Friday, April 03, 2009

Studio time?

I spent most of the day preparing this piece for shipping to the Netherlands. My friend Marjan purchased it when she and her husband were in Canada last year. The idea was that we could bring it with us when we go to vist them next week. However, the piece is large and awkward to carry and so today I shipped it. It made me think about today's Robert Genn letter. He wrote about the low income of Canadian artists and that the more educated artists are, the less paintings they sell. He also commented on the fact that the average amount of studio time artists put in is only twenty six hours a week. He thinks it should be sixty. (p.s. That's ten hours a day for six days a week) A key to the lousy fiscal performance of artists could be the low number of hours they apparently spend alone in the studio. A twenty-six-hour week is not enough. Forty is more like it. Sixty is better because you can start to get good at sixty. Show me artists who have put in ten thousand hours and I'll show you a chicken in every pot. Robert Genn

My last two days have been spent doing income tax and preparing two paintings for shipping. Is that studio time? I think not.


  1. really.
    tax time here too. ick.

  2. Hello Judy,
    It's interesting, on many levels, this musing upon Robert Glenn's letter...

    While an artist surely appreciates (and often truly needs) fiscal reward if we focus too much on "fiscal performance" the spirit of creation can suffer.

    I'm remembering an anecdote said about an English painter of the Royal Academy (who's name escapes me--drat!) about which was said that he was an incredibly prolific painter, outworking his contemporaries, specializing in pastoral landscapes, each painted "equally bad".

    While I will concede that we absolutely have to put in time in the studio engaged in the physical action of working at art, I think that when we are really permeated with the artful essence of being, all our time away from the studio can represent "inspirational-fuel", which feeds the actual doing of the thing when in the studio.

    How often do you contemplate a new angle of approach to some project while brushing your teeth?

    How often are you stopped in your tracks by some seemingly mundane scent, slant of light, patch of intense color, or mood of the wind that triggers a completely new idea that has you running to the studio to pursue?

    I'm thinking quality studio time is better than quantity...and nurturing an "artful essence" as part of everything we do, helps us recognize that we are always in the studio metaphorically.

    Who knows...the play of numbers dancing on your tax form might suggest a novel shape worth of stitching? ;-)

  3. I am in awe of this piece, did you hand print the background? I enlarged the photos, but can't tell. If you have the time and are so inclined, I would love to know more about it. I love your work, and I am particularly drawn (no pun intended) to black, white and red.

  4. Gwen,
    This piece is made from WAX and INK. The process is absolutely magical and is as slow as stitching. Coat the paper with hot wax. Carve into it with sharp instrument. Flood with ink. Remove wax with iron over newspaper. The carving of repetitive pattern takes care and time. After that was all done, I added some graphite marks and stitched silk thread and fabric into the piece. Also, the black circles were inked paper stitched in spirals with white thread. So nok, it wasn't a print. It is something else - not quite sure what to call it. Thanks for your comment. And thanks to Lynne re: Robert Genn's ideas - you have a very interesting response- and sympathies to Jude re: the tax time stuff. Mine are done now.

  5. Thank you, Judy! I hope that you have a wonderful trip, and your friend is very lucky.

    I enjoy your blog so much, your work is incredible and I love your thoughts about art making.

  6. Stunning piece! I'm wallowing in your blog and wonderful art.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx