Unusual and usual. Whatever! The 1, 2, 3 of getting it done is not dictated by an obviously rational order of things. Yet it gets done. There is the immediate and the distant, that which is obvious now and that which will become obvious after extended time and effort. Within the little I know, I know that the work I am doing now is more authentically mine than the work I was doing a month ago. I am becoming myself through work and time. Part of this becoming myself is not clearly work but more clearly acceptance. It is me giving up the fight to come up to the standards set by the masters. It is me accepting my own innate standards, which are surprisingly new and different than anything I know through education and observation. I am, to my surprise, something that has never existed before.
I am feeling confused around the edges. I have been called to jury duty, beginning next week. It feels like my life has lost a bit of its freedom. My passion to freely explore is the main reason I chose art as a career and life-style. I have no idea how the jury system works, but I will be on-call for two months, March and April. I tell you this without too many details because it is the psychological effect of my not being totally in charge of my time that is already affecting my art. While in process, the drawings shown today felt this confusion. I show Drawing #2 first because its candor more obviously shows my confusion. Drawing #1 exhibits a loss of center, as I fall back to drawing a couple, which I am apt to do when I do not clearly feel the ground beneath my art-making impetus. I am hoping the Court System is kind to me and does not take me far away from the art I am in the process of making. I truly feel that I am currently tapping into a wellspring of personally soulful content. My reluctance to give up my daily work, in lieu of my obligation to the government, is weighing on me. I do not want to dwell on this too much. I will do that which I must do, because I do not have a choice. It's like death and taxes.
Visual exploration and experimentation are taking over. Verbal explanation, at this point, is pointless.
Drawings-02·22·2015 Nos. 1, 2, & 3, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
...row, row, row... refers to my having very little to say in recent blog posts. The images are coming, but not the words. I would like to think my images are supplanting words. That the images speak for themselves. That I have no great passion to verbally explain my thought process because the visual work is explaining itself.
Daily readers know I have been struggling with an accurate reproduction of Asparagus. Today's image is closer than usual, albeit imperfect. The bug (fly?) did move since my previous post.
Yesterday's drawing was sustained and methodical. Every once in while I return to feeling my way through ALL the surface of a created form. Yesterday's drawing had that kind of contemplative process. I was swept away from recognizable thought, which felt good during the process.
One other superficial idea came to me. I am beginning to title my paintings — this makes for quicker identification, and allows conversation without confusion, which is inherent when titles are numeric and date driven. However, I do not wish the interpretations of my paintings to be driven by titles. I named my most recently completed painting with a four work title. Now I believe it is distractingly verbose. One word titles are better for my intentions, i.e. let the viewer construe the interpretation. This said, I have reduced my most recently completed painting's title to Heresy. This shortened title appears below the painting's reproduction on my website, MEHRBACH.com, but not in this blog. This blog, after all, is a diary of my thought process. I will not go back in this blog's post to change its title. I think one of best titles of all time is Guernica, Picasso's great anti-war painting. Being one word, it can be referred to easily; the title, Guernica, immediately brings with it the mental image of the painting with little encumbrance of verbal distraction.
Drawings-02·20·2015 Nos. 1, 2, & 3, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
Woe are reproductions. There is nothing like reality, obviously! The fly has to move. And the search for relevancy is simple when true. Writing about nothing is impossible. This is the reason sticking to reality is simple. There is nothing but reality, except reproductions. Which are neither simple nor true. Are you following this?
Drawings-02·18·2015 Nos. 1 & 2, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
I am surprised these drawings exhibit some interesting ideas. Two days ago, when they were made, I simply ran out of creative energy. I left the studio and went home. It fascinates me that I have so little control over the ebb and flow of my creative energy. It is like the weather: somewhat predictable, yet uncontrollable, and sometimes extremely surprising.
I am actually very surprised, and excited, by the vast difference in paint and color application occurring in the new painting Asparagus. Difference? It is different from previous paintings, especially different from the slow and methodical approach I was taking in last year's (2014's) diptych and triptych. Yesterday's drawing also has a unique feel. Uniqueness is good!
I forgot to sign yesterday's drawing. Perhaps I knew that any further mark would disturb this drawing's vertical balance. The compositional play within this drawing goes with, and against, symmetry.
So... I feel like titles are now appropriate, but, as always, I don't want them to interfere with the viewer's emotional and intellectual response to the painting. So... "Asparagus" seems appropriate for this new painting. I think that is a sprig of asparagus the main character is holding.
Reproducing a painting at this stage has its difficulties. The grays of the acrylic marker are more accurate than in yesterday's reproduction, but the colors don't play as well as they do in the real painting. In reproduction there is so much white to consider. As colors fill the canvas the interaction of one color against the other colors will become more accurate.
Drawings-02·14·2015 Nos. 1, 2, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
There is no such thing as new and different, just new and closer to true. Yesterday felt authentic. The images I produced felt authentic. A new painting was begun. Its first stage is drawn in acrylic marker (the marker's color is called "iron curtain"). Iron Curtain is a low value grey, so the reproduction values are contrast enhanced for better viewing.
Yes, this one appears done, finished! This painting is an amazing gateway of visual possibilities. Opportunities abound. I am deeply feeling a need to examine undeveloped ideas.
My drawings also exhibit this crack, where the light of insight is pouring in.
Another surprise: I am thinking that all my works are now asking for titles. This indicates there is a commencement of ideas which declares my restrictions of a few months ago as alien.
Untitled Drawings-02·11·2015 Nos. 1, 2, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
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