Missouri Bend Studio

Days of Fading Light

River view Oct 28 2018 blog.jpg

Late October and the days are filled with a lingering warmth and the golden light that will soon give way to a wintery chill and gently falling snow showers. I love the distinct seasons here in the midwest and, most of all, watching the shifts in texture, color and light on the Missouri River. As we look west-southwest from our location on the river, the sunsets are always a treat. Tonight, I caught the glow looking down the river…so serene.

Well, I feel I must extend my apologies once again, for abandoning this blog after I started my full-time job about seven months ago. Up until now, the learning curve and the investment of energy in work took everything I had. At the end of the day, there was nothing left for studio, much less keeping up with my online life. But, I sense the tide has turned! I’m confident now at work and can begin to think about creating work in my own studio again….and it feels about time! I’m reacquainting myself with the earlier me….the one who had the luxury of all the time in the world to be creating in the studio. Now, it’s a question of setting some priorities and a flexible schedule. For the artists out there with full-time jobs, I’d love to hear from you about how you manage to find time for your creative side. Perhaps you have found a way to balance work and life and art that you’d like to share with others….I welcome your thoughts.

In the meantime, Johntimothy and I are involved with a project for an upcoming gallery event in Sioux Falls that has gotten us both rejuvenated. We’re having great fun with this current collaboration. At this point, it’s a work in progress, so I can’t reveal the details, but promise I’ll write more about the project early next month when we’ve finished. In the meantime, here is a snapshot of a bit of the current chaos in our studio-

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For me, the good news is that I’ve started making some intuitive drawings again. Rather than sticking to the strictness of a daily drawing project, which no longer seems feasible, I’ve relaxed the demands on myself and instead make a drawing when I have time. A couple recent drawings can be seen below.

Autumn drawing no. 1

Autumn drawing no. 1

Autumn drawing no. 2

Autumn drawing no. 2

I made the next drawing, seen below, using one of little rubber stamps from a alphabet set I have on my desk. I just grabbed the x as a kind of mark-making tool, started playing with it and then continued with pencil and ink. It occurred to me that it might be fun to do a suite of 26 drawings utilizing each of the letters of the alphabet….a kind of homage, since I am always filled with amazement at the infinite possibilities that can arise from our 26 basic letterforms. The alphabet, for me, is a little bit of magic!

Alphabet Suite: X

Alphabet Suite: X

Today, I began the suite of alphabet drawings….with the letter A, of course! This project will give me some needed focus and provide a little challenge as I explore the possibilities. I look forward to holding a stack of 26 beeswaxed drawings….yummy!

Alphabet Suite: A

Alphabet Suite: A

These drawings will all find their way into my Etsy shop, MissouriBendStudio….just give me some time, as that’s another area of life I’ve not been good at keeping up with, alas. In the meantime, another week begins….I hope yours is productive, creative and rewarding!

 

Days of Transition

Index of Days no. 7

Index of Days no. 7

Looks like it's been some time since I posted! Not sure where the time has gone, but much of it has been spent in the studio....and cozy inside away from the bitter chill of winter! The latest series of mixed media drawings, The Index of Days, which I started some weeks ago, has progressed in surprising ways. Number 7, shown above, is a reflection of the winter landscape and that gorgeous pink winter light reflecting off the snow. The most recent two below, nos. 8 & 9, seem to have taken a turn. I found myself captivated by the explorations of those tangled, twisting lines. These two pieces are on the way out the door, as they are designated for an upcoming fundraising exhibition in Sioux Falls. I'm excited they will find a home out in the world, but strange and quirky as they are, I'm kind of attached to them. Make it and let it go....that's how it should be!

Index of Days no. 8

Index of Days no. 8

Looking back, I can see the significance of those tangled, twisting lines....as a metaphor for where I find myself these days. I'm heading off on a new adventure....back to full-time work....tomorrow. My total immersion in the studio has come to a close, alas. While having a loving and supportive husband is so wonderful, having only one income is often a struggle. Periodically, I apply for a few of the limited jobs in the area that pique my interest and now I have accepted a position at the University of South Dakota at the Center for Distance Education. I'm excited to begin, dive into new challenges and connect with a whole new set of colleagues. While that is all the case, still I find myself in a bittersweet moment, as I now give up that luxury of precious time in the studio.

Index of Days no. 9

Index of Days no. 9

But! I'll still be in the studio, if on a more limited schedule. I will also continue to post new work and share thoughts and musings here on the blog, as I value the connection that this gives me with folks all over the world. And now, it is late and time to get some good rest...I need to be ready for the adventure that begins tomorrow at 8 am. Stay tuned....I'll be back with fresh work soon!

Index of Days no. 9 (detail)

Index of Days no. 9 (detail)

 

The Art Filled Home Moves To Missouri Bend Studio

Greetings! Along with resolutions and renewed goals, the new year brings with it the inclination to reorder and freshen up all kinds of things in our lives. One of my little clean up projects involves streamlining some online efforts I've had going since last spring with the Etsy shops, Missouri Bend Studio and The Art Filled Home.

Johntimothy and I started The Art Filled Home, our collaborative Etsy shop venture, last spring in an effort to bring the best of both of us to folks seeking affordable small-scale art works. We've made some work together in the intervening months that we both like a lot and plan to continue collaborating into the future. The initial Etsy shop, Missouri Bend Studio, was (and is) still a primary priority, so having a second Etsy shop made life a little more complicated. So, one of my little projects at the start of this new year is to merge those efforts and bring the works from The Art Filled Home over to Missouri Bend Studio, then close the virtual door on The Art Filled Home. All the works that were there can (or will eventually) be found under the Collaborations section of Missouri Bend Studio.

The images here are a partial run from one of the last weeks we did the daily mono print series. Johntimothy would work on engraving a small plate throughout the week, printing it as he went, usually at some point near the end of each day. I would respond to the image or marks on each print with drawing....involving watercolor and/or ink. In the few days represented here, dating from the end of November, you can see that it is the same underlying plate, though it may have altered through more engraved marks. The drawing on top is, of course, different each day. 

Each plate he began with was a "found plate", which meant that he was starting with small 3-4 inch plates cut down from larger zinc plates that had been left behind by students. He would begin by grinding and degrading whatever image marks might have been there and then engraved his own. On this plate, that horizontal line across the middle was quite deep and ended up being part of the plate, which I didn't mind at all.

Since Johntimothy was on sabbatical last semester, there was plenty of time for him in the studio (which, alas, is no longer the case now that he is back to teaching), so this project went on for a couple of months. These are some of my favorites and are all available (follow the link under each one to take you to the listing), along with many others over at Missouri Bend Studio in the Collaborations section....along with countless other small works of art that would love to live out in the world, rather than remain confined to laying quietly on the table in my studio!

I'm about to begin a new series of drawings in the studio....I've got the acrylics and inks out, along with a small stack of crisp white BFK Rives paper....a new series of mixed media pieces waiting to be born! Enjoy your weekend....feel free to comment or get in touch...would love to hear from you!