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 20, 2012

Notes To The Ancestors

"Balance is not a fixed point, but rather an ongoing internal conversation." -- Jason Crandell
(Jason Crandell is our yoga "instructor" on our favorite yoga DVD....)

Hello! Hope this post finds you well and having a good start to your week. More developments and evolutions (revolutions!) here during this last week, as each day brought a new insight or confirmation. When I last wrote, I was creating my own "ledger" pages for the daily drawings, which was a vast improvement over the pre-printed ones and brought me closer to the "right"place, which you can only recognize when you are there...well, even then you can't describe it, it's just the "yes" place. I was still using the machine made drawing paper and though I was settling in a little more comfortably with the drawings, there remained a sense of unease and I began to understand that it was the paper itself. I had been trying to use water soluble crayons and some ink washes and was pretty limited because the paper wasn't made for wet media. So, I was anxious to get to the store to investigate paper. Well, living in a small town doesn't provide many opportunities for perusing art supplies, even when one ventures the hour away to the biggest city we've got in the state, Sioux Falls.

August 14, 2012

August 15, 2012

August 16, 2012

August 17, 2012

I settled on a pad of paper made for mixed media....one daily drawing later, I knew that it was a mistake, but it did lead me to knowing what I should have known all along....handmade paper. The commercial, machine made paper doesn't have the life force in it somehow....it's hard edged, stark white and doesn't have any softness or spirit. And naturally, the new mixed media paper was super stiff and thick. Turns out I'd gone in the opposite direction....I was worse off with the new paper, but at least it didn't take long to recognize what I did need.

August 18, 2012

 My supply of Japanese paper and the beautiful corn husk paper I bought last year are in short supply, as that's what I use for the Notes From the Ancestors. But, the next morning I used a sheet of Japanese paper and it felt just like coming home.....not only that, there was the slow dawning realization that if the other body of work I am making is collectively called Notes From The Ancestors then of course, these daily drawings are Notes TO the Ancestors. It's all a conversation with time, memory and our collective history. Home base. Sunday's drawing and today's (19th and 20th) are on the Japanese paper....it all feels just right.

August 19, 2012

August 20, 2012

I've ordered a good amount of delicious paper from Bhutan from Hiromi Paper and can't wait for it to arrive. Then I can focus on envelopes! I love that there is a circular notion to the work going on in the studio....each morning I ask questions and speak to the "ancestors" through the drawings and as time allows during the week or on my precious days off, I work on the Notes From The Ancestors where my thoughts and insights reveal themselves.

All the drawings shown here can be found at MissouriBendMusings. Oh....and I keep forgetting to mention that I'm having a big sale at MissouriBendStudio with 25% off everything through the end of August. It's time for the little dears to find new homes! The long table in my studio that holds the work from both shops is getting quite full! Take a peek....maybe you'll find the just the right thing. If so, enter the coupon code: ENDOFSUMMER when you check out.

Thanks so much for the conversation here....your thoughts and insights are so very helpful to me!!! See you in a few days, I hope! Have a great week....


  1. I think when we work with our hands we develop a biological connection with our materials. The mind can't work properly if our hands are touching the proper surface. I'm glad you have an abundant supply of paper coming your way!

    1. Hi Penny, sorry for the late reply to your comment! That's an interesting observation about the biological connection and the sense of touch....I think you are absolutely right! I feel so much more at home with paper that is not so hard edged and "cold"....still waiting for my paper order, alas! Have a good weekend!

  2. I can't agree with you more about the right kind of paper for the job...there's something incredibly tactile about paper, not just for artwork, but even when reading a book...and nothing beats japanese papers or other handmade papers. Have you ever tried to make your own? It's messy, but soooooo much fun, and the pages seem alive to you somehow!

    1. Ah....yes, the paper is really important and even, as you say, extends to such things as the paper in a book! I have made paper....took a wonderful papermaking workshop in North Carolina some years ago and have made some since, but not very much. It is great fun and so satisfying. My husband makes paper and I still have stacks of that, which is wonderful to work on but quite thick and sturdy and I use it more for painting and mixed media works. Love handmade paper!!!


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