There is an investigative vitality to these drawings. They pop in your face; they sing a language filled with contrast and scale, in/out, back/forth, dark/light, big/little, push/pull. This is my vision becoming me; theses are my intellect/emotions becoming visually real. These exhibit art-making as similar to mediation; practice makes me better at R.A.I.N. (Recognize Emotions, Accept, Investigate, Non-Identify/Detach).
I am sure you see it, both in this post's title and drawing. I am working to take the orderliness of a 2D composition and integrate into it the unruliness of the 3D. I believe today's drawing is movement in that direction. However, while making this drawing (yesterday), I worried its simplicity in desire was being replaced by complexity of solution. Its complexity comes because I was required to wrestle this image into a 2D impactful one. I think I succeeded. Of course, I will be back at this tussle today, including working on wrangling my painting into good behavior as well. I have far to go before I sleep.
The title of today's blogpost refers to acceptance; I accept the means to my full express is two-dimensional; I am talking about the reality of my substrates. I make art standing in front of flat pieces of paper and flat rectangles of canvas; I draw upon them, both figuratively and literally. I accept composition as a 2D problem; yes, I enjoy alluding to the in/out artifice of 3D space; I no longer delude myself; I cannot accomplish the emotional power I seek, or full engagement of myself, if I do not first engage through two-dimensional expression.
I feel very good about yesterday's work. It is not an end, but it is a step. I am calling out, I am saying, "I know..., this is reality; here is truth in media. Look! I am expressing myself clearly; Why did it take me so long?" My answer, "Because I thought there was a means to expression through defeating the two-dimensional aspect of paper and canvas." I was wrong. I should make sculpture if I wish solely to investigate via the third dimension. I did once. That was not my bag. I enjoy too much the full sweep of hand and arm, the marking of paper and canvas. I enjoy too much the artifice of light on a 2D surface, and the use of color to do so. I enjoy too much these two-dimensional problems.
Yesterday's drawing is worth its try. I am looking to excite the entire two-dimensional surface. I'm looking to engage emotions upon first site. The insistence of two-dimensionality, which is true for all wall-hung objects, is undeniable. I have tried to deny that, but the hour is getting later; I want to express now, not later. So, here they come. One after another; I am going to hurl images at the viewer, all in acceptance of my human-ness, reality, and my angst. I want to be here to stay, but I know that cannot be true. Full acceptance is pictorial two-dimensional acceptance; 2D limitations embrace both space and time. I live in a 3D human world where 2D images hang on our walls. Okay, I accept it! Now, here come the real.
I am fully aware that the greatness of Pablo Picasso began in his youth. Early on in his artistic life, Pablo accepted the limitations of space and time; his acceptance occurred far earlier in his life than my acceptance of the same. From my earliest days I rebelled against limitations. Pablo accepted the reality of limitations, then he worked within those limitations to create amazingly disparate images. I show you one (below), because it is related to the drawing I created yesterday.
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.
The curse of Covid-19 is upon us all, but there is luxury to found within the detriment, distractions, and detritus. It is the luxury of super-concentration upon oneself. This behavior is normally diminished by outside world concerns, like my exhibitions. Now I have less concerns because I am here in my hunkered-downed home and studio. These luxurious moments are available despite sorrow for loss of life and loss of normality.
Yesterday I continued my quest for self-acceptance, and acceptance of the efficacy of flat-on, classical composition. The drawing I made yesterday is complex, but very readable; it moves up/down, left/right, but little to the in/out. It is organized as any flat plane should be organized in order to be read easily, like a page of print with illustrations; nicely two-dimensional in its solution.
The painting I show below is the same as shown in my 4/24/2020 Blog Post. I am calling this painting complete; I show it again because I am struggling to reproduce it adequately. This is take-2, from a photo shot yesterday. Reproduction of my art is difficult, never fully satisfying. That is another tragedy of the Covid Era; for full and accurate impact you are gonna have to wait to see my work in person, as it should be seen, as it must be seen to fully comprehend the nuance that is present in all great art.
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 am beginning to understand. My paintings are bon mots. They are witticisms thrust upon the world, each an equivoque of reality. Everything I make has more than one meaning. The very idea of creating a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional canvas is an equivoque, having two meanings, 3D-space and 2D-space playing upon one another, having two simultaneous meanings. Some may call my ambiguity of space more akin to malapropism; is it not incorrect to create the artifice of the third-dimension on a flat surface?
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use of homophonic, homographic, metonymic, or figurative language. A pun differs from a malapropism in that a malapropism is an incorrect variation on a correct expression, while a pun involves expressions with multiple (correct or fairly reasonable) interpretations. Puns may be regarded as in-jokes or idiomatic constructions, especially as their usage and meaning are usually specific to a particular language or its culture.
I have often referred to the feigning of the third dimension on a two-dimensional surface as artifice. Here is it again, in a new painting, and in a new drawing; both are products of yesterday's studio session. The painting is aptly entitled "Clever Liars"; its third-dimension is a lie. My quotation is an old one, one with no known author. The idea is "details" diminish the cleverness of a lie. Too many details in a lie diminish its acceptance in marriages, business, and politics, not so in art. The more detail in a drawing, or a painting, the more the viewer accepts the artifice. If you don't believe me, or if you don't see this in the work I post today, view the 2014 watercolor painting by Anselm Kiefer, below; you can feel your eye fall into Kiefer's painting, scoping back until the eye hits the artifice that appears to be a sunset.
This use of the third dimension is very important to me. I find an image which engages the viewer because it insists upon being seen with a third-dimension, a grandly accepted lie; the lie of depth on a flat plane, forces the viewer to think actuality, i.e., the viewer has an additional incentive to believe the image before them mimics reality. They fall into the artwork as people fall into a con job. I have been told the greatest cons are those the "mark" believe they have determined to benefit themselves; the mark determines they will benefit by causing a loss to the con-artist; the "stooge" thinks the "grifter" does not understand how he, the "confidence man," will lose when the "sucker" goes ahead and takes the bait.
FYI: A confidence trick is also known as a con game, a con, a scam, a grift, a hustle, a bunko (or bunco), a swindle, a flimflam, a gaffle, or a bamboozle. The intended victims are known as marks, suckers, stooges, mugus, rubes, or gulls (from the word gullible). When accomplices are employed, they are known as shills.
The drawing I post today exhibits an intellectual and emotional jump. Here are kinetics, here are all kinds of space, from three dimensional and two dimensional space to negative and positive space. This drawing encounters every sort of space a viewer can perceive.
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