In life there is struggle to see clearly. The murkiness of people, things, and emotions obscure easy access. Muck, rubbish, and dirt get in the way of truth-telling; clarity is found by consistently pushing the falderal out of one's way. Such is my journey. Reason is not enough. This is slow because the rubbish is much. Yesterday's drawing dealt with this dichotomy. There is left and right; there is heaven and earth. There is darkness and light. The left is shadowed, invokes a search for nuance. The right is easier on the eyes; it invokes simplicity and strength. The monument on the right is clear. The monument on the left struggles to be seen. Both monuments are pyramids, one tall and lean, one fat yet sturdy in its dark surroundings. Obvious, there is play between murkiness & limpidity.
Something magical is happening. While in process, as I work, my mind understands. It communicates, disseminates. My art springs directly from core intuition and knowledge, perhaps even emotion is involved. There is caveat, in regard to emotion, because, of the three, it feels most remote. Of the three (intellect, intuition, emotion), emotion is the most difficult for me to visually depict with acuity. This does not surprise me. I am working my way down to the essential me, the instigator of all. Fear and flight, love and hate, passion and desire; emotion is most difficult to depict with lucidity. The more I do this, the more I make-art, the more confident I am; I have the right stuff, the talent, to make it real on canvas and paper. This surprises me. I need longevity to make it fully happen. I know not the path I am on. It is not laid out in front of me. I am required to take one step at a time. The chisel is at work. Each step chips away one more bit of the crap that obscures my truth in being and existence.
Yesterday's drawing is exceptional. It is both playful and serious, light and dark; new forms occupy a classical composition. It is what the world needs now.
Self discovery does not occur on one moment on one day. It is a never ending process. Becoming oneself is possible and impossible. It is possible to be more oneself with every effort toward self-realization. Complete selfhood cannot be achieved. It is the journey that excites. Similar to discovery new geographies, insights in selfhood give exhilaration in living.
Yesterday's drawing is very different than the one from the day before. I feel fear when my drawings go so dark; scary when I tend toward blackness. I am a believer of light as omnipresent. Perception of shadow is dependent upon light, less of it, but still there.
I am hoping to paint today. I continue to deal with my exhibitions, promoting them, preparing to take one down and put one up. I will be glad when the studio, the making of art, is my primary artistic concern. Soon...
My exhibition scheduled has been annoying. I dug into an intensive time of showing art, not making art. Yesterday I found some relief. I have begun to fill in missing links. Here comes my stuff! Yesterday's drawing did come with insight and solid decision-making. I felt at the top of my game. Simply, I was attentively present! This bodes well for much good art to come.
I have many artistic ambitions. I worry I have too many objectives. I aspire to make art that functions well through many means: value, form, negative space, three-dimensional space, two-dimensional space, composition, and much more. I worry this may lead to confusion. A good work of art must show it itself through initial simplicity. A simple entry entices the viewer to become engaged, to pay attention, to look deeper, to see more. Complication is enriching only if the viewer hangs in there to absorb it. I think yesterday's drawing achieves this fullness; simplicity first, then satisfyingly complicated. This drawing is the last I will frame for my one-person Bromfield Gallery exhibition, opening June 5. Enjoy here! But please, see it in person at Bromfield Gallery. It is better than its reproduction.
Nothing feels easy right now. I am five days away from delivering my art to Bromfield Gallery. I am trying to continue being an active, creative artist. Distractions due to assembling an exhibition dominate my time. There are logistics (making sure timing of everything works wells, from truck rental to delivery and hanging), to framing, to price list preparation, to final touches on canvases. In the midst of all these practical concerns I made this drawing. The distractions slowed this drawing's creation to three days. Does creating over an extended time period diminish spontaneity? Not sure, but it is a good drawing. Will it appear in my Bromfield show? Perhaps it will.
Yesterday's drawing centered itself with three various forms; you can follow them up its center. The three-forms culminate in the blimp-like object, which is largest of the three. My struggle to make this drawing took two days despite my marking it as yesterday's. It is about me. The struggle to make it is me. It started simple; it became dark and questioning. This drawing illustrates insistent centering. That is me. I am trying to find a way to center myself as I move through the muck; the muck that is practicality. I am preparing for my Bromfield Gallery Exhibition (paintings & drawing to be delivered June 3). This preparation distracts me from the impetus of my art, i.e., self-discovery.
My major artistic struggle right now is staying open to instinctive possibilities. If I touch success I discover grandness of light on forms and between forms. My effort is a struggle for enlightenment. I am working to be fully aware of everything, from the emotional potency of negative space to the emotional potency of forms and light. A piece a paper is an artifice of light, form, and negative space, but it absolutely is not an artifice of my personal awareness. My art measures me. It slams me up against my knowing. I am trying with all I have to stay so open as to fully know success and failure. This is a blunt process. I walk away from each art-making event knowing the depth of my comprehension, as well as the limits of my seeing, my knowing, my feeling. Yesterday's drawing was just one more step along this path, my journey in quest of light and enlightenment.
My methodology has changed. My last two drawings were made in faith, trust, and confidence. Risk has become easy. Conscious thought is not present. Drawing is a simple exercise of distinguishing truth from falsehood. Drawing is an exercise of distinguishing veracity from mendacity. Drawing is about fabrication without falsification.
I am creating images never seen before. This might seem a stumbling block to truth-telling. How can one know if something is right if it never existed before? My images are emotional truths built upon classic standards of visual art. Therefore, differentiating truth from fiction relies upon my experience of seeing and feeling. I know a visual truth when I see and feel it.
I continue to struggle to keep thinking, to keep making art in the midst of manufacturing. I am making stretchers and wood panels, putting my paintings upon them. For my drawings I am cutting matts, placing them in frames. Within the discomfort of my current situation I made this drawing. It is a good one. It triumphs over my struggle. Right now I feel this is my plight. Perhaps this is always. I believe, if I just keep doing it, I will triumph. I stick-in there, keep thinking, keep doing; I have not found a problem I cannot solve. My ideas pull me forward. The first limitation is the quantity of my ideas. The second is the amount of time I have to research, to solve these ideas on paper and canvas. I have many ideas, more than I have time to follow. Ideas just keep spilling out of me. I worry about time. It is the limitation of time I worry most about. In his poem, On Living, the Turkish poet, Nâzım Hikmet, wrote, "You must take living seriously that even at seventy, for example, you'll plant olive trees — and not for your children, either, but because although you fear death you don't believe it, because living, I mean, weighs heavier." My paintings, my drawings, are my olive trees; I plant them because my ideas weigh heavy. I must nurture them, make them real. I do not relish looking forward because, although I fear death, I do not take my time to believe in it because living overwhelms me, is heavy upon me. Yes, I take my moments one at a time.
On Living --Nâzım Hikmet (1902-1963)
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.