I feel I am getting closer to the central theme of my own vision, my own true voice. This drawing feels like a true step, one in the right direction. Time will tell if this is truth or delusion.
Perfection is a myth. Some questions can be answered. No sophisticated question can be answered with a perfectly correct sophisticated answer. Why is the sand wet? "Because the the sea weed!" That is NOT the correct answer. Sand being wet is NOT confusing. But the answer to the question of it being wet can be deceptively given, albeit humorous. This is not my game. I am trying to go right at myself, right at self-expression. No deception here. Yesterday's drawings were two steps in the right direction.
Have you noticed? I have not been painting a lot! Well, after making yesterday's drawings, I believe major paintings are coming. Drawings are my first experiments with truth. Paintings require me to extend my truth-making over days, sometimes months. I must feel truth deeply in order to sustain a painting. There is so much substantial truth in these two drawings that I believe they are harbingers of great paintings to come.
Paring down to the essential and the absolutely necessary is not an easy task. I am gonna do this. It is important because I have relied too long on complexity to overwhelm myself; distraction by tons of information comes easy to me. Within the overwhelmingness there is truth, but there is a lot of falderal as well. My job is to make truth. Truth is simple; truth is difficult to comprehend; truth is tough to depict visually. Truth is available despite the duplicity in every human effort. Self-deceit is easy; clear-eyed truth is difficult. Truth requires hard decisions. Deceit comes easily by slipping and sliding into the undemanding, the available, the comfortable, the entertaining, the sweetness that is momentary self-satisfaction. Yesterday's drawing is not the best drawing I have ever done, but it is a move in the direction toward simple truth.
I have high standards, in my art and in my relationships. It is my high sense of morality that keeps me true to myself, and true, or not true, to others. This Covid-19 era has forced me to look acutely at me, my here and now; it has awoken me, instigated higher awareness of myself and the people who are in my life, in my relationships. People, and my Art, presently appear to be starkly revealing, in some cases diametrical when compared to my view before the Covid-19 onslaught; it has brought extreme clarity. I am proceeding in a measured way, both with ideas concerning Art and ideas concerning relationships. Amazing it is, that it took a pandemic to force me to slow-mo into higher consciousness. As I age, as I see death and disease around me, I am sharply aware that my time must be taken very seriously; there is a limited quantity. I do not want to waste any of my existence on falderal or useless behavior.
Yesterday's work is dedicated to problem solving. What do I want to represent me? More, how do my momentary needs get translated into visual images? I deeply feel my "needs"; this is about emotion, intuition, walking a path, leaving detritus that represents my true self.
The recesses of mental and emotive nuance are many. The game I play is finding hidden truths. But, why are they hidden? It is our human capacity to be persuaded by optimism; optimism produces false and distorted memories. I want to believe I am well. I want to believe I am whole. I want to believe I have dignity, I want to believe I am intelligent; all this desire distorts truth. Truth telling is difficult because truth is diffused by desire. Yes, I desire to make art so true and fine as to be immediately recognized as true and fine. However, no easy road to truth exists.
Daily, I show up in the studio. Daily, I seek to make visual truth. Today I show you yesterday's efforts. I believe they are very good; very good, meaning they are authentic steps toward truth-telling.
Yesterday, while in the studio, I heard Samin Nosrat say, "I actually like constraints. I think it makes us more creative." Samin Nostrat is the author of the cookbook, "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat".
We are all living in a time of home restriction, personally centric space, and social distancing. What remains is isolated creativity. Exhibits are cancelled. Galleries are shut. I am in the studio. I made this drawing yesterday. It moves toward an emotive realization of space: negative, positive, two dimensional, artificially three-dimensional. It is in contrast that makes for emotion; negative versus positive, and real two-dimensional space versus the artifice of three-dimensional space. This take I show today, this drawing from yesterday, moves closer toward my recent creative insight: I am moving toward robust expression of all I am able to express on a flat two-dimensional surface. The constraint of aloneness is good for finding my truth; right now, our world insists on the loneliness of self-dependence for self-expression.
Over the last weeks I have taken risks. I have made many drawings, most very different than the image I show today, Yesterday's drawing is a result of that search, a search through nonsense and failure and some success. I have been in the process of sorting out authentic emotive and intellectual representation, sorting it from the nonsense that resides in my head. For me, nonsense must be seen to be recognized as nonsense; then it can be tossed away. This is my creative process. I like the drawing I show today because it is closer to my personal reality. Making falderal is easy. Making substance is difficult. This drawing has substance.
I insist upon an absence of dogmatism. Everything considered, everything made, everything encountered, is questioned as new, as if it never existed before. Nothing is taken as truth without inquiry; there are many possible truths. Robust debate occurs, always. I believe there is no other means to sort the valid from the invalid. This is a slow process. Being openly inquisitive, taking nothing as immediately true, takes time and mindfulness. Thus comes yesterday's drawings. There will be many more to come. Art is made from questions. Answers arrive, one by one. Given that no answer is ultimately nor solely true, there are many more questions to answer and many more answers to question.
Of the three drawings I show today, I thing the last best. This is an intuitive feeling; I will not intellectually defend it. Today more questions arise. Tomorrow I will show you the answers I generate today. And so it goes, one day at time, one answer at a time; drawing, after drawing, after drawing...
Paying attention to emotional truths is the diminution of bias. Truth telling is the work of a true detective. A true artist is a true detective. Yesterday's drawing succeeds; its process was one of truth detection. I refused to accept less than emotive truth. My job description demands more of the same. Practice is required. More to come.
I hate bias. Being biased means no original ideas. An excellent artist must be open to original ideas. Anything creative requires openness. Successful problem solving requires receptiveness. My art-making is open to everything I have seen, the mistakes I have made, and my successes. I do not take any idea as gospel truth. I try the untried.
I finished the drawing began on 3/24/2020; I create a new one. I am working hard to weed out bias. Perhaps no artwork is fully successful; nevertheless there is truth in bits, pieces, and places. It is my job to pick up the truths, recognize those bits, work toward excellence and authenticity.
I am watching a country being hurt by bias. Wrought by political morass, our nation is in a state of disease. Bad ideas matter; they slow the process of problem solving. Bias is not precluded by saying things like "I am a successful person," "I am a stable genius," "Drain the swamp!" I make art because I wish to dismiss idiocy. Spouting bias, incorrectness, is not helpful. Our Covid-19 problem will be solved. It will be solved by the many of us who are working in earnest to solve without bias; in other words, creatively.
I am optimistic. We will get through this. There is force of true intelligence within us. True solutions will win. Happy days are ahead. We are slogging toward a better world, one good idea by one good idea.
Fantasy and reality become the same in a painting. Such it is with the painting, "Your Decisions Matter". In this painting I see reality. I can feel reality; I also see fantasy. Big blockbuster TV series do much the same, like Game of Thrones. It ain't real; that depicted never happened, but it mimics, rhymes with stuff we know exists. That is the way my art is going. This painting, aptly entitled "Your Decisions Matter", is proof. I had to work many years to get clarity. All my work, the hundreds of paintings, the thousands of drawings, led to this. I know better who I am. I know better the means to express myself. This is reality. I feel safe. I can now come out.
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