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, January 11, 2017

Anonymous: The Diary Pages

Diary Page no.1

I have a longtime interest in history and in the trace we leave behind, as individuals and as cultures. This exploration if really at the heart of the work that I make in the studio. The quiet intimacy of the details of a life lived out day by day is reflected in the scale of my work. The pieces are meant be seen one-on-one, that is, not from across the room like a large painting, but like one would look at the page of a book...or perhaps...the page of an anonymous diary. 

I've been invited to participate in a show of a select group of women artists here in South Dakota at the South Dakota Art Museum and I'm excited about this new series of "diary pages" I've begun working on. Much of what we know about how people lived in different times and place comes from personal narratives in the form of diaries. The broad sweep of culture is echoed day-by-day in the lives of each one of us, whether we keep a record of it or not. 

Diary Page no.2

The diary page seemed a perfect format to bring together my interests and my joy in making works on paper. Each page is made with two sheets of 8" x 6" Japanese paper. The backing sheet contains the "writing", that is, drawing that echoes the pattern of words on a page. The top sheet is the "drawing" that brings the written word to life, possibly evoking a day, an event...or a moment in time. 

The process of making the anonymous written diary page is very meditative, as I imagine the person who might have written the "words." Afterwards, the page that is the drawing flows naturally and somehow echoes the writing both visually and metaphorically. After the drawing page is dipped in beeswax, it is attached to the written page with tiny stitches in the corners, but also through sewing, beads, buttons, sewn on collaged drawings and other bits. 

Diary Page no.3

These "diary pages" are perhaps filled with the imaginary record of births and deaths, festivals and special occasions that mark time and allow us to look back at the fulness of our days. Yet, while these pieces are filled with words and language, my sense is that they are filled with longing.....for lost days, loves found and then forgotten, for the ability to stop time and to hold on forever to everything we hold dear. 

Speaking of marking time, I've just posted a random assortment of some daily drawings in my Etsy shop. I think you can get the sense of how the daily drawings from my own life inform the drawings in the diary pages. Below on the drawing from January 9th...those acorn-like seed forms showed up later that same day on diary page no. 2.

I don't have the title yet for the series of diary pages, but it will come to me in due time and I will know it when it arrives, I'm quite sure. For now, they will just be numbered as I make them. I plan to have over 40 finished for the show and hang them together in a grid. With their small size, it will take a lot of these pages to hold together on a large gallery wall in the museum. Though each one is delicate, I hope that together they will have enough presence to beckon the viewer from afar.

Hope your year has started off well. Except for the cold that has turned into a sinus infection (modern medicine now at work), my year has started off on a positive note. Cheers!


  1. Haunting and imaginative work. I love it.

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn! I'm enjoying the process and glad they are resonating. All the best, Patti

  2. What a wonderful & rich project - I have no doubt that a collection of these lovely, detailed works will have plenty of impact/enticement appeal on the gallery wall! Enjoy the process...

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I am definitely enjoying the process and will do an update post tomorrow with some images and fresh insights. Thanks for your comment. Cheers!


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