Six drawings made six insights. These drawings were made seeking truth, emotional feedback, one after the next, each reacting to the previous.
I am working toward a disposition that is direct, realistic emotional intensity. Why muck around when roundabout is confusing? Go for it! Devolve from confusion, uncertainty, and mystification. This is the route to satisfactory communication, trueness in social intercourse. Yesterday's drawing was a realistic step toward my goal of unabashed, complete honesty.
I am using a sketchbook again. You will not see it here because it is sketch notes to myself. It is teaching me basic needs. It is teaching me the simplicity of vision. I do need to change directions. I do need to go short and sweet. My work, too often, becomes complex. Too often I have solved problems by adding to complexity, rather than paring down to simple messaging. Yesterday's drawing exhibits my confusion. It has duplicity, and self awareness. Yesterday's drawing wants to go simple, but ends with a complexity of forms. Number and kinds of forms can distract. Going toward fewer forms is not necessarily going too little. There are all kind is of ways of making simplicity, sparsity of forms, into grand statements, ones filled with emotion and meaning. I am on the road to blunt and purposeful art. Keeping ideas alive, minute by insightful minute, will help. This is the reason for carrying a sketchbook, everywhere and always. I often awake with insights. My sketchbook was on my bedstead last night. This morning it was the first thing I picked up.
Working toward simplicity is necessary. That is happening in the painting, "No Living Thing Can Exist Without It".
Is this drawing a Fable? Is it an abstraction? I do wish to tell stories. I do not wish be a figurative artist (been there, done that; see CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ). I do not wish to use natural representation. What to do? The drawing I show today questions my motives. This drawing represents an image far afield from our touchable reality. However, it is distinctly abstracted from our own world. You could walk into this place. It is an effort that holds interest, but it does not satisfy. More questions, more answers, will come today.
What am I doing? I am looking carefully at the space between the lines, the negative space. I am filling the page with carefully considered forms, forms created by pencil lines. These lines, inherently, leave gaps between one another. These gaps are emotional spaces, ones that create light and darkness, good and evil. My current research is investigation into the emotional satisfaction, personal self-expression, that I may obtain from the space between the lines.
Here I am. I find failure and success in everything I do. Yesterday I revisited the drawing from 10/21/2020 (directly above👆). I made it simpler. I made it more to the point. I am learning that meaninglessness must be removed in order to express accurately. Look back at my blog post of 10/22/2020 to see the earlier version of this drawing. It is obvious; I removed the falderal. Right now, this paring down to true and essential has become my most important work. Then how did I create the drawing at the top today's page? Drawing 11·08·2020 shows the complexity of my thoughts, which are relentless, but (perhaps) distractive, and annoyingly about composition, but not meaning. Simple clarity of expression is most important. Complexity must be abandoned. Complexity occurs when my thinking steers toward pattern, not emotional significance.
Adolph Gottlieb has instructed me; simple contrast can create complex, emotional images. Yesterday's drawing was one experiment in that direction.
"In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." This was written by the Dutch Philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus. Among humanists he has enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists". This remark goes right to my ideal; an artist's task is to be king of visual communication. An artist's work is one of research, seek and find. If the rest of mankind does not do this daily work, then we, as artists, have the responsibility of a king. I give you yesterday's drawing. I am educating myself; Like any teacher, I hope my viewers will follow along. My drawings are getting stronger, more precise, more clearly emotive, more intellectually satisfying, more engaging. I do not want to be king. I want to be among the many who communicate through the visual references I send their way.
My focus is moving toward page organization; I desire immediate, full engagement of the viewer. This cannot be achieved without the viewer's first encounter being head-on impactful. I will continue to explore this problem. My looking for answers will never end. You will see me exploring, drawing by drawing, painting by painting. Yesterday's drawings are steps along my way on the path that is this investigation.
Yesterday, while in the studio, I heard Samin Nosrat say, "I actually like constraints. I think it makes us more creative." Samin Nostrat is the author of the cookbook, "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat".
We are all living in a time of home restriction, personally centric space, and social distancing. What remains is isolated creativity. Exhibits are cancelled. Galleries are shut. I am in the studio. I made this drawing yesterday. It moves toward an emotive realization of space: negative, positive, two dimensional, artificially three-dimensional. It is in contrast that makes for emotion; negative versus positive, and real two-dimensional space versus the artifice of three-dimensional space. This take I show today, this drawing from yesterday, moves closer toward my recent creative insight: I am moving toward robust expression of all I am able to express on a flat two-dimensional surface. The constraint of aloneness is good for finding my truth; right now, our world insists on the loneliness of self-dependence for self-expression.
Over the last weeks I have taken risks. I have made many drawings, most very different than the image I show today, Yesterday's drawing is a result of that search, a search through nonsense and failure and some success. I have been in the process of sorting out authentic emotive and intellectual representation, sorting it from the nonsense that resides in my head. For me, nonsense must be seen to be recognized as nonsense; then it can be tossed away. This is my creative process. I like the drawing I show today because it is closer to my personal reality. Making falderal is easy. Making substance is difficult. This drawing has substance.
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