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.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Slowly Unfolding

I just had to tell you about my appreciation and delight with the unfolding seasons, particularly spring and summer. At this time of year especially, I see how the delights of the season make a slow march toward center stage and take their place in the spotlight and then move on to make way for the next star of the show. The seasons instill in us a sense of anticipation, even as we enjoy the present moment, we almost cast our eyes on the horizon for signs of the next act to follow.

The first signs of spring green give way eventually to lush growth and before you know it there are the daffodils and the tulips, right on cue. One of my favorite early highlights is the gorgeous array of irises, each variety taking turn in bloom....all at once and it might be just too visually intoxicating. Just as they are beginning to lose their luster, here come the peonies on center stage....gorgeous! Another of our favorite  aspects of late spring and early summer are the birds, especially the Baltimore orioles, who keep us busy as they feed on hummingbird nectar and grape jelly with abandon. There was a brief lull as the peonies and iris blossoms left the stage...just a brief intermission really, as my anticipation of the arrival of the fireflies had me casting my eyes deep into the twilight each evening. But there they were, as if on cue! On the 25th, as I washed dishes looking out the kitchen window, the flash of a firefly and then another in quick succession! The fireflies are here now....truly one of the delights of summer is sitting out on the front porch in the late evening watching the magic. The anticipation still fills me, as I watch the daylily flower buds growing day by day....soon their colors will be filling the garden. We're getting, what seems to me, to be just the right amount of rain....lush green and daily growth everywhere. Pumpkins and squash, perhaps watermelon is we get lucky this year, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries and raspberries....who doesn't love summer! Our neighbor, Ben, will soon be sharing with us the fruits of his off-site garden, also one of the highlights of summer....I look forward to homegrown rather than store bought cucumbers!

Another brief thunderstorm has just finished and I believe the dark clouds are moving on....I have the morning free and will head downstairs to the studio. Hope you are enjoying the summer (or wintery) season wherever you are!

I made this tiny folded beeswax book last week and am making a few more now....you know me, I do love a tiny book!  This one is available in my Etsy shop here.

See you soon!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Greetings in the First Days of Summer

Dust to Dust no.4

Dust to Dust no.5

Dust to Dust no.6

Hello! Hoping the summer season is finding everyone well. Here in South Dakota, the temperatures are turning warmer and more like summer every day. I'd say spring was mostly cooler than normal, but we've also had a fair amount of rain, which is a very good thing! Last year's severe drought is still on everyone's mind, so there is a grateful sigh of relief to have rain this year. The garden is thriving, including all manner of weeds. Time to get back out there and do some serious weeding! The irises and peonies have had their time of beautiful blooms and are now turning the stage over to the day lilies which are showing signs of flowering sprouts that grow what seems like inches each day.

Johntimothy and I had a much needed rejuvenating vacation in Washington, DC, where we immersed ourselves for days on end in museums surrounded by amazing works of art. We were there at the tail end of the Albrecht Durer exhibition at the National Gallery, which was a highlight especially for Johntimothy, the printmaker! We chanced upon a fascinating lecture on the Sunday afternoon we were at the National Gallery by author/historian Ross King who was discussing his new book Leonardo and the Last Supper. We now have a signed copy and I can't wait to read it! One of the surprise highlights of our trip though, was the exhibition at the Phillips Collection, Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life. I had seen Braque's paintings before, but not a collection of them and somehow this time they hit us with their subtle power and for both of us, Braque's work stood out as much more interesting and nuanced than Picasso's. Interesting.

So, back at home now, fully immersed in the chaos of daily life and work. Trying to reestablish rhythms and continuing my reading explorations. Just finished a fabulous book by a local author, Jerry Wilson, Waiting for Coyote's Call: An Eco-Memoir From The Missouri River Bluff. The book is beautifully written and centers around the building of his home and the restoration of much of the land to native grasses. It is labeled an eco-memoir and it is definitely that, but more.....a inspiration for living a thoughtful life connected to place and learning to find the wisdom found in nature and within. Highly recommended!

Somehow in recent weeks I finished these pieces from the Dust to Dust series. I believe I showed them to you while in progress, but now I call them finished. I didn't take any shots of the sides which have drawing on them as well, but they are on 1 1/2" cradled clayboard....they hover somewhere between painting and drawing, but lean more toward drawing with layers of acrylic paint and acrylic ink. I'm still haunted by notions of the buried history in the land....time and memory, the lost traces of our collective lives.

And now....it's a beautiful Sunday and Johntimothy and I will take a drive over across the river to Wynot, Nebraska to the St. James Marketplace crossing our fingers all the while that there will be at least one homemade blueberry pie for us to bring home!  See you soon....enjoy the day!