Home/Working as an Artist

Patterns of Work

One of the challenges I face as an artist (and I suspect I am not alone in this) is producing new work on a consistent basis.  I do, but no matter how much, I know I should be producing more.  There are so many things that get in the way: paperwork, marketing, framing, cleaning (not enough of this), etc.  Still, [...]

On Being Methodical

I am not, by nature, a very organized person.  One look at my desk would prove it. Nevertheless, organization is important for a printmaker, if you want to produce consistent editions.  So, sometimes I need to force myself to be meticulous about the way I go about something, just to ensure that I stay organized. I was thinking about this [...]

Eyes Wide Open

I am often asked how I get my inspiration. The answer is actually pretty simple. I always have my eyes open. I have talked before about art for me being about seeing and deciding. Another way of saying this is that my art begins with acute observation. This occurs on two levels. It starts on the macro scale, and for [...]

Looking in the mirror

I received (as usual) a number of art books as gifts from my family over the holiday.  They included exhibition catalogs, writings on the process of art, surveys of contemporary work and interviews with artists about their space and process. I have also had the chance to watch (or watch again) several episodes of the PBS series Art21, which looks [...]

Letting things develop

I finished a new print today, one that has been in the queue for some time.  I first started playing with the image in September of 2008.  I worked on it on and off for a couple of months, and then put it on the back burner.  Somehow, it just wasn't coming together for me. Over the next three years [...]

Decorative vs ?

When I was in art school, the most dismissive thing that could be said during a critique was that the work was 'decorative'.  No one ever really explained exactly what this meant, but it was clear that this 'decorative art', no matter how well executed, was always going to be a lesser art, subservient somehow to the real thing.'Real Art', [...]

Revisiting an idea

I once had a art professor comment to me that most artists (student artists in this particular case) give up on an idea too quickly. I think that is some truth in that. While there are certainly many who take a particular idea and beat it to death with infinitesimal variations, (and many dealers who encourage it) there is a [...]

The Collaborative Art

I work alone most days. This is not really by choice, so much as by circumstance. Unlike many printmakers, I am fortunate enough to have my own studio. This has some distinct advantages (things stay pretty clean and if they don't I have no one to blame but myself) but there are also some drawbacks. When I was in art [...]

Failure is always an option

In the movie Apollo 13, Gene Kranz, the Flight Director, asserts that "Failure is not an option!". It isn't clear whether he actually said that, but he certainly believed it.For me, as an artist, the opposite is true. Failure is always an option. I was working on a plate for a new print this afternoon, which was actually going quite [...]

Trying to scratch the unreachable itch

I think I can honestly say that I have never created a work that I am completely satisfied with. Or at least that I stay completely satisfied with. Why is that? Sometimes the discontent is technical. The registration isn't perfect. There is a hint of a lap mark in that one color field. Or the paper is a little stretched [...]