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 18, 2017

The Diary Drawings: Insights and Musings

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no. 4

Mid-January greetings! I'm reporting in on progress with the the diary drawing series I have begun for an exhibition next month. In my last post, I talked about the idea for the series and the fact that history is built upon what comes before us....the lives of ordinary folks, living out their days in many of the same ways that we do. Over time, we all become anonymous. That may sound like a rather melancholy thought, but I find it compelling, nonetheless. Our lives count for something, our actions and our days are important links in the ongoing chain of human civilization. Our lives have meaning, even if they seem to disappear into history.

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no. 5

So, these individual drawings, based on "anonymous diary pages", are not about any particular diary page from any particular individual, but are instead a way to talk about the universality of human experience....perhaps. Not what was specific to this or that person on this or that day, but the arc of it all...the way we seek love and security, the way each of us must deal with our basic needs in vastly differing circumstances, the way we struggle with our trials, our mistakes both large and small, and the many ways we find to communicate with those different from us. All of it. 

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no.6

And so, while I had this large arc of human experience in mind, I still thought it might be helpful to look at the content of some actual published diaries from ordinary folks from throughout history. While fascinating, this was not a good idea for me. My best work comes from the inside out, intuitively, and this effort took me to a place of making work from the outside in. I was quite aware that the drawings attempted after having read a few diary entries in one of the books I checked out from the library were more stilted and I knew that I had moved into the realm of illustration. Now, illustration if a wonderful thing, but I saw the life sapping out of the work as the drawing I was working on became more strained and predictable.

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no.7

It happened with no. 5 above....I don't know if you can see it or not, but there is the loss of carefree abandon and randomness. I want to suggest connections, but not be descriptive, if that makes sense. I also like things to feel odd, unpredictable...and kind of strange. When no.6 was started down the path of predictability, I tore out the corner and inserted that sewn patch. I am happier when the work is a bit rough, as if perhaps you have to look twice to make sure what you are seeing. Often times, when we see what we expect to see, that is, when everything is predictable and each thing is where you expect it....well, there's nothing interesting to see. We lose the hunger for nuance. 

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no.8

And so, the stitches are a bit clumsy, things are attached in odd ways and compositions are a bit quirky. I am a maker and these drawings bear the trace of the hand, my hand and in a sense, are the pages of my own diary. Maybe they are your diary pages as well. The drawings are filled with symbols and untold stories....I invite you to create your own.

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no.9

 I've completed ten pieces at this point and I think my goal is to finish 36. They'll hang together in a grid....at 8" x 6" apiece, it will take a lot of them to have the kind of presence I want. But, I love making them....watching them emerge, listening to the echoes of unknown voices lost to history.

Anonymous: The Diary Drawings no.10

As my time has been spent solely on these drawings, I feel as though I am neglecting my Etsy shop, but there is plenty of work there awaiting a good home. Hope you take some time to see what's there that speaks to you! Until next time....enjoy the rest of your week.


  1. I continue to love these...each one is so wonderfully rich, and they really draw you in to their possible stories. It's interesting to hear details about your process as well, and how you're adjusting as you go along. Looking forward to more!

    1. Thank you! I am glad that they draw you in with the possible stories, as that is just what I hoped would happen. Thanks for your good cheer and support. Best wishes!

  2. I love the mystery, simplicity, and humor. Also the space.

    1. Thanks Lynn....good to know they are communicating all of those things. Strangely, I'm not sure humor was fully part of my awareness, but since you mentioned it, I am glad it's there and I'm totally embracing it, of course! Cheers!

  3. The diary drawings are beautiful - such a delight. There is a continuity and coherence between them that is calming...

    1. Thank you, Fiona! I'm glad there is a continuity, as each is part of a larger whole....yet must work on its own. Great to hear from you....all the best to you!


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