Practice can both consolidate and invent. I am trying to do both. This drawing achieves both. One thing I especially enjoy about this drawing is its formidable, large forms.
My process accepts the appearance of self-instigated demands. When demands occur, a solution must be dealt. You can see this in yesterday's drawing; this is the first use of this kind of top-half trapezoid in my work. It drives the view back in space while also forcing the viewer to accept the drawings central theme. It calls out my acceptance of head-on, centered, classical compositions.
Precious be the day when headway is accomplished. Onward I go with every mark I make; outward I am becoming. These works are very good; "knock on wood" that this may continue for a good while longer; years and years before I sleep!
The image I show today is simple and complex; it gives comfort in its clarity, it is exhilarating to observe its complications. But is it satisfying to me? It does not feel completely correct. There is something missing, something not-quite "me." It is organized well. It is simple, it is refined in organization, it calls for contemplative investigation; all that is all well and good. What, then, is missing?
Recently I have been looking at a lot of works by Francis Bacon, and I have also been studying many works of Ellsworth Kelly. Both stir my loins; I find both successful, effective, potent, and compelling. How, then, do I combine these two motives in order to make my art? This question highlights my current struggle to be free, to be me.
Yesterday I received a used copy of the 1996 Ellsworth Kelly Retrospective Exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Slid between the front cover and the title page was a Guggenheim Museum flyer for the opening month of the exhibit. In the flyer was a reference to Pablo Picasso, showing one of his drawings that influenced Ellsworth Kelly. That drawing inspired the drawing I show you today (made yesterday).
You can't do this without it. Full revelation, nudity if you wish, requires full frontal revelation to be fully enticing. Enticement is my goal. Without enticement I lose the viewer before engagement. If you place a fully nude, fully frontal person, in front of you, do you not become engaged? Behold! It is the same for art!
The struggle to be free is all about the rectangle. I have to fill that rectangle with notice. I have to fill it with emotion and intellect. I have to fill it with truth and authenticity. I have to make sense within it, thus allowing the viewer to make sense with it or without it. The viewer is outside of it, looking in. My images must engage immediately with immediacy. My images are becoming this, a reality unto themselves derived from all I am and can be. I have found freedom by acceptance of the rectangle's requirement of full frontal truth. I am now able to perform on the highest level of intellect and emotion. This is what I got, so here I am showing it off!
The cliché about the elephant in the room is upon me. Direct, emotive, head-on, purposeful slam and damn, is necessary; it is no longer possible for me to ignore. I have tried to avoid this elephant, this inevitable realization; my art has suffered because of my ignorance.
Yesterday's work recognizes reality; I accept necessity. Yesterday's drawing, and the changes made to the painting, "Amidst a Falling World," are actualizations of necessity. Viewer engagement requires the image be immediately recognizable; this means it must be without pretension. It must sit squarely, recognizably, in front of the viewer.
Nothing else need be true than this: each work I make should be made in an immediacy of purpose. Yesterday I got closer to this; you can see it, I can see it, in these drawings.
Great art is achieved more from continuity of effort than from talent. I have experienced many talented artists, but only a few achieve great art. Achievement of greatness happens because the route to success is long in thought, long in trial and error, long in failure, sporadic with the exhilaration of success. The drawing shown today is too complex for me. Better were the drawings that were shown in yesterday's blog post. There is high exhibition of talent in the drawing I show today, but it does not stimulate viewer engagement; it requires too much from the viewer, just as it required too much for me to make it real. It does exhibit great talent in drawing; space, form, light, compositional integrity, they are all present. This drawing fails because it lacks immediacy of purpose, which means it lacks immediacy of viewer involvement. I will require a lot of time, energy, and great effort to make real the great art I envision. I am committed to the long run.
There is an investigative vitality to these drawings. They pop in your face; they sing a language filled with contrast and scale, in/out, back/forth, dark/light, big/little, push/pull. This is my vision becoming me; theses are my intellect/emotions becoming visually real. These exhibit art-making as similar to mediation; practice makes me better at R.A.I.N. (Recognize Emotions, Accept, Investigate, Non-Identify/Detach).
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