Monday, August 1, 2011

Scaling Down: Chris Ramsay's Response to Artistic Time Crunch

What happens when artists stop making art? In this blog series, we hear from artists who have restarted making art after a hiatus and how they got back into their studio practice. 
Chris Ramsay, untitled, mixed media 2011 
Chris Ramsay, Stillwater
Julia Kirt: What caused your hiatus and how long were you not making art?
Chris Ramsay: In 2008 I was asked to serve as Head of the OSU Art Department after making art and teaching Jewelry/Metals and 3D Studio Art Classes in the department for over 20 years. I am currently still in the position, however the shock of the transition is over and I am finally making some adjustments that allow me to get into the studio.

JK: How did you restart your art making?  Please discuss in as practical terms as possible.
CR: The simple answer is that the desire and drive to make artwork has never gone away, it has always existed just under the surface of my daily job requirements and family activities- the frustration is not having the “quality time & energy” to connect with my ideas and processes.   In order to engage with my desire to create, I realized I needed to scale down the scope of my vision to a manageable activity and processes that could provide the stimulation that I require, without (too drastically) sacrificing my intent, until I once again have dedicated time to explore more in depth projects. 
Chris Ramsay, untitled, mixed media 2011
A ritual I have performed since creating my first studio workspace involves cleaning when I complete a piece of work.  I can also remember that as I was searching for a way to get back to work in my studio, I found myself doing a thorough cleaning and assessing of the articles in my shop… it helped me focus on what I have and where I am going. 

I now give myself credit for the simple act of arriving in my studio, relishing in the experience and seriously trying to be conscious of the environment I have created as my studio- my place-me.  

JK: How would you have approached your hiatus differently looking back? Or any tips for other artists?
CR: Life is full of change, and really the only thing we can be certain of is change itself.  So with that in mind, I try be flexible and find a way to enjoy what I do or make a change.

No comments: