The passage of time not only allows for experience to be honed, but it also provides for the identification of method—as well as the creation of habit. The word “habit” of course brings to mind something routine, something standardized, something robotic. However, for me, the habits I have formed related to my research practice and its role in my instruction are anything but repetitive. My research informs my teaching and my teaching informs my research in an infinite loop of inspiration, information, motivation, and determination resulting in a process that provides continual unhalting joy and creativity.
In my research work, I find myself incredibly moved by the words of Philip Guston. He said, “I want to make something I never saw before and be changed by it.” This statement has served as a constant source of artistic motivation because of an internal passion that drives me. My approach to research is one that relies heavily on the use of my imagination in the creation of new bodies of work, the exploration of different mediums, and for the acceptance of ambiguity so a viewer is allowed the ability to use their own mindful wanderings as they consider and interpret what I have made. I do not put boundaries on myself nor do I place a stipulation around what I will, or will not, pursue as an artist. I have found that approach to be too self-limiting and stifling, and in direct opposition to the approach to teaching. Therefore, my work is not only a reflection of my own self-investigation as an artist, but is also based on active information gathering that builds upon the conceptual foundation that underpins my instruction to students. My art is where all of my interests and experiences mix and meld—it is an active study where I grow individually and acquire knowledge that is then conveyed to my students.