Struggling is not new to me. In fact, it is preferred. If I am not struggling I am not reviewing the edges of my consciousness, edges of my intellect, edges of my emotions. This painting, "Find a Man", is testing all of the above. This is me finding my roots, and the extensiveness of my personal landscape.
Am I there yet? No! That is an accepted impossible. "Find a Man" is on my journey; a journey to better understanding. The superlative, best, will never be obtained. As long as I work I will always become better, but I will never become best.
My drawings are getting better, better all the time. I show them in reverse to their making. I do this because I believe the last is best. All are good ones. Perhaps I should be optimistic. Optimism is difficult when difficulty is constant.
Staying alive and active is paramount. Things are a-poppin'! Invention as simultaneous to being is adamant. Steadfastly I draw in order to exude that which I feel in the moments of feeling and knowing. This is my effort to make the act of production a melding of intellect and emotions. The production is the physical appearance of things called art, drawings and paintings. I have unrelenting determination to make images that construct authentic representation of my innermost knowing and feeling. These art works are me seeking unswerving mindfulness. Yes, I am seeking self-expression at its highest level. I am resolved to make truth while in the act of making-art. This is practice in mindfulness, which, like art, can never reach its ultimate conclusion, its ultimate expression of pure truth and knowledge.
The drawings I show today occurred over two days. I celebrate these as two good steps forward.
I am revisiting the drawings of Willem de Kooning. My understanding of their sophisticated command of the rectangle in which they sit is greater than ever. Knowing is one thing, acting with one's knowledge is extremely difficult; making art is a task of extreme mindfulness. This is my trouble. This is my struggle. The three drawings I show you today were created as an act of mindfulness. They are the best I could do when I did them. This internal act becoming external image is the essence of art-making. I am making a great effort to watch the structure of my drawings become real in real time, i.e., real in terms of personal emotion and personal knowing. Watching the knowing become a real image is a transitory experience that is being there as each note is created for better and for worse. It is the act of reacting, putting right the slightly askew mark made before the one now appearing. Compositions grows as do conversations. Command over feelings becoming words is poetry in the making. Perfection of communication is the goal poetry, of the visual arts, and of music. Perfection of communication is never reached.
The beat goes on.
The struggle to be free is constant. Before freedom comes acceptance of reality; reality cannot be avoided; it demands first attention; that is undeniable. An example is the fact that a two-dimensional plane will, first and foremost, be read as a two dimensional plane. This 2D-reading occurs before any artifice created by drawing will be seen. I have tried very hard to create the third-dimension in my two-dimensional paintings and drawings. Yesterday is a good example. When I began yesterday's drawing I was thinking in/out on that plane, but I quickly realized I was losing the readability of its 2D actuality. Thus came the drama in its making. I struggled between the freedom that is the joy of making marks, and the insistence that reality is the 2D-plane.
In life there is struggle to see clearly. The murkiness of people, things, and emotions obscure easy access. Muck, rubbish, and dirt get in the way of truth-telling; clarity is found by consistently pushing the falderal out of one's way. Such is my journey. Reason is not enough. This is slow because the rubbish is much. Yesterday's drawing dealt with this dichotomy. There is left and right; there is heaven and earth. There is darkness and light. The left is shadowed, invokes a search for nuance. The right is easier on the eyes; it invokes simplicity and strength. The monument on the right is clear. The monument on the left struggles to be seen. Both monuments are pyramids, one tall and lean, one fat yet sturdy in its dark surroundings. Obvious, there is play between murkiness & limpidity.
No miracles! Just daily effort! No way but the highway! I am happy with the progress of the painting 2017 No.10. However, there is stress in me. I wish to fully understand, while at the same time I wish to explore new possibilities. Working on a painting till it no longer begs for change is me making the effort to fully understand. The daily drawings are me exploring present and future possibilities. Yet I consistently feel a lack of new painting. Presently I am in an effort to complete a painting. I do not feel I am able to begin a new painting till I have exhausted the present painting. Painting, for me, continues to stretch my conscious and unconscious intuition. It strains me. So great is the struggle that it limits my desire, and my ability, to make two paintings at the same time.
The painting "2017 No.1" reminds me of me before. By "before" I mean, "I've been there. I've done that." This painting, "2017 No.1" is pleasant enough, but is it right enough? All I can tell you with clarity is this: I am in the midst of an upheaval through research. Things I knew to be true are no longer true. The approach to "2017 No.1" is that which is not right. I am struggling to correct my behavior. This year's drawings exhibit this change. It is my act of painting that must change in order for me to be here, be now, be authentic. My struggles continue. I will not give up. I'll finish this painting. Yes, in the act of the next painting I will force myself to be closer to right in action.
The struggle is on... in yesterday's post I wrote of the impact my seeing a Mark Rothko painting had on me. My painting, "2016 No.17", cannot be moved in the direction of simplification. It is what it is. Yesterday's drawings begin with one containing three objects piled on top of each other. Obvious to me, this is Rothko's influence, emulating the three areas of color in his painting which was reproduced in yesterday's blog post. It ain't easy for me, this struggle with clarity of emotional purpose. Yesterday's drawings, one after the other, are looking for truth in action, but they get more complex, not more simple.
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