This drawing took me nearly four hours to complete. It is filled with normalcy and abnormality. Nobody has a nose like the man's, but the breast of the woman looks familiar. And so it goes — I am testing the waters of abstraction versus traditional figuration. For me, this is becoming a forever problem. Besides my addressing this issue of abstract forms versus more naturally derivative forms, I would like to point out the complexity of this drawing's space. The drawing, after all, is on a two dimensional piece of paper. Wandering through its space is a deceit, driven by form, perspective, light and shadow, and line. In this drawing, and in the drawing reproduced in my previous blog post, I have used lines to create surface values which simultaneously drive and animate space. The easiest place to see this occur is on the top of the box on which the woman sits.
It is important to me that you look carefully at one minor element: the woman's left hand. I drew that over and over, till it felt right, at least five times.
I do not want, or need, to say much about yesterday's drawing. it surprised me! I feel a WOW! factor when I look at it. Besides the subject matter being "found", there is also the finding of so much more, i.e. forms invented, space invented, values subtly altered to create movement and light, and the use of line to move the viewer rhythmically and to stretch out the perspective. Wow! I am surprised and impressed.
Today's title refers to the drawing. In general, the work exhibited here appeared without fanfare. It is a result of pureness, of contemplative knowing. This work is what I know. The marks you see here appeared through acts of introspective immersion. Yesterday's studio session was me performing in a manner I accept as right. This is not a comment on the level of artistic merit. It is me looking back on being there and then, and hoping to be here and now. It felt right, it feels right.
Suffice to say, "times they are a-changing." Peter Saul helps; he gives me courage for my own direction.
Drawings from 5/26/2015, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
It is beginning to feel more like contemplation and less like intellectualization. Yesterday's drawing shows me going back and forth between my contemplative-acting intuition and my question-asking intellect. The first drawing is me producing a casually flowing drawing, which ends with an intellectualized, verbal question. This conflict may exhibit problems that occur when the id and the ego are in combat. The second drawing is straightforwardly about combat. The transition from drawing #1 to drawing #2 may exhibit this mental confusion, but it may also be about the world's combative confusion. The strongly male component that instigates present world combat is apparent. Thus the extreme maleness of the figure in drawing #2. Artistically, the figure plays against an abstract background. This is more important to me than any contemporary, or classically mythological, message I am trying to convey.
BTW: Today's reproduction of the painting, Lava, is the closest I have gotten to the original. In yesterday's blog post, Lava's reproduction is too color intensive, i.e. it is more color saturated than the original.
Drawings from 5/24/2015, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
One of the most important activities of an artist is admitting defeat. Another activity is trying and failing. Failing is not always about lack of ability, or lack of understanding. It is most often about trying to go places that are not familiar and that will never be familiar. Advice often given to young writers is, "Write what you know!" This is good advice for visual artists as well. Admitting defeat is more about admitting "a lack of emotional connection," than admitting "ignorance." Does that make sense? Let me be more clear. I am not ignorant of how bananas are made, but they do not instigate any important emotions in me. A powerful work of art can be made with bananas playing a central role, but I haven't done it. I admit defeat. Georgio de Chirico used them well in his painting, "The Uncertainty of the Poet" (see below).
To finish, the drawing I made yesterday exhibits information I understand. I have no bananas today!
Open and close. Find and lose. Back and forth. Up and down. Form and chaos. Light and darkness. Color and whiteness. Discover and seek. Succeed and fail. Yes and no. Right and wrong. Earth and heaven. Temperate and hell. Good and bad. Acceptance and rejection. Active and passive. Presence and absence. I am here. I am uncovering ways to do all of the former, to deal with all of the latter. Through effort I am detecting, perceiving, and apprehending art that corresponds to myself. Hopefully this art's end is communication with those that view my art.
Today's work is a simple reaction to the failures of my last studio session. Not there yet.
Who knew? Not me. This stuff I am making looks well defined, but still rough. Rough? Yes, because I am grasping at a set of images that are tumbling around in my confused, yet open, psyche. Art is where the anima and the persona meet. My persona never feels quite right, as if there is a little fake going on, like a running back, whose goal is clear, but whose path in getting there in not. Maybe the reason football is so much fun to watch is its clarity of goal. Art? Not so much! Watching me flail around is probably more fun for you then for me. There are days, like today, that I seriously question my means of getting "there", wherever "there" is.
Be sure to click on the drawings' reproductions for enlarged images. These are very good drawings! The surprise of "now for something completely different" is upon me. I do know what each drawing will bring. These drawings are discoveries made visual. I have given into the flow. As trite as this looks when written, it is reality.
Drawings from 5/16/2015, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
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.