There is something special about this drawing. Excellent Drawing! Perhaps it is its robust use of the page, its vibrant use of the negative space, its dramatic contrasts in forms and in value. Whatever it is, it is definitely another step forward.
Looking for nirvana never fails to fail. This drawing is a start in the right direction. Seek and I shall find. This drawing finds merit in directness coupled with complexity. Here are large individual forms, within the large forms complexity is found. This is not the perfect accomplishment. It is a finding; not conclusive, but a verdict of merit that is preparation for my next step.
I received a gift of a calendar for 2021. It contains 365 art images, mostly paintings. Its cover shows Vincent Van Gogh's Still Life with Irises (one of Vincent's greatest masterpieces, completed in the last year of his life, 1890). You see one of my inspirations in this painting. Vincent used simple color, simple large forms, but then playfully created a complexity of lines, shapes, and value contrast within the irises. Van Gogh's Still Life with Irises is satisfying on many levels. I absolutely adore this painting. It is a treasured lesson in emotional truth telling.
Sometimes a drawing is just a drawing. This one is not about yesterday. Of course, it looks back and it looks forward, but it is really about now. Always, I wonder about contrast is scale, contrast in shape and form, contrast in value. This one researches all of that, and more. This play on contrast is an emotional play. It engages the viewer in discord and sedition. It asks for rebellion. It requests one to accept something completely different. It is a rabble on the left impinging on the simple and pure on the right. Who wins this fomentation of discontent? If it works well, you and I see and understand more deeply than before our encounter with this drawing.
Adolph Gottlieb has instructed me; simple contrast can create complex, emotional images. Yesterday's drawing was one experiment in that direction.
Adolph Gottlieb's works have always fascinated me. I know why. I am struggling fro self-expressive potency; my images never fully satisfy me. Gottlieb's works use a simple formula, over and over. Gottlieb uses a round, cleanly organized shape in contrast to an explosive, jumbled shape; in addition, his images exude positive-shape intensity against supportive, residual negative space. The positive shapes are rich, the negative space lends them fierce interest. This contrast, of shapes and space, sings a potent, emotional message. I do not make flat shapes. My complex, three-dimensional forms have greater opportunity to sing emotions than do Gottlieb's simple, flat shapes. I will stay my course. Gottlieb's simple formula educates; his formula lends charge to visual imagery; his exude husky, emotional responses. In this regard, I believe I can go further than Gottlieb. Adolf Gottlieb's limited formula has instructed me; simple contrast has great possibilities; obtaining more accurate self-expression is possible!
There is great contrast in these two drawings. The first (07/02/2020) is thick, slow-in-coming, heavy with pencil marks. The second (07/03/2020) is light, agile; made quickly, easily. I will not judge the value of either. I am in the midst of unfaltering self-discovery. I will not give up. The first drawing clearly exhibits my modus operandi. I am obsessed; I need to make sense of it all. In the midst of mindful action I am unable to stop myself. This relentlessness is a result of belief in my ability to detect, discern, make visually real that which is in front of me, surrounds, imbues with feelings and charm. This possibility is the incentive for my relentless journey.
Perception of space is perception of contrast. In these drawings I push value contrast as well as size and shape contrast. The other play in contrast is strict, geometric shapes (created with straight lines), versus organic abstracted forms (created with curves, oval, and rounds). These drawings are insightful. See also these types of contrast in the works of Francis Bacon and Ellsworth Kelly.
My art is, indeed, unique. It must be questioned. Is this the best I can do? Does this represent me? Am I engaging the viewer in a conversation about the here and the now and who we are? Does this approach make sense? I am asking, "Am I wasting my time?" Is my work valuable to more than just me? Doing it feels like mediation; it profits me. I want more. I want my art to be relevant to everyone. Touching everyone, with emotion and intellect, is impossible. Many won't pay attention; many are just not interested. A lot of people are preoccupied with other things.
I am strongly committed to the journey I am on. Again, it feels like meditation. As I make art, my thoughts come in/go out, new ones arrive, old ones depart; time is irrelevant; being is relevant.
Yesterday's drawing achieves much of my recent ambitions. It is classically centered. It hits the viewer head-on. It plays well spatially. It plays with contrast of forms and contrast of value; this image is static, yet demandingly varied; thus it causes the viewer to come straight in, wander, linger, and think. Still, I question, "Is anyone paying attention?"
It can get very confusing. Knowledge is a strong, but power can distort possibilities. If power be fully followed, the consequences may not fall comfortably; the result may be incorrectly conceived. Failure occurs because power was allowed to precede knowledge; power has the ability to push aside a level-headed approach, thus diminishing the ability to secure a well measured result. Great art is balanced by perspicuity. With this I look at yesterday's work. I am insecure with it. The painting feels unfinished, not forceful enough; the drawing is a risk in value contrast and form contrast. Do they work well? Are they successful in engaging thought and feeling? I must think about this; both these works make me nervous. Or, is my nervousness merely a sign of the times I am living within?
Note on reproduction: Today's reproduction fails to accurately represent yesterday's actual drawing. The more a work of art relies upon subtlety to convey its ideas and emotions, the more the reproduction of it fails to impress.
There is an investigative vitality to these drawings. They pop in your face; they sing a language filled with contrast and scale, in/out, back/forth, dark/light, big/little, push/pull. This is my vision becoming me; theses are my intellect/emotions becoming visually real. These exhibit art-making as similar to mediation; practice makes me better at R.A.I.N. (Recognize Emotions, Accept, Investigate, Non-Identify/Detach).
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