For those who have been following my blog, you know I am taking a couple weeks to upgrade my main website, MEHRBACH.com. Nothing is ever as easy as I wish. This is true because I have a need to do things very well. To make the renovation of my main website work smoothly, I have begun construction of a new website at Weebly.com. For now, it is MEHRBACH.weebly.com, but, upon completion it will become MEHRBACH.com. Until then the web will have three sites exhibiting my work: This blog site (MehrBlog.org), and the two normal websites (MEHRBACH.com and MEHRBACH.weebly.com). MEHRBACH.com will have a few updates until MEHRBACH.weebly.com takes over and becomes MEHRBACH.com. I am anticipating the construction, and eventual change over, to take about a month.
Since I am here, and I have no new works to exhibit, I will show you a new trick Weebly has taught me. This enables me to give you a slide show of all 49 states of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014, one after another, each played for three seconds.
The new triptych is looking promising. However, the studio is so clogged that I don't have much room to move. It is difficult making large paintings, as it requires me to wander though a maze of old paintings to see the one currently on the painting wall. Not good. I have neglected organization for too long. Paintings are stacked all over the place. I have also neglected my website, Mehrbach.com. So this is what I must do: I will devote the next couple of weeks to organization of website and studio. I have been intending to do this for a quite some time, but I have put it off because art-making feels better to me than organizing. Now is good timing. I recently finished a major work (Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014) and I am just beginning another major work (Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014). This means I will stop making art while I organize. This also means I will stop posting here during the time I am organizing. Please check here periodically. "I'll be back!"
The images on the new triptych, Untitled Triptych-08132014, were established in one sitting. This is remarkable‼️ The long term readers of my blog know that I think, by instinct, and by intuition, via drawing. Discovery of the Acrylic Paint Marker has allow me to fully utilize instinct and intuition to begin this new painting. This is a revolution. I am not looking back. My enjoyment of the process went way up! I am concerned with the speed of my creativity. My ideas far outstrip my ability to get them down on physical paper and canvas. This acrylic marker technique will facilitate my ideas becoming real images. Because of this simple change, I am anticipating the production of my art to be more, better, and significantly truer to myself.
In general, painting is also becoming a more important exploratory vehicle. The process of drawing is wonderful. However, more than ever, it is through painting that my core is revealed. It is, by nature, a more contemplative process. It is larger, and therefore takes on more expressive weight. Size is important.
In a way, yesterday I did begin the new painting. I show its naked, white canvases below, as it appears on my painting wall. Here is state zero of Untitled Triptych-08132014. The drawing is my futile attempt to make a diptych on one piece of paper. It just does not work well. There is something necessary about the physical, and real gap, between the two panels.
You can see a problem with accurate reproduction in the reproduced white canvases for the new painting. It is a very large area. The lighting is uneven, inconsistent in tone and value.
Believe it! Months in the making, Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014 is finally complete! The last alterations focussed on the woman's left arm in the left panel. As usual, more than a simple adjustment of the arm occurred. The entire arm, from hand through shoulder, was repainted, which was then followed into repainting of her dress, especially her lap.
I caution you on the authenticity of the reproductions of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. Whenever a painting is reproduced, there is compromise. The ground lines on the red floor are important. In the first reproduction (above) the emphasis is on overall value correctness. The second reproduction (below) increases the values of the lines on the red floor, but the rest of the painting appears less value accurate, less vibrant. The dark lines are important to the composition and are very apparent in the original. That is the reason I reproduce this painting a second time. The second reproduction allows you to better see the floor lines and their animation of the composition.
Yesterday's drawings are interesting. The first was done before painting. It is a study for Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. I needed to think about the woman's left arm before I approached repainting it in Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. The second drawing was done after I had completed the painting. The residue of my concentration, in energy and focus, spilled easily from me. This second drawing took around 15 minutes (very fast for me).
