This one is beginning to taste good. The painting 2017 No.9 is closing in on itself. Goodness and wonder are not easy, not casual. I dislike this difficulty. Questions always remain. I may drink wine to insure the strawberries taste good. Perhaps the other way around? I am never satisfied. How can I be sure there is not a better tasting strawberry out there? Doubt is discomfort. Acceptance is necessary. I think acceptance is about to happen. One more session with 2017 No.9 should do it.
Yesterday's drawing is a surprise. I did not see it coming. New forms appear when necessary. This animates me. Makes me go back for more.
Is that a cloud? Is that an abstracted man? I don't know. I had just under two hours in the studio to produce this one drawing. This is where I went. This is what I made! One thing is for sure, my "cloud"(?) is not vaporous, but solid. All my forms tend to be solid. Am I complaining? No. I am more interested in the solidity of existence than the vaporous and nondescript. There must be personal philosophical information in that statement!
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.
The conundrum is in the multi-faceted activity of making art. Right, wrong, good, bad — who knows, not me! I very much enjoy yesterday's drawing. Therefore, I question its profundity. That question, and its answer, are useless. Useless because trying to answer is fraught with bias. The pathway to the authentically profound is not determined by the formation of verbal questions and verbal answers. It is solvable through intuitive effort, not through quantifiable, intellectual thought. I choose to enjoy this drawing for what it is. I hope you will too.
Also, yesterday I did complete the expansion of my work-wall for painting. I am now able to tack up a canvas, then immediately begin work on it. The wall's expansion allows me to move a wet painting aside to a place on the wall which will allow it to dry, face up. This means there are two large spaces on the wall, one for the drying of paintings, one to work on a painting. It's like an organized factory!
I am honing in on the motivation of me. Personal refinement does not come quick and easy. I continue to be surprised that it requires such vast commitments of time, energy, and rumination. After all these years of effort my work continues to relentlessly brighten and clarify. My surprise may be a statement of naïveté. Is it just me, or are these images, which appeared yesterday, truly exceptional?
How do I know if something is better than it was before I altered it? Sinking into mindfulness is the only way. Mindfulness means acceptance without criticism. My mini-abstract era was fine and dandy, but I am more than that. I require more than that. The world requires more than that. STOP! I must not denigrate my era of abstraction (or was it an era of non-representation?). It was not fear, nor confusion, that drove me to abstraction. It was a quest for more mindful compositions. I will not promise myself that I will not do it again. The journey I am on is not pre-defied. It is my journey. I have no knowledge of my next step. I am here and now. I am being as I step. I am being swept away by my inquiry into who and where and why I am. This journey is not about doing. Admiringly, I do the dishes, but I will not do art. The journey is most important. I must not confuse myself by defining the where or there I am going.
Yesterday's drawing is another look at the possibilities of the painting, Beloved. This drawing, as some of my drawing do, demanded time and a lot of marks. It took a while. But the today's post title is more about my acceptance that my current deciphering of "what's it all about" is not going quickly, and cannot go quickly.
You would think this is the way it ought-to-be, all-of-the-time, but it ain't! I am having to grow myself into accepting that there are no pre-conceptions. I just need to show up. Showing up means something happens. No plans. No rigid ideas. It is the simplicity of now. If this is simple, why does it feel nerve-wracking? Well, I am admitting I do not know what I am doing. Not knowing is emotionally difficult. It is thinking on my feet, rather than knowing the course of the river. What is around the bend? I do not know. I do not care. I just show up. I just do. It is a surprise. It is self-teaching at a level far deeper than a book of words. There are no words. From whence it comes has not been tabulated.
Drawings from 06/14/2015, all are pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
Yesterday started with two small drawings. Then came painting. The painting started with the priority of changing the man's left arm. It took off from there. I moved between altering his arm, his head, his neck, and the block-like abstract form in the upper left quadrant. The man's new, improved, stronger arm, works better. As does his head, neck, and shoulders. In summation, my universal acceptance of three-dimensional forms as abstract forms can be seen right here, right now. In this painting, Leap, it is occurring everywhere, in every form. That which is known as arm, or fish, or head, or block, or stream of water, are all manifested as robust, three-dimensional, formal animators, of the composition.
Drawings from 04/30/2015, each are 14X11 inches, pencil on paper
I am going as fast as I can. Often I wish my ability to decipher myself was a process more lucid and transparent. This process is one of unscrambling rather than encoding. It is all present, yet must be discovered. It is similar to the study of cosmology. The whole shebang is already present. It is my job to ascertain the best way to illustrate it. This idea of illustration brings me to the question of abstract versus concrete. Goodness knows artists have used both to express themselves deeply and well. Perhaps, I am thinking, there is a means to greater expression, one that utilizes both the abstract and the concrete. I admit, the terms abstract and concrete are a bit weird, and not as descriptive as required. Better I think than words is the confusion present in my new painting, The Leap. I named it after that object leaping over the barrier at the bottom of the painting, but the title is more than simple description of one illustrative form in the painting. What I can tell you is this: the concoction of this painting is more disclosure of personal origination than discovery of previously unknown concept.
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