I am startled. Everything looks new. I cannot repeat myself because I am here, not there, nowhere but here. My practice of mindfulness is kicking in. Still a struggle; I am closer than ever. There is contrariness in me. I say one thing, then I give recognition to the past; a past I claim I am unable to repeat. I am wary of the past. The past is somewhat delusional. I am working to remove delusion. Bias is always present. Recognition of truth is confusing because bias presents itself like speed bumps; always present, effort is required to avoid. My work is selecting the few clean stones from the slightly tarnished ones. Not easy! Renewal is required. Bias is an enemy. Practice and work are required.
Yesterday's drawing finds truth in its marks. It did not come as easily, with as much conviction, as Drawing 09·25·2019 No.3. Conviction confusion questions quality. Not to worry; today brings renewal.
The introspection immersed within my approach is constant. I worry about this. If approach has consistency, does it also contain habit and bias? There is an old saying, "If a hammer is the only thing one has, the entire world looks like a nail." If my habitual mind is all I have, do I approach everything with the same bias? I do believe there is revelation in both the painting and the drawing I show today. Process and progress are complicated problems. As much as I am making the effort to discover myself I making an effort to discover a process devoid of bias.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to be overwhelmed by bias. In that way I would feel like I knew what I was doing. Bias would make me strong, vital, and absolute. No such stuff in the cards for me! Every day I make stuff that surprises me. Who am I? Trying to answer this question is the reason I make art. This query is universal among artists for whom I feel deep fondness. As example I give you a painting by Paul Gauguin (please note the title).
Art-making is more about management than predictability. It is being a host, akin to being within a swarm of gnats on a hot, humid summer day. Ideas are in front of me, within me. All I can do is squirm. Try to make it better. Such is problem solving. No bias allowed. Accept all questions as valid. Manage till current knowledge is exhausted. Call it quits when no path forward is understood. This painting, 2017 No.9, is not done. The questions it asks are important. I will not leave it till I lose track of its self-inflicted strategy.
Yesterday's drawing came directly. It is a sweet spot that has the aura of comfort in knowledge. It was enjoyable to make.
Playing the fool is admirable if it produces surprise and wonder coupled with actual and substantial self-discovery. At least, that is my thesis for today. Self-discovery hopefully leads to self-knowledge. In other words, I am jumping into artistic territory I do not fully comprehend. This is necessary, but it also yells at me to be cautious. So I ask, "Am I squandering? Am I misspending, frittering away my time-limited life?" I am going to go with, "No!" For now, this feels the right answer.
Yesterday's painting, and yesterday's drawing, play with color, space, texture, form, and space. Both are light filled renditions with three-dimensional spatial definition. Production relied upon my intuitive feel in utilizing the commonly defined "Elements of Art". I am not going to question my success or failure. This is me, the fool jumping in. Working this way does feel exhilarating to me, despite my lacking full intellectual understanding. Perhaps, by writing this, I am being a fool. After all, isn't the manner of work I describe here the normal artistic process? It is researching possible solutions without bias.
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