Generally speaking, when I create I am working with an idea, or have a specific goal in mind for an exhibit or a project. Often that goal has been generated by my contemplative practice. I ponder an idea, or sometimes just a notion and for it to find expression, I spend an inordinate amount of time imagining it into a series of images. These images are usually quite defined before they find expression. That is not to say I always, or ever accomplish the task of exactly recreating what is in my minds eye. But suffice it to say I am not making work by randomly sketching or putting paint to canvas and just seeing what unfolds. Although I love the idea of working that way, the truth is I never do.
I have been drawing and painting since I was a child and I can now look back and see that being in a constant state of flux, however subtle, means that my work is always changing and how I work is part of that evolution. Perhaps what doesn't change is the intention to work authentically, from the heart. For me, this requires regular unstructured time, a meditation practice, self care and balance in my every day life. This is all part of my ongoing practice as an artist because I only enjoy the process and the outcome when I maintain a mindful, healthy lifestyle. Currently this includes proper rest, nourishing meals, running in the woods, cold dips in the lake, being connected to community and maintaining relationships with family and friends -- an ongoing endeavour complete with continual lessons in humility. It is admittedly staid and somewhat pedestrian, but creatively speaking I do not thrive on discord. The art of the Middle Way, a balanced approach to life, is my overarching practice and ultimately what guides my work as an artist.