Out of somewhere comes a border to the painting 2017 No.13. Yesterday I made an effort to find ground. I found a border after I found ground. Seeking is finding. Discovery occurs because of the search. Here it is... here it comes... ready or not!
"Freedom doesn't exist unless you use it." I heard this sentence, and the title of today's blog post, on a T.E.D. Radio Hour broadcast. It seems 85% of people, no matter their nationality or locale, prefer to follow blindly. That is, the majority of humans prefer NOT to challenge the status quo. Why is this relevant to me and my art? Because I must be part of the uncomfortable 15%. I am stuck in a rut: I can do nothing else but challenge my current views. This is annoying. I am never happy. I constantly wonder about the quality of my art, its relevancy to myself and others. Are my observations apposite to the conversation about life and living? I take the easy way out. I don't know! I do know one result of doing this. The process of art is me introspectively examining all that I know. Consequently, I am constantly moving closer to knowing if this work is worth doing. Worth doing? I am on a path that satisfies by following my curiosity. This feels useful and good! But, is my work helpful to others in their quest to be connected, purposeful, and determinant? That too would be useful and good!
Drawings from 1/16/2016, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
A day in the studio is not number 1, or number 2, or number 3. It is a gathering of information. It is research. Amazingly endless, it teaches while it exalts! Selfish, some would say, because it is paying homage to myself. Seeking myself is as mysterious as seeking a higher order in the universe. It is there and it is to be discovered and revealed. Such is my work.
Ridiculous or profound? The question has been asked by artists over time immemorial and not-so-immemorial. So here I am. Silly, I ask the same question. I am having fun! I am discovering without self-criticism. It is simple. It is happening. It is being. Yesterday's work exhibits a mixture of all my interests. Yes, some plebeian, some cultured, some sophisticated. Are we not all a mix of all of it? Stupid and low-brow is not beyond the most clever, nor is profundity beyond the witless. I accept, if I am to be all that I am, then I must allow all that I contain to spill out and come forth in my art. I am surprised. Is that not a sign of virtuousness?
Drawings from 10/25/2015, all are 16X20 inches, pencil on paper
There are no good words to perfectly describe the methodology of discovery that has overtaken me, so "gronk" it is! This painting is beginning to work for me, as is the drawing.
I am unable to do better than simply draw without consciously needing to know direction or eventual outcome. I am not an artist who plans well. My art is not trying to illustrate, nor describe that which I know. I am trying to discover that which I do not consciously know, that which exists within me but I do not know. I am walking a road of self-discovery, not a road with sign-posts and advertisement billboards. The amazing thing I report today is my wonderment over the discovery that my unknowing is the subject of my art. The only way I know to allow this happen is to approach drawing relentlessly, with no preconceived direction. This seems impossible, since picking up a pencil is a preconceived direction. The manner in which my muscle memory makes lines is a preconceived direction. Training oneself is necessary, but it is, possibly, a hindrance in an activity such as mine.
Yesterday's second drawing is more openly discovered than the first. It led me to a more open approach to the head in the painting Tele-Vision. I return to the studio today with this in mind.
Drawings from 07/29/2015, both pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
I do not want, or need, to say much about yesterday's drawing. it surprised me! I feel a WOW! factor when I look at it. Besides the subject matter being "found", there is also the finding of so much more, i.e. forms invented, space invented, values subtly altered to create movement and light, and the use of line to move the viewer rhythmically and to stretch out the perspective. Wow! I am surprised and impressed.
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.
Who knew? Not me. This stuff I am making looks well defined, but still rough. Rough? Yes, because I am grasping at a set of images that are tumbling around in my confused, yet open, psyche. Art is where the anima and the persona meet. My persona never feels quite right, as if there is a little fake going on, like a running back, whose goal is clear, but whose path in getting there in not. Maybe the reason football is so much fun to watch is its clarity of goal. Art? Not so much! Watching me flail around is probably more fun for you then for me. There are days, like today, that I seriously question my means of getting "there", wherever "there" is.
Be sure to click on the drawings' reproductions for enlarged images. These are very good drawings! The surprise of "now for something completely different" is upon me. I do know what each drawing will bring. These drawings are discoveries made visual. I have given into the flow. As trite as this looks when written, it is reality.
Drawings from 5/16/2015, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
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