A couple times, in my artistic life, people have said to me, "Oh, that's what you like to do. There it is!" It happened in 1977 with Philip Guston. Guston commented on the painting "Forms, Shadow, Head", saying he felt my great involvement, and my identification, with the invented forms sitting on the plane. Yesterday it happened again, with my wife. She commented on my most recent painting, "2016 No.4". My wife, she said to me, the life and energy in the undulating surface, below the major form, was most exciting. She said it appeared that I was most intrigued with solving the lower part of the painting. Right or wrong about my intrigue, I think she is right about the animation of the lower half being most interesting. Of course I am searching for self-truth, for authentic self-expression. "2016 No.4" is definitely a most important transition to self-acceptance. I did not post yesterday because I needed a day to mull. The drawings posted today are from two days ago. Like "2016 No.4", they are transitions toward truth and authenticity of circumstance. I believe drawing "No.3" to be very similar to the detail I show from "2016 No.4". Drawing "No.3" examines a form on an undulating plane. I did add a secondary plane impinging from the right. Genuine it is.
Despite my complaining about process, my discomfort, I am feeling better all the time. The work is stronger. The work is more clearly mine. I am more centered within the work. So, why do I feel discomfort? Why do I feel restless? Here's why: So much to do, not enough time, not enough energy. The flip side is... my success rate is higher than ever! Painting "2016 No.4" is very good!
There are days when I feel discomfort. As if something is wrong. I can not place my finger on it. I feel there is something amiss. Today is such a day. I have found, on most days like this, I am unduly worried about a lot of things. Do any of the many items in my life warrant my attention? I am sure of just one thing. The discomfort is here. It could be about my art. Simply, I feel unease. Nothing looks right. Interactions seem compromised. The day moves more slowly than most. My concerns wrack everything I do. I did get to paint yesterday. I think it went well. Perhaps my discomfort comes from me needing to move on while being stuck here within the need to finish this painting, "2016 No.4". Working will sort it out.
What's it all about? Revelation has it own speed, apparently. Why can't I just be there now? This is about the journey being more important than the destination. Still, you can't blame me for getting impatient. Time and energy limits each day's impact. Is it crazy to be impatient? Or, rather, will impatience drive me crazy? With this in mind, take a look at yesterday's drawings. They are each their own, though No.3 is a response to No.2. I would like to love one over the others, but I don't. Each informs me in a different way. The robust forms contrasted to the little forms in No.1 are emotionally evocative. The limp propeller-like object drooping across the point in No.2 is gloomily downcast. No.3 creates space that I enjoy wandering within. No.4 is a landscape that mysteriously harbors a secretive form in the lower right, hidden, as it is, from the horizon and endless space over the ragid top-edge of the landscape. Each are different in their emotional references. This must be important. Each must open another door in the conundrum that confronts me, animates me.
There is no easy way to make this right. Does time exist at all? Is it not simply the zombie syndrome? We are a bunch of wax and atoms and little bugs that need to work together to find a way to move, despite there being nowhere to go. Symbiosis is the thing. And so, I search among the rubble that is me. Fortunately, I believe I understand better the more I exist, the more I do. So yes, time does exist! At least, time exists in the memory I have created because I am optimistic. I am going somewhere. Yesterday's drawings show progress. They are unique. They have some resemblance to that which I have created before. Still, they are uniquely their own images. My trust in this process increases the more I do. My confidence in process will bring me back to painting. Tomorrow I will return to my most recent painting, "2016 No.4", then I will begin a new painting, "2016, No.5". Hallelujah!
Is that a cloud? Is that an abstracted man? I don't know. I had just under two hours in the studio to produce this one drawing. This is where I went. This is what I made! One thing is for sure, my "cloud"(?) is not vaporous, but solid. All my forms tend to be solid. Am I complaining? No. I am more interested in the solidity of existence than the vaporous and nondescript. There must be personal philosophical information in that statement!
Yesterday's drawings are unusual. There is more in their questions than in their answers.
I continue to lament my lack of painting. Today, once again, I will sliver off just a couple hours out of my day for the studio. This morning I was taken away by physical therapy, tomorrow by a course I am taking on cultural morality, then Friday is my business day... oh, oh, oh, so sadly I am distracted from being where I flourish most.
Picasso was compositionally redundant. His use of head-on horizontal space as necessity is deadly repetitive. You never see Picasso stretch space into and out-of the picture plane ― with him it is always across. Think of "Guernica", or even his most robust three-dimensional figures from his Classical Period ("Mother with Child on the Seashore") ― Picasso always composed left-right, across the horizontal surface. With this in mind, I show the horizontally composed drawing I made yesterday. Sometimes I just gotta play with large forms and forget my interest in moving the eye into and out-of the picture plane!
I know these reproductions look small on your screen ― don't forget to click on them for enlargement.
Yesterday's drawings appear to be about the artifice of space. I am questioning its possibilities. Unusual in the first drawing is the direction of light (usually I rake it from right to left, but in this one the light crosses diagonally, from lower left). The second drawing plays with line leading to forms, front to back. The lighting in the second drawing is neither important or interesting (it is the contrast in values and shapes that are interesting). The third drawing swoops the forms from front to back, rotating them in space as if on a diagonal arc.
So, yes, these drawings vary in their questions about structure. I am exploring the emotional and intellectual affects of invented forms in three-dimensional space. This 3D space is, of course, artificially depicted on two-dimensional pieces of paper.
I have been busy with friends, family, and my ex-art demands. I think the intensity of those demands is almost over. At least I believe the next few weeks will be quite a bit more clear in terms of my flexible time. One never knows, but I am strongly looking foward to sustained, dedicated time in the studio.
Today's post-title refers to a sculpture that graces the land adjacent to I-89 near Randolph, Vermont. I did not consciously think of this whale's tale sculpture, which sticks out of the ground like a cross. But here it is! There is resemblance, though the drawing posted here, from two day's ago, is obviously more complex than the simple form of the end of a whale. I am open to discovery ― this is drawing about query. How do I make interesting compositions that reflect my intuitive and emotional life?
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