Those of you who read this blog are probably either artists yourselves or know many at least, and so you’ve heard one of us, certainly, talk about “having a practice.” If you don’t know what this means I’ll forewarn you that doing a search on the internets for a definition will take you all kinds of places, and I won’t attempt to be the definitive answer to the “what is a practice” question. I have a practice. It was re-born from a question I asked myself during a turbulent time– effectively what am I leaving this world- to which I answered “if abstract painting matters enough to me that I want it to exist in the future, I have to invest in it by making it, talking about it, looking at it, buying it, teaching about it, and challenging it as a medium and a historical movement.”

For me a practice is about a sum of activities, IE, it’s more than the actions and discipline around making work. For example, showing up; in this case, being at openings for your people. And “your people” are the ones who support you in return, whatever that means. There is a David Hickey quote about forming a club and taking over the Art world that I can’t find on the Internet this morning (and whichever of you I loaned my copy of Air Guitar, please return it.

Teaching is another part of my practice. Since I have full-time employment outside of the Art world, I have the privilege to teach for the love of it as the kids say, I think… This semester I’m teaching Foundations of Color through OLLI at Duke. Honestly I would do this full time if I could- I love teaching color.

Part of having a practice, to me at least, is also continually challenging yourself. In addition to reinvigorating my practice through daily drawing recently, I also took the opportunity this last week to learn about a new printmaking technique- using the foil material in TetraPak cartons as a plate. There are a few images of the results below, my brain is spinning with the possibilities. If you have the opportunity and are local to the Triangle I definitely recommend taking one of Susan Martin’s workshops.

Author: sterlingsart

abstract painter living in Raleigh, NC- follow my blog to help build my mailing list!

2 thoughts on “Practice”

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