The following quote is an excerpt from an interview with the artist , Jane Hammond. The interview is one of many included in a book called Inside the Painter’s Studio by Joe Fig. The same series of questions were asked to many artists. I’ve chosen Jane Hammond today because I actually saw a show of her work at the Chazen Art Museum of the University of Wisconsin , here in Madison , WI . I loved the show at the time, bought the show catalog and use it alot in my teaching.
” Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I’ll work on several different projects at a time. But if I’m painting, it’ll usually be one at a time. Sometimes I’m working on two paintings at once, but if I was, I would be at the beginning of one painting doing something like with the watercolor paper, where it takes a lot of time to dry between the stages, and there is not much to do while it is drying. I’m rarely in this almost-finished stage of two paintings at once. Once I get to this stage, I won’t really work on anything else but [that one painting].
When you are contemplating your work, where and how do you sit or stand?
Ahhhh! When we went out looking for the lofts, I told the [real estate] agent I had to have at least nineteen feet of space to get back from the painting to look at it. One time I said [to the agent when we were looking at a loft] “Is this nineteen feet?” She said, “yes,” and I said , “Gee it feels like seventeen.” So she looks at me like I’m crazy. But I spent twenty-two years in my old loft space: of course I know the difference.So I like to get back like this, and I sometimes create a situation where I can go do an errand to create distance so that I can come in and look at it all at once and then have a fresh impression, almost like it’s not my painting. Otherwise, after you have been working on it for hours – you porbably know this – you can’t even really see it. I used to sit in the chair for hours. Like I have spent thousand of hours in this chair in my old loft looking at my paintings. I don’t do it as much anymore. Probably because I don’t live alone anymore”