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, January 21, 2016

Infinite Possibility

Greetings from Missouri Bend Studio! I'm seeing a lot of the studio these days, as I immerse myself in creating an entire new body of work for an exhibition in a few weeks at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. What a perfect opportunity to allow the creative process to unfold, unleashing  unforeseen possibilities and any number of surprises. I spend my days working in the midst of mildly creative chaos as my desk becomes increasingly cluttered, things spilling over into any working space available.

 I give myself a few days of building toward complete chaos and then it all becomes too much and everything is put back in place....buttons and beads dumped back in bowls or containers, embroidery thread stuffed in the basket, all the bits of collage material piled together and pens and pencils shoved into their holders. Not 5 minutes goes by before the bits are all being pulled back out for use. It's quite a comical process, really....but along the way I am amazed with the amount of work I am finishing. That's one of the surprises.

For this series of 8 x 8" mixed media pieces, the plan is to hang them in a grid format--3 sets of 9 each. I am now finished with 22 of them, so 5 more to go. It seems kind of bad luck to show the pieces in their finished state, so for now, I'll just share a few snippets of some. Hope you will forgive the awful photography....taken with my cel phone on the fly!

 I've become ever more aware as I complete these pieces one by one, that the possibilities are truly endless. In other words, I have a sense of infinite possibility. While I have the pressure of the show coming up, I am still relaxed and always aware that I could explore other avenues, do this or that other thing for the next piece. In a way, the creative process actually can be described as a series of decisions.

This was articulated perfectly by Gerhard Richter in the film we watched last night Gerhard Richter Painting, which I highly recommend. I gained a great deal of insight into his process and a respect for his sensibilities as an artist. Artists are always queried about their process and how they know when a piece is finished. For me, it's a conversation with the work and it unfolds in an organic way, unscripted, like a true conversation. But as Gerhard Richter describes it, each piece almost begins with infinite possibilities and moves through a series of choices and the piece is finished when there are no choices left to make. That sounds almost mechanical, doesn't it? In fact, it was quite the opposite....magical, really. It was, for me, both to watch him in the process and to understand that the way he articulated the process of making a work made perfect sense to me. 

I'm still in the flow and feel a bit like I'm in wonderland. So very thankful for the amazingly wonderful and supportive husband I have! For now, being in the studio is where I belong...I'm in the moment....I'm happy to procrastinate about thinking of the future! 


  1. I am definitely going to go look up that film! Love the description of the creative process as finished when there are no more choices to make. And good luck with your upcoming show!

    1. Will be interested to hear what you think of the film, Gabriella. Johntimothy and I both loved it and found Richter to be very down-to-earth and eloquent. You start with complete freedom and play and then respond from there....choices, choices, choices all narrowing to the finish. Great to hear from you...cheers!

  2. A lovely post! Really inspiring to read about the infinite possibilieties as it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately as I write my second book of poetry, which is largely based on cut up material. I look forward to seeing what you're currently creating!

  3. Uh oh, my comment apparently just evaporated... Anyway, thanks so much for this post! It was an inspiring read as infinite possibilities have been on my mind a lot lately while I've been writing my second book of poems, which is largely based on cut up material, and it's so hard to make the first decisions because they always rule something out.

    I look forward to seeing more of what you're currently working on!

    1. Greetings and happy new year, Kaija! Both your comments actually came through, but have used this later one. Having made some poems myself with found text and cut up material, the notion of infinite possibility has occurred to me while making them too. If you have a chance to see the Richter film, I think you'll find it interesting....in that his philosophy applies not just to painting, but to the kinds of works that we make, as well. All the best and thanks for your comment!


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