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, July 31, 2012

Change Is In The Air

The weekend dailies are here and already a new week has begun. The Monday drawing on black paper is up on the board in my studio waiting for the drawings for the rest of the week to join up in turn (better get moving on Tuesday!)....but I'm feeling itchy and think it may be time to change it up again. The problem is that I'm not sure what direction these dailies will take....haven't gotten the signals loud and clear yet, just the initial rumblings of change on the way. I thought I'd give you a heads up that there may be yet another new direction.

When I first acknowledged this bit of edginess lurking in the doorway of the studio yesterday as I worked on the Monday drawing, I tried to send it away....I can't change the format now, these are part of my Etsy shop. But! I also realized in the same moment that perhaps therein lies the difference between making a product and making art. I believe that in order to be true, the work has to flow according to its own impulse and not because it is a bit of inventory or that there is an expectation that the "product" will always be the same. I already have to remind myself that the intent with this daily project was not necessarily to make "art", but to honor the day and its passing. The "art" would be a kind of result rather than the goal. Sometimes I am caught between the struggle to let them be what they want to be and my own need for structure and a rhythm which calls for the dailies to have a certain uniformity. I'm quite sure the many factions working this out in the various secret rooms of my subconscious will come to some solution that is agreeable to all and I will be excited and energized by the prospects all over again. You'll be the first to know!

Have a great week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Monday - Friday

The dailies continue....when I can fit them in. They don't always actually happen on the very day, sometimes a day later, depending on how life intervenes. That bothers me, but I remind myself not to get to rigid about things and to allow life to unfold of its own accord. The point is to commemorate the day, in a way....to notice it, to make note of it....to leave a trace.

Tomorrow is another work day for me at the library, although it is Saturday, but then Sunday and Monday are my weekend. I hope you all have a fine weekend and I'll see you early in the week....until then, take care and enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Notes From The Ancestors no.2 and more....

Welcome to a new week! I am feeling much better, although I still have an annoying cough and my voice is shot....I sound rather pitiful, so raspy and squeaky. I suppose it will improve (uh, I hope!) when my cough really subsides. Finally have gotten caught up with stuff from the studio....posting the weekend drawings for MissouriBendMusings...

 a new piece over at MissouriBendStudio...

and a second piece in this new series posted on my website. I posted the first one on Facebook this afternoon and have gotten some great feedback. With the wonderful comments about the piece made here when I showed it last week, I am most encouraged to continue. It's really a good feeling to have your own hunches confirmed by the vast network of friends who have come to know you and your work. So, here is number two in the series that I've now decided to call Notes From The Ancestors...

I've been in the studio off and on this afternoon and have a few more in the series underway. Dividing the paper into smaller sections allows for unlimited possibilities. I'm also enjoying the very muted palette and have always loved the way white, off white and beiges play off one another...fun! 

My Sunday-Monday weekend is just about over, but I'm back on top of things. Time to head out to the front porch with a little hard cider and my book! Have a great week and thank you once again for reading these posts and sharing your thoughts. Best wishes!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Lost Week

I lost a week....maybe you've been wondering where I've been. Mostly on the couch. I came down with some icky flu-like bug over the weekend....it started with a sore throat that developed steadily during my work day on Saturday. After several days the flu bug did improve and I went back to work but by the next day I was sick again. I've finally gone to the doctor and have a sinus infection, so am on antibiotics. I was beginning the think I'd never get well, since I felt worse each day....but I definitely should be on the upswing now. Meanwhile, there were no trips to the studio....the days went by, but there were no drawings made to commemorate their passing. It was a lost week, but I'll begin again with tomorrow's drawing and will look forward to getting back into the rhythm. Now, if I could just quit coughing!!

I don't want to leave you without anything to see, so this is a fairly new finished piece that will make it to my website when I have the energy. It's a new series I'm playing with....the delicate handmade paper is folded into separate sections before drawing on it. It's also been dipped in beeswax and then stitched to another sheet of backing paper for a little more support. I have made another in the series, but it's not quite finished, as I still have to stitch it to another support paper.  Hope you like this one....I kind of fancy it myself.

Lives of the Ancestors

Have a great weekend! See you soon...

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Conversation

I would say the weekend has officially started....of course, for many of you in different time zones, there's no question that the weekend has begun! Hope you have a fine couple of days! I'm here to show you this week's dailies and just share a few thoughts I've had today about them. First I must admit the fact that, due to my busier than usual week, I ended up having to make the "dailies" for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all this morning. Life sometimes has a way of commanding attention and drawing you away. 

I'll also say here that the dailies are an intuitive practice (as is almost all of my work), so I never know what will happen when I make the first mark....I just follow my instincts.  In the same way that we never really know what's going to come out of our mouths when we speak in a conversation because the transfer from brain to voice happens so quickly, the drawings are like a conversation with myself....or my various "selves." In order to get back on track, this morning I started with Wednesday's drawing (the 11th of July) and worked on it in stages. While it was resting and drying, I began Thursday's and then today's drawing. Wednesday's wasn't right, so I kept going and kept pushing, sort of like forging a new path....drawing back in with black water soluble crayon before the white ink was even dry....layering, adding, covering, building. I thought about how I'm drawn to works of art that arrive at their finish in visible layers, where there is evidence of struggle, of a conversation between the maker and the mark. And while any of us can stand back and look at the work we've made, I wonder if we can ever truly separate ourselves and see it objectively. So, while I recognize this Wednesday drawing below might be described as rather clumsy, I'm satisfied to see the layers of it's history, the evidence of the conversation with the part of me that is unafraid of chaos.

