Doing this day after day has brought me trust in my instincts and in my intuition. I am going where I have never gone before. If I were not lost I would not be an explorer.
Yesterday's drawings are me testing, searching to find clarity in direction. Not so much! These are interesting in their contrast, and in questions they ask. New stuff today!
The direction of my research and development is obvious. I am further examining drawing and painting as planar-insistent. This can also be said like this: I am exploring the actuality of the two-dimensional reality of a work on paper or canvas versus the artifice of three-dimensions that may be explored through the act of drawing.
In my last post I showed works by Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne. I showed three of Monet's works, exhibiting his move toward facade-like images late in his career. I remarked that Cezanne, early-on in his career, perceived the canvas as a two-dimensional object. I did this by reproducing a painting created by Cezanne in 1877. Today I show one of Cezanne's last works, made in the year of his death, 1906. Wow! It scintillates with surface marks, thus leaving no doubt one is viewing a representation of a 3D-landscape on a 2D-canvas.
Yesterday's art-making was all about taking off, flying, not knowing if I am going to actually get across the big divide, but happy that I am in the air and flying. The painting "2016 No. 2" took an unexpected turn. It was preceded by a drawing, which explores an idea carried into the painting. The foreground figure is in shadow, creating a forefront that allows the viewer to spatially plunge into the rest of the picture. This allows me to push further the artifice of three-dimensional space.
Whoever thunk it? I am a continual skeptic, full of doubt. I doubted I would ever get here, near a conclusion to Painting-01·08·2016, even though I have been through this process hundreds of times. The basic rule: Hang in there and a conclusion will occur! I write this with caution, because there may be an additional touch or two coming, but nothing so serious as to alter the mood or composition of this painting. It is what it is.
Yesterday's drawings continued my query into both approach and subject matter. There is no finality in these drawings. If anything, drawings like these make me realize that I will never find finality.
I continue to fail at perfect reproduction — this too will forever be a problem! In today's reproductions you can see that both drawings were unevenly lit: A shadowing effect occurs in the upper left.
FYI: The drawing on the left was on slightly yellow paper, with a water mark visible in the lower left.
Usually I show the painting I did yesterday first, then the drawing. Not today! I find the newest state of "Crazy Love" problematical. It is in need of repair. Thus the drawing first, which is a good one.
"Crazy Love" is going through a grand transition, as am I. I am coming to terms with the figurative impetus of my soul, mixed as it is with a visually abstract, non-concrete universe. Yesterday's drawing began as a study for "Crazy Love", but it quickly took its own direction. Two remnants in yesterday's drawing refer to "Crazy Love". They are the heart and the distorted, ex-body head. The current ex-body head will be substantially repainted. I am also imagining (during this writing) the appearance of a second head in the bottom right quadrant.
Drawings from 11/29/2015, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
I have surprised myself with new images, and also the joy of laying down graphite on a textured surface. The paper is the same paper used in yesterday's drawing. The images are vastly different. From where come these images? One possible connection: Yesterday a photo was sent to me by a friend (in an email I opened before going to the studio). The photo shows a strange room in Silicon Valley with people walking amongst floating spheres. The spheres are white with black circles on them (the ceiling, floor, and wall are red with black circles). Unlike my drawings, the spheres do not inhabit the people (people are walking among the spheres). Influence? Perhaps. Most important is my product. These drawings are different than anything I have produced in recent memory. They started differently, were processed differently, and ended differently. I am exhilarated by their inventiveness.
A note about today's reproductions: Both drawing are on the same textured paper. The paper's surface color on the first drawing is closer to its actual color. I did not white balance my camera prior to photographing the second drawing, nor did I change the lighting.
Invention, surprise, resurrection, Stanley Kubrick, Leo Tolstoy, Abbott and Costello. They all have given meaning to my life. Rumination and self-analysis has been a result. How do I get all of them in my art? There is no easy means or method, so I continue to plug away. Who's on first? The title of yesterday's blog post said, "This is What!", but Abbott said, "What is on second." The play of ins, outs, and betweens of my synapses must be leading me to comprehensive knowing, or not. The drawings shown today are me searching. This is not unusual, but I note it just the same.
FYI: The complete dialogue of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" is transcribed at the end this post.
Drawings from 11/11/2015, both pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
Who's on First? by Abbott and Costello
Drawings from 11/3/2015, all pencil on paper, 20X16 inches
I am a stranger in a strange land. As trite as it reads, I am simply searching for truth. Yesterday's drawings are all over the possibilities of me, from weird reductive figuration to artificial three-dimensional landscapes. As is my habit, I redact none of it. You see it all, even the uncomfortable first drawing with the weird lady holding a plate of fruit. These drawings are me with a series of questions. I know I must commit in order to make substantial art. I must commit fully to a vision. I worry, probably correctly, that I am making drawings like these because it is easier than full commitment. I have set up my studio for the greater substance that comes with painting large works on canvas. Yes, I know what must be done. So here I am giving myself a pep talk. Go and do it!
There is fascination in the shape and form of the dust balls, and the weird slough-offs from plants and animals, that inhabit the edges and corners of a room. But that's not what this is all about. These are the structures and landscapes found in the edges and corners of my mind, my history, my weird dreams. Do all of us have these? I suppose, I assume. My father used to say (not original to him), "Don't assume or you will make an ass out of u and me." In my case, these are opening truth and circumstances very real to me.
Drawings from 09/29/2015, all are pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
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