My life is changing. I am rejecting assiduous, go-at-it-even-if-I-am-tired, relentless push, push. I am accepting do-it-till-I-am-used-up-for-the-day. "Used-up" means acknowledging “when” there is little joy, and also knowing “when” there is little creative insight left in me to give my work. These drawings, and the painting I showed you yesterday ("Ghost Town"), are products of my acknowledging that "when." I am happier. My work is better.
Pitting myself against myself is difficult, but necessary. I suffer as I accept the pain that is acknowledgment of the crutches I have used to feel secure. Security comes from knowledge, but knowledge is mostly based upon the past; such as Art History. Easy instincts can be delusional. Becoming oneself requires acceptance of delusion. Delusion is based upon experience. Trueness is found internally. Experience is external interaction with the people and the places one encounters. Places are more pure than people. People are a confusing mess of bias. Bias is quick acceptance of perception. Perception is not always true; what one sees is not always actual circumstance. Ask a magician.
The drawings I show today are from 7/12/2020. In making them I tried to dispel instinct. Instinct calls for me to fill the page with marks and forms. Marks and forms come easy to me. Hard for me is to hunker down into personal judgement. If done well, judgmental decisions make possible immediate perception of truth. This is the suffering part. Eating ice cream is easy; ice cream is a known delight, one that never fails to reward with pleasure. Easy pleasure is ingrained in humans by millennia of evolutionary success. This is bias. I am here now. Easy pleasure is not expression. Easy pleasure is falling into evolutionary instincts. Eating ice cream corrupts the human body. Ice cream is filled with high cholesterol animal fat and pure white sugar, both of which slowly degrade the body when chronically consumed. Chronic consumption, based on instinctual bias, is an obvious corruption of reality. Drug addicts will tell you this; sugar addicts will tell you this.
I am on a quest to find truth, truth free of bias. I want my art to be lastingly true, for me and for those who observe my art. Being internally authentic is not free of pain, particular the pain that is deprivation of easily available pure pleasure.
Pablo Picasso is known for his precise language, as well as precision in his art. I agree with much of what Pablo says. (Below, see Picasso's take on the inherent blindness of art-making and art-interpretation.) John Lennon wrote, "Happiness is a Warm Gun." I say, "Happiness is a Warm Pencil." Do I draw too much? Making marks is addictive, cathartic, warm, and clarifying. My drawing makes sense of my reality; others may find my art blind to the discomforts that are present in our political and social world. No matter; I probe my own depths. I am wide enough, deep enough, to be eternally in need of work; I am preoccupied with myself; I am working to understand. The reward? Me knowing more the more work I do. Subsequently, I feel enlightened, optimistic, and busy. There is much to do; I am solving my own mystery, which is the result of the mystery that is the world I live in.
Yesterday's drawings are robust, clear, and confusing. They are like real-life.
Pablo Picasso on Art-Making:
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