Rarely do I post on the same day as the making. Today I found trust, trustworthy instincts were present; it was a dumpster diving day! I dove, despite feeling I did not know what was there to find. I am writing about the painting, Catch-22; it lived up to its name today. At first I didn't want to touch it, but if I was sane I had to jump, trusting I could fly well. Catch-22 is almost complete. This is welcome because I have many ideas; completing Catch-22 will allow me to start a new painting tomorrow. Reproducing today's state of Catch-22 is for tomorrow propitious. I see in this reproduction an important problem that needs fixing. They are the nearly vertical, slight diagonal lines in the extreme upper left and right; they need to be parallel to one another. When those two lines become parallel they will create a background wall between them; all other forms will sit forward of this "wall." It shall be splendid!
Today's drawing, made by trusted instincts, sings nicely too.
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.
If I continue to have interest in faux 3-dimensional compositions, is there anything but representation? Everything 3D is a reference to visual reality. Or is it? Everything I think has a contradiction. I have accepted the fact that if I am to find my own path I must follow the instinctual. I don't know where this is going. However, I do believe in Joseph Campbell's idea: “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.”
You would think this is the way it ought-to-be, all-of-the-time, but it ain't! I am having to grow myself into accepting that there are no pre-conceptions. I just need to show up. Showing up means something happens. No plans. No rigid ideas. It is the simplicity of now. If this is simple, why does it feel nerve-wracking? Well, I am admitting I do not know what I am doing. Not knowing is emotionally difficult. It is thinking on my feet, rather than knowing the course of the river. What is around the bend? I do not know. I do not care. I just show up. I just do. It is a surprise. It is self-teaching at a level far deeper than a book of words. There are no words. From whence it comes has not been tabulated.
Drawings from 06/14/2015, all are pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
This process is not easy, not at all, and... I wish it were easy! Wishing gets nothing, doing does. The more I do this the greater the force of my insight: I must move away from figuration. Figuration, for me, had become a dead end. I want to express using painterly purity: color, form, composition, surface energy, and light. If I remained fettered to the figure I would have concerned myself with thoughts of physiognomy and anatomy. This diversion had removed me from the direct and the simple, and the possibility of true expression. Authentication of my primary impetus, to find meaning through making art, had become impossible. It is no wonder that it took me so much time, and energy, to complete the last two paintings you can see on my website, MEHRBACH.com, i.e. the triptych and diptych (Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 and Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014). My time and energy were me seeking true expression. I was a true detective, but I missed vital clues. The struggle to get it right was the major clue, and I missed it! This dumbfounded miss, this failure, had told its own story. I ignored the clue, and went on and on and on. Is this a problem now? Was this a failure from which I learned nothing? No, no, no! I am a better man for it! Today I begin a new painting. Watch me crow!!!
Today's title is less reality than a query. It is very confusing to be an artist. It's like diving blind into a quarry pond, dark and deep with no sunshine to illuminate its depth. The safety of the dive is in question. Picasso said it well: "Painting is a blind man's profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen." I am becoming permeated with this reality. The only way forward is to give into knowledge deeper and smarter than anything I consciously know. I am allowing myself to be taken over by forces I do not understand. I am a prisoner of the internalization of all I have seen. Woe is me!
I did not have much time in the studio yesterday. In about an hour I rubbed out the head of the woman in the right panel and tried several other variations. It continues to not work for me. At this moment, looking at the reproduction here, I wish to destroy her head. Right now I can see a basic circle working better than what is there now. I am disturbed. Impact, and reaction to the present composition, and its content, is my concern. It isn't going to be pretty, and isn't for the faint of heart. I am standing above a precipice, looking down into the deep and dark and incomprehensible. I know there is a solid bottom. I do not want to jump and crash. I want to discern its topography, then illustrate on these canvases.
The images on the new triptych, Untitled Triptych-08132014, were established in one sitting. This is remarkable‼️ The long term readers of my blog know that I think, by instinct, and by intuition, via drawing. Discovery of the Acrylic Paint Marker has allow me to fully utilize instinct and intuition to begin this new painting. This is a revolution. I am not looking back. My enjoyment of the process went way up! I am concerned with the speed of my creativity. My ideas far outstrip my ability to get them down on physical paper and canvas. This acrylic marker technique will facilitate my ideas becoming real images. Because of this simple change, I am anticipating the production of my art to be more, better, and significantly truer to myself.
In general, painting is also becoming a more important exploratory vehicle. The process of drawing is wonderful. However, more than ever, it is through painting that my core is revealed. It is, by nature, a more contemplative process. It is larger, and therefore takes on more expressive weight. Size is important.
Last night I watched Wes Anderson's film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel." I said out loud, "If I made films this is the kind I would make." It is the wrap of seriousness within humor that attacks me. That makes sense to me. I have had periods of my art making when this enclosure, and inclusion, has been present in my art. I believe, in order to live well, the serious aspects of life must be viewed within a sense humor that reflects the futility and limits of being alive and human. I must return to making art which fully reflect who I am and my core beliefs. Just in time: I am an easy step away from the completion of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. It will probably happen today! So, what you see here, is Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014 on the verge of its finality! It seems too serious to me now. Nonetheless, I needed to make it. Being an artist is seeking the root self. This painting was a step toward understanding the core requirements of my true art. Looking back is good because it informs me looking now. Yesterday's first drawing contains some of that sense of humor I require to feel fully me. I am happy it is coming back. Look for it in my next painting!
Two days ago I made a series of three drawings. In each I explored a different aspect of composition. The final drawing in that series had me investigating the creation of the third-dimension on two-dimensional paper. Of the three drawings, its subject matter is the most unusual. When I focus on compositional research it appears I allow the content of the drawing to appear without self-criticism. This is probably good. In any case, as I do my research through drawing I follow instinct and intuition to where ever it takes me. Yesterday, while in a compositional exploratory mode, I produced the drawing you see here. Weird subject? I am not going to worry about it. I do enjoy its dynamic composition, generated by unusual forms and spatial play.
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