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, September 14, 2016

Moments of Mindfulness

August 20, 2016

As many readers of this blog are aware, I am a practitioner of a daily drawing practice....at least most of the time. I change the size, format and materials now and again, but I find that my life always feels more in balance somehow when I'm sticking to this practice. I think of it as a spiritual practice, because these few moments when I sit down, with pen to paper, are pure mindfulness....that is, a qualified "mindfulness", as I am certainly not all that enlightened, to be sure. 

September 13, 2016

And yet, I can sense that my mind has left the ceaseless chatter on the other side of the doorway and I am in the flow. Being in the moment for that short period involves watching time unfold through the marks that I make as my hand moves across the page. It feels free....a moment of being. And then there is continued moment of pleasure and satisfaction at the end.

August 4, 2016

But then, as I move into my other studio mode, trying to navigate that tricky line of marketing the work that I make, I run into some conflict. While the part of me that treasures the joy of this daily practice holds sway, I am happy to see the tiny piles grow into bigger piles of drawings in my studio. But the studio artist, the one with an Etsy shop, the one who procrastinates about finding other venues for the work....that person, see the vast amount of drawings that collect on shelfs and tables and says....why not share these with the world and make them available at an affordable price....maybe you will make someone happy. 

August 3, 2016

And who can argue with that....it's true. I have put a number of the daily drawings in my Etsy shop over the last months at $10 each and they sell fairly well and do seem to bring joy to others, for which I am quite grateful...and gratified. So....where's the problem?

August 1, 2016

The problem is that the person who dedicated those precious moments to a spiritual practice suggests to the studio artist that perhaps there is a compromise going on. Perhaps there is a shift in the practice itself if we (we? I think our lives are comprised of the conversations going on between our various selves) know that the drawing becomes a result, a product. Can this spiritual practice actually become a piece for the marketplace and remain a true practice?

July 31, 2016

The answer is, I'm not sure. I'd like to think so, but there is undoubtedly a shift in what happens when I sit down once I begin thinking of listing the drawings. The drawings I am showing here are a selection from a new set begun back in July that are roughly 4"x4". There was a big gap in the practice in August and I've just started them up again. I said these weren't going to be listed....they would just be the practice. 

September 12, 2016

But, there is another part of me that enters the room to engage in the conversation....and that person wants to share. I love these drawings, they bring me joy, both in the experience of making and the result, and I do want to share them. Yet, I want to hold off from listing them in my Etsy shop. And so, this internal conversation continues....but in the meantime, I will say this. If this kind of inner conflict sounds familiar to you and/or if any of these drawings speak to you, let me know. I'd love to hear from you! 

I encourage you to begin a simple daily practice....let your hand dance across the page and discover the joy of making, of being in the moment and of what may become for you the power of mindfulness.

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