Landscape, Age 6, 2009
Ink on tyvek and mixed media
Aprox H50 x W92 x D18 inches
30 x 24 x 49 inches
Keeping a thriving studio practice while raising a child was once a daunting thought. Several artist friends that have children warned my wife and I that we would not make work for at least the first 3 years. Our first daughter is just over 3 years old and our second is 3 months. We raise our children, make work, teach, take care of the chores and have shows. I wonder what kind of studio practice they were talking about.
What I have learned about my own practice is that the paradigm of a “practice” is an ever-changing thing. As I deal with the practicalities of raising a family I have found my time in the studio is shrinking, but with an ever more decided and efficient work ethic when I’m there (physically). The chunks of time have become little slices, but ones that are more productive and informative than ever. The time of “play” in the studio is no longer, but the time of play with my children is a more effective surrogate because the purpose is so plainly revealed. There is less need to search, not because I’m tired of searching, but because the search is being carried out more effectively and efficiently by my daughter. I get to have perhaps the second largest part of this discovery (our children being the first), which is food for so much of what I have always tried to get at in my practice. It clears my mind in a way that provides clarity for what I’m after. The simple, life sustaining realizations that come from learning and experiencing innocently.
The piece I created for “Broodwork” is drawn from my experiences as a child discovering the various ways science is displayed to the public. Past experiences with early science textbooks, didactic museums and interactive science centers in and near my hometown are some of the most vivid memories of learning I have as a child. In this work, the use of the simple sphere floating in space is derived from my still childlike fascination with science. It is a macrocosm or microcosm, a slice of outer space and slide for the microscope.