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, February 4, 2011

What I Make and What I Made

Yet another week has come and gone and despite my efforts to account for the time, the hours have slipped through my fingers once again.  I've been in the studio, here and there, off and on, but always a bit agitated, restless and maybe this is why.  Not only are there so many things vying for my attention, but my attention is caught and twisted around so many things I've seen lately, like yarn caught and knotted, that I can't quite disentangle.  I think I've almost got it though.  As you may have noticed from the sidebar on this blog, I follow a lot of other blogs, which I try very hard to keep up with each day in Google Reader...sitting down with the last of my tea from breakfast or making another pot if there are a lot of posts.  I keep a little noteboook at the desk for jotting down sparks of ideas or blogs where I see something touching, striking or inspiring.  The notebook and my head are kind of full this week....a lot of notes in the notebook and my head is swimming with ideas and inspiration....just off the top of my head, there's another fabulous post by Robyn Gordon over at Art Propelled filled with artworks based on letters, Jackie's blog at Stitchworks featured a great book she made out of recycled envelopes, Terry Jarrad-Dimond at Studio 24-7 had an interview with an amazing artist, Jette Clover, whose work in collage melted my heart.  Then there was Fiona Dempster with the new work she featured at Paper Ponderings and Carrie Holder who is betwixt and between right now, but is making some delightful things with her discarded yarns and fabric bits....all of inspiring, all of it swimming around in my head, driving me to distraction.  I want to have made all of those things I mentioned.  And I want to let them inspire me, which they will over time, but it can't be rushed, because I can't make the work that any of those amazing people make....none of us can make any work other than our own.   Let me rephrase that, in light of Fiona's recent post, which echoes my own thoughts and experience on the flow of creative process. None of us can honestly make any work except the work that wants to be made with the energy we are willing to give it.  When we let go, when we are "in the flow" these pieces make themselves....I think they somehow want to be made and if we can just let go of the struggle, they practically take care of themselves, almost speaking directly to us...."now put this here, wait on that, when the time comes...add this."  You're given just enough to see your next footsteps, because that's all you need...things can't become too precious or you lose the flow.  That's my experience, but only when I'm not trying to make the work that inspires me, which is where I've been all week.  Right now though, as you faithful friends well know, I am making book pages, as if torn from make-believe books, and meditation pages....that's who I am and that's what wants to be made right now and I'll have to just be patient and watch, because the work will evolve, it always does, but it will be slow and it will be in small increments.  Here's what I've finished this week.  Thanks so much for the inspiration everyone....you all are my "breath of fresh air"...

Page From A Book Long Lost

Page From The Book Of Dreams Come True

...have a great weekend.  We are planning to rearrange the rooms in our house...that is, we plan to move furniture (not so much fun) around and repurpose the rooms (fun)!  I'll report in on Monday, exhausted but hopefully happy!


  1. I adore your Page From A Book Long Lost!

  2. All I can say is - you go girl! The agitation you describe, faced with so many revealed paths to follow or be inspired by, but the inner instinct to recognize the one you need to be on at any given moment...such a challenge to balance! I will say, with the caveat that I am hopelessly biased as a fellow owner of an insatiable and distractable curiosity, that in the fullness of time, the things (and people) that matter stick with you, and the things (and people) that are meant to be passing influences, are taken in and moved on from, and the wisdom to know the difference is the greatest gift of growing older...

  3. Your post has provided me with food for thought and I know it will be running through my head as I sit in my studio today. I will definitely be taking on board your comments about making work that wants to be made and going witht he flow. Thank you for your kind words about my own work and for leading me to Studio 24-7 and Paper Ponderings. I love both of your new pages, but particularly the mark making on the page from A Book Long Lost.

  4. Hi Patti- I always look forward to Monday and Friday posts knowing that you will share some of your beautiful work with us. These two pages are exquisite and I think you are in the right place making the right things. Personally I look on in awe and wonder at all that you do - the blog, the etsy shop and facebook and I know I couldn't keep up with it all for myself, so its amazing you get time to make as much as you do, and that it is always so perfect, so right. Thanks for the cross referencing - its amazing how all of our worlds connect...go well.

  5. Julie...thank you!

    Gabriella....more wisdom from my friend....how right you are about the fullness of time and the understanding that can come with age!

    Carrie...thanks to you! I loved the freedom and randomness in that last piece on your blog. Cheers...you are making wonderful work!

    Fiona...thank you...glad to know you look forward to seeing what's happening in the studio. I too love the connections across the miles!

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments and taking the time to write!

  6. Hi Patti, As usual, a wonderful post...insightful and encouraging. I am not surprised at your current state as you are obviously taking in so much visual and informational stimulation. Surely our brains must be like the computer hard drives -- bogging down -- and even shutting down--when overloaded. You are right, now, more than ever, we need to let our brains (and hearts) have time to process the amount of information we are taking in.

    The new pieces are both beautiful. Could you describe the make-up/process of the circle in the second piece? Very lovely! Thank you for your posts! Gloria

  7. Thank you Gloria! That's a great comparison you made...perhaps I just need a larger hard drive to handle it all!!! You asked about the circle in the second piece. That piece came to me in my sleep, as some pieces often do. In my rummaging around through my basket of dried teabags the previous day (looking for just the right one with just the right markings of course!) I had come across a rather large round one...the only one of its kind in my basket. So of course, my hard drive was working on that one as I slept and I was gently awakened when I saw it as part of a Victorian keepsake album...because I'd also just come across a tiny package of those dried pink flowers that had been in my Christmas stocking a year ago. Bingo! So, the teabag was dipped in beeswax and sewed halfway around to the paper, then filled with some of the dried flowers and holes punched from book text...and then closed up with the rest of the stitching. I love the idea of packages, pouches, things you can see but not quite so well as you like and things that are there but you cannot touch them. And, of course, I love the idea of evoking memory, history and desire. So glad you like it...hope this rather long explanation is helpful!

  8. thank you, thank you! this is both inspiring and validating, I often feel that rush of input that I am not sure where to go with. a bit of time percolating always seems necessary. love the page from a book long lost

  9. Hi Kathi...so glad this is helpful! Sometimes too much is too much, as they say, and things find their own way to settle into us. Thank you for you comment on the art work too!


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