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, February 28, 2012

The Experimental Stage

Hi everyone....sorry for the late start to posting for the week. I prefer to greet you on Monday and here it is Tuesday evening already! Partly, I've been trying to get these new little "somethings" to a stage where I could show them to you. First, to show you how I made the jump to the new works, which I'll show you in a moment, you need to see the inspiration....one of the newest pieces from the MissouriBendStudio shop, which I posted here at the end of last week.

As I was making Navigation Chart, adding this and that, going further out from the center, I began to realize it was that center section that was "the thing".  What I really wanted to see were irregular round shapes that would hang on the wall on their own or in a grouping.  So....I began to play, which was quite fun.  Here are a few of the new pieces, but I still think they are on the way to something else....

Today was a terrible day for photographing anything....a milky white pallor to the sky as it rained all day, never quite turning to snow or ice, thank goodness.  Anyway, I found myself hand stitching a beeswaxed center drawing fragment to another unwaxed paper and then stitching that to something slightly larger, etc. etc.  I haven't been able to quite figure out how they hang, but have added a string of beads to most of them....but, that's just it.....I'm trying too hard to figure these out and not listening closely enough to hear them tell me what they want to be. All the while I've been referring to them as badges, but badges for what?  I want them to be about something....I don't want to just make more stuff....but their tie to a layer of meaning is still eluding me. However, they are a delightful joy to make and each one sits just so nicely in my hand while I'm stitching.  I kept thinking it would be faster and more efficient to stitch them up lickety-split with the sewing machine, but the hand stitched mark seems to have more to say. I'm adding these to the MissouriBendStudio shop, but may need to rephotograph them first.  I'll keep you posted....but let me just ask....are these badges?  If not, what are they?  If you have any insights....I'd be pleased to hear!

And of course, the daily proceedings continue on teabag clad paper....to see details and other views of these pieces, be sure to head over to MissouriBendMusings!

It's nearly time for the end-of-the-month Inspirations post....a loosely constructed interview with an artist that inspires me....stay tuned in the next day or so!!  Still a secret....


Friday, February 24, 2012

Interrupted By Winter

Wasn't I just talking in my last post about my eager anticipation of spring?  Seems there has been a bit of winter interruptus to my imaginings...

One of these days, I'll be out there pulling those plants up by their roots, but not for awhile! In the meantime, I have a new piece in my shop over at MissouriBendStudio that has taken me off on a new tangent and I'm developing a new series of tiny works inspired by this piece, Navigation Chart.

I won't say much about this new series, as it will no doubt jinx my process of discovery, but it's that round sewn bit in the middle that got me thinking and off on a new tangent....details to follow next week I hope.  I'm still working some things out, but I'm kind of excited about the possibilities in this new tiny series!

If you've missed the dailies since my last post, here they are! Details and other views over at MissouriBendMusings...

Hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks so much for your good cheer, inspiration and support!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Dreaming

What happened to Monday!? Oh, that's right, since it was a holiday, my husband was home and we actually had a weekend. So, today feels like Monday, although it is now clearly Tuesday evening! My trip to the big city (Omaha) went off without a hitch and I was home before dark, with a small bundle of groceries that included fresh fennel (impossible to get in this town) and 2 loaves of bakery bread (cranberry walnut and asiago-garlic), along with one new book from the used bookstore and a new supply of paintbrushes!

This has been the strangest winter...the snow falls rarely and when the ground is blanketed even with a few inches, it's all gone within days as the temperatures rise again into the 40s. It was in the mid-40s today and it will be over 50 degrees tomorrow....craziness! By the end of February, even in the worst of winters, one is itching to see signs of spring, but when one is perpetually on the verge of spring....well, every day is like a tease. I'm really starting to think about that perennial bed in the back of the house on the edge overlooking the river.....this one....

What a mess!!  I'm determined that this year we'll use it to grow "crops"....obviously, I use that term quite loosely, since it's quite a tiny space and we're not farmers. We've had good luck with squash and pumpkins, some luck with tomatoes and blue potatoes and little luck with leeks.  Oh, and absolutely no luck with watermelons.  Each year we learn a little more and want to expand our edibles to include peppers, carrots, chard and any number of other possibilities.  We were going to take over this bed last summer for this purpose, but as anyone who has followed this blog since then knows...last summer took us by surprise with a tense time of watching the Missouri River waters rise way beyond flood stage.  This summer should be quite a bit calmer, so I'm eagerly anticipating getting out there to move all those perennials and give them a new start in other beds around the house. But, it's still February....I have to wait.....winter could still arrive with a big wall of snow!

The reminders of last summer's flood are ever present. There is an incredible sandbar in front of our property that goes on for probably half a mile up the river....massive.  There used to be small sandbars scattered here and there in the river and they changed almost daily, but this thing is so huge it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. And just down the river, there is that big tree limb visible, no doubt stuck in a big pile of sand lurking underneath. When I photographed the bed in the back this evening just as the sun was setting, I peeked over the edge of the neighbor's property and was once again reminded of the huge sand deposits that seem to be everywhere, this one complete with overturned plastic red lawn chair!

And the dailies continue....details and other views of these pieces at MissouriBendMusings....or click on the links to each day's drawing...

