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.
Mindfulness is filled with humor. Too much reflection on one's origin, or one's end, lends somberness to existence. The fleetingness of existence is humorous; our existence is devoid of eternal consequence. I would be relentlessly somber without humor. I do not like somberness. Life's quickness contains glory, pain, and process. I am choosing to add humor. I will not be forever intelligent and emotive because I am a minute collection of star stuff, Big Bang stuff; I am basic matter and energy.
Skill is a curse. It is a responsibility. It opens enormous possibilities. It allows for successful communication. It is painful when neglected or used unwisely. Today you can see me questioning the possibilities of skillfulness; you can see it in the drawing I post today. In humor come my questions.
I also post a cartoon. It illustrates human misunderstanding of skill. True skill is rare. Skill exists because its possessor has expanded his/her consciousness. Using skill well allows for depth of meaning, but skill can be used badly to shallowly exhibit sheer bravado.
I did prepare a new canvas for a new painting. It is ready to go, and I am too! The drawings from the last two days tell me this: these drawings illustrate a direction I do NOT want to go. They are too static. Each develops compositionally around a firm set of forms. These forms give spatial direction, and solidity, but movement is restricted. I enjoy loop-da-looping within a rectangular piece of paper or canvas. Yesterday's drawing does drive the viewer from lower right to upper left, but then what? It is play, but in a static space. This is dull. It could be nice for a different kind of artist. Even Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) made static compositions at the bringing of his mature period (around 1920). Mondrian was the most staid and sober of artists, yet ultimately his static use of bars and colors transformed to images of great animation. I show you an early Mondrian (1921), and a late one (1944); see both below this post.
My great affection for art-making is related to its probability of complete immersion; when making something of high personal relevance nothing exists except me and the art-object. It is glorious! Yesterday's drawing went that way. You know it when you see it. Look at yesterday's drawing. Its impact is immediate. It is exceptional!
I wish everything I made felt this right. It is by confluence of multiple factors that I achieve activity as satisfying as the making of this drawing: great energy, emotional stability, depth of personal insight — it is perfection in balance and sensibility!
The more I practice art-making the more often I achieve this totally satisfying immersion. It is akin to the practice of meditation. The more one meditates the deeper the insight. Practiced well, these non-verbal pursuits are similar — art-making and meditation.
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