Resting at Home
Today I required a day off. Yesterday I remade this drawing, whose first state was executed on February 10th. Look back to my blog post of February 12th to see how far this drawing is altered from its original. It is much better. Now it is easier to comprehend. This proves my premise. I am moving everything I do toward more direct, simpler statements. By implementing a simpler way of seeing my work's profundity has increased.
Even More Reduction
Finding Peace with Minutia
Reduction is getting me closer to my intended impact. Yesterday I worked on three paintings. All are better. I expanded their impact by reducing the complexity of their forms. This resulted in an increase in each painting's percentage of negative space. "Reclamation" is wider. "After Words" is wider and taller. "Course of Action" remains dimensional stable, but the colors in its forms are simplified.
"Reclamation" is Alive & Well
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Less is More
It is obvious to me, this painting, "After Words," has fallen short of its maximum impact. Maximizing impact has been reduced by too many confusing extras. It is cleaner today than was in yesterday's blog-post, but it must me cleaned further. It continues to be victim of too much, too many ideas, too many directions taken, not enough self-editing. Today I will go in, destroy that asterisk-like distraction lying on the belly of the right-side form.
As example of my failure to see that "less is more", I give you a photoshopped image of "Catapult" (2022 No.10, state 6), oil on canvas, 60¾x 56¾ inches. A third major form has been removed, the one that took up a vertical position on the right side of the composition (see below).
Finding Meaning in Simplicity
Did I Lose This One?
This drawing started simple, became complex. I have been making a great effort to keep my statements simpler, more direct, right to the point. Did this one get away from me? I am in the midst of personal turmoil. What makes most sense to me? What allows me to communicate best? I want clear communication for myself, and for my viewers.
About Changing Your Mind
I feel different. I have changed my mind. You can see this change in today’s drawings. Art-making is the act of changing one's mind. My drawings, my recent paintings, embrace a simple approach; they embrace face-on compositions. These works are realizations. Complexity of who I am cannot be reduced. Deception occurs if complexity be ignored. Simplicity must be sought. Yesterday drawings are practice toward achieving simplicity.
8, 9 and 3
There is an article in today's New York Times about the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat (quoted below). I worry about my propensity to make complex compositions. In this blog I have often written about my compositional worries. I am struggling to be free of the complex. I want to engage viewers quickly, easily; Basquiat models this well, Basquiat’s compositions are inherently simple; he was a master of compositional simplicity, which allowed complexity in everything else. Basquiat did not always have a complex message, but he always produced simple compositions. Yesterday I moved in that direction. Both of my recent paintings became simpler in composition. At last, I am giving in, I am learning to communicate more deeply by relying on simplicity of composition.
CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK, New York Times, April 29, 2022
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