Yesterday's drawings continue my burst toward more freedom and expression. The first drawing is just OK, but #2 and #3 move into risk territory. These drawings are setting the tone for new paintings. In today's title I quote the last line of the Beatle's song, "Getting Better," whose first stanza is this:
It's getting better all the time
I used to get mad at my school (No, I can't complain)
The teachers who taught me weren't cool (No, I can't complain)
You're holding me down
Turning me round
Filling me up with your rules
These words could well be speaking for me. I can not say, without qualification, that "The teachers who taught me weren't cool," because most of them were excellent in challenging me, especially Philip Guston and Seymour Leichman. However, looking at my recent work, I am rejecting their style for my own. I am, in saying this, stating the final three lines of "Getting Better": "You're holding me down, Turning me round, Filling me up with your rules." Unfortunately, building a style is building a set of rules, and any artist, who wishes to become himself, must reject the rules of his mentors and replace them with his own. "No, I can't complain." Seymour Leichman predicted that one day I would reject his work as incomplete. He encouraged me to do so. Here I am.
Do not look for paintings until I return from my trip, which begins Wednesday June 29. In my work life I am sad. I leave when my studio activities point to new ground, and higher achievement, but personally I am excited about my upcoming trip. I will visit many friends and family, traveling from visits in New York City, to Pittstown, New Jersey, to Durham and Wilmington, North Carolina. Before the trip there will be at least one more post on this blog.
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.