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Tell us about yourself.

I painted as a youth, returned to painting in college and have been at it since.  I lived in the East village in the 80’s and showed there frequently, sometimes in clubs, sometimes in galleries. I’ve been married for 26 years, have two sons aged 24 and 17.  I left Brooklyn to live in Dobbs Ferry 13 years ago and am pondering the next move.

Besides making art, what do you do, do you have a day job?                              What does it mean to you?

I found jobs that allowed me to make art.  These included working at Pearl Paint in NYC, driving a cab, doing commercial art before things went digital. I moved into a fixer upper Mid Century Modern house and have spent a lot of time and energy fixing it up.  In the process I learned to be a woodworker/cabinetmaker.  I enjoy the process of sketching out an idea for a piece and then engineering it and finally seeing it come to fruition.  I like natural wood and traditional joinery without much ornamentation.

Where does your inspiration come from? What are you presently reading, listening to or looking at to energize your work?

I have always been inspired by music. These days I listen to the Alternate Side produced by WFUV, and broadcast on WNYE.

Gardening and hiking have provided an opportunity to immerse myself into nature, which offers inspiration that evolves as you do.

Has any advice influenced you?

A gallery owner once told me, “When you find a style that sells, stick with it.”  I have chosen to ignore that advice.

How would you describe your creative process?

The creative process requires you to make it new. The alternative is that once you figure it out you begin to repeat yourself and then, why bother?  The work will only bore you and your audience and art must never bore. At this point in my studio I feel I am building without a plan.  Sometime the structure collapses, sometimes it floats.

How do you get out of your creative blocks?

Sometimes I have to walk away from what I’ve been doing to recharge or allow a different perspective to emerge. Sometimes life makes demands on you that supersede art making. But the habit of art making suggests that eventually I’ll return to it.

What is the most positive and inspirational thing about being an artist for you?

As an artist you are constantly inventing and re-inventing yourself and that gives you a unique perspective on life’s possibilities.

What is the most difficult thing about having a creative profession.?

Since so much time is spent in the rather solitary activity of creating your art, the challenge is to find a community and to find an audience.

How do you balance work and family?

The humility brought about by family life goes a long way toward countering the ego inherent in expression.

What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you handle them?

Moving between the worlds of woodworking and art making is like switching from the practical to the experimental and they occupy different parts of your brain.  You can’t bring the same analysis necessary for practical tasks to art without stifling creativity. Art has to develop organically.

   

 If you could visit the studio of any artist or designer, who would it be?

I enjoyed seeing the studios of Russel Wright, George Nakashima, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, none too far from here.  Their dedication to their art and their enormous energy were very inspirational.

What are your main goals for 2012?

I have been fixing up my house since I bought it 13 years ago, and I hope to have completely gone through my punch list during this upcoming year. The obvious question is what’s next. This year I will be exploring options re. where to move.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

Own an olive orchard above a fishing village in Crete, or a small building in Brooklyn, or a koi farm in North Carolina.  In other words, no idea.

 Do you have any advice for artists who are just starting out?

Find ways of dealing with anxiety that don’t compromise your immune system.

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?

I’ve been working on paper which seems to free me up to experiment more since  there’s less commitment to preparation.  Not caring too much about materials is important to my process.

Do you have a blog or website?

I have a woodworking website but I haven’t updated in a couple years:

duchdesigns.com

Tim will be on the RiverArts studio Tour, April 28-29 2012. for more info visit riverarts.org

Thanks Tim!

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