Things are going right. The painting "Beloved" looks right, better. I am slowly removing the slave to the past off my back. Perhaps it is not the mongoose that is gone, but the snake. I am surprised, everyday. Is this not the way life should be lived? The works I show today surprise me.
Drawings from 10/28/2015, all pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
It ain't what it used to be! My art-making process is becoming lost. It does not feel thoughtful. It is becoming the simple act of being. This feels right, not to feel the thinking, but simply to be. That last sentence, and my first sentence, ended with the word "be". But the "used to be" is far different from the present "be".
Drawings from 10/27/2015, all pencil on paper, 20X16 inches
Ridiculous or profound? The question has been asked by artists over time immemorial and not-so-immemorial. So here I am. Silly, I ask the same question. I am having fun! I am discovering without self-criticism. It is simple. It is happening. It is being. Yesterday's work exhibits a mixture of all my interests. Yes, some plebeian, some cultured, some sophisticated. Are we not all a mix of all of it? Stupid and low-brow is not beyond the most clever, nor is profundity beyond the witless. I accept, if I am to be all that I am, then I must allow all that I contain to spill out and come forth in my art. I am surprised. Is that not a sign of virtuousness?
Drawings from 10/25/2015, all are 16X20 inches, pencil on paper
Drawings from 10/24/2015, all 20X16 inches, pencil on paper
I am writing about two upgrades. The first is in my art. The pictorial content of my art has recently expanded in variety ― there is a more brazenly accepted use of imagery. The second is an upgrade in my commercial website (you are currently reading my educational, not-for-profit, web blog, i.e. a .org site). Yesterday MEHRBACH.com added e-commerce! Items available are limited, but will soon expand to offer everything my art has produced, if available for sale. This will include original paintings, original drawings, and high-quality Giclée Prints of every image on the website (plus reproductions of my work you may have seen in galleries, museums, or private collections ― I own copyrights to all of it).
Today's drawings are exceptional. Their images are both representational and abstract, while staying true to my love of three-dimensions being depicted on a two-dimensional surface. These drawings accept my interests. They do not fight my interests. They are introspective, mindful, and revelatory.
How do I know if something is better than it was before I altered it? Sinking into mindfulness is the only way. Mindfulness means acceptance without criticism. My mini-abstract era was fine and dandy, but I am more than that. I require more than that. The world requires more than that. STOP! I must not denigrate my era of abstraction (or was it an era of non-representation?). It was not fear, nor confusion, that drove me to abstraction. It was a quest for more mindful compositions. I will not promise myself that I will not do it again. The journey I am on is not pre-defied. It is my journey. I have no knowledge of my next step. I am here and now. I am being as I step. I am being swept away by my inquiry into who and where and why I am. This journey is not about doing. Admiringly, I do the dishes, but I will not do art. The journey is most important. I must not confuse myself by defining the where or there I am going.
I am back from a joyous celebration of youth and coming of age. It was not about me. I was an observer, as those who play in Fantasy Sports' venues are observers. Observation in such events brings great optimism about now and the future. That is where I am. These drawings, and the update of the painting ("Two"), were done before the event. You are going to wait two days for new stuff. Your wait, my wait, is worth every ounce of mindfulness that will become real in everything I do.
Drawings from 10/13/2015, all pencil on paper, 20X16 inches
Drawings from 10/11/2015, all are pencil on paper, 20X16 inches
It worked! Of course it did! The painting "Two" is the first of many paintings that will be made on a the solid fiberboard wall. The feel of placing a stroke of paint on this canvas is different than placing the same stroke on a stretched canvas. The fiberboard wall has no give, no flex. For someone like me, a draftsman pure and simple, this makes sense. I get greater control of line and stroke on the fiberboard-backed canvas than on a canvas stretched across a frame. The main bonus is in my ability to tack up a canvas in a few minutes, rather than manufacturing a stretcher, then stretching the canvas (which can take over two hours).
Yesterday's drawings continue to explore my basic need to create forms in three-dimensional space. Henri Matisse's advice to artists was something like this, "If you get confused, go back to your earliest work to see the driving force in your need to make art." This is exactly the impetus of my most recent work! BTW: I feel much as Matisse did about his work being different from any other painter (see quote below). The social desire to be like others is with us all.
It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else. -Henri Matisse
The problem is time and sunshine. They both need to be available. A lot is going on in my life. The intense demands on my limited time will continue for about another 10 days. Nothing to worry about, but it must happen, and much of it will be celebratory. I am being vague because this is not a blog about my personal life, but one about my art. Sometimes personal stuff and art-making does intersect, one can affect the other, but not this time. Yes, I will have less time to make art. I have written too much about this, so let me change subjects and write about art.
I continue to realize that form, the artifice of a third-dimension, is important to me. To me, there is something emotional about wandering around in the third-dimension, seeing the form, feeling the form, and watching one form interact and impinge upon other forms. Here today you see important indications of this. Yesterday's drawings sprung from the depths of my needs, but I am a neophyte in this area of structural emotions. I must do much more work. I need to unravel, and to separate, the truly expressive from the questionable, the inaccurate, the spurious, the erroneous, and the untrustworthy.
It is all new to me! Yesterday I did these unusual drawings, then spent a few hours preparing the new painting wall. The wall will allow me to tack canvas quickly and easily onto a flat surface. I will save hours because this means no constructing of wooden supports and no stretching the canvas across supports. The canvas will come right off the roll, right onto the painting surface. Lickety-split I am into painting!
Drawings from 10/03/2015, all pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
My drawings continue to surprise me. They are a mixture of forms and compositions that fall from dreams and memories and inventions. My biggest fear is viewers will see them like something out of science fiction. The bottom line is they are images in search of truth, and that certifies the making of these a most important experience!
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