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, October 29, 2012

A Question of Balance

So sorry for the long absence! For those of you who know me through this blog, the title of this post and this new little piece in the MissouriBendStudio shop will come as no surprise. Always a quest for balance in life. We've had some turmoil and sadness in our lives of late, as we've lost my husband's father rather suddenly, only a very short time after a cancer diagnosis. Besides dealing with the loss, there are any number of practical issues that must be taken care of in these situations. And for me, the death of a loved one, inevitably brings up the larger issues that we like to keep rather hidden away. It's a time of reflection....about how one lives out a life, the interconnections of family and friends, as well as coming to terms with the inevitable passing of the elder  generation. I don't know about you, but I still find it disconcerting that, in my own family, I am now part of the elder generation. Our time is fleeting and this dance we call life is so precious....it's a call to live life fully, to care and to be present in the here and now.  I've missed the conversation here....how is everyone?!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Muses....

The Muses have me on a need-to-know basis these days....which is actually just fine, as I now realize that it's the way I work best. It means the internal conversation is flowing and that I'm listening more than thinking, which in my case, is a very good thing. I'm working on a pretty large piece (24"x24" is quite large for me!) on a cradled clayboard, which is being created as part of fundraiser for the Design Center in Sioux Falls. I LOVE the coated surface of this panel and also that it doesn't need to be framed....anyway, I'm quite getting away from my original point. Between feeling my way on this project and my work on the continuing Notes From The Ancestors series, I "know" just enough to take the next step on each piece. There is some kind of magical "knowing" that emerges, just at the right time, as if I am being told exactly what step to take and why. Beyond that, I don't know where the piece is going and I certainly don't see it ahead of time in its final outcome....but at each new stage, when the time is right, I am given the next bit and so I move forward on the work, inch by inch. It is a slow way of working and if I don't sense the next step forward, I just step back and walk away from the piece, until the magic envelope is slipped under the door of my psyche by those dear invisible Muses. Where would I be without them?!

Notes From The Ancestors no.12



Lately, I've been starting to acknowledge some of the slow realizations that have been lurking beneath the surface for awhile. I know many of you (dear and faithful readers) are artists as well, working through your own creative process, struggling to find the time to make the work that you are called to make. The internet has obviously transformed our lives in so many magnificent ways....I am amazed by all the wonderful connections and friends I've made across the world....and yet, there are some aspects that I fear I'm going to have to let drop. This blog is not one of them....the exchange that happens here has meaning for me and I hope for you, as well. I'm talking about all the social media networking that we are told is a must in order to be successful, especially with an online shop (or 2). With the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, there are just way too many ways of following and being followed. Everything has to be some sort of tool for exposure. Huge amounts of time that can be spent on Etsy creating and making treasuries to get your work seen by those who might be interested in making a purchase. The image that comes to mind in trying to keep up with all of it is that poor, tired mouse on that endlessly spinning wheel in his cage.  

Not only is it all time consuming, taking me away from the studio, but there doesn't seem to be any payoff. Either I am mismanaging this social media thing, or it is just a bottomless pit. Being in the studio has meaning for me, as it allows me to explore an evolving understanding of humanity and my place in the larger cosmos. This blog has meaning for me, as it provides the possibility for meaningful dialogue (something more than sound bites) with people I will never have a chance to meet face to face. Spending time with books, engaged in reading means a great deal to me, as language and ideas are a major source of nourishment. Slowing down enough to enjoy the process of cooking and savoring the deliciousness of food....that too is important. And there must be time to enjoy the company of my husband, who is way over too committed himself....but I think we both seek a simpler life.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about how you navigate the world of social media....actually, the real question is whether anyone else is wondering if all these tantalizing ways to spend time on the computer are not just creating a smoky haze that threatens to stifle our ability to breathe. 

The dailies for the last few days are here....and listed in my shop (15% off with coupon code: AUTUMNSALE)

October 10, 2012

October 11 2012

October 12, 2012

Thanks for reading....always do love to hear from you, so feel free to drop a line. Once I get my own time realigned I'll get back to reading the blogs that I've followed....another part of life that seems to have dropped away! Hope you have a fine weekend!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Playing Catch Up

It was a busy week last week! We had the visiting artist that my husband was hosting at the University staying with us. This was all fine and good, since we already knew him as one of Johntimothy's colleagues and friends in the printmaking world....but the many late nights filled with good food, laughter and talking took it's toll. This week I am gathering up loose ends and trying to get myself back on track, but the house is strangely quiet somehow.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I was honored to be interviewed on Ms. Jeannie Ology's delightful blog, which you can find here. She asked me a number of intriguing questions, designed to draw out responses that would give insight into the how and why of the daily practice that feeds the work in the MissouriBendMusings shop. Pop on over, if you like. I'm quite impressed with the extra effort she puts into the blog on a wide variety of topics....worth investigating!

In the meantime, how about a few highlights of the recent dailies? You know that you can always find more of them at MissouriBendMusings. Did I mention that I was having an ongoing sale in that shop....yes, all the dailies are available for 15% off the price listed....just use the coupon code: AUTUMNSALE at checkout. I'll keep this sale going for awhile, but take a look around to see if there is something that catches your eye!

It's an autumn of fluctuating temperatures, but still glorious as the leaves and the grasses change their hues. The lawn is littered with a blanket of golden yellow leaves from the cottonwood trees. We pulled in the few pumpkins from the garden, along with the last of the tomatoes before the freeze the other night. I do wonder what kind of winter we'll have this year...hoping for cold, but not too much and snow, but not too much. Maybe this is the year we'll be able to break in the snowshoes we bought a few years ago! Hope your week has started off in a fine way and I'll see you at the end of the week.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Now that we're into October, the autumn season is really in full swing....colors are changing daily in the most beautiful and often subtle ways. There are moments of bright, warm yellow set against deep, rich red, but as I drive along the back roads, I am also quite taken by the subtle shifts of color in the fields and the grasses on the side of the road...colors that shift from a pale gray-green to the color of straw and then to a soft peach and onto deep red and then crimson. I do love each season for it's own beauty, but there is something about autumn that makes me more aware of color than the other seasons. I know that spring and summer are full of the rich, bright colors of gardens in bloom, but I am more deeply drawn to subtle palettes and the colors of autumn make me swoon. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera when these thoughts came to me today in the car, but I did snap a few shots in the backyard just a bit ago. The river is beautiful no matter what the season!

Still keeping up the daily drawing practice and with the recent big deadlines looming over us now past, I find that I am able to post them more often. I'll start off October with today's drawing, but do have a peek at the others in my shop here. I do have sale going on in the shop, so if you are interested in any of the daily drawings, now is the time to have a more serious look around...there is 15% off everything in the shop, but be sure to use the coupon code at checkout: AUTUMNSALE

There's a newly finished drawing in the Notes From The Ancestors series, now posted on my website
I'm still loving the interior space I can roam through as I make these pieces...an open-ended conversation with time and memory.

Notes From The Ancestors no.11

Hope you have a great week....savor the day and the subtle details so easily overlooked! See you soon!