This drawing looks better here, in reproduction, than in person. That is unusual. Perhaps it is the up close and personal perusal that brings intimacy to this confusing image; confusing in person, intimate in reproduction? Yes? In any case, I believed I had failed to accomplish my goal. I wished to make every stroke of this pencil drawing relate to every other stroke. I wished the negative and the positive spaces to emote with, and against, one another. Here, in reproduction, I believe I approached my goals. Here, the viewer sees the obvious centering of this composition. The strong center allows the repetitive surrounding swelling forms to sing a tune in harmony, a tune that is the bass beat behind the main theme.
Yesterday's drawing is highly successful. T.S. Eliot's view of the artist, as dispassionate onlooker of passionate construction, is cathartic. The piece I show today is this. Me, the artist, administered till the drawing fulfilled its destiny. It bobs and rhymes and sings a tune full of rhythm, depth, volume, and quiet self-declaration. In endless satisfaction the viewer can move through it; this drawing gives as much as the viewer gives. This drawing is responsive. This drawing allows pleasurable consummation; the viewer need only commit to enjoying the world it presents.
Rhythm and rhyme are beginning to be more obvious. The foundation appearing in my art is recognition of truth-telling, it occurs within the art as it appears. There is no thought of me there, just a reality that is being invented and created. I happen to be the viewer, the father, the progenitor, the conduit. My art becomes sense upon its own, divorced from self-consciousness. This is more true with every piece of art I show up to make. The surprise is this: mastery comes at the cost of dispossession and dispassion.
One more worry: Is my work too complicated, too subtle? Is it beyond the grasp of most viewers? I see visual connections across wide expanses of canvas and paper. I do not think I am deluding myself. Yesterday's drawing does work well. There is a solid core, there are rhythms and rhymes, there is movement and motion, there is value contrast, there are a large variety of forms, there is light, there is structural integrity. So, why is it not a hit? I believe it does hit well. Then why are viewers not begging that it be put in public venues? What are they not begging to see it up close and personal? Art that speaks truth should be seen. Perhaps Vincent Van Gogh wondered the same.
In yesterday's blog I quoted a New York Times article from March 22, 1992. The following paragraph, from the same article, is relevant to my worries of today:
"Cezanne's career might have been as grim as Van Gogh's -- and as short -- had he not been the son of a banker and, ultimately, his heir. As it is, his progress from clumsy Expressionism to a sublime fusion of the monumental and the ethereal has attracted scholars from Roger Fry to Meyer Schapiro and John Rewald." (from the New York Times article, ART; How Cezanne Evokes a Bach Fugue, published March 22, 1992)
I am hoping to run. However, I am still learning to walk. Yesterday's drawing, and (actually) all the drawings of this past week, are me taking careful steps. One by one, they come slowly, carefully, deliberately. I am practicing. I am in search of the intrinsic and fundamental. Fundamental to me is form, pattern, compositional movement, variety, contrast, surface energy (created by rhythmic marks), and the dynamic of light versus darkness. This week has been weak on volume of works and the activity of painting. It has been one of low energy, but quality introspection. There is rhythm to discovery, invention, and creativity. I have great belief that living is filled with rhythm and rhyme. The idea that rhythm and rhyme can be mimed in art is beginning to be apparent in my drawing. At last! This technique of suggesting action, character, expression and emotion, by using only gesture and movement, is happening here.
Obvious to me, these drawings are prelude to my next painting, 2017 No.10. I intend to finish 2017 No.9 in the next three or four days.
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