Friday, March 1, 2024


“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” -Horace

General wisdom about marathon running indicates that the most difficult part falls around miles 18 to 23. These are the moments when runners have passed the midpoint and are beginning to close in on the final stretch of their 26.2-mile feat. This is the time when runners hit the wall, often begin to wonder whether they can finish this arduous task or not. Of course, most do. They draw on the training they have put in to push through and complete their journey. We can apply this to so many situations in life, those moments when we have come so far and yet we begin to question whether we can continue our efforts, hold the line until the very end. What runners know – and what we can learn from them – is that almost always this is a case of mind over matter. If we believe we can, we will.

Russel Maltz spoke to us from SOHO where he has lived and worked for decades. When he moved there in 1978, there were very few people in the area. Over the last year, as the pandemic has unfolded, Maltz has experienced a strange deja vu as he witnessed empty streets once again. His studio practice has improved during the pandemic, but of course, the social aspect of the art world disappeared for a time. The work he was doing pre-pandemic transformed from work outside the studio to full studio work and Maltz found his work during this time quite rewarding. To hear more about his practice and a comparison of 1978 SOHO to 2020 SOHO, as well as how plywood used to board up windows compares to his work listen to the complete interview.

Jennifer Coates spent the first several months of quarantine at her second home in rural Pennsylvania. At the end of March 2020, she became ill with COVID and took to her bed. Although she felt very weak, she brought paper and colored pencils with her to bed and was able to create some work. Despite this, the balance of the lockdown period has been a very productive time in her studio practice. Coates has been working on Photoshop collages using artwork from different time periods overlaid and altered to become a flickering of different periods in art history. From these, she makes drawings which become guache works until ultimately she renders paintings of increasing size using the imagery created in the collages. In this way, by the time she reaches the point of creating an 8-foot painting she is deeply familiar with the subject matter. To hear more about Jennifer’s work, including her musical talents and writing listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Commit to crossing the finish line and don’t back down.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Russel Maltz is reading His Truth is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham & John Lewis. Jennifer Coates is a prolific reader. One book that stands out is What Color is the Sacred? by Michael Taussig


Trame invites French-speaking artists from all over the world to apply for residency in Paris for a period of three months. Anchored in the activities and daily life of Cite internationale des arts, the residency offers tailored support, monthly meetings and networking. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline is April 15.

Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.


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