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, June 22, 2016

Notes From The Field: The Cure for Ennui?

I've just added this little hand stitched collage drawing to my shop. I started out making these little bits as separate drawings and then realized that they wanted to be layered together. It measures 4"x6" but somehow has the illusion (at least to me) of being a bit bigger.

And....I found this spare teabag drawing the other day and so added that to my shop....who can resist the warm tones of a used teabag....okay, plenty of people can, I realize, but still there is something appealing about those rich mottled tones that echoes time and experience.

Speaking of experience....I'm experiencing extreme ennui these days....what a great word to describe such a dullness of spirit. I've just looked it up to make sure this is what I was talking about....and yes, "a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement."

That pretty much hits it on the head. Feeling uninspired and quite in limbo, as I contemplate next steps, hunting for a job in a town where there are none to speak of and knowing a long commute might be necessary....needing a new energy in the studio....a real shake-up, that's what I need!

In a pinpoint of light and inspiration and daring myself to rise to the occasion, I just grabbed a few sheets of sturdy drawing  paper and thought I'd head outside and draw from the landscape. Now, that's a shakeup! For anyone who knows my work, it is pretty obvious that I never draw from actual life, but from distilled experience. I normally work intuitively, so that while I would say I don't draw from observation directly....I do draw from observation, but filtered through my senses, memory and experience. 

I think it's probably a good idea when one is experiencing ennui to challenge oneself to a new and maybe uncomfortable experience. And now, if I am going to follow through on my courageous idea, I'd better head outside to see what comes of it. Might be frustration, on the other hand, it might just be the inspiration I need to put the ennui behind me!

Hope your days are filled with inspiration and creative spirit!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Studio Update: Paper Quilt, Part 2

The paper quilt is still in progress....at this stage, it is loosely pieced together in sections with those little rectangle bits, which are cut pieces of paper from an old book.  I glued those tiny text bits onto the pieces and then dipped the 4 sections in beeswax, so now I will stitch the whole thing to another sheet of Japanese paper....we'll see where this goes!

I like the idea of quilts and want to see where I can go with the idea using paper instead of cloth. Time to head off into a new frontier, exploring some new territory.

Meanwhile, the temperatures are definitely becoming more summer-like.....a bit too warm at times. But, I'm excited that the fireflies are back! We so much enjoy sitting out on the porch as the darkness descends, when the last of the birds quiet their songs. The dance of the fireflies ends the day with just the right touch of magic. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Studio Update: Paper Quilt

So....I've been absent for awhile. I guess it's that time of year....when the mind wanders and the attention strays. Frankly, I've been feeling lazy and somewhat uninspired, but I kicked myself in the seat the other day and got back in the studio. I think what I need is a way to shift and change things up....take what I'm doing to a new place. 

I've long had in the back of my mind this idea to make a paper "quilt" that would allow me to work larger by building it in modules. This way I can maintain the intimate scale that I crave when working, but create a larger statement. But, the problem in my mind has been attaching the beeswaxed sheets in a way that is functional but also is incorporated into the overall work. I think I've got it envisioned, loosely anyway, and that's all I needed to move forward. So here we are....the work in progress. My beloved lines and dots on alternating vertical and horizontal 4x4" squares as a base. These are obviously not attached, nor are they dipped in beeswax, but that will come. Each square takes around a half an hour so I need to get a few more finished before I start playing with the contrasting drawing bits that will serve as attachments. I've actually no idea what they will be yet....but that's the fun of it!

Oh, I do love the meditative practice of making dots, next to dots, next to dots in an endless pattern of lines.

During my time of being AWOL from the studio I was much more haphazard about making the daily drawings, but I've begun those again. There will be gaps in the record, but I think we must forgive ourselves for our lapses and think of them as incubation periods, perhaps. 

Much of my time lately has been spent in one of those rockers on our front porch. Feels wonderful to read, enjoying the fresh air, watching the birds and listening to the rustle of the cottonwood trees. It's always a thrill to see the irises in bloom as well. These are the last to bloom....I think they are Siberian irises...someone correct me if I'm wrong! Next up, daylilies!

Today is the first day that it has felt really hot outside. This morning it was so cool I had to come inside to have my tea, but now, in the early evening, it feels sweltering.  Now that the real warmth of summer is upon us, I do believe the fireflies should be appearing any day now....that is one of the highlights of summer for me! 

Until next time....cheers!