collage

Winter Blues and Spring Imagined

Icy Missouri River on a bitter cold day

Icy Missouri River on a bitter cold day

Belated New Year greetings! The holidays have come and gone, with whirlwind travel and family visits, and Johntimothy and I have once again settled back into our daily routines at work. The days are busy, the weeks fly by and now, here it is February! We have just endured a week of record cold temperatures, with wind chills at such a dangerous level, the University of South Dakota (along with countless other institutions in the Midwest and beyond) closed for two days last this past week. Today it was a gorgeous 50+ degrees, but the warmth is short-lived as we’re bracing for another week of bitter cold ahead. What can you say….it’s winter!

Missouri River, Burbank, SD, January 30, 2019

Missouri River, Burbank, SD, January 30, 2019

The Missouri River, where we live, is beautiful no matter what the season. But winter brings a stark beauty, with a cool blue light to the view. We love to watch the ice flowing downstream, flocks of geese gathering on snow covered sandbars and the bald eagles swooping in from across the river to perch on the branches of the cottonwood trees.

I’ve been working in collage of late, glueing tiny bits of cut and torn paper in abstract arrangements. There are enough of them now that I am calling the series Paper Gardens, as some of them (some more than others) remind me of the way color and pattern come together in delightful ways in a garden. I work intuitively and these pieces are made in the same way, random bits here and there until the image….or the composition comes together and announces itself finished.

The collage pieces are made on beautiful 6” x 6” handmade paper and all of them can be found over at Missouri Bend Studio on Etsy. They are such fun to make! Playing with warm color and pattern takes the chill of winter away.

After a few months hiatus, I’ve also started the daily drawing project up again. I find that the small amount of time spent making a drawing each day….that is, the dailiness and the ritual of it, help keep me grounded. Each one is a small meditation, a tangible version of letting go and letting my thoughts move through and out of me onto the page. Each day is different and I never know quite what will emerge! Some drawings I like better than others, but the main point is the practice of making a daily drawing. Many of these are also available in my Etsy shop.

Daily drawing, February 1, 2019

Daily drawing, February 1, 2019

Daily drawing, February 2, 2019

Daily drawing, February 2, 2019

Hope your year has started off well. Despite some health issues that made for a rough January, 2019 is shaping up to be a good year…so far. I think I will able to spend more time in the studio, as my “other” work life is now becoming more routine. I’m looking forward to exploring some new territory.

Given the political situation, I’ve been thinking a lot about walls lately and beginning to explore ideas related to walls in some larger scale drawings. Stay tuned and I’ll share some work in progress and my thoughts about walls…through material, meaning and metaphor! Hope to see you next week!

 

Paper....In Pieces

Happy Holidays! Already it is December and the year is coming soon to a close. What a time of transformation this has been for me. I’ve gone from having complete freedom and time in the studio to a fairly intense 40-hour a week job, leaving me with much less time and energy for making new work. However, I’m happy to say, I’ve been moving much closer to the ideal balance….where my job (which I love, by the way) doesn’t take all of my energy and I can find joy in my limited time in the studio.

Lately my creative joy comes from gluing tiny bits of cut and torn paper….doesn’t take much to make me happy some days! Actually, what delights me is the simple pleasure of seeing the juxtaposition of color and pattern that unfold in this new collage series, Pieces. These are small collages, of varying sizes, on rice paper dipped in beeswax. Some will have embroidery and/or beads, others won’t. I’m enjoying the play of composition….creating odd spaces and forms that play with balance and empty space.

I started another series of similar tiny collages on some sheets of 6” x 6” handmade paper I recently purchased in St. Paul….it’s lovely and textured and has a real presence. So, out came the tiny bottle of glue, and bits of printed and found (in my bins of cast-offs and fragments) paper and more collages came out of it.

After I made the first one on the handmade paper, I realized that these little collage works called to mind the joy that comes from seeing a beautiful garden….how the colors and forms play off each other in a kind of conversation. Hence, the name of the series, Paper Garden.

These pieces are a natural extension of what I’ve been doing for a long time. They are rooted in play and allowing intuition and change guide the process. Hope you enjoy them….I’m posting them in my Etsy shop, so head on over and see more of these two collage series. See you again soon!