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, April 22, 2013

Dust To Dust

The endless winter continues....each week there is at least one storm, dumping rain, snow, ice, sleet or any combination thereof. The several inches of mounting snow this afternoon is due to a visit from Zeus....clearly the last of the winter storms. But, I've said that before and been completely wrong.

I've been continuing my reading investigations into this land where I live, coming to terms with a sense of place. I am still fascinated by the prairie....well, what was the prairie and the history of the land in this part of the country. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I read Grassland, by Richard Manning, which I found fascinating and which inspired a new direction in my work. I was reminded in my reading of the deep history of the land and have always held the idea of the land as a keeper of memory. This is true in a metaphoric sense, but also in a very real and tangible way, as the pottery shards and remnants of past cultures lay buried in the earth. 

I began experimenting with these small cradled clayboard panels, which I have found are a wonderful surface for drawing and painting. These new pieces are part of a series I'm calling Dust to Dust. Since I didn't know just what size I would be most comfortable with, I bought three different sizes to experiment with. So....these are the first pieces from the series, no.1, no.2 and no.3, which are sized 4x4", 6x6", 8x8" respectively. I like working on the 8"x8" so the series is now moving forward in a slightly different way, in that size....please stay tuned!

Dust to Dust no.1

Dust to Dust no.1 (side detail)

Dust to Dust no.2

Dust to Dust no.3

I'm now happily immersed in another wonderful book, Not Just Any Land by John Price. I was happy to lay my hands on it at our library, but it's another one of those books I'll buy because I want it in my library. 

I've finished another piece in the Celadon Suite series as well...now posted on my website, no.6. I wish I was a better photographer....this is just so washed out!

Celadon Suite no.6

While we are complaining about the winter weather here, I am aware of the heartache and misery of those folks along the Mississippi River with it's rising flood waters. The waters here on the Missouri River are quite low, so they are no doubt holding back water releases from the dams upriver. Mother Nature is a powerful force, that's for sure. 

Well, this is the end of my "weekend" and the work week begins tomorrow. Hope you all are doing well....investigating the questions and the curiosities of life, making new discoveries. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ice Filled April

I just looked at my last post, from nearly a month ago (!), with those lovely pictures of the migration and the river....the view out my living room windows. Today, the scene is quite different, as we're in the grips of the last gasp of winter....so I hope! Walda is bringing winter back for a last fling...one to remember! In the last few hours I have experienced rain, wind, sleet, wintery mix, snow, thunder and lightning...let's see what's missing? It is a very odd sensation to be driving at 35 mph home from work down an ice covered road, sleet pelting the windshield, while bolts of lightning flash on all sides. Everyone I know is quite disheartened at this return of winter, even if temporary, as spring has only been coming in fits and starts as it is. This is a slow moving storm, so we have at least another day of this....oh and an accumulation of snow to look forward to....it will begin in earnest while we sleep and build up several inches (forecasts vary), lasting through the day tomorrow. Oh well. Won't we appreciate spring when it really decides to hang around for awhile! I took a few pictures the other day of an approaching thunderstorm....it was warm that day, probably close to 70 degrees.

In my last post, I talked about stopping, slowing down, pursuing depth rather than just breadth in life. I've done that somewhat....I've taken more time for reading and pondering as I try to live a little more intentionally. As we all know, life is demanding....of our time, our energy and we are easily distracted. The last two weeks I spent helping to move our library into the brand new renovated and enlarged space. It was exhausting, I must say....whole ranges of books had to be moved (hydraulic stack movers and a crew from the city of Vermillion to the rescue for that part) and I think it's safe to say every book in the library was handled at least once as they had to be shifted and reshifted, organized and reorganized. I finally have my life back and I'm once again on my course of rethinking things in my life and studio practice. I'm engaged in learning about the land where I live....as landscape, as place and as a piece of the earth's history. It's beginning to inform some new work and that feels good. The best moments are when you feed yourself with new ideas and learning and watch as it filters through you and comes back out into the world through your hands. At least for me, that's very rewarding...making the work allows my own thinking to unfold. As I draw I have a renewed understanding my widened world view, even if I cannot articulate it in language. I'll share some images of these new works soon...when they are finished. For now, here a some shots of a couple of other new pieces, including Notes From The Ancestors no.15, which will find it's way to my website in the next few days.

Notes From The Ancestors no. 15

I'm glad to be back....gathering up a new routine, listening and awaiting each next step. I missed the conversation with you all and hope everyone is doing well. Perhaps you are enjoying the first days of spring...for some of you, summer is winding down and you are entering a time of autumn. Enjoy the seasons....even if, on occasion, like today for me, the seasons get a little unruly!