There is an end to everything. This applies to a painting as well. One can make paintings as walls. One can make paintings as landscapes. One can make paintings that inhabit a room. In ALL cases, there is a ground. The ground is the viewer's agency to find his bearing. An early influence upon my art was Yves Tanguy (1900-1955). Before I began today's post, I thought to myself, "Hey, Tanguy made images without horizons!" NOT true! Yves Tanguy ended his career making surrealistic LANDSCAPES! Tanguy began his artistic career, like all of us, making figurative paintings (see below). In ALL cases, despite my early morning intellectualized doubt, there is a definitive ground in Tanguy's paintings, always! There are horizon lines even when Tanguy creates an amorous background fog; there it is, in every work, a back-ground! And so it goes!
Another early influence on my art was Arshile Gorky (1904-1948). The same grounding occurs in Gorky's works (see below).
These has to be a defined rear-end to a painting, which I shall henceforth call, "the ground". Without the ground the viewer is left with insecurity of place. It is the relationship to security that makes a painting free, open, and emotive, thus allowing unrestrained creativity. Without security there is only loss; loss means absence, absence means a lie, a lie means dishonesty. The last thing I want my art to be is dishonest!
I began yesterday's drawing looking to test the "no horizon" idea. I cannot do it! A ground allows the artist to create havoc or security or insecurity or whatever. Life and art have irrefutable definitions. One of them is this: we exist in a place and in time; i.e., we exist on something that can be called our ground. Art mimics life. That is impossible to deny!
As good as yesterday's drawing is, I believe it can be better. There is a thrust of darkness that begins in the upper middle and moves diagonally to the lower portion of this drawing. The clarity of this thrust gets a bit vague in the lower portion of the the drawing. I believe, if I enhance this movement it will enhance the drawing. The proof will come in the doing. I will post its final state tomorrow.
FYI: I have been busy framing works for the first of my Spring/Summer exhibitions. I deliver works to AVA Gallery (Lebanon, NH) on April 26 (opening on May 10). I will neglect my new paintings till the older paintings are framed, cleaned-up, varnished, ready to go to AVA. I will continue to make drawings. Making Art is ingrained in me, rewarding to me as necessary to problem solving life and living. Art to me is an indicator of Life; I cannot stop doing it. I believe my recent drawings are excellent, perhaps the best I have ever done. This reward of quality keeps me involved, day by day, relentlessly.
My concerns simply do not matter. This is the path I am following. I do not know this path. Joseph Campbell wrote, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.” I believe it. Apparently so did Charles Schultz. Understanding within the moment of creation is not as important as understanding by journeying.
Yesterday's drawing is exceptional. It surprised me during its making; it surprises me now. I understand more by looking at it. This is quantifiable by measuring the amount of questions that have been generated. I feel there are more questions to answer now than there were before I made this drawing. Expansion of consciousness is a result of giving possible answers which procreate more questions. I do not know what I do not know. I do know the number of questions sitting there in front of me are expanding. All require inquiry, all beckon me. Are ideas questions? Yes! My art is me making possible answers.
Until recently, finessing an image came hard. Now the bit by bit alterations, which lead to nuanced intellectual and emotional subtlety, feel right and good. You can see it happening in the images I post today. Neither came quick. Both came with slow contemplation. It is a mode of behavior which once made me uncomfortable. At one point in my life I was a research scientist. I left that profession because it required a great deal of slow, contemplative behavior. I wanted physical, energetic use of mind and limb. Making Art was my solution. Here I am making Art with behavior similar to my best days as scientist.
BTW: If you are interested my contribution to the understanding of carbon dioxide's role in global warming, see this scientific paper:
Dissociation constants for carbonic acid determined from field measurements
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