Nothing special to show you today — just an image of a drawing made while I was fatigued. I don't recover well from late nights, but I was interested in looking at the human head as an expressive device. Perhaps I failed; my judgement cues need revitalization, so I am unsure of the qualities in yesterday's drawing. Rest is necessary. I may be back tomorrow, maybe not. Today is my business day. I do not know if today will allow for studio time.
It has begun. Deja vu is a wondrous recycle of that which one already knows. The return, over and over, just makes the work better, more potent, closer to that which one knows but have been unable to express fully and satisfactorilly. My new sensibility is... I am OK with this.
It comes down to this: suddenly I have a renewed interest in expressive physiognomy as an end in itself. However, I can't see me making single portrait heads in my search for veracity and truth. So I will continue to make work like the ones above, but I am also thinking of taking a cue from the British painter Francis Bacon (see below) by making triptychs where three individually expressive heads are played against one another. I did this years ago. It requires a little construction, i.e. three identically sized canvases linked together. We shall see.
OK, yes, I am pursuing this painting as a dog pursues a scent. I can small its conclusion. I continue to feel this painting is very important, a turning point in my career as painter. The importance is more in my process than it is in the result (I am not judging the quality of the painting). This managing of process, i.e. the consistent intuitive nature, and the depth of internalization which accompanies my art-making, is relatively new. It came upon me as surprise. The verbal search to identify that which I am doing has fallen off the path I am hounding.
After the mythological world of birds, eggs, baseball, and clouds I returned to one of my oft used subjects: a man and a woman in a room. Today's blog post title poses questions. Verbal answers don't matter. I'll work this out though my art. Everything I make is me. So there!
The quick and direct ways and means to a charity drawing got side-tracked for a second time. This drawing may be better than my first charity effort (Untitled-09·17·2013). What does this mean? It means I find joy, and meaning, in doing this. i.e. the invention of a mythical world with referential images. Now for a decision; the charity auction is Saturday September 28th and the drawing is due for delivery this Friday. It must be framed tomorrow. Which drawing goes to the auction block? In the end it does not matter, so I will let someone else pick. What does matter to me is the residual insight. Being knocked-off my supposed path in an effort to make a non-contoversial and easily understood drawing has given back to me. It has imbued me with insights worth knowing and assimilating. What goes around comes around.
Seems like I can't let it go — so the quest for a drawing that will sell in the local charity auction continued. The positive reviews for drawing, Untitled-09·17·2013, made me believe it was ultimately too complex and too sophisticated to offer it at the charity auction (the required price would prohibit its sale). So yesterday I made this drawing. I am going to refuse to put a lot of time into the drawing I began yesterday; I will keep it simple. All this seeking after a drawing to sell for charity has distracted me from where I thought I was going, but perhaps in a good way. When a visitor to my studio saw drawing Untitled-09·17·2013 she said, "You could not compromise yourself. That's OK. You made this drawing even though you wanted to make a work that would sell in the auction." By saying that, she indicated drawing Untitled-09·17·2013 was indeed, deeply mine. I was shocked because I thought I was transforming myself into a latter day Dr. Seuss. Perhaps Dr. Seuss and I truly have things in common.
Full Disclosure: I have not been in the studio as much as I need in order to feel fully satiated. Yesterday, besides the search for water on my property, I attended the third of six films in the Telluride Film Festival at Dartmouth College. I have been seeing every film in the festival. Yesterday's film was "The Lunch Box," written and directed by Ritesh Batra. It was excellent.
There is a thin line between great and stupid. I am not writing about the painting (above), but the drawing (below). Yesterday I put a lot of time and energy into finishing this drawing, and I moved my feelings from stupid to great. This was not just me, but a regular visitor to my studio saw this drawing in its current state and gushed with positive enthusiasm. Upon hearing this I was, initially, dumbfounded. I began this drawing as a less controversial, more child-like drawing, hoping it would sell in a local charity auction. Never thinking I would put so much time or energy into this drawing, I had intended it to be a simple and sellable item in a northern New England town which mostly exhibits landscapes and such in their homes. Now I have a new dilemma. If I price this properly for the auction it will not sell (too expensive). If it does not sell it will be useless to the local charity. It seems I need to make a new drawing for the charity auction.
The painting goes well. I only had time to put around 45 minutes into it yesterday. More to come...
Yesterday, after working on these two drawings I left the studio feeling awkward, and a bit stupid. Both of these drawings feel unfamiliar, peculiar, and alien to me. Who made these? Of course it was me. They came easily too. Now I feel I was off my track, as if derailed for a day. In making them I found a comfort zone which has little to do with me, except it was me. Yes, these drawings flew from a capricious and fickle part of me, seemingly without conflict. Strange day.
It is 4:34pm here. So I won't be getting into the studio today. I was distracted by my film class and a search for water in my pasture land (no further explanation). In any case, tomorrow I will be in my studio, bright and early, looking to correct my derailment and be true to myself.
Every year I donate a work of art to the Art Auction run by our local, Lyme, New Hampshire, charity organization, The Utility Club of Lyme. This year the auction is on Saturday September 28th. In the past my works have an uneven selling record, due to cost and subject matter. In the years my work has sold best it depicted mild to humorous subjects, and was painted or drawn cleanly and clearly. My goal is to make money for the local charities this group funds, so here is my effort in that direction, thus far. I will complete it today. As usual, I have no idea if any of the attendees at the auction will like this work enough to purchase it. They generally like conservative, representational work, or useful craft objects.
Here is information about this charity auction:
Fine Art, Fine Food
Silent auction of works by local artists and craftspeople with wine, hors d'oeuvres and an opportunity to meet the artists.
Saturday, September 28th, 2013
6:00 - 8:30 PM, Bidding Closes at 8pm
The Barn at 125 Breck Hill Road, Lyme, NH
Proceeds to benefit scholarships and local charities
Tickets: $35 in advance at the Lyme Country Store or at the door
Questions? Call Nancy Snyder at 603-795-2904
With every day of work my eyes are understanding more and more, but am I making sense of it all? Today is a day to just look and see, and contemplate this question. It feels to me that my art is speaking more clearly and more loudly. Encouragingly I say, "Go with the flow!"
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