Pity the mid-career artist, stuck in the long middle distance of working things out. Youth is honey, redolent of novelty, physical charm and energetic self-absorption. Veteran status, while still dangerously marginal, at least affords deference, since few in our culture expect creative lives to last as long as life itself. Young artists run on guts and glamour, while older ones may find themselves motivated by the respect they've finally received. But in the middle, things get murky. The long haul of perfecting an aesthetic can turn repetitive and feel fruitless.