Today's second image is state 2 of Drawing 09·08·2019. Titanium white acrylic paint was used to remove the form that dominated the upper portion of this drawing. I eliminated the meaningless. An error in my ways became apparent, it distracted from the important stuff. I reworked the drawing, I found openness, better use of negative space. White, blankness, absence of form; negative nothingness is absolutely required in order to give significance to positive form.
I have been doing too much. I have been making too many marks and too many forms. Allowing discovery without judgment, brings judgment. This authorizes the unavoidable, this emancipates drawing that represents reality. I had relied too much on models. Reliance on models is weakness that engenders error in judgement. My models are the work of artists I admire, also my own work that I believe successful. I had been obscuring my present by relying on ideas from my past, ideas I had seen and understood. My practice of working in the now, allowing my images to spill onto the page, rather than to be manufactured on the page, is correct. My work must represent my knowing and seeing in the moment I am living. This is the goal of mindful art. This is the goal of mindful mediation: (i) Recognize Emotions, (ii) Accept, (iii) Investigate, (iv) Non-Identify/Detach. The consequence is reality.
Yesterday's drawing is me practicing the unavoidable.
Out they come, one after the other, ra ta ta tat! I am looking for clarity. I am looking for simple communication between the viewer and I. This struggle is making-art. It is my effort to convey meaning to the viewer, and to myself.
I accept that I make art for one reason: the unknown scares the crazies out of me! I cannot stop doing this activity, making-art, because of this weird, not-so-true, reason: I cannot stop because I cannot know. So I search endlessly. There was an earlier time in my life when I read Jorge Luis Borges with great intent. I have not read Borges in quite a while. My memory has transposed his basic idea into my understanding of the Labyrinth of being. Below I have quoted the forward to Borges' book, "A Personal Anthology" (Forward written by Anthony Kerrigan, Dublin, 1997). Like Borges, I must admit, I most identify as "one who swears he has not died."
Yesterday's drawing is me taking another step toward knowing versus unknowing. The "shadows" and "forms" do and don't make sense, i.e. their references to our lived-in reality is true and false, simultaneously. I hope that Jorge Luis Borges would like this drawing.
...row, row, row... refers to my having very little to say in recent blog posts. The images are coming, but not the words. I would like to think my images are supplanting words. That the images speak for themselves. That I have no great passion to verbally explain my thought process because the visual work is explaining itself.
Daily readers know I have been struggling with an accurate reproduction of Asparagus. Today's image is closer than usual, albeit imperfect. The bug (fly?) did move since my previous post.
Yesterday's drawing was sustained and methodical. Every once in while I return to feeling my way through ALL the surface of a created form. Yesterday's drawing had that kind of contemplative process. I was swept away from recognizable thought, which felt good during the process.
One other superficial idea came to me. I am beginning to title my paintings — this makes for quicker identification, and allows conversation without confusion, which is inherent when titles are numeric and date driven. However, I do not wish the interpretations of my paintings to be driven by titles. I named my most recently completed painting with a four work title. Now I believe it is distractingly verbose. One word titles are better for my intentions, i.e. let the viewer construe the interpretation. This said, I have reduced my most recently completed painting's title to Heresy. This shortened title appears below the painting's reproduction on my website, MEHRBACH.com, but not in this blog. This blog, after all, is a diary of my thought process. I will not go back in this blog's post to change its title. I think one of best titles of all time is Guernica, Picasso's great anti-war painting. Being one word, it can be referred to easily; the title, Guernica, immediately brings with it the mental image of the painting with little encumbrance of verbal distraction.
I want to hurry, but I find I can only go as fast as my energy allows. Perhaps it is this problem that instigated yesterday's drawing. After I smacked you with my biggest fear, I went to the studio. Yesterday was a good day in the studio. The painting Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 progressed well, and the drawing struck something basic to me (despite its rather flat, classically redolent composition, read right to left). I wrote about this primal worry in yesterday's post: I am afraid I will not have enough time to unravel all which I know and feel.
You may miss the changes in Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014 during your first quick glance at today's reproduction of the painting. They may appear minor because of the small size of the reproduction. But, again, they are surprisingly important. Zoom in (its in HD!). In the left panel you will see the changes in the feet and legs of the woman, and in the right hand of the man. Mostly I worked on the woman's feet and legs. Her back leg moved forward, and her toes became defined. Her legs, one after the other, generate a vertical plane which produces a spatial corridor between the man and the woman. It is important compositionally, and emotionally!
For the last two days my studio time has been divided like this: First, Experimental drawing. Second: Enhancing minor elements of Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. Yesterday I spent two-thirds of my time on the drawing. It is difficult to believe, but the decision making on the woman's feet and legs took well over an hour. Basically. I think I can sustain this daily rhythm of working for at least another week. As you know, I very much want to move onto the next painting, but I feel this is as important to me as "Joy of Life" was to Matisse and "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" was to Picasso (both reproduced below my work).
I don't know if my last drawing (made two days ago) has any discernible significance. I approached it mindlessly. Sometimes working without reason opens doors to ideas that are significant. After reading the last three sentences I believe confusion is apt. Something worthwhile may result. I certainly am not going to spend much time thinking it.
I do not want to be an infinite futz. I liked the arms and hands in this painting's previous version (#6), but this one (#7) is better in a few ways. The new hand gestures are more subtle and have deeper meaning. The overall color scheme is better and more manageable. The colors make greater sense in terms of balance, contrast, light, and form. At last I can see this painting's completion coming. As to mindful art-making, I need to continue to question that. This painting took a rather rough ride to get where it is now. I would prefer to get there without the bumps. Also, the color correction of the heads definitely moved in the right direction. The red floor now plays well with the flesh tones and the table top hue.
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