I am out of here! I need to go to my studio, right here, right now. Recently I have spent too much time on fixes and not on creation. So...
Drawings are shown first today. Why? Because the s-l-o-w development of the painting 2017 No.13 probably strikes you as background noise. Today I show state 18. Occasionally a painting absorbs me through nuance. I am on a learning curve. I powerfully feel the need to explore nuance. The viewer has to look very hard to see the alterations I have made. Mostly it is in that columnar form with the snake-like wrap-around. The column itself has become more brilliantly lit, while the snake has taken on increased rotundity in its volume. It ain't done yet. I anticipate two more states before I am happily finished. This is my white horse. I am learning to paint white light with its full array of nuance.
Yesterday's drawings continues my exploration of form found deep within my emotional confines. I know this may not make sense to anyone reading this. I feel queasy about it myself! That is why I am exploring this avenue of approach. I am trying to find a connection to my emotional innards. I am looking to fluidly spill my emotional extrasensory perception. I will know it when I see it. It too is a white horse!
I have been playing for a long time. There is this need in me to make my art more emotive, less cerebral. Cerebral comes across as academic. Academic comes across as pleasing but dull. Dull is never good enough. Dull does not last. I want my art to have lasting power. Without lasting power why do it?
Yesterday's drawings are me lashing out at my own academicism. I know too much to be dull. I know too much to rest comfortably with repeats of my knowledge. I do not do simple repetition. My intellect is relentless with curiosity. I consistently test my knowledge by questioning all I have done. This is the endlessness I am.
In my work, both in the drawings and in the painting, value contrast is heating, becoming more dramatic, larger. Is this a good thing? Yes, of course it is! Any challenge to norms results in better.
This morning The New Yorker sent an email to all its subscribers with the cartoon I reproduce below. It is apt in many ways. It relates to our society, but also embraces the constant internal arguments I have. Only I get me, and I don't completely get me. That is the major reason I make art. It is also the reason my work bounces around in search for consistent, relentless truth. Can any human endeavor find absolute truth? I think there are absolute truths, like honesty. However, complex endeavors, like making art, do not easily reveal absolute truth. Thus comes my drawings, one simple, the next complex. There are those that are dominated by lines and those that are dominated by hard core black graphite. Yesterday's drawing exhibits the blackest I can get with that pencil of mine.
Right and wrong are often difficult to distinguish. Look at that little circle created in the upper left of this drawing. It flattens out on its left side. That was a conscious decision. I thought the flattened line played well with its otherwise roundness. Seeing it reproduced here I am not so sure. Overall the line it generates reenforces the verticality of the composition, while causing hesitation in the whipsawed rotation of the snaking form in which it is one circle away from the upper end. This is an example of a drawing that will spawn another drawing. The next will examine another possible solution. As I always say, this is an unending process without any perfect answers. Questions are wonderful! They initiate answers, good and bad. Questions, no matter the answers, always inform.
This drawing looks forward, looks back. There is a dangling whip there, so it must look back to my mentor, Philip Guston. It looks forward because it is only something I would do. I do not know anyone so completely involved, so entranced, by simultaneous in and out and across composition.
Two Works by Philip Guston
Sometimes I feel good. Sometimes I feel disturbed. Disturbance is now. This means it is time to move. Saying this I am accepting the reality of staleness. A change is necessary. It is only art, but life is like this too. One knows when one must throw out the musty, the old that has become insipid. I know I must buy new ideas, ideas more relevant to here and now. The burden is this: I must finish that which I have begun. The painting 2017 No.14 is almost complete. If you watch carefully over the next several days you will see me put the final touches. I think there are two more days on this painting. Yesterday's drawing is complex and informative. It harks of things to come while singing with my present knowledge.
Landscape or imaginary room — here it comes, ready or not — it is what it is.
I am a man with an appetite. Are we not all? I will gobble my way to sanity. Yeah, there will be boggles along the way. I am, however, getting there. Yesterday's drawing is clogged with information. Today I will try another route. I will establish ground, then move toward resolution.
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