Studies of successful bursts of creativity indicate a contrary idea; the most creative moments occur when processing is slow, measured, moderate, and deliberative. All of us have read books, seen films, which depict creation as a high energy, manic event. This isn't true. Truth-finding occurs slowly. Inventive creation is a slow recognition of truth. For me, right now, this is such a time. I have slowed. My concern with the pandemic Covid-19 virus has slowed me. Consequently my current work is forceful, honest, true; more absolute in its correctness than I have ever experience before.
Yesterday I finished the drawing began on 3/8/2020. It is left versus right, clarity in form versus less referential form; left side is pure pyramidal forms versus the right side filled with inventively more chaotic forms. This drawing is an allegory in reasoning, one way or the other way. Neither way is correct.
I feel extraordinarily creative. Yesterday's drawing surprised me with its insight and invention. There is opening deep within me. I am grandly inquisitive. The answers spilling from me are possibilities, one innovative answer after another. I do not fear challenge or risk. I am in the goodness of being human, of living.
Last night I awoke at 4am. I usually sleep quite well, with tons of dreams, but rarely do I awake with questions and self-doubt. Last night I did. Where can I do better? I have not worked on the painting "How's It Gonna End" (2019 No.2) for a week. Also, I want to move onto a new painting, but doubt surrounds me; I have been stepping carefully, looking out for poop. My being awake last night informed me: it is time to move boldly. Here comes creativity! Today I will return to "How's It Gonna End". Yesterday's drawing, last night's disturbance, and my recent lack of initiative on "How's It Gonna End"... all of this spells time for me to leap, or die! How does yesterday's drawing come into this? It is the left side of yesterday's drawing that is informative. It is the right side of the painting "How's It Gonna End" that requires a big fix. Information for the fix is in the left of yesterday's drawing.
Within the art I show today can be seen a wide range of my work to come. The expanse of my concerns widens more quickly than I am able to make art. Linus Carl Pauling said, "If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away." When I studied Chemistry Pauling was one of my heroes. I was a very good Chemist, but my ideas came slowly and I wanted fast. Art allows me to move quickly. I am on my own; I don't have to pay attention to the many confusing voices that speak more error than truth. (BTW: One of papers continues to be given high regard in Chemical Oceanography: mehrbach et al 1973, which has been sited 1862 times in the scientific literature.)
Historically the latter days of summer, late July thru August, have seen me more contemplative than me sparking fresh ideas. This appears to be true in yesterday's work. First I made a new drawing (above), then I did a little fix to Drawing 07.27·2017 No.2 (below). Rarely do I go back and contemplate drawings from my past. I did yesterday. This is the mood I am in. I believe this is a gathering of energy and information prior to my next big creative period.
There is no easy way to make this right. Does time exist at all? Is it not simply the zombie syndrome? We are a bunch of wax and atoms and little bugs that need to work together to find a way to move, despite there being nowhere to go. Symbiosis is the thing. And so, I search among the rubble that is me. Fortunately, I believe I understand better the more I exist, the more I do. So yes, time does exist! At least, time exists in the memory I have created because I am optimistic. I am going somewhere. Yesterday's drawings show progress. They are unique. They have some resemblance to that which I have created before. Still, they are uniquely their own images. My trust in this process increases the more I do. My confidence in process will bring me back to painting. Tomorrow I will return to my most recent painting, "2016 No.4", then I will begin a new painting, "2016, No.5". Hallelujah!
Yesterday's work is very good. This bring joy, but it also brings fear.
The heavy-duty work has just begun. Just so you know... Now is when everything I make has quality if I approach its making with focused energy. The problem is... focused energy is not always available. For example, You can see ups & downs in the work posted here over the last several days. Yes, you can actually SEE it, because this is VISUAL art! It hangs there, forever scrawled in pencil and paint, and with reproductions always available on the internet. I am turning a corner. I am going from art whose possibilities are limited by skill to art whose possibilities are limited by imagination and invention. I fear failure, because energy and time are limited. So I train, like an athlete. I balance my times of performance with good night's rest, good diet, and good physical exercise. Art-making is like a see-saw. It seems it would be nice to always be on the up-side of the plank, but one of the joys of getting to the up-side is that swoop in the arch. Limits must exist in order to fully enjoy. A bottom must exist to enjoy the top and the journey to the top. That's OK. I just wish an end did not exist.
It has happened again! After all my experience it seems I should recognize this cycle! The drawing in my previous post is decrepit and confused. It marked an end of a cycle of creativity. Like gravity waves, this cycle has a long wavelength and has peaks and troughs. Now I am ascending out of a trough. Yesterday surprised with a substantial drawing and first marks on a new canvas. It was a day that lifted my spirits. Out I came from befuddlement and disarray!
Very difficult for me is to admit to cyclical defeat by uncertainty. I go into the studio, knowingly in a muddle. I power on, making a mess of that before me. The question I ask as I trudge is, "Is it better to try with ineptitude, or is it better not to try a all?" Mostly my discipline overwhelms me, so I ineptly hang in there, making bad art. The question I ask continues to have no clear answer.
On Friday (January 29), my ART Business Day, I worked hard on a new set of Business Cards and Art Portfolio Post Cards. It was a 12 hour work day. The next day I had no creative energy (Saturday, January 30), so... I took a day of reading and watching TV-Series. Yesterday I did get into the studio. Like many days when I return to the studio after time away, I felt a bit foggy about direction. The result is a couple of playfully instructive drawings. I like them very much. It had been a while since I intensely foreshortened a figure. It has been a while since I had taken two characters and aggressively contrasted them in size and scale. Fun. I am still a bit tired. I am going to take tomorrow as a "Rest and Recreation Day". Today is my Money Monday. My next post will be Thursday, February 4.
Times they are a-changing. My revisit to the painting "Beloved" has now made it into the painting "Crazy Love". It is better, more appropriate. You figure that out, because I am working on comprehension as well. Interesting, isn't it? Strange days are here to stay.
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