I very much like this drawing. I very much liked the last drawing I made on 10/15/2021. They are very different. This one contains two strong, complex forms; these forms are against a blank background, except for a simple line to delineate a horizon. The one from 10/15 I called an "all-over" drawing. This one spares marks from the white background. These drawings illustrate a method. I see myself go back and forth, not by design, but by challenge and need. Both drawings are conscious of the entire rectangle they sit within; but, they handle the flat piece of paper in very different ways.
Mark and find... that is the methodology of search and find. Paying attention to the marks is the necessity that leads to finding point zero. Point zero is the zero sum. It is the endpoint which speaks finality; there is nowhere else to go.
My investigation has reached a new intensity. I am running from review of the last to renewal in the next. This is revisionism at its best. My art is becoming fluid research; each work flows from the previous, each is a reaction to success and failures of the past. Yesterday's drawing is one of my best; it exudes comprehension of my most instinctual requirements for proper visual communication of emotion and intellect.
I have entered the realm of research as described by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso; these three artists investigated through repeated visits to the same motif. I have always been drawn to the work of these artists; now I understand that it is not just their art that intrigues me, it is their methodology as well.
I seem to go back and forth. Sometimes I burst into the void, acting in complete doubt. Other times I begin with an idea I wish to explore. The latter was yesterday's modus operandi. The result I find secure, but not grandly exciting, nothing to make me scream, "Revelation!" The consequence is this: in my first drawing today, I will challenge everything I know.
My recent life has been much about reviewing & revising — a massive effort to determine reality by querying my past. Yesterday's drawing looked back to drawing No.2 in yesterday's post. This reviewing is more about method then art-work. Questioning methodological meaning is my current modus operandi. I stoled a form from "Drawing 09·22·2019 No.2" — It's that upside-down "U" that moves from bottom right, up and around, ending just to the right of my signature. Does it work? Does it have meaning? Is this a better drawing than the one from the day before? On it goes...
Drawings from 11/18/2015, both pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
Yesterday... Eyes have it! These drawings are representative of my current methodology. The surprise feels cavernous. I have turned-on a flashlight in a dark cavern. The light beam, radiating from my hand, is an apt analogy. The light goes just a little way, so discoveries take place with every step.
Now is the time when nuance is in question. Does the change in the head of the bird in the painting "Wowie" enhance this painting? It is not just the bird's head that has been altered. The silhouette of the man, and the "ground", have also been modified. The alteration in the bird was called for by the alteration in the "ground", which was followed by the change in the silhouette. Of the ground, I am sure. Yes, but does this new bird's head improve the painting? I am questioning my decision because of this reproduction. Yesterday I did the same questioning while in the studio. I altered the bird's head several times, finally arriving at the one shown here. So, should I accept this version as correct? The problem I must answer is this: Can the painting allow this more demanding version of the bird's head? The only way to answer this may be to erase the present bird's head and try again. But, sometimes I walk into the studio, look at a painting and know, "This is good!" Stay tuned.
Yesterday's drawing is definitely a good one.
There are no good words to perfectly describe the methodology of discovery that has overtaken me, so "gronk" it is! This painting is beginning to work for me, as is the drawing.
It feels good to run into this without knowing where it's going. More precisely, I am following the lead of positive intuitive feedback. It is a feedback loop, not unlike one experienced with a microphone and an electrical audio amplifier. It is getting louder and louder, squealing in pleasure and pain. I am "getting real" with myself. If I have learned anything from my recent activity, it is that I enjoy moving my line across invented forms. If this is methodology, it is one of discovery of form through seek and find by line.
Stephen King wrote several stories where the reason for tension in the story, and the reader's emotional commitment to the story line, is an artifice of ideas never fully explained. As example, this happens in his famous novel, which became a famous film, "The Shining." This kind of unexplained artifice is occurring in my recent painting, Flame. Most of my life I have been uncomfortable with this lack of known reasoning in fiction and art. Perhaps no longer. I am reassessing everything. I am making an effort to make sure one note properly follows another, but this does not mean I must fully intellectualize the reason that this is true. This brings me to something Leonard Bernstein said (see below).
The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life to make sure that one note follows another...and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.
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