I am supposed to talk about my process.
"An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture." – Jean Cocteau
I'm going to try.
It still isn't like a vine ripe tomato from a field in August, but it's an improvement.
He asked how I thought of that.
I told him that I had been listening to the food show "Splendid Table" on Public Radio. They said people are too afraid of cooking cucumbers. They said to sear one side briefly. The next time I was in my kitchen with time to be creative, I tried it and didn't like it.
But there I was with a little butter and Canola oil in a hot skillet, and an off-season tomato sitting on the cutting board. Off season tomatoes always are a little disappointing.
I wondered if heat would help. It did, Searing just one side slightly and leaving the other cool gave them a more robust flavor, and was a thought worth working with on other things in the kitchen.
In the same way that I put the cucumber aside, I move the current work out of the way, taking what I learned from it and trying something new.
At least that is one thing that happens in a process that has many other phases, like when I am at my desk trying to sketch realistic versions of impossible imaginings.
Part of why it is difficult for me to talk about my process is that I don't think about it. I just do it. Some people want to know what was in an artist's mind, how the artist got from waking up one morning with a blank canvass (I wake up with a crowded one) and ended up a couple of months later with metal wrought into something that spoke to them. For me the best articulation of my process is this line from Chuck Close.
“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” - Chuck Close