I had been brought up with the notion that making art or being an artist was not a viable way of life in today's America. Worse, I knew no artists already practicing with whom I felt a close kinship or with whom I might study.
Artists in Conversation:
My short career as an artist has been rewarding, transformative and demanding.
Just getting out of the studio to spend a few minutes on sending out email was a chore and was not really considered as a useful networking tool at the time.
In 1998, while visiting the countryside in The Netherlands, a friend pointed out that-counter to the laws of gravity-the water canals surrounding the fields on which we stood were actually flowing up a very slight incline. These waterways are, in fact, part of an old artificial hydraulic system of drainage and containment that has kept Holland above sea level.
With absolute conviction I believe and practice Ad Reinhardt's thesis put forth in "Extreme Routine."
A pair of oars slips into the water. My son and I face each other. The lake is at least 20 feet deep, and my heart sinks. Fortunately, the wind was blowing in our favor. It pushed us towards the shore, and yes, not far behind were the oars. We were both relieved.
Before I quit my day job to make a living as a full-time artist, I was the curator of a corporate art collection. Many of the issues I dealt with were the same as those of freelance art consultants. So, while I'm learning new things all the time, I feel like I understand where they're coming from more than I would if I hadn't had a job buying art with other people's money.