The colors in Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 are deeper than those seen in the actual painting. This is my effort to allow you to see the new shadows occurring behind the man in the left panel. It is obvious to me that the left and right panels demand immediately attention and alterations. Today is annoyingly my business day, so the required changes will have to wait until tomorrow.
Yesterday's drawing is interesting is its succinct forms, light, and spatial dialogue. I rather enjoyed making it. I regret a bit that it took up three-quarters of yesterday's studio time to produce because the painting Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 is calling for me to push it toward finality. This said, yesterday's drawing was actually a necessary study for the man in the left panel of the painting. In the drawing I play with a man against a wall. This prepared me for the play of shadows cast by the man in the left panel of the painting.
Yesterday a lot happened with the painting Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014. Today is the day after a day which included important changes. My soul and body are calling for an easy day, one filled more with dreaming, and experiencing the sunshine, than doing. That is, I need a day of slow comprehension. I need my intuition to catch up with all this living and doing.
The painting, Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014, is beginning to increase its energy load. This is, perhaps, the opposite of woe. More succinctly, it is simple mindfulness. It is taking me over, here and now.
Today's title is less reality than a query. It is very confusing to be an artist. It's like diving blind into a quarry pond, dark and deep with no sunshine to illuminate its depth. The safety of the dive is in question. Picasso said it well: "Painting is a blind man's profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen." I am becoming permeated with this reality. The only way forward is to give into knowledge deeper and smarter than anything I consciously know. I am allowing myself to be taken over by forces I do not understand. I am a prisoner of the internalization of all I have seen. Woe is me!
It is not what you make, it is where it comes from. A couple days ago I saw the new film "Turner" (about the artist, Joseph Mallord William Turner). It rang so very true. There is a point where writing and talking about one's art is indescribable. I am getting there. This does not mean I will stop this blog, as its reason for existence is about getting my images out there for you to see, but more importantly, for me to reflect upon those same images. Every day my posting here is useful to me. It forces me to see more clearly that which I have done. It categorizes my images externally. This allows me to question if my day's work has internal authenticity. The answer is never as clear as the question.
There's a double title for today. The first part refers to a painting's ability to take over and direct me ― I am Up & Running because Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 is calling the shots. I am paying attention. I am the conduit.
The second portion of the title refers to my desire to keep you engaged. My blog's viewing numbers went down yesterday. Although still in the several hundreds of readers, I prefer to know that more than a thousand are reading this thing. Ego? No, it is about communication being important. This blog is valuable to me for several reasons, one of which is its ability to measure your interest. Interest is a measure of successful communication. Like all of us, I want to feel relevant and acknowledged. I take readership here as a serious measure of the value of my conversation with you. When I do not write for several days, my readership plummets. That makes sense. But right now I am in the heat of battle. I feel important art is being made. I always question my validity. Engagement with others helps me diminish that fear, just a bit.
It is one of those days when the image of a painting speaks more clearly than anything I have to say. Enjoy! One note: the color in today's reproduction of Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 is remarkably accurate. This verisimilitude rarely happens, and is thus surprisingly rewarding. (Remember to click on the image to expand it for better viewing.)
Below yesterday's drawing is a quote from this week's issue of The New Yorker: please read.
Color-field climaxed a modern ambition to expunge narrative content from painting. You were meant to be alone―"autonomous" was a byword―in the wordless communion with art, as with a sunset. But art, unlike nature, requires someone to perform an act of will, and where there's a mind directing a hand there's a story. If the story is excluded from a picture, it will reconstitute around it as art criticism, which provides a set of thoughts for the reasons that, as you look, you should abandon thinking. That isn't fair to individual aesthetic experience, which may find drama in abstraction and transport in realism. It also leaves out of account the worldly circumstances that impel and reward changes in art. Those turned out, by the end of the sixties, to endorse almost anything but color-field. Color-field paintings are period artifacts, some of them lastingly enjoyable, of a peculiar presumption.
In reaction to these words of Peter Schjeldahl I say, "Right On!" I also believe it is correct to apply Schjeldahl's statement, that Color-field paintings are "period artifacts," to the works of Jackson Pollack, and perhaps to those of Andy Warhol (my jury on the overall oeuvre of Warhol is still out).
The painting Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 took a good turn, but the left panel continues to be awkwardly out of sync. In the left panel the upper right section, with its orange base and areas of yellow, is maladroit, clumsy, and out of place. I can see it becoming a linear pattern, perhaps a mirror image of the line pattern found in the right panel's upper right rectangle.
Yesterday's drawing came easy despite it sophistication. It took two to three hours of manufacture time. Complex images, spilling onto the paper more quickly, is a good thing. The success of this activity readies me for better things to come. It bolsters my confidence. The willingness to risk new directions is a consequence. It brings with it the belief I can find a way to make my confused impulses work on paper and canvas.
Today I continue to complain about the limitations of time and energy, thus the title. Perhaps I complain too much, and inappropriately. After all, I am human, and I can only understand at the rate at which I can lay down paint or pencil. That's what I'm complaining about! My ability to make marks on paper and canvas feels so very slow, and limited by my insufficient energy. My major limitation is the slowness of insight. Insight in art-making is not momentary. An image must appear before I can react to it. It is, in the reaction, that I have insight.
My current insight is my reaction to the lack of contrast in the backgrounds of the side panels, versus the central panel, in Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014. Today I will deal with that! I can see, in my mind's eye, blotches of yellow, like the specular highlights of Vermeer (some art historians call these pointillés).
Yesterday's drawing is a good one.
Curious it is to me. Where these images come from I am not fully aware. I can say yesterday's drawing was entertaining in process. There is a lot of fullness in this drawing, round and tangible forms, albeit a world unknown in its peculiar departure from the place I live. The man appears on a stage, with a curtain, with a strange fruit. That's all I have.
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