This one is more true, more right, more mindful. Today I will continue my effort to keep moving toward my true personal zone; I need to become fully and righteously me.
I draw with such extreme facility that I fear my enjoyment of marking distracts me. Yesterday's drawing is clogged with interesting forms and interesting ideas. But, does this drawing procure expression of my emotional and intellectual self? Or is it simply a joyous expression of marks? Is it just a lot of nice marks because I make marks so well and so easily? I make forms easily too. I compose easily. Do I mark without reservation because it is easy for me? Making Art takes composure, reservation! Art requires qualification; I need to contemplate, be mindful in the doing. Do I agree, or not? Do I approve or not? Acting with reservation means acting in the state of doubt. Mindfulness is being in nexus: knowing, doubting, acting, marking, deliberating, deciding.
People play games, but generally the world pops over just the same. It is happening now. In the thick of it we are! As is my art. It is becoming its true self. This is happening because of consistent work; work based on deliberation upon deeds done, art made, ideas accomplished, successful ideas, ideas that failed.
Yesterday's work went splendidly. Delusion is always possible when I feel joyous because of success perceived. I do think yesterday's drawing, and this painting, indicate absorbed knowledge, finesse and clarity; this is not delusion. It is here, shown to you.
Yesterday felt right and good; I knocked around my images, as one does when searching a wall for a solid stud. These images, the ones I show today, are solid. They hold their own, They have strength and dignity. They demand perusal. They give satisfaction. That said, the painting,"Clever Liars", is incomplete. It requires sheer work, mindful work, to reach finality. It is almost there; it asks me, "When is enough good enough?" In others words, its essence is true; I cannot get much more truth by adding nuance, so why continue to develop it? Here is where a discussion of perfection is relevant. Simple it is: Intuitively I feel the need to make each one of those bright, cone-like objects, truly lit, truly three-dimensional in feel — their surfaces must feel touchable, like an egg in a Chardin still-life (see below).
The drawing is complex, indomitably readable, pure in its contrast of forms, forms left versus forms right. It this gaslighting? Does it make you question your sanity? My intension is to educate, not to admonish, "Ultimate sanity is comprehension, then acceptance; Contrast is part of our social order!"
This drawing is a result of a marathon. Perhaps a marathon is a poor description of its journey; marathons take a little over two hours; this drawing took over 6 hours. My first question relates to its complexity: Is it too complex for the viewer to be immediately engaged? My second question: If the viewer is immediately engaged, will the viewer be entranced enough to hang in for this drawing's visual voyage?
The ultimate question regarding my art comes down to this: Are visual voyage marathons an effective means of communication? Or, do viewers prefer simple, direct, right to the point; i.e., give me a visual hit, give me a visual expression of emotion, give me a visual expression of intellect, but make it simple, go right to the point?
I am a wave. I am a progressive. I surprise myself. I create stuff never seen before. I will continue, one day at a time, one step at a time, on a path to a place unknown. I am surprised; I am surprised everyday.
I heard Dave Chappelle say our current President is not the wave, he is surfing the wave. Waves go in and out. Idiots can surf, but they are unable to be the wave itself. Political progressives are waves. They are splashing onto our cultural beaches. Progressives erode our culture's ingrained, holdover ideas. Norms must be overhauled for our culture to be the best it can be. Progressives see a better way. It is unfortunate our current President has a bully pulpit; he calls to his slow-minded admirers, who want nothing to change. Progressives will replace the old with better. Progressives are creative, as creative as the wind that drives them. The wind moves our culture in the right direction. Unfortunately, we are forced to watch our President, an angry surfer, who speaks as if there is no Global Warming, as if nothing is changing. This guy likes the old ride, he likes his old Cadillac, not a new Tesla. His craziness is his old, dreary ideas; ideas that were set in the early days of our Republic. Old ideas need to change in order to recognize who we are right now. Our old man President learned to surf a long time ago. It is unfortunate his mind is not open to our needs. Changes are required in order to make us a better Republic.
I have high standards, in my art and in my relationships. It is my high sense of morality that keeps me true to myself, and true, or not true, to others. This Covid-19 era has forced me to look acutely at me, my here and now; it has awoken me, instigated higher awareness of myself and the people who are in my life, in my relationships. People, and my Art, presently appear to be starkly revealing, in some cases diametrical when compared to my view before the Covid-19 onslaught; it has brought extreme clarity. I am proceeding in a measured way, both with ideas concerning Art and ideas concerning relationships. Amazing it is, that it took a pandemic to force me to slow-mo into higher consciousness. As I age, as I see death and disease around me, I am sharply aware that my time must be taken very seriously; there is a limited quantity. I do not want to waste any of my existence on falderal or useless behavior.
Yesterday's work is dedicated to problem solving. What do I want to represent me? More, how do my momentary needs get translated into visual images? I deeply feel my "needs"; this is about emotion, intuition, walking a path, leaving detritus that represents my true self.
I did not spend a lot of time altering this drawing — perhaps 60 minutes. A heat wave hit; I spent a good part of the day resurrecting an old air conditioner. Then, late in the afternoon, to the studio; this drawing's final image came quickly. The studio is cool and comfortable; it sits on a cement slab, kept dry by dehumidifier. OK, too much non-art-related information? Onward! Back to the studio I go! Just have to say... I like state 2 of "Drawing 06·18·2020" much more than state 1.
I was working on this drawing when my brother called. I do not consider this drawing finished. Its essence has been established; it requires another look, reflection, then alteration. Perhaps then satisfaction will occur. Come back tomorrow to see this drawing's final state.
I am working hard to become enlightened, wholly myself. I look outside of me, I see much the same. Outside my studio there is continuing turmoil in my society; it too is working hard to become enlightened, more equitable, more caring, whole in its empathy. This is not true for everyone in our society; thus the battle continues. Overt people, knowing authentic human empathy is on their side, are marching in great numbers, calling for change, calling for us to be better; they are making great efforts to enlighten those who have strayed away from the rationality of treating one another with respect. Unfortunately we have a President who does not get it. I am optimistic. I believe we will move past this tumultuous era. Our society is based upon sound, empathetic, rational ideas. Please read again our nation's "Bill of Rights." As reminder I give you a reproduction of Faith Ringgold's painting, "Freedom of Speech."
My drawing, the one I show today, is enlightened as well. Through self-challenge and hard work I too am becoming less ignorant, better informed, civilized, illuminated; yes, enlightened.
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