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, November 30, 2015

Farewell November....and What's New At Missouri Bend Studio

Greetings on this last day of November. Here in South Dakota, another snowstorm is blanketing our world in layers of white. This will keep up throughout the day and night, apparently totaling nearly 10 inches. I'm sure we'll get there this afternoon at the rate it's falling! Good day to be inside, finishing up the last chapters of reading for school and checking in on my friends here on the blog, with a steaming cup of cocoa in hand!

This photo was taken from the deck, looking through the neighbor's yard to the river....which has, of course, disappeared in the field of white!

This is taken from my studio window, which is partially beneath ground level, so the windows look out at ground level. The pattern of the window screen creates an interesting layered effect.

The little daily drawings from 2013/2014 that I started listing in my Etsy shop are showing a bit of popularity. I've already sold 2 of the 3 I first listed. They are quite affordable at $10 each, so can be purchased without much angst involved! I've just listed 3 more, shown below, and will continue adding them to the Daily Drawings shop section each day. Please remember that I'm open to doing a bulk discount if you are interested in three or more of the drawings. Just let me know and we'll make arrangements!

Also, just want to remind my blog friends that there is an ongoing 10% discount on anything at MissouriBendStudio available to you by using the coupon code ANCESTORS at checkout. This code will be available through December, so hope you will find something that suits your fancy!

I'll be back in the next couple days with a fresh post, but for now, must get caught up from the time away over the Thanksgiving holiday! Cheers to you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Edges of Knowing....Liminal Spaces

I can't remember where it was, but I came across the word liminal as I was reading the other day. Because I love that word and find it so evocative, it usually stops me in my tracks, so to speak. It was the same the other day....I paused and kind of savored it in an almost sensory way. The taste of that word and everything it summons up came back to me just a little while ago as I made this daily drawing. 

I've said this before in the virtual space of this blog, but the meditation drawings (which includes the practice of the daily drawings like this) are a way for me to learn what it is I'm thinking....I think through my hands and as I made those little branching forms clinging to the edges, I understood they were about liminal spaces. 

That's where I am right now....on the edges on knowing and not knowing, leaving one identity and claiming a new one. I'm drawn to the edge of the page these days....the spareness of this drawing reminds me of the sense of frailty I feel. Clinging to limits of the page, but about to break free, there is a tension in the spareness of the drawing, that I find compelling. And the nice thing is, it's a good thing to step outside of ourselves once in awhile to see things from another place and point of view.

Liminal....it's a lovely word and I am learning to appreciate the wide open possibilities of my life right now. Edges and boundaries are interesting places for exploration!

1. of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

See  you soon!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Insufferable Procrastination!

The first snow of the season and we are suddenly transformed and transported. It kind of takes your breath away to wake up for the first time to a winter wonderland....even when you are expecting it and have laid in groceries. It's a shift for the psyche to be pushed along into the next season...and so, here we are, welcoming winter!

I would be enjoying this day so much more, watching the snow fall steadily, building up inch by inch, if I wasn't suffering from such a serious and guilt-inducing case of procrastination. I don't quite recognize myself....Ms. Slow and Steady-Get-the-Work-Done and then relax is now behaving like a reluctant child trying to get out doing her homework. 

Counting the days until graduation. For now, I guess I should be reading these articles below, rather than staring out the window. Alas....there is no cure for procrastination except to get to work.

Hope you have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Creativity Is Not A Straight Line

A couple of gray and rainy days here in South Dakota, complete with thunderstorms, which is most unusual for November. Subdued color, touched with melancholy....this is the palette that finds its way in my work. This landscape, so beautiful through all the seasons.

With only about four weeks left to go in the semester, I thought I'd better delay gratification and concentrate on school rather than being in the studio....counting the days though! I am thinking a lot about next steps and how I can unite my love and interest in the arts, education, and connecting people with new ideas and with one another. 

One of the undercurrents that runs like a river through everything is my belief in the creative abilities of everyone. Our culture has made us believe that some people are creative and others are not. That it's a gift bestowed upon us....or a talent some of us are lucky to receive and others miss. I don't believe it and it makes me sad to know that so many people carry the label for themselves, often wearing it like a badge..."oh, I'm not creative at all....I can't even draw a straight line." 

As if....a straight line, which anyone can draw with the aid of a ruler or straight edge, is somehow connected to creativity. I can't draw a straight line and frankly don't really want to. A straight line serves a function, but it doesn't inspire me, nor does it reveal much about the way our lives are lived, our ideas are formed or the struggles we face. We are creative beings. It's a function of how our brains work and we belittle ourselves and the huge potential each of us carries, by confining the role of creativity to the life and work of those in the arts. 

