Novelist Julian Barnes, in his collection of essays on art, made this interesting observation about one artist: “The life of such an artist is one of high anxiety and self-doubt, combined with ceaseless work which sometimes leads to nothing” (Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art [London: Jonathan Cape, 2015], p. 97). As a painter (landscapes and seascapes), I certainly concur with this assessment. Probably only one of every three or four paintings I attempt are ones worth keeping, giving away, or placing in a gallery. But it is also worth stating that this is how I view my academic work. The pleasure of research and teaching, companion functions of a university professor, occurs when success is achieved, and it is not always achieved. I will have ample time to reflect about this during 2017; one year from today is my official retirement and I will be working on wrapping up some projects, shelving others for good, and contemplating what I will be doing in the future.
Happy New Year!