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.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Rearrangement of Memories and The Essence of Home

Greetings from the Missouri River, where spring is in full swing! I know because after my initial foray into the garden beds, I have my first case of poison ivy of the season...alas. While it felt good at the time to clear all the debris and to watch the day lilies and irises grow a couple of inches a day (it appeared), I am now paying the price. I'm sure this will only be the first of many bouts of the rash this spring and summer.

Actually, most of the time since my last post has been spent in the studio, in what started to be a simple rearrangement of the furniture and turned into a major spring cleaning and overhaul. There were days when I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I'd accumulated and an extreme longing to be free of the weight of it. Unfinished drawings, finished pieces that had been relegated to the purgatory pile of failed drawing projects, mounds of cut up bits of drawings that might one day be good for something, not to mention pounds of postcards from far flung places, museum visits, and exhibition announcements. Books, books and more books....doo dads, tiny souvenirs from memories I can't quite recollect, beads, push pins, tubes of paint, bottles of ink, pencils and pens.....all the things that make a working studio a personal space....it was all moved hither and yon, from one pile to another....sorted and kept, tossed or recycled.

chaos unfolding

In the end, I managed to free myself of quite a bit of the weight of my own history, and that made me pause to consider. Or reconsider. I've always been of the mind that the objects we surround ourselves with....the items that we live with day after day...those things hold memories in some uncanny way, vessels of silent witness to our lives unfolding. They are the souvenirs of our experience. I've always attributed my inability to be a thrift store for more than a few moments without becoming antsy to the unbearable weight of those cast off memories that fill the space. And yet. As I freely flung many of those things I'd hung onto for decades into the trash (many of which were later pulled out by my husband), I had to wonder about my own philosophy. If those things held meaning, why was I finally so happy to be rid of so much of it? Do we, at some point, grow weary of carrying the relics of our years? I think we do, at least some of us, and I suppose I have arrived at that point.

some order returns

But, I also acknowledged my own belief that our memories are inside us, in our cells and our bones and the rushing blood that circulates throughout our bodies. In the same way that we have countless memorable meals, afterwards, we can never really recreate the actual sensory experience of that meal. Time is fleeting and the moment ephemeral. But that meal, both the nourishment of the food and the richness of the whole experience, has been transformed in a physical way into the body.  Our body is the vessel of memory. It becomes easier to let go of things. At least for me.

still, so many things

creating sanctuary

So, this morning, with the space pretty well situated,  I finally sat back down at my newly relocated desk, and began to work. I dug through the piles of drawing fragments (oh, still plenty left behind!) and sewed a little house collage...and thought about home. About the yearning we carry within us for home...the essence of home. But, I've rambled on long enough here....that's a subject for another day.

Enjoy your weekend! I'll be back again soon with notes from the field, so to speak.

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