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.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

When In Doubt, Make Art

Hello from the land my husband and I like to call coastal South Dakota. We all know South Dakota has no coastline, but it does have the big, wide Missouri River running through it and that's good enough for me! This was a view of some rather ominous looking storm clouds last week. 

Well, I have been in the studio, but I have to say, I'm feeling adrift about now. It was bound to happen....intense work every day from January through the beginning of February in order to create new work for my show....and then riding the tail winds of the energy that was left. And now....I find myself waiting for "what's next". Don't you have that feeling sometimes? As in....what's the next goal, the next big thing....is it a focused project, is a life change? How do I find it....where should I focus my energy....what am I most interested in at this point and how can I translate that into something large enough to fuel my fire?

I don't necessarily like to think that I am so goal oriented, but I think having a goal provides an extra boost of motivation. I am still in the studio making new work, as you'll see in a moment, but I recognize this restless casting about for something larger....something to satisfy the hunger. So, in the meantime, I go into the studio and I read.

Just finished the piece shown above yesterday and listed it in my Etsy shop. Notes From The Ancestors is an ongoing series that seems to keep me coming back for more. Drawing and hand stitching on paper...keeps my hands happy. This piece speaks to the thread that runs through my work....the reverence for memory and the layering of history. I so often wonder....what would our collective ancestors have to say to us now....as individuals and members of our various cultures. What have we learned, but also what have we failed to learn and what have we lost? 

I've also just listed these very spare, abstract collage pieces I made a couple of years ago.

Now that I've revisited them and decided to share them on Etsy, I may be inspired to make more!

I'm still working my way through Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It was written some years ago and was the book upon which the Broadway play, which I have not seen, is based. What a fabulous book....and what an insight it provides into the history of our country. The crazy political scene in which we currently find ourselves is nothing new really. It is actually astounding to think of trying to create a government from scratch....to create a union from a bunch of separate states, many of which would rather have left it that way. It's a fascinating story, so well told that I'm quite glued to the 700+ pages as if it were a novel. 

I'll keep you posted on my further investigations as to next steps in life, but in the meantime, I'd love to hear from you if you care to share your stories of discovering your next steps. I'll leave you with the view of today's overcast sky as the winter storm Selene heads our way. It's now fairly late in the afternoon and we were supposed to have several inches of snow by now....maybe it's a hoax! I can only hope....although, given that I now see the Denver airport is closed, I think we're soon in for it.
But really.....spring can't be far behind, can it?


  1. Beautiful Abstractions! I hear you about those what next situations... I used to get pretty paralyzed for weeks after finishing a project, but I'm getting better at time&energy management by trying to keep several projects going on at once so there's no danger of everything being finished at the same time. It's a luxury to have this option, but it really helps the wheels keep on turning, while I ponder about the next steps with other aspects of life. Things aren't as intensive as they used to, which is probably a good thing, too. Life changes are right now smaller anyway, so my next steps are also less stressful than before.

    1. Sounds like you have a good rhythm to your days and your life Kaija...good for you! I do think its important to have lots of things going on simultaneously (well enough, but not too much!) so that you aren't left hanging at the finish of something big. Wheels are turning here and I alternate between the studio and reading....always aware that I'm watching and waiting. Thank you for the thumbs up on the abstractions and for sharing your experience. Cheers!

  2. Oh my, your "adrift" is more productive than my most directed creativity! But I do hear you as far as the "what next?" urge goes. We shall both have to stay tuned...all the best to you!

    1. Yes, we will stay tuned. It's interesting to be the observer of myself....paying attention to what I read, what piques my interest, when I am most in the flow in the studio....everything is a clue on the treasure hunt! Hope you are feeling better, G. Cheers, P


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