Oblivion is not a place or time, it is a horizon that cannot be reached. Awareness is everything. I am more awake than ever. Being fully awake is the opposite of full oblivion. Both, perhaps, are impossible. In any case, with each drawing I awake to more possibilities that make sense in my march, step by step, to optimal self-expression. This drawing is one such step.
Simplicity leads to my presence. Yesterday's dramatic move of the painting, "No Living Thing Can Exist Without It", is toward simplicity. Its current version (state 9) calls out clearly; in other words, it is more convincingly me, than it was before yesterday's alteration. Yesterday's drawing also shows I cam be complex and simple at the same time.
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.
I am alway getting ready. I ready myself for my next work as I ready the painting, "Amidst a Falling World" for transport to the 70th A-ONE Exhibition at Silvermine Gallery. Yesterday's drawing establishes an intense interest in constant compositional movement and thrust. Every mark is a movement. The forms play with, and against, the inherent, intrinsic movement in each touch and mark. A day of reckoning is always upon me. This drawing is but one step in my relentless journey, a journey in search of self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment.
The world feels queasy and uneasy. The drawing began on 2/26/2020 came to conclusion, but everything else in my life (and living) is up in the air, being questioned, is in search of resolutions. The darkness that is "Drawing 02·26·2020 (state 2)" is solidly frank; it speaks in a world in which light is sought, darkness abounds, but clarity can been seen — the forms within are definitive, edges are comprehended, the space in which its forms reside is known. This drawing is solace for the poor of spirit. Our spirits shall be redeemed.
The new painting, begun yesterday, remains unnamed. Today it will receive a name, one that reflects the state of my mind as I begin this new search for truth, clarity, and self-knowledge.
You may have noticed. I have not made as much work as I usually make. My output has been less. My thought processes has been more. Is this totally conscious thinking? No! It is here and now preparation in search of truth and consequences. Slowly it unravels within me, and slowly it will be revealed outside of me; it is bounding into the physical world through my painting and my drawing. A couple days ago I purchased new paper and new canvas; the need for these materials is instigated by revolution within me. I am not going to sit tight with what I have. In my wish to be revealed I am on a journey that is my personal self-conquest. The difficulty is being true to myself as forces impinge upon me; I am mortal; I live in glory but am touched with fear that mortality lends to every moment. I feel rushed to get it all done, but know rushing the flow of internalization of ideas is foolhardy; making thoughts into real objects must not be forced into rapidity. Failure is not an option. When mortality succeeds I want to go with the comfort that I have accomplished self-knowing.
Yesterday's drawing is a wonder of spontaneity and security. It felt true then, it feels true now. It also began with a reflection upon an old photo of the Twin Tower disaster of 9/11/2001. I have a photo of a bent piece of metal from one of the towers pasted on the wall of my studio. This photo shows metal remains being exhibited in a news conference. I must have placed it there in 2002. This unusually shaped metal object looks like a great piece of sculpture to me. It obviously touches me deeply. I began yesterday's drawing by accepting the profound effect this photo of this piece of one of the Twin Towers has on me; it must be relevant to my personal self-knowing; it is important to recognize this object as true to my journey in self-revelation. Noticing this truth, accepting this truth, is important. The importance is in the seeing, then in the accepting, an object in the external world as true to my psychic need to self-express. I will do more of this.
I have nothing relevant to say compared to the gravity of the drawing that is in front of you. Of course, you see the reproduction; the actual drawing is more glorious. There is an expanse within me that is my present self-awareness; this profound self-awareness is allowing me to increase my self-perception of the art I make as I make it. My perception is my gaze upon the exterior-to-me world in which my art resides. Thus the realm in which my art is perceived in much enhanced compared to that I have perceived before now. The testimony to this increase in perception is the art itself.
"Can you believe it, August is here!", said one newscaster after the next on snippets (from local TV stations) shown on the 8/1/2018 Jimmy Kimmel show. Here is my first drawing for August 2018. It is different, it is very good, it is a response to my working so very hard on the painting Along for the Ride. My acuity increases if I work in an extremely focused manner for several days, which I did with Along for the Ride; I made no drawings for several days! When my acuity peaks I prepare myself for a fall — a fall into exhaustion. I try to pace my energy, looking always for consistency in awareness. This drawing is a result of peak awareness, not exhaustion. Apparently I required an interlude before returning to Along for the Ride.
When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon he said (as quoted by Wikiquote), "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Notice the [a] before "man." That correction is required in my title too. This blog is about "The Ascent of [a] Man." This quote is the title of Jacob Bronowski's 1973 TV series. My mind is quickening. It is me in realization. I am waking up. Every day I understand more deeply than the day before. This is not comforting. I feel like an infant in front of an abyss, an abyss of knowledge. There is just too much. I am mortal, I have just a certain amount of time and energy.
The painting "2017 No.6" is nearing its end. As I act upon this painting I am, disappointingly, looking forward. Perhaps you can see my forward thinking in the drawings I post today.
These are the moments when the powerful mind or the forceful character feels the ferment of the times, when his thoughts quicken, and when he can inject into the uncertainties of others the creative ideas which will strengthen them with purpose. At such a moment the man who can direct others, in thought or in action, can remake the world. -Jacob Bronowski
I never know from where the reference comes. It must be referential. Right? Can anything be made without reference? One sees, one reads, one experiences — the references to past experiences, sensual and intellectual, have to be there in everything one creates, no matter how original it feels. Actually, writing this feels trite. Duh!
In any way I look at it, the battle within never ends. Truth and correctness are difficult to identify. The search to be true never ends. Doubt is impossible to dispel. Here I am, asking, did I referenced an image from the movie "Donnie Darko"? Did that red come from something I viewed in the immensity of other people's paintings I have seen? It doesn't matter! Does my work unravel a piece of me? Does it make my self-knowledge more lucid? Yeah, that's what matters.
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.