Satisfaction is impossible for me. I took a few days away. I celebrated this Winter Holiday Season with family and friends. I return to the studio today, unsatisfied. I know I can express more fully. I know I have succeeded and failed. Today I show the last drawing I did, back on December 20. The skill this drawings exudes is undeniable. That is not enough for me. I want more. I return to the studio armed with a new camera, a Nikon mirrorless camera. Everything else is the same.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was working on this drawing when my brother called. I do not consider this drawing finished. Its essence has been established; it requires another look, reflection, then alteration. Perhaps then satisfaction will occur. Come back tomorrow to see this drawing's final state.
It ran away and I caught up with it. This process, the one I choose to engage, is an amazing, meditative, engrossing, fully capturing process. I am not the bold conqueror, imposing my will on the indigenous populace. My art appears mark by mark; I give into its desire to become whatever its wills to be. This one, yesterday's, is rather complicated. It took 12,638,947 marks of mine to become itself... psssst — just kidding — I did not count, but it felt like these marks just kept on being demanded; I completed each request until satisfaction occurred — not my choice).
I have been reading a lot of poetry. Its complexity gives me great solace. I fear my art is difficult. It is not quick. It is not easy to fully comprehend. The viewer must pay attention. Mostly I fear it does not engage the viewer as quickly as (for instance) a work by Keith Haring. A viewer of my works is invited to give into contemplation. Engagement by one of Keith Haring's artworks is quick. My art reveals itself slowly. Profundity is its message; thus it insists upon the viewer slowing down, taking his or her time to see it all. Engagement might begin quickly, but full comprehension takes a lot of time. Reading the poetry of Wallace Stevens has been extremely helpful to me. It encourages complexity. Wallace Stevens constantly reminds me that comprehension of life and living is a slow process. His poetry hits a sweet spot of mine. It makes satisfying sense. It simply feels right. That rightness sings back at me. It is hitting the correct notes. The satisfaction of hitting those notes correctly is profoundly fulfilling. It satiates and quenches my thirst. I am doing that now, over and over, in my art-making. I want this to continue for a very long time. Satiation, like quenching one's thirst, is temporary. I need more of it!
Yesterday's drawings are tests. They are me philosophizing, stepping back and thinking, asking where should I be in this art-making crowded by choices. Simplicity is nice, comfortable, but not long lasting. I vote No.1 as best for me. Best for me because it satisfies me most. It keeps me engaged in more than a moment. It is a series of moments in visual form.
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