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, January 15, 2013

Getting Down to the Essence

"I think that most art which begins to make a statement fails to make a statement because the methods used are too schematic or artificial. I think that one wants from a painting a sense of life. The final suggestion, the final statement has to be not a deliberate statement, but a helpless statement. It has to be what you cannot avoid saying, not what you set out to say." -- Jasper Johns

This quote by Jasper Johns makes perfect sense to me. It's not a quick read, but once you digest it, I think that he is saying what I try to say over and over about getting to the essence . The real thing, the real work comes out despite you. The real works an artist makes are those things which must be made and at their core get at something essential. The process, for me, is still a kind of magic....if "I"get out of the way and let the real conversation with the work unfold. It's happening sometimes in the studio, but not always. It is a process we come to anew each time we arrive in the studio there to work. I'm always trying to get to the things that can't be said....the helpless statement....the one place where we can all meet as human beings, beyond language.

The dailies continue and they are a work in process and a reminder that I must let go and let them emerge as they will....most times I am not so happy with them, but I am honoring them for their place in the dailiness of my life. I share them here and you can find them at MissouriBendMusings

January 8, 2013

January 9, 2013

January 10, 2013

January 11, 2013

January 12, 2013

January 13, 2013

January 14, 2013

This, I am happier about....it's another development beyond the Notes To The Ancestors, but more simplified and refined and on a lovely, delicate green Japanese paper. Well, actually, I can't be sure this is Japanese paper, but it is green and it is an Asian handmade paper. Drawn, then dipped in beeswax and hand stitched, this is no. 1 in the Celadon Drawings...

The title link below the piece will take you to MissouriBendStudio where two of the drawings in the series are listed. Okay, I've probably overloaded you by now....see you soon and enjoy the rest of your week! Cheers!


  1. It's challenging to put words to the experience you are describing Patti. But I am glad that you try. BTW I do see the lines. They are not meant to be there? x

    1. Hi Marchi....happy new year! Thanks for the confirmation about the lines....I deleted that photo and reposted and now it seems fine. Also took out the text about the crazy colored lines, your comment may sound odd to anyone reading it! It is difficult to put into words and yet I do try, but mostly I try to make art....seems to come closer! Hope you are well!

  2. I rather like Jan 12 :)
    The Jasper Johns quote is very interesting. My daughter asked me to explain what my work was about, as her art teacher tells her that being able to be distinct about her ideas is crucial. I told her that ideas evolve and work often dictates itself as you progress. I guess that's what he meant, he just worded it better!

    1. Suzie....I think you are right on the money. I often feel inarticulate about my work, especially in a higher education setting, but sometimes I think we put way too much emphasis on thinking and analyzing and the importance of being "distinct" about our ideas....for some it may work that way, but for others it's like a dam blocking the flow. I know you understand where I'm coming from. Thank you for the compliment on Jan. 12 as well. Cheers to you!

  3. I'm learning to say "huh" a lot. Just that: "huh." It gets me out of the judgement mode and into the acceptance mode with whatever appears that day. I looove the JJ quote - especially "It has to be what you cannot avoid saying, not what you set out to say." I learned the latter trying to force the alphabet series and left that quickly - only the word "letters" must have been stuck in the old brain because that's when the quilts referencing love letters started. Go figure. I've always loved celadon work so the Celadon series is really appealing! Here's to a year following wherever we are led - without getting in the way!

    1. Karen Anne....good trick you've got going to get yourself out of the judgement mode. I found this quote referred to in a book my husband recently purchased about Johns in which the author has a completely different take on Johns than the critics and art history have. The title escapes me now, but it's quite good and has given me a new appreciation...especially after reading that quote!! Yes, here's to a year of getting out of our own way!

  4. I'm going to be pondering this quote for quite awhile. Its given me something to think about - to translate into my daily work and see what happens.

    1. Hi Penny, yes, it's a quote that can be pondered, that's for sure. I think there is a deep wellspring in each of us that connects us to one another....if we draw from that source, we are bound to speak to one another through our work. Enjoy your creative process and thanks for the comment!


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