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 18, 2016

Flow in the Studio and a Commonplace Book Entry

When I recently found my commonplace book, the one I began keeping years ago and then neglected for probably at least a decade, it was stuffed with a few newspaper clippings and torn bits of paper with entries on them. I picked this one up off the floor where it had fallen and found the short quote from the artist Carrie Mae Weems suited my sentiments perfectly....still, after all these years. I wish I'd said this, but I'm glad she did:

"I want to make things that are beautiful, seductive, formally challenging and culturally meaningful." -- Carrie Mae Weems

I've gotten behind on my plan of ending each week with a studio update posting, so this should get us caught up. Above are a few more pieces from the second suite of mixed media drawings from the Art of Wonder Series. As you may remember from earlier posts, there are 3 suites of 9 drawings each....27 in all. I'm slowly adding them to my Etsy shop, so you can find these there, if you like, by following the links. 

But, as far as an up-to-date update, the works below are from a new series that started late last week almost of their own accord. I'd been working on some pieces that I'd thought of in my head and tried to execute and things weren't going so well, which is the usual way with me. Working that way, from a preconceived idea, is always a bad idea and comes to nothing but frustration. I felt nothing for them--they were clearly forced and I was just plain trying too hard to make something work. So, I called myself back from the field, so to speak, and went back to my beloved Japanese paper. I grabbed a few pens and began making dots. As I worked mindlessly, I realized within minutes that I was completely happy, the chatter in my head....all that second guessing, had stopped. I began to wonder as I watched the piece unfold....what can be said with a dot...or a series of dots?

After the first one felt finished, I realized it was like a map, which made me happy because I've always loved maps and have wanted to make map-like works. You've not seen any from me, because once again, if I try to make a map of sorts, it just doesn't work. The secret for me is not to "try" to do anything, if that makes sense. Once I understood the map-ness of these pieces (there are six by now), I tried to think of a suitable title for what was clearly a series in formation, but I came to understand that these pieces were a kind of record of the experience of flow....not thinking, just the act of making and letting my hand move where it chose. And so, I guess they have to be known as "flow charts."  I'm curious to see how the series will evolve....as long as the flow lasts! I'll share more later in the week.

Hope you have a fine week...creative and inspirational! Cheers!


  1. So nice to see evidence of the other side of the story you and I were commiserating over, over on my blog. There may be hard days to get through, some days that are hard even to begin, but you and I continue to be creative beings in spite of all. It's not just what we do, it's who we are. Lovely work, and an inspiration as always. Hugs!

    1. Cheers, Gabriella....here's to the tough days and the better ones ahead! Thank you for your ever present good will and support!


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