Was there perhaps too much chaos and did some other side of me demand order after declaring the Wednesday drawing finished and the conversation over? "Thursday's" drawing (again, it was also made this morning) began with the middle area of looping lines....this might have spiraled out of control and gone the way of the other one, but the other self reigned me in....order, order, keep it simple. 

And then the side of me that wanted to play with the compositional space of a 6"x6" piece of paper stepped into the scene and had her way with something akin to a still life. I claim them all and I recognize each of these drawings as a part of me and made with one of my voices, yet I'm drawn to the one that required the most work, the most struggle and carries the most history.

Monday, July 9, 2012

2 Daily Drawings, 1 Meditation and a Book Page!

The dailies from the weekend are on teabags, which is the new rhythm....black paper drawings during the week (6x6") and teabag drawings for Saturday and Sunday (mounted on 12"x9" bristol)....I'm into the flow of it now. By the end of the week, I'm ready to meet those teabags again, as they lend themselves to different processes than the drawings on black paper. Of course, during the week, it's experimentation time and pushing the envelope with the black paper. It is somewhat limited, as the drawing paper is really not made to get wet, but I can get away with a little here and there for the water soluble crayons.

Now that I've had a full day in the studio, I've had time to finish up a couple of other pieces that have been in the works. There's been some beeswax action in the studio today as I dipped these pieces and another dozen small pieces very much like Wisdom of the Ancients. I have a "book work" in process, so if you like Wisdom of the Ancients (listed as a solo piece as MissouriBendStudio) stay tuned for a much fuller version. I guess I'd say that Wisdom of the Ancients was the prototype, and now I'm finishing up a spin off, yet to be named! It's been some time since I made one of the meditation drawings and that was fun....that aqua color takes me back to my Florida days and the Gulf of Mexico along the west coast. The summer meditation piece will be listed at MissouriBendStudio tomorrow or the next day.

Summer Meditation no.4 

My weekend is now over and I'll go back to work tomorrow....the days and weeks do fly by, don't they? Our heat wave is over and the temperatures are quite pleasant....we sure could use some rain though....mighty dry around these parts! Hope your week has started off on a positive foot! See you in a few days....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lost Histories

Kind of a crazy week with a holiday in the middle, but another full one of juggling all the various tasks of life, including precious time in the studio. Johntimothy and I finished watching the first disc of a BBC documentary The Story of India, which we really enjoyed. It's taken me back to my on-again-off-again ponderings about history, specifically human history and the rise and fall of civilizations. These notions are showing up in the work as I sit drawing, the thoughts echoing in gentle waves. I am fascinating by the way civilizations are lost, the way history lies buried deeply in the earth, found only thousands of years later under countless levels of sand and earth. While many of the events of our times are clearly disturbing, I find I am almost always shifting my thinking to the long view of deep time. When will the cultures that define us disappear, slowly covered by the sands of time....what mysteries will be left behind to be found by those coming long after, perhaps by thousands of years. How does it happen that history is completely lost? Each generation serves as a link between the ancestors behind and the next in line and yet, there is so much to be passed on, we take most of it for granted. How we lived, what we ate, what we wore, what were the customs that defined one culture from another, what patterns precipitated drastic change, did we even see it coming? Civilizations are unearthed from thousands of years ago and to be sure, there are many mysteries....but what we see often are the dwellings, where people ate and slept, loved one another or were at war, where people made things and dreamed dreams about the future. Just like us. It's the traces we leave behind....do you think perhaps it's what compels us to make art? This is what I think about....it is encoded here in the work. 

Hope you have a good weekend....stay cool if you are sweltering and keep warm if you're suffering from the other extreme! Do have some fun and enjoy at least a few moments of fascination!

Monday, July 2, 2012

On Top Of It....For Now

Happy Monday....I am totally feeling on top of things! Of course, it is just Monday, so perhaps I shouldn't be shouting that from the mountain tops, as I seem to be. I'm just speaking in general, I suppose. You know how you feel when you've gotten everything scratched off on your list and THEN SOME....things that didn't make it to the list have gotten done, as well. Of course, for the list-makers of the world, there is not nearly as much satisfaction in getting something done that wasn't on the list, but I won't take the time to go put it on there just to be able to cross it off.  I'm also excited because I've  started an online class for the library where I work, so I can redesign the website in WordPress. It just started today...so far, so good! The weather is hot, but I won't say beastly hot, as many, many parts of the country are beastly hot! It's going to be 100 degrees here for several days, but no matter what anyone around here says, that's not nearly as bad as the 90s in the muggy south and I feel for those folks with their 100+ temperatures. I've lived there and know they are miserable....hope cooler temps are on the way for everyone suffering with the heat.

Meanwhile, before I head out to the deck with a little unwinding hard cider and cheese, thought I'd share the weekend dailies with you. It felt good to be back with my old teabag friends and liked what happened with these. The drawing for Saturday has inspired a whole new "book" project, which will actually be loose pages wrapped in a paper wrapping....I'm working on the pages now and dipping them in beeswax. Can't wait to show you....maybe by the end of the week, but that could be pushing it.

For those in the United States, hope you enjoy a happy and safe 4th of July holiday and hope all of you have a good week. Thanks for being part of my world....it's wonderful to feel connected to people at so many points across the globe!