I have done a lot of work, tons! Yet the insights keep coming. New knowledge never dies of old age. Looking back, perhaps I have not been clear enough, direct enough, not as forcefully true as required to be fully communicative. I worry. Perhaps my art has been difficult to comprehend. Perhaps my previous work has been more complex than simply lucid. In comparison to older things yesterday's drawing are simply intelligible. These drawings go right to truthfulness, i.e., they communicate without distraction. My art is beginning to make complete sense.
Less posting; more learning about Social Media — that's how it is. I mentioned this in a previous blog post. I am taking a course that teaches better use of Social Media. What I want is more interest in my art. I have been told the best way to get that interest is proper use of our current social environment. I tell you this because I have reduced my time in the studio in order to learn about effective socializing. This is ART versus SOCIAL MEDIA. Right now, art-making may be getting less time, but looking at yesterday's drawing it is not losing in its struggle for better communicate. The drawing I show today is an excellent one. My process of self-discovery, of self-acceptance, of making art that reflects my need to communicate to you is endlessly evolving. It will succeed because I listen to you and I listen to me and I know when I have made something more successfully communicative. Yesterday's drawing communicates well. I am walking in the right direction. I am becoming authentically me. I am becoming a better communicator. Social Media is a necessity. It is a major means to communicate to you. Through interaction via Social Media I am becoming more astutely aware of my failures and my successes to communicate.
Making art is seeking a big nod. It is looking for a non-verbal response. Sparkle is the look I am trying to obtain. An excellent drawing, an excellent painting, must sparkle with light. Light is our most basic visual connection to one another. Light is the commonality which leads us to remain, allows us to believe there is truth in front of us. Then, hopefully, the nod will come. "I get it!" Yesterday's work engages me. I nodded "yes" because there is intensely personal self-involvement in these works. I hope you too will nod "Yes!"
Trying not to be trite, I will mention this: When we say, "We see the Light," we mean "We Understand!"
The world is a messy place. Yesterday's drawing are fantastical! For this they felt very soothing in the making. The middle one has the security of being upright and center-balanced. Who could ask for more? Who could ask for an easier solution to the pain of vulnerability? The two on the wings are not so simple. In each case I sought stability, but the way of finding it differs greatly. No.1 rocks back and forth, the left object leaning left, the two right objects leaning right. No.3 creates its space in a more complex manner, as shadows do not pay attention to a point source, but are invented in order to give the composition animation and interest. Of the three drawings, only No.3 has forms clearly reminiscent of our real world, as a cloud-like form hovers in the upper left and a two-eyed being is framed by a rectangle just right of center. Even the form, on which the vigilant creature resides, looks a bit like a stranded fish. Nice day. Sunny, perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold: Goldilocks!
Sometimes I see my work as nothing new, nothing different, and stuck within the framework of historical standards in place 50 years ago. This is me at my most fearful. Yesterday's drawing brought this up. Competent, but unlike the work currently getting high notice by reviewers of Art in America and The New Yorker. Could be I need to change. Could be I am not open enough to my own instincts. Could be I am early on a road to personal definition. Could be I am right and the rest of the world needs to catch on.
Outside of my fears, let me tell you the way I see yesterday's drawing. I played with forms that are well known to all. I bent them till they filled the page with animation, big to little, normal to abnormal, light to dark, round to sharp, repetition of the similar versus contrast of the dissimilar. I enjoyed the labored process of seeking and finding. It was iterative: mark, erase, mark, erase, mark, et cetera. The problem was eventually solved. However, the final product does not grab the viewer with enough surprise as to engage on the deepest levels of emotion and intellect. Obviously, I need to think about my process and its outcomes. I want to engage my contemporaries. I want them to jump in, to partake in a conversation. First comes the engagement. Communication will follow. I need to work on this.
This drawing took me the entirety of my studio time to complete! It obviously captivated me. I need to look at it and ask, "What engaged me so entirely?" Primarily, I believe the creation of novel forms pulls me it, absorbs me. I found an emotional connection as I created the head of this man, grating in its incongruity, its egg-like ovalness contrasting strongly against the spiking ground on which the character sits. Value contrast also interested; as example, his light-value legs move across the dark-value ground. Additionally, the stark white background, in its negativity and value contrast, actually dominates the composition! But, it is the artifice of touching forms that most engaged me: the scratching of the surfaces consumed most of my time: Look at the number of pencil lines it took to create every form, including the enormous energy associated with the marks that created the ground and those spikes. Those marks are me experiencing tactile sensuality. Each mark was made with a different touch. In some places the marks leave open, white paper, to instill a feeling of surface the viewer can visually comprehend, moving as it does, in and out, of the subtle light. This brings me back to form. I love to imagine its touch, like a masseuse. I am moving my way into it, around it, feeling its give and take, sensually getting high on it responsiveness to my touch. Yet, I have created a rather gross character. So the emotional Interconnectivity I feel is far afield from that which I would feel if I were inventing a nude woman. This character has meaning to me because of his shameless coarseness.
Today I show my previous two days of work. It is robust and immediate, but is it translationally engaging? There is my problem. The contemporary world's art markets seem to prefer abstract, seemingly contemplative, painting. Is my work relevant to minds coexistent to mine? Does it matter? I actually do not think it matters. It is my job to follow my path. It is my job to communicate as best I can. That's all there is.
Drawings: 7/25/2015 & 7/24/2015, both pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
Open and close. Find and lose. Back and forth. Up and down. Form and chaos. Light and darkness. Color and whiteness. Discover and seek. Succeed and fail. Yes and no. Right and wrong. Earth and heaven. Temperate and hell. Good and bad. Acceptance and rejection. Active and passive. Presence and absence. I am here. I am uncovering ways to do all of the former, to deal with all of the latter. Through effort I am detecting, perceiving, and apprehending art that corresponds to myself. Hopefully this art's end is communication with those that view my art.
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