The conundrum is in the multi-faceted activity of making art. Right, wrong, good, bad — who knows, not me! I very much enjoy yesterday's drawing. Therefore, I question its profundity. That question, and its answer, are useless. Useless because trying to answer is fraught with bias. The pathway to the authentically profound is not determined by the formation of verbal questions and verbal answers. It is solvable through intuitive effort, not through quantifiable, intellectual thought. I choose to enjoy this drawing for what it is. I hope you will too.
Also, yesterday I did complete the expansion of my work-wall for painting. I am now able to tack up a canvas, then immediately begin work on it. The wall's expansion allows me to move a wet painting aside to a place on the wall which will allow it to dry, face up. This means there are two large spaces on the wall, one for the drying of paintings, one to work on a painting. It's like an organized factory!
It is all new to me! Yesterday I did these unusual drawings, then spent a few hours preparing the new painting wall. The wall will allow me to tack canvas quickly and easily onto a flat surface. I will save hours because this means no constructing of wooden supports and no stretching the canvas across supports. The canvas will come right off the roll, right onto the painting surface. Lickety-split I am into painting!
I am not sure of the exact meaning of yesterday's drawing, posted above, but it could be two of me. The left guy is erect, confident, with large, open hands; he is strong and ready to go. The right guy is leaning back, leaning away, head sideways; he appears fragile with his small, closed hands. The right guy definitely lacks confidence. I am feeling very good about my artistic development. I will never be fully satisfied, but I am relishing the journey. I believe, for the first time, that I have gathered the necessary tools to do whatever needs to be done. I have reached a high degree of mastery. I have confidence I can achieve that which I can conceive. Through my art I want to interact with the world. This blog exists because I want to communicate. However, this blog's limitations are obvious. Therefore, I accept the necessity to engage in the business of art. I need to get my art out there, into venues that may be seen by those who are emotionally engaged in the visual arts. I also wish to make my art accessible to all and everyone. This brings me to today. In the past I have had many exhibitions, shown my work in important galleries, and been juried into competitive shows. During the past four years I have stepped back from that sort of engagement and I have been writing this blog, exhibiting my work here. Late last year I began to feel the need to step back into the brick and mortar world of gallery exhibitions. I put out a few feelers and applied to several juried competitions. Nothing happened. Call it rejection. So, today I begin to think as a businessman who happens to have visual art as his product. Every Friday I am going to devote time to this effort. Today is Friday.
Why do I feel these things? I see problems and possible solutions, but I am not simply happy. immediately upon viewing today's reproduction of the painting Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 I see a problem, and it glares at me. The left panel is not reacting as well as it might; it should play better with the other two panels. The left panels is too upright. I believe it requires a rotational structure to animate it, and contrast it, with the other two panels. Funny it seems, because the lines on the back wall of the left panel instigate a rotation. However, those lines complete nothing. Do I know the solution? No! But I know the problem, and that's a beginning. Writing this informs me of a fundamental concern of mine: compositional animation and balance. Its importance is rearing it head. But there is much more to me than that. Look at yesterday's drawing. I continue my efforts to scrape the surface of the human face in my quest of subtle emotional expression. I couldn't make this stuff up. It is primal. I know not where my concerns originate.
The question which keeps bugging me is, "Why don't I know more quickly?" This process is slow, full of testing and failures. The woman in the right panel of Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 is getting closer to appearing well enough to accept, but she ain't there yet! The look on her head is better. I believe her head is too large. At this point the woman's head in the right panel does not play effectively with the man's head in the left panel. The size of her head places her in a world apart, so her head must diminish in order to bring her back into the overall composition.
Yesterday's drawing was approached differently than usual. I let it fall on the paper, rather than forced it upon the paper. In other words, I did not begin with an idea. I made stroke after stroke, seeking forms which made sense within the developing composition. I carefully watched the developing forms for impact and quality. This method brought me back to the days when I made abstract three dimensional compositions. It made me think, that possibly, I am more about the abstract power of a picture than the figurative power. This will continue to be tested. The range of my work has been restricted by my dedication to the figure. I am uncomfortable with restrictions.
The new triptych is looking promising. However, the studio is so clogged that I don't have much room to move. It is difficult making large paintings, as it requires me to wander though a maze of old paintings to see the one currently on the painting wall. Not good. I have neglected organization for too long. Paintings are stacked all over the place. I have also neglected my website, Mehrbach.com. So this is what I must do: I will devote the next couple of weeks to organization of website and studio. I have been intending to do this for a quite some time, but I have put it off because art-making feels better to me than organizing. Now is good timing. I recently finished a major work (Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014) and I am just beginning another major work (Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014). This means I will stop making art while I organize. This also means I will stop posting here during the time I am organizing. Please check here periodically. "I'll be back!"
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At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.