Yesterday, when I walked out of the studio, I believed Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014 was finished. Not so fast! A little later, I asked a visitor into the studio, thinking we would celebrate together the completion of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. All went well, for the first few minutes of our visit. She thought the painting to be amazing, and wonderful, and then... she pointed to the left hand of the woman in the left panel‼️ She said her eyes got pulled there! Why? She didn't know. Obviously something was wrong! Of course she was correct. I can see it now, because I am looking here. I did not see it in the studio. I missed it because I was so emotionally relieved — this painting had been finished! In my desire for it to be done, concluded, finalized, and discharged, I failed to see the obvious. This is a personality flaw. This is disturbing, but not too bad, as the fix is easy. It will have to wait until tomorrow. Today is my business day. I will not get into the studio today.
Today I have tried to reproduce Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014 in a manner best to show the floor-lines on the red ground. This emphasis of the floor-lines causes the entire painting to appear darker in value than reality. I am leaving it this way, for today, since it helps you understand the entire visual concept of this painting. Also, this is not the final reproduction. This Wednesday the final reproduction will be reproduced here, the day after I fix that girl's hand!
I am quietly making a series of excellent drawings in the background to the drama surrounding Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. These are preps for my next painting, which is eagerly sitting in the studio as three white canvases, stretched and ready to go. Perhaps, this Wednesday...
Last night I watched Wes Anderson's film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel." I said out loud, "If I made films this is the kind I would make." It is the wrap of seriousness within humor that attacks me. That makes sense to me. I have had periods of my art making when this enclosure, and inclusion, has been present in my art. I believe, in order to live well, the serious aspects of life must be viewed within a sense humor that reflects the futility and limits of being alive and human. I must return to making art which fully reflect who I am and my core beliefs. Just in time: I am an easy step away from the completion of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. It will probably happen today! So, what you see here, is Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014 on the verge of its finality! It seems too serious to me now. Nonetheless, I needed to make it. Being an artist is seeking the root self. This painting was a step toward understanding the core requirements of my true art. Looking back is good because it informs me looking now. Yesterday's first drawing contains some of that sense of humor I require to feel fully me. I am happy it is coming back. Look for it in my next painting!
Morton Sachs, one of my many drawing teachers, said an excellent drawing appears to radiate its own light. Immediately I understood this, but it took many, many practice drawings prior to my achieving it. So, when I reproduce my work I wish to achieve the same apparent glow of light that the real things radiate. You would think this would be easy on a computer screen, since the screen itself radiates light. Alas, no. On a real drawing, light appears to radiate because of the subtle play of values on the artifice that are drawn forms. Even though you can feel the light in the drawings reproduced here, I lament the loss which occurs. They do not twinkle in the way I work so hard to make them twinkle. For some reason, paintings work a bit differently; they better radiate their natural glow.
I did not visit the studio today. I needed a day off. In yesterday's post I was mistaken about my position in my energy cycle. However, yesterday I did take one more step toward completion of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. It is so very close. The changes you will see from here onward will be subtle at best. Tomorrow I will deal with the upper backgrounds, left and right. The left panel's upper background feels a bit stale to me, so revisiting it will reassure me I have found a valid solution.
Everyday in the studio surprises. After the listless drawings I made two days ago (posted here yesterday), I did not know what to expect. Yesterday's studio session began with a relatively introspective, typical, predictable, slowly-made drawing. Drawing number was a quick reaction to the slowness of the first. I had come out fighting. That second drawing fiercely fell out of me. Number three drawing appeared in a manner in-between the process of the previous two. I show the three drawings in order of my current opinion of their quality and importance, best to worst (not in order of their creation).
Looking more broadly at the use of my time, I realize that I cannot defeat the cycle. I go through energetic, extremely creative days, followed by a couple days of dullness, then I return again, fully awake and alive with reasons to create anew. Yesterday was the transition day in the cycle. I believe I am back to full mindfulness today. I fully intend to return to the painting.
I am not proud of yesterday's output. Both drawings were struggles. I felt listless, non-creative, as if I had no useful ideas. Without much to proclaim, I left the studio early.
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