chapter  4
18 Pages


The study of women artists' work grew out o f my interest in understanding a dramatic shift in my friend's work-a shift from large-scale abstract painting to small-scale figurative work in ceramic sculpture (Franklin, 1989). Fol lowing very informal conversation, I decided to phrase some questions and turn on a tape recorder. I had started to think of a "research project" focused on continuities, discontinuities, and transitions in artistic work. To establish anything verging on a formal interview when talking wi th my friend would have been extremely awkward and therefore counterproductive. I decided to v i o - late every precept o f academic psychology, and allow the "interviews" to become free-flowing conversations. Attempting to ground the approach I was using, I began to think more systematically about the interview process and soon discovered that many of my concerns and interests were shared by others. The relation of particular methodological strands to feminist thinking w i l l be explored in the course of discussion.