The Rock of Gibraltar is not the only thing built to last. I am building substantial stuff right now. I am building art to last. These drawings are deep commitments to truth and the way of sun. They are what they are supposed to be, committed to the heaviness, and to the light, that is everlastingly within us all. Solid as a rock, mindful as in the ephemeral moments they witnessed in their transitory experience of becoming real. I can now declare this journey is mindfully an honest one.
Problem solving is anything but straightforward. Some say "two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, et cetera..." I say, there is no such clarity in the stepping! When one has a major problem to solve it does not work so easily; the journey is not so decisively forward. I am facing a major problem. This is one that is not going away. I will forever be involved is seeking peace with myself, self-recognition of self-worthiness in the art I make. This is my struggle to solve self-revelation. Yesterday's drawing is a step. Everything I make is a step in my journey that I cannot leave. Looking at today's reproduction I see things I enjoy because they are totally me and mine. At the same time I see success I see failure. Clarity in vision that reflect everything I feel has been diluted by clarity of mark, stroke, value, and form. The technical aspects of making a drawing or painting are many, and must be mastered if one is to express fully and completely. The complexity of self-revelation I seek is gigantic. But, I believe I do not ask too much. I will achieve, I will approach my goal, I do feel it is in reach. This is happening with every step I take. My stepping in the right direction, and knowing it is the right direction, keeps me going. This self-inspiration imbues my relentlessness.
The vertical line at the top of first drawing did not appear in its first draft. As is my custom, at the end of my work day I placed the new drawings in a plastic frame, leaned them against my work wall, sat on a stool, contemplated them amongst the best of my recent drawings. This one, No.1 from yesterday, begged a line for completion. It required a line that designated left from right, simultaneously defined a corner of the imaginary wall that defines the space in which these forms sit. What a difference a line makes!
I am on the go. These drawing are uniquely me. Negative space has become more important, more emotional. Positive space, positive forms, are potently obvious in their intent. There is no hiding behind a plethora of details. These are in your face drawings. No lie, no disguise, no pretense. They are naked and real. I am releasing myself into my work. No longer do I feel lost in my own debatable masquerade.
It difficult to believe this is me. I am a man in a zoo, looking at a species that makes stuff separate from myself. This is similar to an episode of the old Rod Serling Twilight Zone series: There is a life-form in front of me, acting out its reason for being. I am watching it, like an alien watching a human for the first time. The spectacle in front of me is me. Truth is bizarrely correct. I am watching an intelligent life-form make sense of the cage it is in. I am watching it unravel that which exists but must be unearthed.
These are three excellent drawings. Each made by me. Each different, and each is true. I am more than any one part of me. I am made of many parts sewn together by a confluence of life experiences. These are discrete, disparate experiences, all valid because they are in my true, living memory. This is the reason for variety in my art. I accept the search is not about finding one image, but about finding the many images that arise because I am able to sing many tunes in my true voice.
Recently, my drawings are taking two days of thought to complete. The second drawing here is no exception. This drawing from 9/25/2020 is a step toward simplicity, yet it is too simple for me to accept. Today I will go back into it. That said, look at Drawing 09·24·2020 in its state 2; it is crazy complex. Why is it difficult for me to illustrate my simple, personal identity? Am I as complex as my drawings indicate? The problem is viewer engagement. I do not wish to be obtuse, but I believe I am. My job is to get down to the basic me; I want to be naked in front of myself, naked in front of my viewers. At this point I continue to hide behind a patterned curtain so thick as to hide me from easy view. Yeah, I am behind the curtain. Am I pretending, as the Wizard of Oz pretended to be someone he is not? I know I am failing to do the one think I want to do so badly. I want to reveal myself in order to communicate honestly and purely. Guise and guile are irritating and distracting. I must stop myself!
My great effort to rid myself of my own iconic images is in full battle mode. You can see it here. This may not be pretty (or not), but it is definitely a conflict in full engagement. This will get fixed! I will find a way to pare the basis of me into a distillation that is all my known knowledge. I will become clarified and pure. The struggle will waver. It will not produce all things good. It is a path taken in a correct direction; a direction that is more felt than known. This is the artist feeling his way across a dark room, bumping into deceptive objects, but knowing there is a door to light somewhere across the room.
Yesterday's drawing was one step forward (completing the drawing began on 9/23/2020) and one step sideways (the drawing began yesterday). Today I will complete the latter drawing. I believe I will be constantly drawing until I feel ready to commit to a new painting. There is knowledge and understanding to gain before the next big trial by paint.
All this work, most of it going into files (perhaps, forever lost to viewers) goes to preparation. This is the process of preparing for combat that is making-art. These drawings are very good, but they are more instructive than finalities with happy returns. The first drawing shown today is in state 2. The second drawing will be revisited today for its state 2. My understanding is taking leaps. Giant steps are happening. Before I arise from bed, I dream and mediate on moving toward more simple statements, ones more directly related to my deepest concerns and psyche. This process, of self-examination leading towards self-awareness and self-knowledge, is problem solving. Slow, but happy I am, because I comprehend its sureness.
Everything is on the line, everything is concerned with the impact of form & line & shadow & smudge & composition & light. Everything is more clear to me. These drawings are more and many; they are better to me. These drawings are beginnings, true steps in the right direction. They are closer to being myself.
The last drawing is incomplete.
The beat goes on.
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