The drama and solidity of this composition tells me, "I am here! Here, at last!" Getting to the here and the now, with complete honesty as the tag, makes this moment real. It has not come easy. Can I sustain it? Why not? Philip Guston sustained it, and he was no less human than I. This is the most important part of Guston's mentoring. If not for Philip I could not have understood this as the most important component of making art.
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.
Today I ask you to begin your viewing at the top of this page. I begin with a revisit [as promised in my last post]. That drawing is a rethink; a small tweak to its previous state. It is much better because of a small alteration. This tweak began a flow of questions; many answers follow... 1,2,3,4,5. Rapid is my current thinking. Rapid, not rabid or forced, but measured by investigation. I am in the midst of impassioned research. 1,2,3,4,5 are the spoils from one day. The greatness is the indecisiveness; I have accepted many possibilities. Everything is up for question and query. The lack of one solution calls out the plethora of possibles. Nothing is sacred. Yes, but... I am leading a life self-examined.
I cannot stop myself from seeing necessary improvements in everything I do. I am obsessed by bettering my communication via my images. Both of these drawings are very good, but they also fail to fully realize the depth I know I can reach if I just keep reaching for it.
The top drawing would have been better with a simple twist of space, i.e., it would have been more potent if the meandering frontal form slide its top behind the lighter-valued snake-like form, but remaining in front of the pole-like form. I will fix that today. I will show it to you tomorrow.
The bottom drawing will remain the same. It is a prelude to many more sliding-down-hill compositions, like landscapes in peril of disappearing into the sea.
I am working hard to make real the success I seek. Yet success is essentially impossible, at least essential success is impossible. This trek I am on leads somewhere, but not to a where that is known or defined. Given that truth, of truth being impossible, true success is impossible. Along the way, snippets of it can be, and are, viewed. This happened yesterday. Despite my inability to be totally happy with any one work of art that I make, I am happy that a step I made has a glimmer of truth in it. Each step is mushy, without the solidity of full truth, but yesterday's work did yield enough of a true answer to impassion me with the desire to go back and try again. I will do that now.
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.
Baby steps; two steps forward, one back. All of that is this. I am learning to live with my process. Mindfulness is in the seeking; it does not happen without practice and work. These five drawings were made on the same day, one followed by the next. Each drawing made in quest of answering a question posed but by its previous drawing. Literally, there is motion here, in time, and across each of these rectangular pages. Here comes the sauce! Sauces are condiments that add richness and fuller satisfaction to food. My menu is art-making, my foods are drawings and paintings. I want full satisfaction. I work to obtain it.
The drawings I show today are very good. Today I am also looking at "now" and at "then". Today I posted one more of the many paintings and wall sculptures I made from 1987 through 1991 (see CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ 1987-91). Amazing to me is the quality and scope of the work I did during those formative years of my artistic career. Below I show the work I posted on my CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ today. My journey is endless; I shall journey as long as I can pick up my tools and do my work.
The first drawing of October is one of my complicated ones. Now, today, complicatedness bothers me. It is time for clarification; it is time for a major, long term, investigative work. I will begin a new painting today.
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!
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.