How does my artful mind work? It does not work from the tippy top of its knowledge. It does not work from things known nor things comprehended. It does not work by past experience alone. It does not work like an athlete with skills honed to perfection. It works in its presence. It responds as rain responds to a landscape discovered; down the hill it runs till it rests in peaceful harmony of the here and now. My art expands and contracts as does my breathing. It is natural and involuntary.
Yesterday my art expanded. Here I show it to you! It is light-filled, compositions well collected. Good it is!
Two days back and I am Mehrbach. The world of my art makes sense to me!
Stunning! The arrow returns but returns stronger and with more accuracy. I am hitting my marks! Surprised I am. Always, upon rest and recreation, I return with greater insight and acuity. This should not be surprising. It makes me question my normal, daily habits. Is there an optimum manner to approach art-making? What is the best relationship between rest and activity to acquire maximum insight? The problem is this: I like routine! I enjoy showing up in the studio. I enjoy asking questions and looking for answers. However, as yesterday's success illustrates, solutions may not come easily through unmitigated, daily effort. Internalization is necessary. Internalization is a full brain activity; it takes time. Percolation! The painting Along for the Ride ain't done yet!
Keeping my relationship to myself through making art is paying dividends, one drawing at a time, one painting at a time. Some ideas, some works I produce, are more satisfactorily me than others. Yesterday was an excellent one! I am not going to explain this to you. I think you can see it immediately. Again, this drawing, now hanging in my studio, is so much better than the reproduction here. The most satisfaction in the making this wonderful drawing was me finding the blacks with just a pencil line — the blacks here remind me of those found by Picasso in his great print, Minotauromachie (see it, below).
My great affection for art-making is related to its probability of complete immersion; when making something of high personal relevance nothing exists except me and the art-object. It is glorious! Yesterday's drawing went that way. You know it when you see it. Look at yesterday's drawing. Its impact is immediate. It is exceptional!
I wish everything I made felt this right. It is by confluence of multiple factors that I achieve activity as satisfying as the making of this drawing: great energy, emotional stability, depth of personal insight — it is perfection in balance and sensibility!
The more I practice art-making the more often I achieve this totally satisfying immersion. It is akin to the practice of meditation. The more one meditates the deeper the insight. Practiced well, these non-verbal pursuits are similar — art-making and meditation.
My involvement with Along for the Ride is beyond passion. It is investigation gone personally viral. It has taken me over. I worry, I think, I act — all in search of consummation. Its completion is imminent.
Every day a little bit closer... Along for the Ride is almost there; what a great ride it is! In the midst of the process that is painting there is a time that is more discomfort than success. This is a symptom of risk-taking, not of ability. In fact, the exercise of talent is void without risk; self-discovery is impossible without risk. The edge of one's knowledge must not be static. When my knowledge becomes static I will be dead to myself.
Yesterday's drawing was exploratory. There are infinite ways to find truth; there are infinite truths!
What did Albert Einstein say? He said, "The power of compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." And... “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it... he who doesn't... pays it.” I am earning it! You can see it happen in my paintings; you can see it happening in Along for the Ride (now compounded into state 8). In making art I am paying it forward; I am giving it to everyone to see! This is true for my drawings; this is true for my paintings — all my work! The more I do the more I understand; that is how I compound! Interest becomes risk taking, becomes knowledge, becomes betterment, becomes enrichment! The painting Along for the Ride is so much richer today than it was two days ago, which is richer than it was 5 days ago, and so on and so on.... Compounded it is!
"Can you believe it, August is here!", said one newscaster after the next on snippets (from local TV stations) shown on the 8/1/2018 Jimmy Kimmel show. Here is my first drawing for August 2018. It is different, it is very good, it is a response to my working so very hard on the painting Along for the Ride. My acuity increases if I work in an extremely focused manner for several days, which I did with Along for the Ride; I made no drawings for several days! When my acuity peaks I prepare myself for a fall — a fall into exhaustion. I try to pace my energy, looking always for consistency in awareness. This drawing is a result of peak awareness, not exhaustion. Apparently I required an interlude before returning to Along for the Ride.
Stop Making Sense is the title of a 1984 Album by the "Talking Heads." Its first cut begins with these lyrics: "I can't seem to face up to the facts; I'm tense and nervous, and I Can't relax; I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire; Don't touch me; I'm a real live wire." That is an apt description of my last three days, i.e., life with this painting, Along for the Ride. Yesterday I finally found sense in it. This happened when I gave in, relentlessly followed its needs. I fed it what it wanted! I stopped trying to make intellectual sense of it; I gave into its pictorial sense. Along for the Ride is not done yet, but yesterday it got a hell of lot closer to completion. This painting is not unusual for me; I often get to a place in my works (drawings & paintings) where I am boggled — what does it want? What's it all about? (That is a reference to another set of lyrics — see below.)
What's it All About, Alfie?
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