The transition from gross ideas to subtle ones is occurring in the painting 2017 No.11. It is almost at its end. Yesterday's drawing is seeking ground, i.e. experimentation in the ways and means to identify the three-dimensional space within which my forms lie.
My quest is to make you love light as much as I do. My deep affection for this thing, which allows our primary sense to indulge in the glory that is existence, is never going away. I am enamored beyond repair. Some enjoy sound so much they devote their lives to music. I have surrendered to my devotion to light. Some may think this silly coming from a painter. But if you compare a painting by Turner to one by Mondrian, or one by Monet to one by Pollack, you can understand my gist (see examples at bottom of today's post). It is interesting to me that both Mondrian and Pollack find a bit of light radiating from their paintings by simply using black as contrast to the white of their canvases. This kind of contrast occurs in my Monet and Turner examples, and also in my painting. The difference is Monet, Turner, and I want to grasp light, savoring it like a fine wine. Pollack and Mondrian? Not so much!
Sometimes I think I understand J.M.W. Turner better than I understand any other painter. It is all about light, the force of light. So much I believe in light's force that I am beginning to allow its dominance in my art. The painting "2017 No.11" has important significance in my oeuvre. This importance is recognizable in its current transition. It began with a composition based upon the relationship of forms. It is now about the spillage of light across those forms. Yesterday's drawing is seeking information on how light sits on forms, i.e. how light informs their three-dimensional-ness.
I reproduce a wonderful painting of J.M.W Turner's at the bottom of today's post.
Yesterday's drawing, in the making, began with a simple hook to bring me in. After I was in I enriched it! This makes sense to me, as the hook gets the viewer's attention, then the sensual subtleties allow one to dwell, like a complex taste on one's palate.
Over and over, look after look, I have been seeing a problem in my drawing from July 18 (Blog post of July 19). I fixed it. What bothered me was the shadow cast by the form in its upper left. It amazes me how a subtle alteration creates an enormous change in the impact of the image. It makes more sense, and rests easier, true and real. That is important, since without realism in abstraction the image looks awkward and unseemly. Below is current state of the July 18 drawing.
Quizzical these are... I am asking for more than I know. You can see it in the drawing, in that unnatural swoop around the form on the right. Because I am in jungle territory I am going to tread carefully, watch carefully, act with mindfulness, watch for gorillas, hyenas, snakes, and exotic food. I am seeking true nourishment.
Round and round I go... returning, not to the same old thing, but to a renewal of creativity, new things. This is a cycle, but it is not one of simple circling with repeated returns. It is one of expansion. I am tempted to call it a spiral. Spiral is not quite right. Spiraling indicates an end, a focal point, rotating around an answer. I am not looking for an ultimate answer, just little answers, one work at a time. This cycle is one of recharge and release. I am about to release information gained through insight. It is me saying, "I understand more today then I did yesterday." Activity based upon insight is the portion of the cycle that I am trying clarify.
Processing is never as rapid as I wish. Yesterday's drawing is me thinking of the possibilities that is space dominated by a few rounded forms. Pattern minimized! Background minimized! Shallow artificial three-dimensional space! All about form! Adolph Gottlieb often communicated using two simple forms. Below is an example of Gottlieb's work: One simple form is juxtaposed against another simple form in a misty flattened space. Perhaps some of my art can also communicate well with a few simple forms?
Here are my visual offerings for today. At this moment my need is to visually work, not to explain in writing. Come back tomorrow and see. Perhaps I will have more to say.
Out-loud thinking is becoming obsolete. Processing never dies. Telling the truth is mandatory, albeit nearly impossible. Verbal truth is more difficult than visual truth. Words are like nails. Images, not so much. Images are full of nuance. Nuance is required to communicate clearly, precisely. Deeds are a test of veracity. Images can be good or images can be bad. I am uncomfortable looking at yesterday's visual activity. That is helpful. It leaves me wanting more. The unravelling mystery calls me back. It's like a good mystery novel, the ending is obscured because of factual insufficiency. I must return to unravel that which is known yet not apparent.
"It is more difficult to know what is good than to make something that is good." Those are not my words. They are the novelist's Jonathan Safran Foer's words. These words are appropriate to me, appropriate to my process. I am always creating surprises. Where did this painting come from? Where did that drawing come from? Yesterday everything I did surprised me. Is it good? Difficult to know! I do know the process feels right. Perhaps that is all that counts. Difficult to know!
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