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.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Striding vs. Striving

Hi everyone...seems I've been absent for nearly an entire week.  The Labor Day holiday threw me off somehow, but here I am now!  Life has been busy....deadlines and lots of plates in the air, as my husband would say!  Anyway, as life has ramped up, I've not only become busier, but less calm...not surprisingly. It is an interesting process to watch and I'm now reigning myself in once more, getting back to the daily practices that keep my inner composure.  One day during the week I began to contemplate the phrase "striding vs. striving" which had come to me in a moment of stress.  I think the differences are key....the more I found myself "striving" the less I felt I was striding....with calmness and assurance.  I've looked up the definitions of these terms and it seems the comparison is quite appropriate.

Each word has multiple definitions of course, but here is a key meaning for each word:

Stride: the most effective natural pace : maximum competence or capability (as in hitting one's stride)

Strive: to devote serious effort or energy : to struggle in opposition

I know I feel the difference and the more I feel myself striding, the easier it is to recognize how off balance I become when striving takes over.  Striding puts me in the moment, striving creates tension as I work frantically toward future goals, real and imagined.  I'm not at all saying that we don't or shouldn't have goals, but it seems to me they are much more easily achieved when we don't try so very hard that it all becomes a struggle.  Let go and maybe you'll realize the goals you once had aren't even relevant anymore....look around, maybe you have what you desired.  Pay attention to the moment, maybe you have new goals not yet acknowledged.  We carry the sources of our needed wisdom inside us....we just have to listen.

Rocks no.8

Today I found myself listening a little closer and made a breakthrough in the studio.
I had finished Rocks no.8 the other day and have been working on a number of others, including ones where sticks have been introduced.  On my website this series is called Sticks and Stones, with the idea that the pieces will contain rocks and the ideas related to rocks, as well as sticks and the ideas related to sticks.  Well, one of the pieces I've been struggling with had started to be about the rocks, but very shortly became much more about the stick and the rocks looked quite out of place.  I've been so used to working on this paper of Johntimothy's in its original size (roughly 12" x 15") that it hadn't occurred to me until a certain moment that the way to make sure the piece was about the stick was to remove the stones....the paper needed different proportions and it was actually quite easy to chop off the bottom few inches that contained the rocks.  This piece will need a bit of refining, but it's much better.

These are just quickie photos to show you what's been happening....once they're properly finished and photographed, I'll post them on my website.  

With my new found freedom, it was only a few moments before I began to see the pieces as just the sticks or the stones without any background, mounted on board and hung in infinitely interchangeable groupings on the wall.  Do you remember my struggles through the summer to make some sort of objects??????  Those of you who are regular visitors here will recall my desperate striving.....it often doesn't happen when you are "striving"....it seems to me it's more likely to happen when you are in your stride.

I hope to see you tomorrow....but it might be over the weekend!  Hope all is well in your world.

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