I have begun a practice of returning to drawings which I had believed finished. This looking back is helping me. I am making good drawings better. I am learning about the error of my ways. Some of my drawings suffer endings because I have exhausted myself; thus their possibilities are limited by exhaustion. Others are made deceptively complex, thus diluting their impact. I go back a second day to eliminate and strengthen, moving these drawings to a basic, more forceful simplicity.
It has been my habit to make drawing a daily exercise. I believed drawing was a daily exercise, unlike painting. I believed drawings were to be completed in one sitting, while paintings were exercised over multiple days. The complexity of my understanding is leading to failure to complete in my one-day/drawing habit. Energy of one day is becoming an issue too. Proper completion is impossible when complexity meets the limits of energy. The other issue is exhaustion removes the edgy, robust energy required in order to see strength in simplicity.
The first drawing I show today took three days to make (I did not photograph state 1; I must have known state 1 failed a finality test). The second drawing is simple investigation; it feels basic because it is simple research into one avenue of possibilities. I do not like the second drawing. It is here, which may be the last time it will be seen in public.
Today I ask you to begin your viewing at the top of this page. I begin with a revisit [as promised in my last post]. That drawing is a rethink; a small tweak to its previous state. It is much better because of a small alteration. This tweak began a flow of questions; many answers follow... 1,2,3,4,5. Rapid is my current thinking. Rapid, not rabid or forced, but measured by investigation. I am in the midst of impassioned research. 1,2,3,4,5 are the spoils from one day. The greatness is the indecisiveness; I have accepted many possibilities. Everything is up for question and query. The lack of one solution calls out the plethora of possibles. Nothing is sacred. Yes, but... I am leading a life self-examined.
Energy in movement is reentering my work — BIG! I have missed it. There is wonder in me of where things go in the interim between search and find. I search for nirvana in personal mindfulness, yet I often wander through a maze of ideas in my hunt for pure, blissful, truth telling. These drawings do speak loudly of the importance of being present while drawing, present as one is in the energy of one's mind. These drawings speak of me and not of ideals or delusive inquires into those who have come before me.
Great art is achieved more from continuity of effort than from talent. I have experienced many talented artists, but only a few achieve great art. Achievement of greatness happens because the route to success is long in thought, long in trial and error, long in failure, sporadic with the exhilaration of success. The drawing shown today is too complex for me. Better were the drawings that were shown in yesterday's blog post. There is high exhibition of talent in the drawing I show today, but it does not stimulate viewer engagement; it requires too much from the viewer, just as it required too much for me to make it real. It does exhibit great talent in drawing; space, form, light, compositional integrity, they are all present. This drawing fails because it lacks immediacy of purpose, which means it lacks immediacy of viewer involvement. I will require a lot of time, energy, and great effort to make real the great art I envision. I am committed to the long run.
There is an investigative vitality to these drawings. They pop in your face; they sing a language filled with contrast and scale, in/out, back/forth, dark/light, big/little, push/pull. This is my vision becoming me; theses are my intellect/emotions becoming visually real. These exhibit art-making as similar to mediation; practice makes me better at R.A.I.N. (Recognize Emotions, Accept, Investigate, Non-Identify/Detach).
Chemistry and Physics students are taught of the oppositeness of electrons and positrons — these particles are equal in all ways, size, mass, charge, except their charges are opposite. The positron is the antiparticle, or the antimatter counterpart, of the electron. The positron has an electric charge of +1 e, a spin of 1/2 (the same as the electron), and has the same mass as an electron. When a positron collides with an electron annihilation is the result; this annihilation produces two or more photons. It is these photons I am trying to create. The photon is a type of elementary particle. It is the quantum of the electromagnetic field, including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and photons are the force carrier for the electromagnetic force. Photons are massless; they always move at the speed of light in vacuum. I am trying to move you, the viewers of my art, at the speed of light, with the force of photons. Yesterday I took another step toward this objective. Both the painting, and the drawing, I show today are quickly forceful because they harness the emotional effectiveness of positive versus negative space.
Cultural references are inevitable. Personal references are inevitable. Visual experiences inevitably surface in my art. Art-making is the act of past and present becoming one; it is similar to meditation. Like meditation, art-making accepts the unresting mind. My art encompasses all I have seen, all I know. Internalization surfaces as external images.
Yesterday's drawing holds many keys, each opens a passage to the experiential. Revisiting my experiences, trying to make sense of them, is unending. I can see this process in yesterday's drawing. I am inspired, I am energized, little clues were unraveled. Effort pays dividends. There is no such thing as failure; a lack success teaches the choice that must be made in order to succeed.
Constant work leads to success. Oliver Wendall Holmes said, "Every calling is great when greatly pursued." I agree. I am in the middle of a great pursuit. I predict, if my time and my energy continue, my art will fulfill itself greatly. Yesterday was one more day in my relentless pursuit. I am inspired by insight; I do not see this ending any time soon. I do worry; time and energy must be preserved; they must be nurtured by good eating, robust exercise, and fostering the luck of good health. I am pursuing all of that. I need years to get this greatly done! Godspeed!
Looking is better than saying; this is particularly true in the case of yesterday's drawings. FIVE (5) of them!!! Count them! Look at them! Insight is coming fast and furious. These are proof that mindfulness is a matter of practice. I am working hard on being present, being real, being true. My practicing mindfulness has begun to pay off! These drawings indicate me in infancy. Better is acumen! These drawings are mindful practice at work!
Yesterday's drawing combines many of my interests, from round to flat to three-dimensional artifice to compositional carry-through to light and energy to contrast in value and form. The 3D deception is robust. Formally, this is a success, but is it an emotional success? I worry it feels more an intellectual achievement than a grand display of all things me, i.e., emotions and intellect. Not to worry; this is merely a step along to way to all-inclusiveness.
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