a lot about how the pieces might appear to look the same, but we know and we are hoping that it is a reminder for us all that there is much to be seen in subtle changes and subtle differences.

One of our favorite moments in a film comes in "Smoke", co-written by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster.  In that scene Harvey Keitel's character is showing a photo album to the character played by William Hurt.  The album contains all the photos in chronological order, that he has taken from the same spot in front of his smoke shop, at the exact same time, every day for years.  He calls it his life's work. As William Hurt slowly turns the pages, he says that they're all the same. Ah, but they are not the same at all.  Different people are passing by, or perhaps the same people are seen in different photographs, thinking different things, perhaps smiling in one and not in another, the light is different, the seasons are different.....in short, everything is different as the drama plays out day after day.  I absolutely love that, in a way I can't describe.

Day after day, our lives look very much the same, but each day is different and the accumulation of them builds a history that adds up to a life.  Thanks for reading and I'll be sure to share more pictures as the work unfolds.  Tuesday is our deadline and we still have quite a way to go with these 30 pieces!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finding Home

Finding Home, mixed media on handmade paper, 2005

I've always been attracted to the idea of "home", as a physical space and a kind of sanctuary, as well as a metaphor for many notions of identity, place and moving through time.  Pictured above is the first piece I made about five years ago when we moved to South Dakota from Florida.  I immediately felt like I was "home" here and felt a connection with a sense of place that I'd never felt even after living thirty years in Florida.  Kind of uncanny really.  This piece has been sold and I kind of miss it, so I made a treasury today around the same idea and found some many delightful works to share!  It's called Finding Home, click here to have a look!  

Enjoy the day...so many discoveries to be made!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Fourth in the Fork in the Road Series

A Fork in the Road no.4

Very busy in the studios these days, trying to keep up with new work for my etsy shop and making the pieces for Awakening Breath, the exhibition my husband and I are collaborating on.  As you can see, we even have a title!

We are fortunate to have plenty of studio space (well, really...is there ever enough!?) so we each have our own spaces and then a large shared space...it's the whole downstairs of the house.  So, things are buzzing in both studios, but we are on a roll and finally truly collaborating, which is quite a different thing than two people making work to have a show together.  It's exciting and we can't wait to see all the pieces together!  In the meantime, I've posted A Fork in the Road no.4 at MissouriBendStudio, which is very much in the spirit of the work we are making collaboratively.  Soon enough, I'll be able to post a few pieces I hope!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my posts!  Cheers!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Cliffhanger!

Well, it's Sunday, so Johntimothy and I have a little over a week to have the work ready to deliver for our show.  In my last post I mentioned finding my direction for the collaboration...my instincts were right on.  When my husband came home, he loved those drawings of the seeds and it caused us to rethink the whole project.  Yesterday, we basically started over and are now doing triptychs, with my part the central panel, to be informed by those drawings of last week that showed up in the one above, which is A Fork in the Road no.3    Johntimothy will make the panels that go on either side, so the piece will resemble the format of an altarpiece.  We are both excited about the project coming together in this new way and although I speak of it as "starting over" this is really just another step in the collaboration that has been going on over the last couple of months for the show.  It's the creative process at work....just made more complicated by involving two people instead of one!  No time is ever wasted...but it's kind of a cliffhanger still...wondering how the pieces will finally resolve themselves.  I'll let you know!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The One Thing

I'm having a great day in the studio, which isn't always the case!  I'm working to resolve my part of a collaborative exhibition with my husband and the deadline is looming...August 24th.  We've been working on this for most of the summer, but somehow I haven't been able to make anything that feels right.  Now, I understand what I'm to do. This morning I started drawing in white ink onto of the blackboard painted paper and before I knew it...the channel opened and I was right there in the flow, drawing those tiny circles that connect endlessly...like seeds or cells.  I realized that it's always about getting to the essence, the "one" thing, that gets at the core of something.  I knew in the middle of the first drawing, that all 36 drawings would each be an exploration of the one thing...the way the those interlocking little circles in white ink laid on top of the black chalkboard paint and interacted with the pencil.  It was a time of meditation as I connected tiny circle after tiny circle, stopping on each one when the shape declared itself and then moving on to the next piece.  When this kind of thing happens for me, this moment of recognition, I feel it in the pit of my stomach....I am in a flow where my hand is making the thing I am longing to see.  Simplicity, simplicity itself.

There are a couple of images in of the pieces in progress above...more will happen on the black chalkboard paint, but the drawing in the white ink is what the pieces are about....in a way I can't describe in words.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Golden Morning Light

I woke up to the most beautiful light over the river this morning...there's gold over there in those farm fields of Nebraska!  I'm so lucky to be able to live in such a beautiful setting...we try never to take it for granted.

Worked in the studio today, getting my part started on the collaborative show that my husband, Johntimothy, and I are putting together.  We'll need to come up with its title very shortly, as the show gets delivered August 24th.  Not much time left!

I did make time to curate a treasury...I had this idea of a ladder to the stars and that's the subject of my Etsy treasury for today...A Ladder To The Stars...please take a look and let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Fork in the Road

A Fork in the Road...is now finished and this one is posted in my Etsy shop.  This may be the first in a series about the fork in the road.  I definitely have other chalkboard drawings in the works, but I am really interested in this idea of the fork in the road...visually and and metaphorically.   It felt odd to work with no color on this piece.  As you can see, I couldn't quite do it, so the edges of the paper are painted with a copper acrylic and I added some tiny dots of color on those branches.   I do love the way the chalkboard paint surface takes the pencil marks...sort of subtle and shimmery...there is a lot for me to explore with these materials!

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Treasury Thursday!

Above, work in progress...so far untitled!

Hope your week is going well!  Spent the day in the studio...almost finishing up some new pieces! I cut up some larger pieces that I started long ago...they'd been drawn and painted with chalkboard paint and pencil...the pencil looks ghostly and shimmery on the chalkboard paint! We'll see where this goes exactly....to be continued.

I started a practice some weeks ago of curating an Etsy Treasury on Thursdays and now a Thursday can't roll around without me itching to make a new one!  It's become part of my routine for the week.  I have a dear love of encaustic painting...no surprise, given my love of beeswax...and I've come across a number of wonderful artists who work in this medium.  I included many of my favorites and found some new artists as well...I think all the works in this treasury are beautiful...hope it's an inspiration to you!

It's called...For The Love Of Beeswax!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moments of Choice

Yesterday I was looking around in the studio for something or other and I came across a few sticks laying on the shelf.  They'd been there for a very long time, but suddenly I saw them for the first time with new eyes, particularly that one on the left.  I saw it no longer just as a twig, but as a representation of a fork in the road, of the choices we make in our lives....the big ones, the not-so-big ones and the those we don't even realize are choices.  I guess I was thinking about how high strung I can sometimes be, with all the pressure I put on myself, and that I sometimes react in a less than gracious way...but each time we open our mouths to speak, it really is a moment of choice.  And if we are living an intentional life, we should probably slow down (I'm speaking to myself here!) and pay more attention....as every precious moment of the length of our lives ultimately represents a moment of choice.  I think there is a new body of work in the making here!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity | Video on TED.com

A friend forwarded this TED Talk to me a couple of months ago...it still haunts me and thought I'd share it. Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and genius...making you proud to be part of the process and always willing to do the work that's required.

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity | Video on TED.com