This drawing is not simple at all. It is the simplicity of my activity in making the drawing that was simple. I allowed myself to follow its requests. I did not intellectually dictate content, form, or composition. It was manufactured by me in the same way I dig a hole to plant a tree. The tree is there in front of me, existing as it is in the nature of myself. The hole is dug to fit the tree. So I dig until it is right and the tree fits properly, upright and correct. Then I am finished.
The images I show today speak volumes about my current struggle. The first is the new painting, "Painting-09252012". I have decided my works do not require descriptive titles, but will act as diary pages in my search for relevancy and authenticity. I will date the paintings according to the day they were begun, just as I have always titled my drawings. Yesterday's drawing is also shown today and is titled "Drawing-09252012".
I am admitting to distractions while I find the new focus in my art. There is life going on while I miss the time in the studio. Like my art, my life is being renewed through learning and unlearning. Art-making does mimic life-making and vice-versa. I promise, both life and art are getting better, more authentically true to myself and the existence I am living. Hang in here and watch. I have stretched a new, and very white, canvas (60 X 52 inches). I will paint on it today.
You may have noticed, I am going through a transformation of being. It is heavy and fast and it has affected my work and my life. I am dealing with it. I am moving to unlearn constructions in my mind that had become hindrances to my knowing and seeing clearly. I am relearning my personal reality.
The drawings I show today are examples of this transformation. It is best we watch together rather than I tell you what it all means. I am not sure of much, but I do know my present way of acting, of making art, is truer to myself than what had come before.
I do not want to offend anyone, so I have paraphrased the song "The Bitch is Back" by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. My pruning of the lyrics brings them closer to the meaning of today's blog post.
"I was justified when I was five
Raising Cain, I spit in your eye
Times are changing...
But the fever's gonna catch you when the bitch gets back
I'm a bitch, I'm a bitch
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
I can bitch, I can bitch...
It's the way that I move
The things that I do"
Yesterday's work has brought me back to first instincts, MY first instincts. Now it time to let the "good times roll." This brings me to lyrics from The Cars (Ocasek & Ric), which go to the heart of my acceptance of the direction I am now undertaking: "If the illusion is real let them give you a ride, if they got thunder appeal let them be on your side."
Here is a more complete version of the lyrics from The Cars' song "Let the Good Times Roll":
Let the good times roll
Let them knock you around
Let the good times roll
Let them make you a clown
Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair
Let the stories be told
They can say what they want
Let the photos be old
Let them show what they want
If the illusion is real
Let them give you a ride
If they got thunder appeal
Let them be on your side
Let the good times roll
I am not promising anything to myself—not quality nor substance—just research. This will move me into painting today because the drawings are not fully satisfying the inquiry.
Through making things ugly, and examining the alien and the unknown, I will discover the true and known.
There is so much more to making art than simply showing up and doing it. I am dealing with it. The variety and spontaneity of my current work exhibits my journey on the long and winding road to self fulfillment.
Who knew? Not me. That is good. Here we go. I know it has not been fast, but it is happening. I am allowing it "to develop", as George Eastman said, "...slowly in the dark, like a photograph." Today I bring us up to speed on my visual thoughts. Few are shown, but each is important. More to come...
Today I show you two of my drawings (from yesterday) and two works by my contemporary, the Italian artist, Francesco Clemente. First, here are my drawings:
I was in the middle of making the second drawing when I realized my approach is allowing me to be spontaneous in the the creation of image and form. I am losing my attachment to anatomy and realism and replacing it with expression through the invention of form with an increased awareness of composition as expression as well. This is what I see in Francesco Clemente's work. Now I show two of Clemente's paintings:
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