Spring is here and it has been wonderfully warm and sunny. A couple days ago I planted 25 trees, and did not get into the studio. Yesterday I hand watered all those trees, plus I was feeling the effects of all that digging and planting, so I did not muster the energy to finish yesterday's drawing (posted today). The man on the ground has a poorly drawn left arm. Today is Monday and it is the day I take care of all kinds of mundane business. I can not promise this drawing will be fixed in time for tomorrow's post.
I am never convinced, never certain. Today's version could be better, the previous version may have been the best. Of all the visual forms and elements in the final state of "Drawing-04·23·2013" (state 3) some are probably better, some worse, then in the previous version (but I am not certain). It is an endless question: when to proceed to alter, when to call it finished? A frustrating part of my personality is my desire to play the game of a little change here, and a little change there, in pursuit of small enhancements (e.g., compare the alligator's teeth in today's version to his teeth in yesterday's post). This bewilders in life choices as well. At the fork in the road, do you go left, or right? I think Yogi Berra said it best: "When you come to a fork in the road...take it."
Yesterday's second drawing went well. It is smaller in size, and therefore my movement through it felt less risky. In today's post I am complaining about the pain of self-doubt. It is best if I simply move on, and follow the idea of another great baseball player: Satchel Paige said, “Don't look back, something might be gaining on you." Satchel Paige also expressed another thought relevant to art: "Mother always told me, if you tell a lie, always rehearse it. If it don't sound good to you, it won't sound good to no one else." To put this in the context of art, here is a quote from Pablo Picasso: "Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth."
The title of today's post could have been "Visual Excitement," but that would not be the true crux. I do not have much to write or say because my work is speaking loudly and well. I need to follow the clues and revelations in the work and not try to clarity it verbally.
After completing Drawing-04·20·2013 (seen in the previous post) I promptly felt exhausted. It took a couple days away from the studio for me to recover. Back again yesterday, I spent 3½ hours on this new drawing. This one surprises me as much as the last. It appears that right now I need to draw and draw, one after another, in order to sort out this break in my smooth learning curve. The drawing shown today needs some important alterations, including the over-sized and over-emotional head of the man on the left and the alligator's front leg. Check in tomorrow for the final state of Drawing-04·23·2013.
I have been struggling to find my way. This drawing feels right and good: authentically mine. Yay!
I am not quite sure where I am or where I am going, but writing about it will not help. I need to keep making images. Today I will be back at it again.
Only more work in the studio will answer the questions posed by yesterday's drawing. These questions have been forming throughout my entire life, not just by yesterday's drawing. Now, with renewed ardor and energy, I am looking for answers!
It doesn't look new and different, but it is because I know it is. Yesterday's second drawing took a better step toward wherever I am going. Yesterday was abbreviated by a car breakdown and a tooth problem, but today will not be. There is a turn coming and I am going to take it.
After one learns to draw, then what? My intuition is ahead of my verbal intelligence. Last night my dreams could only be labelled "bad". I dreamt of failure, loss of money, and the struggles of poverty. From past experience such night-time demonstration of emotions leads to ill-at-ease during the day which precedes a change in direction in my art. Recently I have complained of my work feeling "academic", i.e. good but nothing irksome enough to break a viewer's comfortable opinion of how things work. I do not make art simply to reflect what I see; I make art to open and expose the hidden and buried knowledge that must be discovered through slashes and burns to the superficial world I find immediately accessible. There will be no time for the studio today, and this is probably a good thing. I think it best to ride these disagreeable feelings before I make art again.
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