Drawings from 4/28 and 4/29/2015, are are 16X20 inches & pencil on paper
I do not intend my days to go this way. I want to paint, but begin my day with a drawing. I think, "I will warm-up my mind and my arm. I will prepare for painting." However, I get swept away by the wonder that is my drawing. I invent, discover, am startled, astonished, learn, express and declare. It is wondrous!
Today I will restrict myself to a small drawing. I will warm-up with a drawing, but not allow myself to be swept away into a contracted and complex solution.
BTW: Looking at the small reproductions in front of me I see visual problems. The darks are too heavy. They pull more strongly than the originals. I was just in the studio, turning on the heat for the day. I looked at these drawings in the flesh. Their surfaces play comfortably, interrupted and animated by staccato of dark marks, not slowed and made lethargic by the broad areas of darkness that seem to dominate these reproductions. I will not go back and try to remedy this problem, as it is time for me to go and get started in the studio. I am sorry I am allowing a lack of authenticity in these reproductions, but time making art is more important than a quest for the perfect reproduction.
There ain't nothing like a hound dog. There ain't nothing like discovery of making sense. It is the distinguishing between making sense versus nonsense that is the game worth playing. This is not simple, nor easy, but it is the only way to being meaningfully worthwhile. There is constantly the effect of being slightly alien that comes with this activity. I recognize my work as real, but not as comfortable true. As example, why is it necessary that the man's eye in drawing #2 is vertical and poppy out of its socket? I do not know, but it is right.
Drawings from 04/26/2015, each are 11X14 inches, pencil on paper
Drawings from 04/24/2015 and 04/25/2015, each are 16X20 inches, pencil on paper
I seem to be getting more fluid with all that I do. It takes me and uses me and goes where it goes. Is this because I have fallen into investigation of that which is? Possibly. I will follow.
Today exhibits two days of work.
I did not like yesterday all that much. It brought up a lot of questions and no good answers. So I slept on those questions. This morning brings no firm answers, but the painting, "Leap", looks better to me this morning (albeit its reproduction is further than usual from reality ― but I get another try for the next version, so I go with this poor representation today). Yesterday's drawing is also uncomfortable.
The painting "Leap" is beginning to make sense to me. So is my drawing. Perhaps I am getting even with myself. Sometimes living feels like a race. I am in a simple run, trying to catch up with my internalization of all experienced, known and seen. I hope I win before the end. Right now I feel I am running as fast as I am able and I can perceive the image of truth in front me. I am not winning, but my margin of being behind is smaller than it once was. This is a good thing!
It was not Halloween, but it was a typical day of re-entry. Even two days away from the studio causes me to re-assess, re-examine, and wonder if I make sense at all. Thus are yesterday's drawings.
I am playing for real. My basic endeavor is to visually reproduce all I do, know, and see. I am not talking about actual "seeing," but the internalization of "seeing." I think it is working out. I am slow, consistent, and I believe, true to myself. How do I know? I am hoping the art I make is exactly what I know. I also hope it communicates my discovery of the internal workings on my reflections upon existence. Yesterday I listened to a "TED Hour" podcast about Abraham Maslow's hierarchical pyramid of human needs. The base is sleep, the second level is food and shelter. These two essential needs have not been a subject of my art. The next three levels have been subjects: security (safety), human relationship (love), and problem solving (purpose). It is interesting to me that my mentor, Philip Guston, made paintings about ALL five of Maslow's human needs, including food and sleep (which I show below today's reproductions of my work).
Today's title refers to the total lack of legitimacy in the reproduction of the painting "Leap!" Reproduction of the reds and oranges, in all their glorious subtlety, falls vastly short of reality. I am very disturbed by this discrepancy. Far from complete, "Leap!" is moving as my recent drawings have moved. Spontaneity is the norm. Today, in hopes of quickly getting to painting, I decided to make one of my smaller drawings (11X14 inches). It spontaneously took over three-quarters of my studio session! Tomorrow I will try again to keep my drawing small, then go posthaste to painting.
It is all about concession and confession. I am able to simply make, secure that I am telling the truth. The questioning about validity has passed. Each work is what it is meant to be, not that which I think it should be. This is my education taking its proper position. Education was important. I am saturated with the wisdom and capability education imbues, so it has comfortably moved to the back seat. My personal reflections on life and living dominate my reason, and my every move.
I have to stop measuring progress by the amount of hours I work in the studio, or by the amount of paintings or drawings I make. I am really going somewhere very fast. Look at today's drawing! It took me an entire studio session. When completed I had no more voice remaining. It is just one drawing, but what a drawing! It speaks volumes! During the making the knowing flowed from me like rain from the sky. How did I know to make that little butt, and that long neck? I just knew. Look at the line that begins just below my signature and date. I simply knew to go over it, twice. I knew to darken it. It required hefty thickness to play against the demanding darks and grays and forms it had to oppose in order to instigate a feeling for planer space. Then there are the eyes of the woman. No conscious thought went into their making. I did not think about accuracy. I thought, and felt, my way to their emotional narrative. This finding authenticity went on and on: another example is the woman's outstretched hand. It had to be that way. I could not stop drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, drawing... until it was right! There is more. Her breasts! You get it? Yet I am amazed.
All of this because I took a few days away to gather energy. Creative energy is like a pool that gathers behind a dam. Use it too quickly and it will run dry. If it does run dry, step away and let the pool form again.
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.