Looking back is not an easy find for the present tense. This painting, "Amidst a Falling World" (2020 No.3), has no easy precursor. It is a difficult delight. My paintings of this year, 2020, are coming slow, These paintings are measured in the making, come in great effort, rumble with difficultly, but are assuredly better than I have done before; more true to myself.
Pablo Picasso is known for his precise language, as well as precision in his art. I agree with much of what Pablo says. (Below, see Picasso's take on the inherent blindness of art-making and art-interpretation.) John Lennon wrote, "Happiness is a Warm Gun." I say, "Happiness is a Warm Pencil." Do I draw too much? Making marks is addictive, cathartic, warm, and clarifying. My drawing makes sense of my reality; others may find my art blind to the discomforts that are present in our political and social world. No matter; I probe my own depths. I am wide enough, deep enough, to be eternally in need of work; I am preoccupied with myself; I am working to understand. The reward? Me knowing more the more work I do. Subsequently, I feel enlightened, optimistic, and busy. There is much to do; I am solving my own mystery, which is the result of the mystery that is the world I live in.
Yesterday's drawings are robust, clear, and confusing. They are like real-life.
Pablo Picasso on Art-Making:
This drawing is a result of a marathon. Perhaps a marathon is a poor description of its journey; marathons take a little over two hours; this drawing took over 6 hours. My first question relates to its complexity: Is it too complex for the viewer to be immediately engaged? My second question: If the viewer is immediately engaged, will the viewer be entranced enough to hang in for this drawing's visual voyage?
The ultimate question regarding my art comes down to this: Are visual voyage marathons an effective means of communication? Or, do viewers prefer simple, direct, right to the point; i.e., give me a visual hit, give me a visual expression of emotion, give me a visual expression of intellect, but make it simple, go right to the point?
The drawing on the top is complete, done; the drawing on the bottom is incomplete, undone. "Undone" is harsh, but apt. It calls for correction; it calls for being put right; it is missing an element of angst, thus lacks effective strength of character. I won't be able to return to this drawing till tomorrow. It is complex; I did not have enough time to complete it in one session.
I am fascinated with the top drawing. In some areas the pencil barely scrapes its surface, other places it is deep and dark. Its mode of manufacture was quite different than the drawings shown in the previous post, which spilled out with force and clarity; this one came slowly, measured, feeling quite different in its creative process compared to the two drawings which preceded it.
Yesterday's happiness, and optimism, was misplaced; the drawing posted in yesterday's blog was not "in the moment", it was a step back into security of ideas already imagined, already questioned. Here are two steps forward in two drawings. I did not feel as ebullient in the making of these two drawings, as I did in the making of the one drawing from 06/25/2020. This, it seems, is a good thing. In these drawings I was in there, in the moments of their creations; not looking back, not looking forward; just there.
I am a wave. I am a progressive. I surprise myself. I create stuff never seen before. I will continue, one day at a time, one step at a time, on a path to a place unknown. I am surprised; I am surprised everyday.
I heard Dave Chappelle say our current President is not the wave, he is surfing the wave. Waves go in and out. Idiots can surf, but they are unable to be the wave itself. Political progressives are waves. They are splashing onto our cultural beaches. Progressives erode our culture's ingrained, holdover ideas. Norms must be overhauled for our culture to be the best it can be. Progressives see a better way. It is unfortunate our current President has a bully pulpit; he calls to his slow-minded admirers, who want nothing to change. Progressives will replace the old with better. Progressives are creative, as creative as the wind that drives them. The wind moves our culture in the right direction. Unfortunately, we are forced to watch our President, an angry surfer, who speaks as if there is no Global Warming, as if nothing is changing. This guy likes the old ride, he likes his old Cadillac, not a new Tesla. His craziness is his old, dreary ideas; ideas that were set in the early days of our Republic. Old ideas need to change in order to recognize who we are right now. Our old man President learned to surf a long time ago. It is unfortunate his mind is not open to our needs. Changes are required in order to make us a better Republic.
I have high standards, in my art and in my relationships. It is my high sense of morality that keeps me true to myself, and true, or not true, to others. This Covid-19 era has forced me to look acutely at me, my here and now; it has awoken me, instigated higher awareness of myself and the people who are in my life, in my relationships. People, and my Art, presently appear to be starkly revealing, in some cases diametrical when compared to my view before the Covid-19 onslaught; it has brought extreme clarity. I am proceeding in a measured way, both with ideas concerning Art and ideas concerning relationships. Amazing it is, that it took a pandemic to force me to slow-mo into higher consciousness. As I age, as I see death and disease around me, I am sharply aware that my time must be taken very seriously; there is a limited quantity. I do not want to waste any of my existence on falderal or useless behavior.
Yesterday's work is dedicated to problem solving. What do I want to represent me? More, how do my momentary needs get translated into visual images? I deeply feel my "needs"; this is about emotion, intuition, walking a path, leaving detritus that represents my true self.
I did not spend a lot of time altering this drawing — perhaps 60 minutes. A heat wave hit; I spent a good part of the day resurrecting an old air conditioner. Then, late in the afternoon, to the studio; this drawing's final image came quickly. The studio is cool and comfortable; it sits on a cement slab, kept dry by dehumidifier. OK, too much non-art-related information? Onward! Back to the studio I go! Just have to say... I like state 2 of "Drawing 06·18·2020" much more than state 1.
I was working on this drawing when my brother called. I do not consider this drawing finished. Its essence has been established; it requires another look, reflection, then alteration. Perhaps then satisfaction will occur. Come back tomorrow to see this drawing's final state.
I am at a point of departure. I am stepping, not particularly caring where I go, but resolutely. This is not a time for self-judgement. It is time to allow images to be born out of intuition, deep knowing intermingled with angst. All bets are off; all absolutes are off, dependency upon past masters is off. I am just doing it.
I show today images like nothing I have done before; nothing I have seen before. Have you seen anything like these? These works are allowed to exist because they do not crush past knowledge, they enhance it. They are informed by the past, but they step out from it, not from underneath it.
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