Being centered, having a focal point, that's a good thing. An investigation requires a place to rest. Focus is a location of rest. Reality's frightening vastness sits wide open during truthful research. Gazing is not a sedentary activity. It is walking across a landscape molded in time. Time includes everything we are, from emotions to intellect. Yesterday's drawing is one more recognition that a safe harbor is essential within every search. The viewer requires the same.
Round and round I go... returning, not to the same old thing, but to a renewal of creativity, new things. This is a cycle, but it is not one of simple circling with repeated returns. It is one of expansion. I am tempted to call it a spiral. Spiral is not quite right. Spiraling indicates an end, a focal point, rotating around an answer. I am not looking for an ultimate answer, just little answers, one work at a time. This cycle is one of recharge and release. I am about to release information gained through insight. It is me saying, "I understand more today then I did yesterday." Activity based upon insight is the portion of the cycle that I am trying clarify.
The figures within the artificial three-dimensional spaces I am creating are too dominating; the human figures' scale relative to the space is too large. For me, this means I need to go larger in terms of paper and canvas size. My recent drawings are 11 X 14 inch paper, and the paintings are mostly 52 X 60 inches. The images I seek require both space and figures; one must not dominate the other. All the elements, the space and the figures, have their emotional qualities and quantities to contribute to the expression.
It is happening, but speedy it is not. The painting "Pulling Onions" has me engaged, with a bit of reluctance. Knowing I can do this makes it important. Today, once again, I will go into the studio and work toward its completion. Perfection is impossible, but improvements are possible. As example, look at the hand that now resides near the center of painting. Yesterday I worried this hand's form should not be altered and only its color should be touched. I liked the way it sat in front of the arm of the bent-over figure, thus pushing one figure in front of the other. Now I have proved this is not necessary. I spent well over an hour playing with this hand, and it is much better. It is like a knot in the middle of the painting, giving the painting a important central compositional focal point. This reminds me of a story I read about a painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner. Turner was famous for never feeling a painting was complete (this is something I share with him). He exhibited a painting, which is reproduced at the end of today's blog. A student, who felt the painting lacked a focal point, and knowing it was to be shown in the exhibit, brought a cut-out of a dog from a magazine. At the exhibit the student pasted the dog on the painting. Turner saw the dog, enjoyed its ability to animate the composition with its contrast in light, form, and focal point, took the cut-out, positioned the dog to his liking, and painted it in (Turner always brought paints to his exhibits for final touch-ups). The dog works wonderfully. I have always loved this painting.
Yesterday's warm-up drawing is a good one, more expressive than many of my recent drawings.
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