The image I show today is simple and complex; it gives comfort in its clarity, it is exhilarating to observe its complications. But is it satisfying to me? It does not feel completely correct. There is something missing, something not-quite "me." It is organized well. It is simple, it is refined in organization, it calls for contemplative investigation; all that is all well and good. What, then, is missing?
Recently I have been looking at a lot of works by Francis Bacon, and I have also been studying many works of Ellsworth Kelly. Both stir my loins; I find both successful, effective, potent, and compelling. How, then, do I combine these two motives in order to make my art? This question highlights my current struggle to be free, to be me.
The struggle to be free is constant. Before freedom comes acceptance of reality; reality cannot be avoided; it demands first attention; that is undeniable. An example is the fact that a two-dimensional plane will, first and foremost, be read as a two dimensional plane. This 2D-reading occurs before any artifice created by drawing will be seen. I have tried very hard to create the third-dimension in my two-dimensional paintings and drawings. Yesterday is a good example. When I began yesterday's drawing I was thinking in/out on that plane, but I quickly realized I was losing the readability of its 2D actuality. Thus came the drama in its making. I struggled between the freedom that is the joy of making marks, and the insistence that reality is the 2D-plane.
I had intended to go back today, into the studio, finish this drawing. This drawing is not dated, nor signed (it was made yesterday). Looking at this drawing this morning, I call it done. There is a freeform play about it; I enjoy it, so I will accept it.
Today will be my first full day in the studio in quite a while. The Coronavirus outbreak has distracted me for many reasons. Today I feel fine. All my preparations, food, family, and friends, financial and shelter, feel comfortable. I feel a sense of security in this topsy-turvy world of disease and political missteps. This may not last. I will grab it while I can. I am off to my studio as soon as I place the period on this sentence.
Linear research is not. These are important drawings. They step into muck or moor or mice; they are distillation. They are frozen in time. They are star stuff. They contain the origin of essence. My steps are becoming more mine, more mindful, more mincemeat. These struggle to be free. These are truth and consequences. Popeye said it, "I yam what I yam."
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