Truth versus Reproduction
Today is proof positive that you have to see it to believe it! Reproducing art adequately is impossible. Yes, you get the gist, but you don't get the true experience. You don't get accuracy. This is clearly seen in the reproduction of the painting 2017 No.13. The pink tones across the top never go as red as seen here. It is a large painting, thus difficult to light evenly. I am trying to get it more accurate. Yesterday I ordered a few more lights in the Kelvin temperature daylight range. They will arrive tomorrow. Perhaps my next try at reproducing it will be better. As I proceed on a painting the precision in its reproduction does not seem to impact its factuality as much as it does in the painting's early stages. That could be self-delusion.
As to the art work itself, it is going, and going well! This stuff is high quality!
As promised, yesterday I began a new painting, 2017 No.13. I do feel reinvigorated. This stuff is important. The painting 2017 No.11 was completed; it has very few alterations when compared to its previous state. 2017 No.11 is a grand painting. It is one reason for my reinvigoration. My ability to push these three-dimensional abstractions to finality is clearly understood. My ability to accomplish finality is great. All of yesterday's work feels very good, very right.
NOTE on state 1 of 2017 No.13: The underdrawing seen in today's reproduction of 2017 No.13 was accomplished using an oil paint stick, color = slate blue. A bit of white oil paint was used to cover portions of the painting.
The Problems with Butter
Butter has two problems: It is high in fat and it can go rancid. If I am not careful with 2017 No.11 it could take on these characteristics. It is done. It feels like any further alterations would just add fat, and perhaps allow it to go stale, rancid. It is time for me to intellectually intervene. My impetus for perfection must be replaced with intellectual enforcement, i.e., "This has been out on the table long enough! Time to put it on ice. Put it in the fridge!"
OK, but, this morning I looked at it in the studio, where light is good and reality is confronted. This painting needs three more minutes of time. I need to push down the slight yellowing of the upper right edge of its dominant form (the striped one). You may not be able to see this in today's reproduction. It is no big deal. It is simply me going a little more toward perfection. All this painting requires (for me to be fully satisfied) is little dabs of white over that yellowish edge, thus turning the form a bit more robustly. Tomorrow you will see the final reproduction of this painting. I promise. Also, tomorrow you will see the beginning of a new painting, 2017 No.13. I promise!
Rocking My Persona Boat
Art is all about finding one's personal niche... that which looks right to me. This is a major problem, because a complex and sophisticated personality, such as Vincent van Gogh, creates work that is not easily recognized by others. Viewers do not feel familiar when looking at images that are deeply personal but created by another person. Lack of personal familiarity breeds discomfort. People did not buy paintings by Vincent van Gogh when they were first produced. In fact, it is said that Van Gogh sold just one painting in his lifetime. This brings me to me. My work is increasingly personal, increasingly different from anything I have seen before. What am I supposed to do with this? People are not familiar with these images. I am not familiar with these images. Yet these images look right to me! Do they look right to you? I think they will look right to anyone that gives adequate time to openly dwell upon them. After all, the images may be alien, but the use of the principles and elements of art are the same as they have always been. Also, I am not using radically different media from that which has been used for over a millennia.
PRINCIPLES OF ART: Balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, rhythm, unity, and variety.
ELEMENTS OF ART: Line, color, shape, form, value, space, texture.
Failure to "Do It All" at Once!
I am always hoping I am good enough to do it all in one fell swoop! Not yesterday! The painting 2017 No.11 is better than the day before, but the yellow creep onto the largest form in the composition requires a pullback. That will happen tomorrow. I think that will be the end of it. This painting does require a few other touches (besides removal of the excess yellow). That should be easy. The difficult work is done.
Yesterday's drawing tests a few new ideas. I still think (as I wrote in yesterday's blog post) I am exploring ideas that may instigate a new painting, which should begin shortly.
Never Good Enough
I am like a parent who is never fully satisfied with their child's accomplishments. Not good for the child; not good for the parent! I am stuck here; critiquing and working to improve the painting 2017 No.11. As usual I have all kinds of ideas on how to begin the next painting, but I have to deal with this one. Like a child, this is both a blessing and painful. The wonderful part is the best elements of 2017 No.11 are blossoming. My recent alterations have given higher quality to its form, its light, its three-dimensional-ness, and its composition. I want to celebrate, but 2017 No.11 requires a few more changes before I am content.
Most likely yesterday's drawing is a prelude to my next painting.
Obsession and Perfectionism
This quest is a burden. To find the image that is as good as it gets is impossible. I keep trying. Constantly I ask myself, "Is it worth it?" After the work I mostly answer "Yes." The affirmative never comes easy, nor immediately. A certain amount of giving in, giving up, is necessary. Perfect success is impossible. The only success possible is making the image better than it was before. This seeking perfection certainly slows my life down. It also brings nervousness. Obsession is not trouble-free. It is conflict. It is disquiet that is anxiety and apprehension. Yesterday I returned to the painting 2017 No.11. It is better. It is not perfect. It will never be perfect. I do see it as better. It needs more. I accept the work that is necessary. That will happen today.
Here is a bit of success: I have moved on from the painting 2017 No.12. I assure myself that 2017 No.13 will begin soon.
Yesterday's drawings are interesting. No pattern, just writhing forms juxtaposed against solid, easily recognizable geometric forms. For fun I reproduce three images that somehow influenced yesterday's work (e.g, the sphere in Albrecht Durer's Melancholia was on my mind when I was working on 2017 No.11).
Removing the Murky
I would like to declare the painting 2017 No.12 complete, but never say never. In fact, 2017 No.11 remains on my painting wall; yesterday I looked at this previously "completed" painting. Now I believe 2017 No.11 needs an alteration, i.e., removal of a little murkiness in thought and deed. I will probably give 2017 No.11 a bit of a re-do tomorrow. For now, I believe this one, the one in front of you, is complete. (A note about reproduction: That top border band of blue/black of the painting reproduced here today is darker in the actual painting. When photographing this painting I tried to adjust the lights that were used to illuminate the painting. In my adjustments I could now remove some of the surface sheen. Thus, the top border, which is darker in value, is reflectively grayed in the reproduction you see before you.) Please note the playfulness of the frame created by the dark border: it changes in value, as well as in width, consequently it also changes in its artifice of depth. This is new in my work.
Yesterday's drawing continues my query into biomorphic abstraction.
Nodding Your Way
Making art is seeking a big nod. It is looking for a non-verbal response. Sparkle is the look I am trying to obtain. An excellent drawing, an excellent painting, must sparkle with light. Light is our most basic visual connection to one another. Light is the commonality which leads us to remain, allows us to believe there is truth in front of us. Then, hopefully, the nod will come. "I get it!" Yesterday's work engages me. I nodded "yes" because there is intensely personal self-involvement in these works. I hope you too will nod "Yes!"
Trying not to be trite, I will mention this: When we say, "We see the Light," we mean "We Understand!"
The Dunder in Wunder, or not?
I often worry I am too much into detail. I agressively search to find, thus I am overwhelmed by the activity of seeking nuance. Do I enjoy it? I do. Yesterday's drawing is full of finesse. It surprises me with its clarity of forms, its clarity in shadows cast (both by the forms on ground and on the surfaces of the forms themselves). Spatial play is animated by light. The forms are positioned by their surface values as well as by the shadows they cast on the ground. (We all know the white paper is actually as flat as flat can be.) Am I a dunderhead because I wonder too much? No, this is the intricacy demanded by sophisticated problem solving.
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