The risk is this: Going it alone is lonely. I am following a path that is purely mine; therefore not treaded by anyone else, not ever. I am educating myself to see my way. This means I am alone in my endeavor. No one else sees my way; no one else has ever seen my way. Why would I expect anyone, except myself, to understand my means of communication? Yes, I am doing a good job of communicating to myself. I am revealing important information pertaining to myself. This journey is full of self-satisfaction. Yet, what I fully want and what I get are not quite the same. I want my work to have two levels of communication: (1) Revealing and discovering myself, and (2) Communicating to others so I can dialog about existence and universal human concerns. The risk, therefore, pertains to No.2. I have yet to get the response to my art that assures me I am succeeding at communication to others. This is failure. My success is me growing my self-knowledge; with every work I make I know more about my intuition, driving force, and reason to live.
The painting, Seriously?, is being pushed toward atmospheric effects. I am dealing with so many disparate issues in my painting. This struggle to understand so many issues, from form to image to painterly, does not afford easy solutions. How does a form fall into a painting's atmosphere when local color must be decided too? This process is currently a push and pull activity. I am working hard to make it a natural process of pure flow, not ebb and flow! Can that happen? I believe it can. This is called working toward mastery. We all know mastery can happen. We all know mastery was different for Picasso than it was for Matisse. Please, hang in here with me. My struggle, to move toward mastery, is better endured if I don't do it alone. Thank you!
I am seeing and doing drawing with a new normality. This shift in norms is seeing with immediacy; being-in-the-moment, acting-in-the-moment. This discovery of prescience has also brought a different way I touch and mark. Perhaps prescience is not quite right, since this acting from foreknowledge is not simple clairvoyance; it is marking based upon immediate foresight. The foresight occurs momentarily before the mark occurs. In other words, I am feeling my way by reacting to the incomplete image on the paper that is in front of me. I cannot help but think that Paul Cézanne acted similarly during his artistic maturity.
Following an unknown path has its benefits, highest of which is surprise. This drawing is interestingly mine. Of course it has elements that are not-surprising to me, but a few things happening in this drawing are away from my recent concerns, which are more clearly seen in my recent paintings. In any case, I am back at it again today.
Art-making is getting to know thyself. As the English poet, David Hartley Coleridge, wrote, "Great poet 'twas thy art to know thyself and in thyself to be whate'er Love, Hate, Ambition, Destiny, or the firm, fatal purpose of the Heart can make of Man." Thus comes all art work that is worth more than a hill of beans. This activity does not reveal a Man quickly or easily, but it is happening to me and my art. The painting Seriously? will require much more of my time. I am getting to know it, as I am getting to know myself.
I like the twist in the largest form of yesterday's drawing!
So, a nit is the egg of a parasitic insect. What does that have to do with art-making? A nit sounds ugly and disgusting. Making art can be involved in ugly and disgusting, but I do NOT think of my art that way. I do, however, believe my many disparate efforts, especially in drawing, are parasitic by nature. After I have produced them (e.g., yesterday's drawing) they cling to my intellect like a parasite. They are there; they have invaded me. Going forward I will be aware of these parasites of ideas whether I want to or not. Yes, some of these nuggets are squished; I do try to discard them if I believe they are useless to me. I am never fully successful at denying their presence — thus the nit-likeness of them! All this is written because I am unsure if yesterday's drawing has a lot of helpful information for me. I define "helpful" as instructive in my movement toward self-realization through art-making.
Surprises never cease! Yesterday's drawing looks similar to nothing I have recently created. Yesterday's work on the painting Seriously? has expanded its dimensions (which is enabled because I work on a canvas tacked to a work wall — expansion further toward the edge of the canvas is afforded by an excessive amount of canvas being on the wall).
Reality is fluid. Corrections are always possible, but not always efficacious. The painting Seriously? has many corrections to come, as does Chaos, Stillness & Prayer (the painting whose beginning immediately preceded Seriously?).
I find yesterday's drawing very good. One measure of excellence is perception while in action — this one, during its making, made me feel full of knowledge. I believe that's a good thing. I always fear self-delusion. Vincent Van Gogh feared self-delusion too; look where that got Vincent!
It takes more than time in the studio to produce one of my paintings. Thought-power happens now, while I am writing my Blog, while I am in the studio, and much of the time in-between. What a simple thing it would be if I was so present in thought and action that I could make a painting in one studio session! My drawings work that way. I act on a drawing till my ideas run out. That is true about my paintings as well, but the difference between drawing and painting (for me) is this: I am willing to allow slow and steady regurgitation of an idea in the making of a painting; a drawings is always a study. In other words, my drawings are practice and introspection surrounding idea-possibilities; paintings are solidly exploring idea-fulfillment.
I have changed the title of my newest painting. I am following its call. It is a question: "Seriously?". I must place it in quotes because I need to emphasize it is questioning my behavior. Yesterday's drawing is a study for this painting. Right now I feel light of heart; more daring than usual. This painting is certainly surprising me. Yesterday's drawing surprises me too; its solution is unusual. To me, this drawing is astonishingly unexpected.
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