Being an artist, a composer of visual compositions, brings social engagement and loneness of composing. Important is the balance of my social interaction and my private activity as visual creator. Showing my work is exhilarating, very social. Exhibiting often overwhelms me, definitely distracts me from creating. There is a great difference between composer and performer. I am more the composer; I enjoy the quietude of problem solving in the studio more than the sociableness of exhibitions. Exhibitions allow friends to see me and my work together; exhibitions bring critiques from strangers along with viewers who look silently. Through my observing my exhibitions instruct me on the success and failure of every work I exhibit; Exhibitions are about success and failure of viewer engagement.
Yesterday I had a chance to compose, to create, to draw. This happened after hours of re-framing drawings that came back from my Bromfield Gallery exhibition. I noticed the linen tape I used to secure them to the mounting board had annoyingly wrinkled the paper. The linen tape I used required water to invigorate the glue. I removed the water based tape, ironed the drawings flat, then applied linen tape made with dry adhesive. The annoying wrinkles are gone. Yesterday I did this to four drawings. Today I will do it to four more. Why? Because tomorrow these drawings are going up in exhibition at Converse Free Library (Lyme, NH). I continue to juggle my time between composing and exhibition.
The painting "How's It Gonna End?" (2019 No.2) begins as usual for these recent times. I have a feeling. I don't know where it's going. How is it going to end? Thank you to Tom Waits for helping me verbalize my consistently mysterious process. I relish this path. I accept the step by step as exciting, a murder mystery unraveling. I killing the white canvas, replacing it with marks, paint and color. "A tree born crooked will never grow straight. She sunk like a hammer into the lake. A long lost letter and an old leaky boat. Promises are never meant to keep. And I want to know, the same thing everyone wants to know, How's it going to end?"
How's It Gonna End?
Difficulties are exactly what they seem. These queries into possibilities are struggles to be free. Knots cannot always be untied, but they can be dealt with, like catching a fish. Not always easy to do, but doable. Freedom for me is working with mindfulness. That is, the path is unknown, but clear. The next step appears as the last one has been taken. This drawing was made in this manner. Does that make it a great drawing? Not necessarily so! It is, however, a reward. I am gratified no matter the quality as judged by you or me.
The work creeps along, like a snail's path to food. That's how it seems to me. Life gets in the way, the intrinsic velocity of ideas get in the way. The registration on the speedometer of insight is regulated by forces out of my control. Too often I feel I am traveling as fast as I can go at an unacceptably slow pace. Still, I leave some useful tracks along the way. Yesterday's drawing was one of them.
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