When people ask me what I do, I say that I practice art. Doctors practice medicine, attorneys practice law, and I practice art. Sometimes, calling oneself an “artist” is difficult because the term means so many things.
Perhaps you feel that you’re not a “real” artist because you can’t draw representationally or because you’ve never shown in a gallery. But if you practice art, you’re an artist.
The practice of art means looking at the world through thoughtful, curious eyes – finding joy in colors and patterns, musing on the textures of a dried leaf of the surface of a stream. Practicing artists pull together ideas from these visual messages, creating things that never existed before, even if it remains just an idea.
My own art practice is based on the idea of “shards,” or flashes of recognition that I pull from experience and observation. Whether in clay, collage, fiber, or wax, I fashion new messages from old clues, combining these archetypal shards into a new whole, mending them with gold like a kintsugi vessel, or veiling them with layers of beeswax to unite them.
It’s a privilege to have practiced art in one form or other throughout my entire life, and I’m most grateful.