Created: 
02/25/13

I was talking today with my friend Jim. We have known each other for about 45 years, and he has witnessed my growth both personally and as an artist. While we were talking, he was looking at this website, and eventually read the blog entries. This of course led to conversation about the artist as archeologist, the philosophy I have  most recently been exploring, and how that approach resonates with me.  I related that through all of the years I have been an artist and have been discussing my work, writing artists statements and giving artists talks, I have managed to think of things to say and write about my work. I say managed because unfortunately what I have had to say has been largely contrived, often irrelevant, and very uncomfortable to put out there. People expect the artist to expound upon his or her work eloquently and quotably, most probably because they want to feel that they understand the artist and her work. But the question arises of what information is real and what is simply "filler". My approach to discussing my work has long been to pretend I understand my own work myself. This, in fact, is seldom true.

Recently I was driving to my studio pondering just this issue.  It is fact that I do not know what my end product will be when I start a sculpture. I sometimes start with a vague idea, but have no idea what the final result will be. Instead, I, if you will, channel the piece. It seems to tell me what to do and how to do it. (I am reminded of Michaelangelo's insistance that the sculpture was already inside the block of marble, it was simply his job to take away the parts necessary for it to emerge.) This thread of thought led me to think about the archeologist with his brush, slowly and carefully moving away the dirt until the artifact appears. That is, I realized, just what my artistic process is all about. I generally do not know what my work means. I rely, instead, on the viewer to interpret it for me. 

In our conversation I related all of this to Jim. He noted that the start of a work of art is nothing more than a seed, a tiny germ of an idea. It exists deep in the recesses of my mind and soul. It is nurtured, and it grows without my consciously thinking about it, until it is ready to emerge.