Can you believe it? More and more are required. There is a "forever without end" doctrine at work here; or is it... "til death do we part"? Time will tell; time rules me and every human. Living forever would be helpful. I think I will solve this, i.e., I will solve myself if I have enough time!
Yesterday's drawings challenge my recent "darken til satisfied" idea. My recent drawings have been very good, but very good and satisfying are two different things.
There is only one way to travel; in the here and now. Thus comes my acceptance of my path, step by step; always in the present tense. Yesterday's drawing is one step then, not now. More steps will be taken in the now of today.
It is fleeting, this feeling that I know what I am doing. Safety is not an option. Discomfort is all there is. I hope this is temporary nervousness. Can I blame it on Covid-19 and our dystopian politics? I think not. This is me. This is my struggle to express fully and adequately. Discomfort instigates the next step. Yesterday's second drawing feels better than the first. The first came stiffly; as if I knew the investigation I wanted to make. The second flew, created like watching a mystery unravel. It came mindfully, me watching carefully, yet the task spilled out with robust tenacity of purpose, full of courage, accompanied by audacity. I believe the higher quality of the second drawing is obvious.
"You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows..." (Bob Dylan). I am following the wind. This is one more weathervane in my arsenal.
Subterranean Homesick Blues
Adolph Gottlieb's works have always fascinated me. I know why. I am struggling fro self-expressive potency; my images never fully satisfy me. Gottlieb's works use a simple formula, over and over. Gottlieb uses a round, cleanly organized shape in contrast to an explosive, jumbled shape; in addition, his images exude positive-shape intensity against supportive, residual negative space. The positive shapes are rich, the negative space lends them fierce interest. This contrast, of shapes and space, sings a potent, emotional message. I do not make flat shapes. My complex, three-dimensional forms have greater opportunity to sing emotions than do Gottlieb's simple, flat shapes. I will stay my course. Gottlieb's simple formula educates; his formula lends charge to visual imagery; his exude husky, emotional responses. In this regard, I believe I can go further than Gottlieb. Adolf Gottlieb's limited formula has instructed me; simple contrast has great possibilities; obtaining more accurate self-expression is possible!
Returning to the past and coming back again reminds there is no way home. Home is always and never. Only discomfort is available. Time future and time past are irrelevant to time present. Everything I make appears to be on the verge of becoming satisfactory. Satisfaction is impossible. I am compelled to return to action; my quest for fulfillment is endless. I want contentment; I want to make real the idea of who I am. Failure is the only option. Gratification is a carrot; I run but never obtain.
The works I show you today are steps in the right direction. My direction is clear. The endpoint, the goal, the destination, will never be obtained. Appeasement does not work either. Ask Winston Churchill not Neville Chamberlain.
"Amidst a Falling World" is complete. There are multiple emotions involved in completion. It is death and life and learning and despair (over not knowing enough); it is an end and a beginning. It is informative, but sadly never as wonderful as I wish. Immediately upon completion my desire to begin anew is great. Everything fails a little, as well as succeeds a little. It is within the perception of failure that the next work begins.
I am not fully satisfied with this drawing. It succeeds in some ways. It fails to fully be what I know my drawings are capable of being. Right now, this inability to be happy, with any one work of mine, is intense. I am in high research mode. With every drawing I make I want to make another drawing. Everything I do looks to succeeds a bit, but fails to get to a place that radiates all I wish to express. Failure is driving me onward, step by step.
Here are two drawings, both made as research, as tests. Question: Does one big major form engage the viewer better than a centralized composition with many complex, minor forms? I am questioning viable means to intense viewer engagement. I believe a centered composition is important; centering invites primary guttural responses. Obtaining an absorbed response can happen in many ways. Today I examine two ways. Lickety Split!
"In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." This was written by the Dutch Philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus. Among humanists he has enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists". This remark goes right to my ideal; an artist's task is to be king of visual communication. An artist's work is one of research, seek and find. If the rest of mankind does not do this daily work, then we, as artists, have the responsibility of a king. I give you yesterday's drawing. I am educating myself; Like any teacher, I hope my viewers will follow along. My drawings are getting stronger, more precise, more clearly emotive, more intellectually satisfying, more engaging. I do not want to be king. I want to be among the many who communicate through the visual references I send their way.
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