No miracles! Just daily effort! No way but the highway! I am happy with the progress of the painting 2017 No.10. However, there is stress in me. I wish to fully understand, while at the same time I wish to explore new possibilities. Working on a painting till it no longer begs for change is me making the effort to fully understand. The daily drawings are me exploring present and future possibilities. Yet I consistently feel a lack of new painting. Presently I am in an effort to complete a painting. I do not feel I am able to begin a new painting till I have exhausted the present painting. Painting, for me, continues to stretch my conscious and unconscious intuition. It strains me. So great is the struggle that it limits my desire, and my ability, to make two paintings at the same time.
The surprise is mine. I am more interested in the artifice of three-dimensional depth than I am in simple gusto of paint. Actually I am interested in both. Right now, it seems, I am educating myself. I am learning that my primary objective is creating 3D space. Gusto in paint will come later, after I digest this 3D problem. That is my surprise. Yesterday I re-made the painting 2017 No.10 in an image that is myself.
The work feels slow, lethargic, contemplative, unoriginal. Could this be me hot, distracted by the sun and the warmth? Is this a summer thing? Simmer it is. Within me I wonder, plot, look for openings. Good actions seem few, not enough. Conflict leads to depression. I want to go to the beach. I also want to create new stuff. I will work it out.
Yesterday's drawing is sculptural. No horizon, just six objects creating their own space. I enjoyed stroking the forms, feeling it, particularly the large one, second from left. This must me a summer thing, like feeling the warmth of one's skin.
I don't think I have to do much explaining. Process as self-evaluation is constant with me. The two images I show today are new and different. They are outgrowths. They expand, and contract, from all I have done before.
The first drawing was begun on the day I was stretching the painting 2017 No.9 for exhibition. The second was begun yesterday. Both were finished yesterday. My feeling: as joyous as their complexity is... I believe I want more simplicity. I have been looking at images of contemporary painters. I have been wondering about initial visual impact. I think I need to explore simpler. Mark Rothko, who died in 1970, is one of the most popular of modern artists. The initial engagement of his paintings occurs through simple rectangular forms. The complexity of the surface, and the relationship of the colors of those rectangles, is a secondary, profound, response.
The painting 2017 No.9 has been stretched on a wooden frame and its edges retouched. This is its final state! It is a grand painting that requires a relatively long viewing distance to comprehend well. On this page it is comfortably seen; its reproduction is small. In person it is very large. This brings me to a question. Should I make a new painting that is marked with small strokes that are variations on its color theme? A painting should be grandly involving at all viewing distances. This is the way Vincent Van Gogh and Georges Seurat involved their viewers at every viewing distance.
The reason 2017 No.9 is framed, and fully finished, is its immediate journey to AVA Gallery for their Summer Show.
People are lazy. Having a cell phone's longest dimension in the vertical dimension is now most important to many viewers. Web developers have been called upon to make photos and videos that sit with longest dimension vertically. The emotional impact of an image that is mostly vertical or mostly horizontal is very different. Yesterday I continued to work on the mostly vertical painting 2017 No.10 and also made a mostly horizontal drawing. These two images speak differently, but both speak well. Enjoy and emote!
Easier than usual is seeing yesterday's drawing as study for yesterday's painting. Miracle it is that never two days, never too actions, are the same. Now is now! This is the only way to decipher my veiled constancy of self. Calling this constancy is not absolutely correct. I do believe I am built to last. There is stuff in me that is constant. Origination and inception are not excluded from renewal and self-surprise.
Here comes Number 10! At last the previous painting is over, done. A new one is here. Feels good! Feels right! 2017 No.10 began with spontaneity and great frontal pressure. It does not have the 3D depth of the previous painting. This is me reacting to, me questioning, the possibilities of emotive depth, rather than the possibilities of spatial depth. I am reacting to the previous painting in making this new painting.
All is in the air! Even yesterday's drawing felt like I, as neophyte, searching for a trustworthy way to behave.
End it is! Begin it is. Here is the final state of 2017 No.9. Glad I am here. I am ready to move on.
Yesterday's drawings were experimental, questioning my knowledge and intuition, perhaps as prelude to the painting I begin today.
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