There are mixed-emotions when a painting is called "finished." Weoman has reached that place. After eleven states, Weoman is "done." A painting in process is a thrilling relationship; similar to the process of getting to know a new acquaintance. Similar to a relationship with a soon to be valued friend; it never ends. Paintings do get called "complete." This does not happen with a valued friend. Like a good friend, a good painting will instruct forever, upon every re-visit. A completed painting is static in its elements; a good friend is never static in any way. The happy part of calling a painting "finished" is the consequential opening of space and time to begin a new painting, a new journey, with all the excitement that is inherent in getting to know a new acquaintance.
The drawing shown today has gray reproduced on its ground, which is not true in the real drawing on Stonehenge WHITE paper.
My concerns simply do not matter. This is the path I am following. I do not know this path. Joseph Campbell wrote, “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.” I believe it. Apparently so did Charles Schultz. Understanding within the moment of creation is not as important as understanding by journeying.
Yesterday's drawing is exceptional. It surprised me during its making; it surprises me now. I understand more by looking at it. This is quantifiable by measuring the amount of questions that have been generated. I feel there are more questions to answer now than there were before I made this drawing. Expansion of consciousness is a result of giving possible answers which procreate more questions. I do not know what I do not know. I do know the number of questions sitting there in front of me are expanding. All require inquiry, all beckon me. Are ideas questions? Yes! My art is me making possible answers.
Art-making is more about management than predictability. It is being a host, akin to being within a swarm of gnats on a hot, humid summer day. Ideas are in front of me, within me. All I can do is squirm. Try to make it better. Such is problem solving. No bias allowed. Accept all questions as valid. Manage till current knowledge is exhausted. Call it quits when no path forward is understood. This painting, 2017 No.9, is not done. The questions it asks are important. I will not leave it till I lose track of its self-inflicted strategy.
Yesterday's drawing came directly. It is a sweet spot that has the aura of comfort in knowledge. It was enjoyable to make.
The work creeps along, like a snail's path to food. That's how it seems to me. Life gets in the way, the intrinsic velocity of ideas get in the way. The registration on the speedometer of insight is regulated by forces out of my control. Too often I feel I am traveling as fast as I can go at an unacceptably slow pace. Still, I leave some useful tracks along the way. Yesterday's drawing was one of them.
I do like No.2 drawing from yesterday. However, the vast difference of these drawings, from one to the next, spells trouble within. I am in turmoil. This is a result by my art-making concentration being diluted by a deeper plunge into social media (see sidebar for links to Instagram and Facebook). That has abated. I am back, but feeling not fully aware of who I am. Frightening it is that such a limited distraction from my path can so impinge upon my quest. Well, maybe. Actually, drawing No.2 looks authentic to me. It is a small victory amongst yesterday's confusion. Perhaps my feeling confused is more potent than my actual confusion.
Curiouser and Curiouser... appeared it did, a bird and a couple of women. Surprise! The rationality is me coming out of distraction caused by efforts to increase my social media presence. That ain't done yet (I will keep you informed). What I do know is this: I am on the trail. Often I have written about Joseph Campbell, who wrote the hero's journey has a path, but an unknown path ("if you see a path laid out in front of you, it is not your path"). I do not know my path, but it is a strong one, pulling me forward with funnel-like energy.
Yesterday's work is good. My second drawing is more on my path than the first. The first is a fallback to ideas well-known. Beginning a new painting was the right thing to do.
Is this what it's all about? Things present and things past? Of course it is because the future is never here. My search is as complex as I witness. I hope to find humor in it all because without humor a lot is unbearable. Not all. There is so much joy in Mudville too. Random as this all reads, please remember there are moments of mystery I wish to share with you. Now is such a moment. All I can do is live by being here being now.
Where I go is revealed as quickly as I go. This is the manner in which I am now making art. It is exploratory, moment to moment. I am an explorer, walking through a landscape for the first time, without a map. "If I cross that hill what will be on the other side?" I don't know!
Yesterday's drawings are shown in Gallery Format. Clicking on an image will enlarge it!
Happy New Year! and... welcome to a year that will be one of transition. Transition is the one thing that is assured. There is an old saying, "Change is the one constant." Well here it is. Yesterday's drawing is an announcement of change, but not the first. If you have been a consistent reader of my blog, you will have seen this coming in the last blog post of 2014. Strange it feels that despite my dedication to figurative art I am very excited about this newly embraced abstract direction. Philip Guston once said to me that I was a painter who enjoyed making objects. Back then I felt I'd rather make human figures. In actuality, I believe I prefer inventing expressive forms more than making human figures. Yesterday's drawing is strangely about both, mixing the human element with abstracted forms. It is obvious that this new path is a long one, upon which I have taken an initial step. More than anything, I am trying to follow my intuition in making images. I am dedicating myself toward personal, expressive satisfaction. The human figure alone was not enough, or it was not correct. I felt it held me back. I so much dedicated myself to human references that I impeded my ability to express with color, form, light, and perspective. My desire to make three-dimensional forms in three-dimensional space is immense. It should not be restricted. Given this idea I am going to follow this path which is intuitively motivated. Hang on!
I wish it was simpler, but nothing can get around it. I need to make a lot of drawings in order to investigate the various possibilities that may, or may not, express my internalized view of existence. I am not even sure if these expressive images should be abstract or concrete, be figurative, or of referential forms. Yesterday saw me playing around, researching a couple of different approaches to solving this problem. What to draw? What to paint? These questions seem ridiculous. Obviously, I am enamored by the visual. So here's problem: How do I make art that expresses my infatuation with that which I see outside and inside of me? Yesterday there was a little success in this ongoing investigation. Yesterday's accomplishment is seen in the second drawing (#2, above). It is more about approach then image. I very much enjoyed inventing the forms, from the hands, to the shoes, to the weird bird that pokes in from the right. Spatial play also feels good to me. In my last blog post I wrote of seeking sweet satisfaction. I felt that kind of satisfaction most during my creation of the shoe on his right foot. Idiosyncratic? Yes! I enjoy the way his skinny leg thrusts into the bulky shoe. Mostly I enjoyed the many stabs at getting it right: drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, drawing, et cetera, et cetera. It was an adventure, like seeking the proper path to get though a maze. I will follow this satisfactory approach as I continue my research today.
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