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.


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Rearranged Life

A new week beginning and so far, so good. According to the calendar of course, the week began yesterday, but as my entire life has been wrapped around the academic calendar (even now, because of my husband), the week always feels as if it officially begins on Monday. Our weekend was spent in reorganizing the studio spaces....a task that needs to be repeated endlessly, it seems.  This time, though, I think I've got it right! There was just so much clutter in my space, in John's space and in the large outer shared area, that it was hard for me to concentrate.  I would have cleaned up before, but we didn't actually have places to put things, so bits of this and that were piled everywhere, including all over the ping pong table, which we'd like to actually use sometime to play ping pong!  A trip to Target netted two sets of wire shelving on sale, and with a swing over to Lowe's we came home with a number of nice looking garden bricks and two more 6 foot boards for my studio.  Having the new set of shelves in the outer area allowed me to use the space for storing art supplies that we often need to retrieve, but don't need cluttering up desks and spaces underfoot.  And I finally figured out the ideal arrangement for my studio (how many tries has it taken!?!), so that the room doesn't feel like a trailer (12' x 24')!  The spaces feel just right now and the clutter is slowly disappearing everywhere....even into the newly organized storage area, which I am now referring to as "deep storage"....available, but not visually in view!  I was pretty tired by the end of the day, but entered the studio with a new enthusiasm, since the spaces had a better flow and the clutter was gone....at least temporarily!!

The little sitting area is now somewhat sectioned off and the 
brick/board instant shelving extends the entire width of 
the space (the bookshelves moved to the other end of the room)
so everything above it can be "pin board" space!

The sewing machine table/desk is also where I do my morning 
meditation drawings and my morning pages (a short writing practice)

The tables now form kind of a rectangle....the table closest to the 
front is all the work in my shop, MissouriBendStudio.

One of the things I'm making sure to incorporate back into my life is books...reading them, that is.  John and I both read a beautiful little book while in Wyoming, The Solace of Open Spaces, by Gretel Ehrlich when we were at Brush Creek.  A little reading throughout the day kept my mind open and fresh.  Now, I've just finished Bird Cloud, a new book by Annie Proulx.  I'm very sad to have finished it, but it was the perfect read for easing me back into life here....Bird Cloud is her property in Wyoming in the very area where we just had the residency.  This is a lovely memoir about her life in Wyoming, the search for the property, as well as the trials, tribulations and joys of building a dream house.  There are sections in the book about here French Canadian roots, about the wildlife in the area and about the deep history of the land.  I identified with every last inch of that book....I too have French Canadian roots on both sides of my family, I too am in love with land in Wyoming and although I've not built a house anything like she has, I have built two houses and was able to share and delight in the tale of Bird Cloud's construction.  Needless to say, I loved this book....but must tear myself apart from it and move to other things.

I've mentioned numerous times my interest in the rocky landscape of the area where we were in Wyoming and how it has influenced my work. Since I know very little about rocks and the earth sciences, I'm happy to be learning all kinds of new things in this book I just bought to assist me in my amateur geological pursuits!

That's it for now....there is enough time left in this day, I hope, to post some of the new pieces on my website...FINALLY!

Thanks so much for reading and sharing your comments....always great to hear from you!


  1. Loved reading this post Patti!
    The quest for the perfect studio arrangement ... thats certainly a challenge... this looks fabulous i must say!
    Dont think It would remain uncluttered for too long for me...but then again..I do like to reclaim the desk workspaces frequently as a kind of preparation !
    Your book sounded utterly engrossing...
    Good working!

  2. wyoming is strong medicine, isn't it? i read ehrlich's book when it was new, a profound book. i just gave a copy to my 26 year old daughter for her birthday. and proulx's book was also a great read--the studio looks GREAT!

  3. Your studio looks beautiful and functional. It has a nice balance to it. I loved reading about the changes you've made and that you've rearranged the space many times. Your sitting area looks relaxing and like a good place to read a book.

  4. Hi Sophie...so glad you like the studio. It's an important space to get "right"....a sanctuary of sorts and I've had numerous arrangements, some better than others. I think I like this one the best, though, and am trying my best to keep it uncluttered...no easy task!

  5. Velma...that's such a perfect line...."Wyoming is strong medicine" and yes, it is absolutely strong medicine. There is a very strong pull for me there. Glad to hear you agree about Bird Cloud, as well as Solace of Open Spaces....powerful! Thanks for the thumbs up on the studio!!

  6. Carole...yes, that sitting area is a good place to read....but now I realize I need a lamp, as the only lighting (and plenty of it!) is from the overhead flurorescent lights. I often sit outside to read when the weather's nice, but that won't do in the winter. It is tricky to strike that balance in a studio space....functional and beautiful...but I insist on both!! Cheers!

  7. Hi P - I hope this new arrangement serves you well. I too go through the same process of allowing clutter to overtake spaces and then having to rethink and reorganize until the next takeover! But yes, not having anywhere to put stuff can be a big obstacle to streamlining! Right now using my living room as a studio/office is NOT efficient at all but I may need to wait until I have more room to work with. I envy you your space, it really seems to invite both work and relaxation in the right balance! There's that word again...have a great long weekend!

  8. Gabriella/TT: I think this arrangement will work well....but as you say, one day the clutter will take over and I'll have to rethink things once again! Hope you have room to spread out one day and its not in your living room! Enjoy your weekend too!


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