The work is coming together. Acceptance of my own necessities is giving me the focus to consolidate what I know into what I am. Besides the two drawings shown in this post, yesterday I also worked on the painting "Pond." Here too I learned something about myself. I can not just dash off elements of "Pond." My need to get as close to perfection as possible is leading this painting toward completion. Yesterday I worked on one hand, and nothing else (the left hand of the central character—on viewer's right). It is taking much labor and time to get just one hand acceptably correct! "Acceptable" is the operative word. With my limited ability to focus on this one painting I am conflicted: I don't want to let "Pond" go until it is totally acceptable, AND I am incapable of concentrating on finishing details by dedicating enormous time to this rigorous task in any one day. So I will work on it, bit by bit, detail by detail, until it is done. Each day I will give myself a small assignment. Today it will be to complete the one hand I worked on yesterday. In this way I will finish "Pond" (or any large and complicated painting). I am accepting my mixture of spontaneity and contemplative thoughtfulness. Paintings, like "Pond" and "Man with Plants," contain both sides of my personality in equal measure. This dichotomy, in equal measures, is what separates me from painters like George Condo. Even Andy Warhol was amazed by the dominance of spontaneity in Condo's work. In 1985 Warhol was invited to Keith Haring's studio, where Condo was given space to work on a large painting. This, from the January 17, 2011 The New Yorker profile of Condo: "...when Warhol arrived he kept painting. Warhol stood behind him for a while, and then asked, in his soft voice, 'Do you just go up to a painting and do whatever you like?' Condo said he guessed so. Warhol said, 'Gee, I could never do that.'"
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