All thirteen paintings that will be in the One Brooklyn Bridge Park exhibition (thanks to Chashama) are ready to go. The last one to be completed was 2017 No.14, which was the most complicated in terms of preparation. It required a finish, so much original painting was needed. I know the studio photos are not ideal. I do not have the time to make formal reproductions. Today I frame the thirteen drawings that will be in the show.
My exhibition at One Brooklyn Bridge Park is nearing. I will try to keep you up to date on preparations for the show. Here is a look at the final state of the painting 2017 No.13 in the studio AFTER being mounted on wood-panel and then re-painted around its edges. It is now ready for the exhibit!
I have nine more paintings that require touch-ups before the show. I also have eleven drawing that require framing. Much to do before I sleep...
When you opened today's post did you think you were somewhere else, not with me? Yesterday's drawing was covered by marks in a manner quite different for me. I think it was an examination of surface in preparation for my return to the painting "2016 No.3". Today I will find out. You will not know where this came from, nor where it will go, until I figure it out and post about my ideas, which will happen tomorrow. Even then it may just be me talking, and may not be me knowing.
Desire does not make it happen. It takes discipline, organization, preparation, and work. This includes the proper infrastructure. Yesterday I continued to improve my work wall, where I paint. Consistent readers of this blog know I want to move more quickly with my painting, as quickly as I do with my drawing. I have accepted the ups and downs my drawing exhibits, some good, some excellent, some not-so-good. This is exactly what I wish for my painting. This allowance of variation in quality can only happen if approaching white canvas is similar to approaching white paper. That is, putting marks on canvas should not feel any more consequential than putting marks on paper. I have long thought my paintings are more serious, more important, than drawings. Relative to drawings, paintings are larger in size, the material is more expensive, and my time of preparation is greater. My painting wall reduces preparation to simple cut and tack. Preparation time for a canvas is now no more than preparation time for a drawing. There is one caveat, paintings are oil based and take over a couple weeks to dry, thus I need a place to hang them while they dry. This is the reason I am now expanding the work-wall. After a painting dries I can role it up until it is to be exhibited or sold.
Yesterday's drawing confuses me. I think this is exactly its message. Yesterday I saw the film, "The Big Short". One of its messages is that process leading to proof of one's ideas is not necessarily uplifting. Success is confusing. Despite being a predecessor to my viewing the film, this drawing describes well my take-away from yesterday's activities, both from the film and from the studio. Being morally invested in doing the right thing does not lead to celebration or happiness. There is a reward of self-awareness, however, that makes me believe the process is worthwhile.
Drawings from 11/29/2015, pencil on paper, 16X20 inches
I have surprised myself with new images, and also the joy of laying down graphite on a textured surface. The paper is the same paper used in yesterday's drawing. The images are vastly different. From where come these images? One possible connection: Yesterday a photo was sent to me by a friend (in an email I opened before going to the studio). The photo shows a strange room in Silicon Valley with people walking amongst floating spheres. The spheres are white with black circles on them (the ceiling, floor, and wall are red with black circles). Unlike my drawings, the spheres do not inhabit the people (people are walking among the spheres). Influence? Perhaps. Most important is my product. These drawings are different than anything I have produced in recent memory. They started differently, were processed differently, and ended differently. I am exhilarated by their inventiveness.
A note about today's reproductions: Both drawing are on the same textured paper. The paper's surface color on the first drawing is closer to its actual color. I did not white balance my camera prior to photographing the second drawing, nor did I change the lighting.
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!
Untitled Drawings-01·31·2015 Nos. 1, 2, 3, pencil on paper, 11X14 inches
Could it be more obvious? I am an explorer in a dark room, flashing a beam of light here and there. Discovery is the norm. "Change is the one constant." And so it goes. Yesterday I began stretching a new canvas. I am ready to explore in painting as I have in drawing, one after another without wasting time on extreme self-criticism. My biggest worry is finding a way to do this efficiently. My studio is full of old paintings and room is running low. Drawings take up no more than a small amount of flat space. My paintings are much larger and have 2 inches of thickness. My ambition to make a lot of paintings depends upon finding space to store them. Perhaps I should solve this the same way as my mentor, Philip Guston, i.e. by tacking flat canvases on a wall. Alternately, I could follow Vincent van Gogh's method: Van Gogh famously removed his canvases from their stretchers and rolled them up. That takes time, and the oil paint must be dry before that happens. This is a practical problem that must be solved for me to proceed in the manner I wish to proceed.
The colors in Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 are deeper than those seen in the actual painting. This is my effort to allow you to see the new shadows occurring behind the man in the left panel. It is obvious to me that the left and right panels demand immediately attention and alterations. Today is annoyingly my business day, so the required changes will have to wait until tomorrow.
Yesterday's drawing is interesting is its succinct forms, light, and spatial dialogue. I rather enjoyed making it. I regret a bit that it took up three-quarters of yesterday's studio time to produce because the painting Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 is calling for me to push it toward finality. This said, yesterday's drawing was actually a necessary study for the man in the left panel of the painting. In the drawing I play with a man against a wall. This prepared me for the play of shadows cast by the man in the left panel of the painting.
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!"
In a way, yesterday I did begin the new painting. I show its naked, white canvases below, as it appears on my painting wall. Here is state zero of Untitled Triptych-08132014. The drawing is my futile attempt to make a diptych on one piece of paper. It just does not work well. There is something necessary about the physical, and real gap, between the two panels.
You can see a problem with accurate reproduction in the reproduced white canvases for the new painting. It is a very large area. The lighting is uneven, inconsistent in tone and value.
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