These are consistent self-queries: "How do I miss the obvious?" and "Why is a great amount of work-time required before I see the obvious?" The painting 2017 No.6 has been in process for almost a month. After all that time looking at it, finally I see the need for the patterned shape to move forcefully across the canvas and out of the right edge. Yesterday that patterned shape did not quite make the right edge, but it will today.
Yesterday's drawings are influenced by the Anselm Kiefer painting I reproduced in yesterday's blog post. You can see Kiefer's influence enlightening me. I realize there is yet another means to animate the third-dimension on a flat piece of paper.
Every once in a while the winter a-cometh-in and I am required to shovel-me-out. This week there was a big one, the major snow storm of this winter season. Coincidentally, once in a while, I am required to be introspective about my finances. That occurred this week as well. These are my excuses for low activity in the studio. However, honestly, I did need to step back, look and think. This simultaneity of dispatch included more than snow and dough. Introspection is obligatory. Recently I had not done enough of the step-back and think stuff. These past few days, out of the studio, allowed self query without the restriction of being engaged by recent and daunting imagery. One of my greater faults is me plugging on without rest. I did that as an athlete. Consequently I never reached the level of success I sought. I got injured, forever regretting my impatience. Just as sure that I should have rested before the big race, rather than tire myself out by working hard, I must step back now and then, letting the water flow. The water does flow for me. I can dip in, drink slowly. It is more refreshing that way. Reflection is enjoyable. It also acknowledges the past is important to create things future.
The result: Yesterday's drawings are good and informative.
Untitled Drawings-02·03·2015 Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
There is a story about a visit by the painter Nicolas de Staël to Georges Braque's studio. De Staël asked Braque, "How do we know we are not hacks?" Braque's answer was simple, "We don't!" I feel good about the art I am making. Does that make it good art? Like Braque, I don't know. My self-doubt is not going away soon.
Yesterday I made four drawings. I also stretched a canvas: a new painting is coming. I caution myself NOT to let the half finished paintings remain unfinished as I begin new ones. I need to go back to three painting and complete them. The problem is time. My strong desire to forge forward competes with my desire to be disciplined. Should I exhibit such discipline by completing incomplete paintings? Perfection is impossible, but there are degrees of completeness that gradate toward perfection. Looking at my three previous paintings I feel I am further away from perfection than I should be, or could be. I will struggle on, burdened as I am by my needs, and by my angst.
It has been a couple days since I made the drawing that is posted today. This drawing is about confusion. Tis the season of confusion ― I am caught between art and family. I love both, I enjoy participation in both. The remarkable thing about this drawing is its creation was not content conscious; it spilled out of me with its literalness, which is, "being caught in-between!" That is where I am going to be for the next few days. Family will dominate. I am counseling myself, and you (my readers), not to expect much in art-production for several days.
As usual, I expect my full return to art-making will come with great energy. This full return will happen in 5 or 6 days. Giving up my dedicated involvement comes with discomfort. Right now I am full of ideas. I am actively breaking down the barriers that have separated me from the art that is gigantically mine. Family and friends have reassured me that this once a year distraction will not harm my ongoing research and development. Still, it is very difficult for me to be patient. I must give into Leo Tolstoy's wisdom: "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
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