One more drawing; one more day; many more thoughts on how my art should be. Never a minute relaxed; never without discontent and anxiety; always in my head there is this question, "How can it be better?" What should I try? In what image can I find truth and reality? Always there are more questions, more answers. No answer feels adequate! I must try again, make more answers. Relentless!
There is an end to everything. This applies to a painting as well. One can make paintings as walls. One can make paintings as landscapes. One can make paintings that inhabit a room. In ALL cases, there is a ground. The ground is the viewer's agency to find his bearing. An early influence upon my art was Yves Tanguy (1900-1955). Before I began today's post, I thought to myself, "Hey, Tanguy made images without horizons!" NOT true! Yves Tanguy ended his career making surrealistic LANDSCAPES! Tanguy began his artistic career, like all of us, making figurative paintings (see below). In ALL cases, despite my early morning intellectualized doubt, there is a definitive ground in Tanguy's paintings, always! There are horizon lines even when Tanguy creates an amorous background fog; there it is, in every work, a back-ground! And so it goes!
Another early influence on my art was Arshile Gorky (1904-1948). The same grounding occurs in Gorky's works (see below).
These has to be a defined rear-end to a painting, which I shall henceforth call, "the ground". Without the ground the viewer is left with insecurity of place. It is the relationship to security that makes a painting free, open, and emotive, thus allowing unrestrained creativity. Without security there is only loss; loss means absence, absence means a lie, a lie means dishonesty. The last thing I want my art to be is dishonest!
I began yesterday's drawing looking to test the "no horizon" idea. I cannot do it! A ground allows the artist to create havoc or security or insecurity or whatever. Life and art have irrefutable definitions. One of them is this: we exist in a place and in time; i.e., we exist on something that can be called our ground. Art mimics life. That is impossible to deny!
As good as yesterday's drawing is, I believe it can be better. There is a thrust of darkness that begins in the upper middle and moves diagonally to the lower portion of this drawing. The clarity of this thrust gets a bit vague in the lower portion of the the drawing. I believe, if I enhance this movement it will enhance the drawing. The proof will come in the doing. I will post its final state tomorrow.
FYI: I have been busy framing works for the first of my Spring/Summer exhibitions. I deliver works to AVA Gallery (Lebanon, NH) on April 26 (opening on May 10). I will neglect my new paintings till the older paintings are framed, cleaned-up, varnished, ready to go to AVA. I will continue to make drawings. Making Art is ingrained in me, rewarding to me as necessary to problem solving life and living. Art to me is an indicator of Life; I cannot stop doing it. I believe my recent drawings are excellent, perhaps the best I have ever done. This reward of quality keeps me involved, day by day, relentlessly.
This is an amazing drawing. It is amazing in its queries, its discoveries, and in its value nuance. But those qualities ain't seen here! I tried for well over 20 minutes to reproduce it accurately, as seen in real light in the real world. I failed, miserably! Giving up, I show it in the manner seen here. I show this drawing along with this cautionary tale: Please realize there is a lesson in life here. Life lived cannot be reproduced accurately. We make films, we produce plays, we write novels, we write poems and essays, i.e. we make art. Art is a reflection of the authenticity that is living. Art is an effort to reproduce the authority that is living. Art fails as accurate reproduction of things experience in form, in emotions, in intellect. Therefore, my failure to reproduce this drawing well is (Failure) X (Failure) = Failure-squared!
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