I'll be exploring this topic here as time goes on. For now....let's start with a TED Talk by Julie Burstein, 4 Lessons in Creativity. It focuses on creativity, as experienced by some folks in the arts, but she makes it clear that the core ideas apply to all of us. 

Hope you have a creative and energizing week. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Additions to Missouri Bend Studio on Etsy

Well, it's quite the gloomy day here. Cool and wet, but nothing unusual for mid-November....except that this year we've had such warm, beautiful weather, anything else seems an affront to the senses! I expect winter will arrive at some point, but even once we get through today, we're back up to the 60s for the weekend. Who can argue with that?

I have been slowly adding the pieces that remain from the Notes From the Ancestors series. Up until now, they have been listed on my website, but only sporadically on Etsy. I would say that the work from this series is the most dear to my heart and includes some of my favorite pieces, but now it's time to let them go to be loved by someone else.

As a thank you to the love and support I've received from blogging friends near and far, I'm creating a coupon code: ANCESTORS, which you can use for 10% off (active until 12/31/15) anywhere in my Etsy shop, MissouriBendStudio. A few of the Notes From The Ancestors pieces are professionally framed, which makes them even more costly, I realize, but that also makes them ready to hang!! Some of the pieces added this week are here on this post. Head on over to MissouriBendStudio and do a little perusing. Other new pieces have been added as well, including a couple from the companion series, The Celadon Suite.

Feel free to contact me with questions, especially if you are interested in an unframed piece. Because the works are beeswax and often are created with stitching, beads and/or buttons, framing is not so straightforward as with other works of art. I'm happy to discuss and share ideas.

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

October Dailies Stack Up

The October 2015 daily drawings form a stack 1 1/2" high once they are dipped in beeswax. Such a transformation in surface and luminosity!

Each day's drawing unfolds, of its own accord, in a meditative way, so no two drawings look alike. Each is a trace, a kind of documentation of the day. Of course, even though I try to let them be what they want to be, by the end of the month, I do have some favorites. October 30th became my favorite for last month.

So, I'm toying with some ideas of how I might share these....or at least share the experience of them. Some part of me loves them as a whole, a stack of daily drawings of the month....as a collective record of the days. And that part of me is not willing to let them go....as, in a sense, they are part of a spiritual practice.

But, if they could also bring some joy to someone else's life, that would be a lovely thing and I could see making them available in my Etsy shop somehow. There are questions though, and I wonder if you, my dear readers and friends, might be willing to weigh in with your opinions.

 I can't quite envision breaking the month up into individual drawings....that feels a bit sacrilegious somehow. So, if it were possible to have them professionally reproduced (before dipping in the beeswax) on a similar paper that could also be dipped in beeswax, the entire effect could be replicated. I could afford to sell an entire month at an affordable price and more than one person could enjoy any particular month's drawings. Would someone want to have a stack of them wrapped loosely with strips, like ribbons on a package....or would they need to be more formally encased in a book-like cover? Or, this....what if the daily drawings became a kind of calendar...or an illustrated blank journal? 

As I think about it, there are lots of possibilities, but I am held back by my long ingrained one-of-a-kind maker point of view. Somehow, it still feels like I've let go of something if I have them reproduced, even if they are of high quality. For now, the stacks of September and October drawings sit side by side, waiting to be joined by November, December....and then January and beyond. The days continue to unfold and I must mark their passing. Would love to hear from you about this conundrum, if you care to share your insights!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Navigating the River

I am in the middle of a strong current of late, as I move into the last stages of graduate school. I'm not sure where my degree in Adult and Higher Education will take me, but for now there is a very strong pull to be back in the studio. I realize that spending time in engaged in creating....drawing, sewing on paper, keeping my hands moving....has moved into the priority position. My classes this semester are online, which allows me to let them more easily slip to the side. It's interesting to watch this process unfold, as I've been such a very diligent student until now. I still am dedicated, but now it's more of a struggle.

What's next? Well, I sure wish I had a crystal ball! I know that the next couple of months after graduation will be spent making new work for an exhibition at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. I'm so glad to have that opportunity, as it will give me a focus and the impetus to create a whole new body of work!

My practice of making daily drawings is now entering the third month and it seems firmly in place as a daily activity. I make the drawings at the beginning of each day. Here are the drawing for the first of November. 

I spent a fair amount of the morning finishing the stitching on this autumn mediation drawing below, which was just so relaxing and well....meditative! Navigating the River and the meditation drawing below, November Afternoon, are now listed in my Etsy shop. 

It's incredibly warm here in South Dakota for November. Plants on the porch are still blooming and full of color....I feel as if I were back in Florida! This will no doubt change and winter will take us all by surprise, but for now we are enjoying a beautiful autumn.

I'll be back with periodic updates soon. For now, I'm counting the weeks till graduation! Cheers.