Work is work. You show up. You do. The mystery is my reaction to all things present and past. Intuition is built on study, contemplation, activity; yes, intuition is a product of work. I find myself in the throws of intuition. It feels discomfiting. Is it befuddlement? Or just me in new territory? I have to trust because all I consciously know is the path feels right within my questions: "Yes?" or "Maybe yes?" It is alright to be here.
What's it all about? I am certainly NOT stuck in a rut! I am driving along, turning a corner. The turn feels slow, lethargic. It does feel familiar. I am winding up, the tension in my rubber band of a soul is increasingly stretched. I feel taut, stressed, anxious, ready to jump. The coming recoil may not be pretty. My current work does not look pretty. Everything looks unappealingly unattractive. Yet, I am filled with optimism.
Yesterday's drawings are, in a simplistic way, exploratory. What can I do with that which I know? Is this craziness? I am more interested in the unknown than the known? Thus I explore, looking to push out of my comfort and into the revelatory uncomfortable. It would be healthier for me to revel in the simplicity of being, here and now. Would it not be better to be happy with the pleasures available to me? Am I a hero if I risk looking for the dark and dank? Or just a crazy idiot? Time and effort will tell.
Despite my complaining about process, my discomfort, I am feeling better all the time. The work is stronger. The work is more clearly mine. I am more centered within the work. So, why do I feel discomfort? Why do I feel restless? Here's why: So much to do, not enough time, not enough energy. The flip side is... my success rate is higher than ever! Painting "2016 No.4" is very good!
There are days when I feel discomfort. As if something is wrong. I can not place my finger on it. I feel there is something amiss. Today is such a day. I have found, on most days like this, I am unduly worried about a lot of things. Do any of the many items in my life warrant my attention? I am sure of just one thing. The discomfort is here. It could be about my art. Simply, I feel unease. Nothing looks right. Interactions seem compromised. The day moves more slowly than most. My concerns wrack everything I do. I did get to paint yesterday. I think it went well. Perhaps my discomfort comes from me needing to move on while being stuck here within the need to finish this painting, "2016 No.4". Working will sort it out.
Drawings-12·13·2015, pencil on paper, 20X16 inches
Today I had my yearly physical exam. Always traumatic for me. Not because there is something wrong, but because I fear something is wrong. That something would be something of which I have no awareness. I began to feel this anxiety a few days ago, but it peaked yesterday. Consequently, I lacked concentration in the studio. Consequently, I made strangely detached drawings. Yes, strange, but true.
Drawings from 11/24/2015, both pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
Right now I feel that my life, and my art, have too many commas. This may or may not be true. But I feel it. Tis the season of distractions. Some real, because of social engagements and the consequent use of my time. Some emotionally created, because of the relationships I have with friends and family. Until my re-reading of my last blog post I thought I had used too many commas. Now I think not. This is indicative of my confusion.
I continue to surprise myself in the studio. Yesterday's drawings appear bewildering to me. I am unscrambling my life through my art. I would let you know when "I get it," but that is not going to happen. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Today I do some things to prepare. Today I will not have much time in the studio, but I will post something tomorrow.
Now is the time when nuance is in question. Does the change in the head of the bird in the painting "Wowie" enhance this painting? It is not just the bird's head that has been altered. The silhouette of the man, and the "ground", have also been modified. The alteration in the bird was called for by the alteration in the "ground", which was followed by the change in the silhouette. Of the ground, I am sure. Yes, but does this new bird's head improve the painting? I am questioning my decision because of this reproduction. Yesterday I did the same questioning while in the studio. I altered the bird's head several times, finally arriving at the one shown here. So, should I accept this version as correct? The problem I must answer is this: Can the painting allow this more demanding version of the bird's head? The only way to answer this may be to erase the present bird's head and try again. But, sometimes I walk into the studio, look at a painting and know, "This is good!" Stay tuned.
Yesterday's drawing is definitely a good one.
Drawings from 11/3/2015, all pencil on paper, 20X16 inches
I am a stranger in a strange land. As trite as it reads, I am simply searching for truth. Yesterday's drawings are all over the possibilities of me, from weird reductive figuration to artificial three-dimensional landscapes. As is my habit, I redact none of it. You see it all, even the uncomfortable first drawing with the weird lady holding a plate of fruit. These drawings are me with a series of questions. I know I must commit in order to make substantial art. I must commit fully to a vision. I worry, probably correctly, that I am making drawings like these because it is easier than full commitment. I have set up my studio for the greater substance that comes with painting large works on canvas. Yes, I know what must be done. So here I am giving myself a pep talk. Go and do it!
I was feeling lethargic and tired. There were two things that had soaked up my energy: my worries and concerns about being swept away by Jury Duty, and the painting Asparagus. This was followed by my worrying about my low energy level! Then came a plumbing failure, which is making our house active with workmen. There are other distractions too. But yesterday I did get into the studio to produce the excellent drawing I show you today. It flowed from me with sensitivity and finesse. Something like this, a drawing that flows easily and well, must indicate a return of real energy, mental and physical. I think it important that I use my drawing as a gauge of my true energy level. I should acknowledge the ease, or difficulty, that is reflected in my drawing. Accepting this as indicator of true energy is much better than the alternative. The alternative is me worrying that I have low energy, then fighting against the need of rest.
Untitled Drawings-02·04·2015 Nos. 1, 2, 3, pencil on paper, 14X11 inches
These images are from a couple days ago. The apparent life of this artist is one of wandering in search of methodology. Elusive it will always be, this methodology stuff, because that is not the reality of working in the moment. I have to react to the situation in which I live and work. I keep saying the same thing over and over, the same cliché, "The only constant is change." Everyday is different, so I practice my intelligence of reactivity. Like a football player running down the field with ball, I am practicing to be agile, to deal with anything that comes at me, beside me, behind me, in front of me. Yes, I want to continue forward.
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.