Today is one of those days where words are not forthcoming, perhaps because I am in the middle of a major chunk of problem solving. I liked yesterday's drawing very much, so it headlines the reproductions today.
Painting-08·29·2013 will be more about painting and drawing, while all other allegiances will subjugate themselves to my act of making this a first-rate visual statement! You can see this happening in yesterday's drawing too. The hands are much to large for the man, and various other human body-parts are bent to the will of the composition, yet the forms, and the space they inhabit, work together, in unison, to make formal, emotional, and compostional sense. Last weekend I saw an excellent version of Picasso's wonderful 1934 print Minotauromachy at the Hood Museum of Art on the Dartmouth College campus. Picasso work, more than that of any other artist, hits me, over and over again, with the intelligent and emotional sensation forced upon the viewer by a multi-layered, multi-faceted composition. His are compositions NOT dominated by any one formal restriction. This force in perception is as much to do with the arrangement of forms as it is to the reference of forms to those which we call real. Reality is that which we perceive in our daily walks through life, and art is the lie that makes us perceive reality more clearly (to paraphrase Picasso). Viewing Picasso's Minotauromachy helped make my quest very clear.
Yesterday I enjoyed making this drawing, but it was just another distraction. I sit in front of Painting-07·28·2013 and think "I should deal with that man's head." I hesitate because it looks pretty good, while acknowledging it does have problems. To remove myself from dealing with it I distracted myself with drawing. Now I believe I need to step back and let my intuition work its ways and find the means to finish off the painting. I do not want to rush it, but I do want to paint. So today I will begin a new painting, and (if I have time) I will return to an older painting that clearly needs an intuitive update. The intuitive update will arrive for Painting-07·28·2013 as well. I just need to be patient. I really don't need to apologize to myself.
Distraction, distractions, distractions! Unfortunately some are necessary and unavoidable. My progress in the studio feels to slow. Perhaps today will bring me more satisfaction.
I continue in a "return to normal" mode; this after the previous week's joyous time away with family. This means I am having a little trouble finding my niche. If you have been following my blog for a long time, you know Mondays (today is Monday) is not my most productive day in the studio. Mondays are business days, when I try to get all the financial aspects of my life and work out of the way. So you may not see a post tomorrow. I am annoyed with this digression, but I also know digressions tend to be times when emotional and physical energy are stored. Tomorrow will certainly be a good day for me in the studio.
Painting-07·28·2013 is pushing itself toward conclusion. There are wonderful and various emotions surrounding a work of art's conclusive period. I am experiencing them right now. There is satisfaction, and there is insecurity, in equal measures. A work will never be as wonderful as I envision its best of all possibilities, and it is more wonderful than I originally envisioned. The later because upon its origin it had no definitive direction, and the former because it can be better than its eventual end. All of this keeps me making art, looking for perfection in concept and conclusion, which never will happen. So I go back, looking for impossible clarity.
Yes, I am back painting after a week away from it. Last weekend I was at a family gathering. My nephew reminded me of a drawing from my past. I revisited that drawing yesterday by undertaking the same subject matter. I feel yesterday's result pales compared to the original. It lacks the imaginative impulse which created the first version. Yesterday's version is well drawn, yet proves you can't go back to the past looking for present day inspiration. I am a different person now. If the two drawings were compared, past and present, they would be descriptive of me then versus me now.
I did not spend a lot of time painting, as yesterday's drawing is large and took several hours to complete. However, I re-established contact with where I am artistically. There will be more painting today.
I have to admit it's getting better, better all the time... This paraphrase of the Beatles' song is apt. After a six day absence, two days ago I returned to the studio. Yesterday was my second day back and it was better. Still, as I am wont to do upon a return, I have been drawing and not painting. This is me getting my feet wet, getting ready for the plunge. I am happy with the sensitivity to form, and the awareness of composition, these drawings exhibit. I am ready to dive into the larger ocean of painting.
I am back. The return to the studio, and art-making, comes with clarity and confusion. It is as if my absence from art-making has allowed energy to be stored. Energy is charged up and able to flow easily, but I question my insightfulness. This goes for yesterday's drawing. It is me, with great emotional energy, falling back to my most basic subject. I fell into this routine because I forgot where I was, like losing the bookmark. I need to read back a few pages to understand the story that was being told before I left town.
This drawing took a few hours. The forms and elements are well felt. That was a nice experience.
Yesterday was insightful. Both the drawing and the painting show it. It is in the process, the finding by pushing into places that are dead ends, then coming back, stripped of misconceptions. This shows up in these works by not being there, and being there, both. There was another woman before the one that you now see in the drawing. She was fully erased. I realized she was meaningless, except for the informative marks I made to get me the futile image that she was. I geared up, changed approach. Much better, but also an intense insight into who I am, my true interests, and how I should act with intuition and instincts. No formula, but attitude. Attitude authenticated and educated by trial, failure, and seeing truth among the rubble. Resurrection is getting up and going in the direction which holds the reservoir of reality, cleansed by striking dirt and gold and systematically throwing away the dirt. Yesterday's work on Painting-07·28·2013 has informed me of its necessary direction. The light found in the woman's face must now take over the entire painting. I can feel its requirements. It is time for me to find a way to supply it with its needs. But you and I will have to wait. I cannot be in the studio for a few days, so please be as patient as I must be for the next required step. I'll be back.
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