I was trained in a very particular way and am therefore part of a specific lineage. It is what I believe in.
There is no such thing as being in a studio full time. Meaning that the grant writing, residency applications, exhibition planning, traveling, seeing others work and general level of socializing keeps you out of the studio. Consistent making of work is still paramount- but there is more- there is being in the world and being in the art world. Being in the world takes time and in the long run contributes to the longevity of a life in art. The energy of those experiences informs and carries you. To produce is the most important element, but the world in its numerous forms feeds the maker (literally and figuratively), if there is no input there is no output.
Teaching is often thought to be the “drudge” of the artist’s lifestyle. In my experience teaching and administrating at a particular level where young artists and their careers are also part of my life in art is of great relevance.
This work does not prevent me from being in the studio – it forces me to be present when I am in the studio. It makes me aware of the next generation of makers. This work and realization shapes my time to take care of my own work. A studio practice is a discipline and the discipline of being in the studio is just that – being in the studio. If the work is truly a priority, it is no problem for it to remain first and above all else.
This points me to a slow art. What I mean by that is producing work in such a way that it takes time and is not churned out- so that there is a pile of crap to wade through to find the moment when something actually came together. Instead, there is more thinking and consideration of what is.
My new students jaws drop when I start the semester telling them that Picasso is over rated – certainly he did make very important contributions – but so did many other artists of that time. He also produced immense amounts of work. Intense production does not make a genius; it makes production the art form. Just because it is made does not mean it should be in the world – that is what studio practice is about – working things out.