Enjoy the rest of your week....spring is just around the corner!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Little Adventure In The Big City

Tomorrow I'm going on a field trip....to the big city of Omaha!  Remember that all things are relative and when you live on the outskirts of a town of 10,000, Omaha, with a population in the hundreds of thousands, is the big city!  I'm delivering the two Nocturne pieces, now beautifully framed, to the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts for the Regional Juried Exhibition, which means that a visit to my favorite used bookstore, Jackson Street Books is an absolute must. I'm going solo because my husband has a commitment up at the University, so I will go with my own flow and peruse the books until I am quite delirious. Then on to Whole Foods where grocery shopping is a delight rather than another chore to get through. Two hours of driving down and two hours of driving back, I'll have to make the most of it....oh, almost forgot to include a stop at Dick Blick for a few art supplies on my  list....a busy day for me tomorrow, but I am sorely in need of a break and am looking forward to a change of scene. I don't know when I'm going to fit the daily drawing in, but somewhere, somehow it will get done!

Here are the latest from MissouriBendMusings

Hope you have something interesting planned for the weekend....see you in a couple of days!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Inner Worlds

I have kind of missed the snow this winter....finally we are getting a winter wonderland.  A few inches fell overnight and a light, sometimes imperceptible, snow has been falling most of the day...beautiful, especially over the river!

I've been thinking about my daily drawings and how to describe what I am learning from them.  For some, the format, not to mention the structure of the practice itself, can seem very limiting, I realize.  But for me, giving a framework to something somehow seems to allow the possibilities to expand. I don't know what will happen on that tiny teabag when I sit down in the morning, but each day small worlds open up....there is always quiet as I arrange the table with a vase or a bottle, sometimes erasing and placing it here then there....as if I've come upon the scene and have moved the objects from the location where they lived moments before in someone else's life or someone else's dream.  I think there are infinite possibilities available from the view of any window.....these small, fragile teabags become windows for me and I draw just enough to make visible the quiet of an inner world.

I hope you are enjoy the start of a new week and that the days will unfold in delightful and surprising ways.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Just Finished The Best Book

I just finished the best book and I'm so sorry it's all over....The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund De Waal. I know we've all experienced that empty feeling...where to turn, what to do, when the book you've been immersed in has turned its last page. I can't recommend this book enough....beautifully written, a family memoir that is at once about the history of art and of collecting, the lost, the found and the life of the artifact. As many of you who've known me for awhile know, I am particularly drawn to the notion of the life of the material world and how the objects we surround ourselves with...well, they outlive us and they tell our stories long after we're gone....

My hero Proust figures in here....the real Proust and the real people who made their way into his novels are here....so fascinating!  You will cry at some point, I'm quite sure, and maybe when you least expect it. I won't say more....except it will take me a long time to find a book so satisfying.

Thank you to everyone who has sent their good wishes with a visit to MissouriBendMusings this week....it's had a wonderful beginning and I now look forward to shepherding the two shops. I'm all caught up and am now adding the daily drawing on the very day that it is made, so I'm hoping I can keep that up....won't always work of course, but that is my goal.

If you haven't been by lately....here are the daily drawings since my last posting here....stop on over and cruise around!

Hope you have a fine weekend....I plan to stay warm with some cozy reading, tea drinking....oh and making some daily drawings!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MissouriBendMusings, A New Shop on Etsy

I'm back with a quick holler that the shop is up and running....still adding drawings, but soon I'll be caught up. Come on over and check it out and visit the daily drawings taken in better light!  Thank you so much for the support and encouragement!  Speaking of which, I'd better get down to the studio....today's drawing is waiting to be brought to life!

See you over at MissouriBendMusings!

Today Is The Day!

Hi everyone....I'm working fast and furious now, as I've determined that today is the day to launch the new Etsy shop, which will be called Missouri Bend Musings. I'll be setting up the new account shortly. I've started photographing the pieces and now that I'm into it this far, I can't concentrate on anything else in the studio, so I'm determined to make it all happen today! Don't hold me to it....I may not make it, as we have a dinner engagement tonight, but once I start in on something with this kind of drive, well I just want to see it through.  So, as a bit of enticement, here are the daily drawings from the last few days....




I'll be back with a little heads up announcement that the shop is open, which I hope will be this afternoon!  Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Off To A Good Start

I hope the start of February has given you some good cheer. I got some really good news yesterday that two of the pieces from the Nocturne series were accepted into the Bemis Center Regional Juried Exhibition in Omaha.  The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art is a wonderful exhibition space and they do a great job of bringing art to Omaha, as well as supporting the arts and artists. Omaha is the closest "big" city for us, all things being relative, and just a two hour drive. It's very exciting to have gotten in, but it also means I have a short window to get those pieces framed! I have them as of today at a wonderful frame shop in Sioux Falls and know that Mary Selvig, a wonderful artist herself, is going to do a fantastic job....can't wait to see them all dressed up ready to go out on the town! These are the two Nocturnes...white ink on painted handmade paper.

Nocturne no.1
Nocturne no.3

The Dailies continue and I'll keep you abreast here, so you'll won't miss any...


Still planning that new Etsy shop, but there are lots of little things to take care of in order to make it happen. For one thing, this time around, I'm determined to get smarter about shipping, so I don't have to reinvent the wheel for each sale I make. All the work I have done up until now is one-of-a-kind and of all materials and proportions, which makes packaging and shipping a challenge. But, the nice thing about The Dailies is that they are all the same size, so I have standard sized cardboard backing sheets coming to make packaging a snap! I'm also going to try to do some more interesting things in terms of photographing the work by showing at least one shot in a frame and in a setting, so you can see what it might look like in a living space. I'm clearly also going to have to work on my photography and editing skills!! But, I am excited to get it all going and will be designing the shop banner and avatar this weekend. 

Hope you've got some big plans....oh, right, it's Super Bowl weekend isn't it?  I have not one sports bone in my body, so I am always surprised when it comes up each year....don't even ask me who's playing...I'm lucky enough to know we're talking about football!!!  If you are a fan, I hope your team wins!! See you next week.