In the 1920's Henri Matisse said the great amount of work he had done made it look as if his paintings were made easily. In the 1930's and 1940's Matisse produced a series of paintings that he exhibited with photographs of the many states they went though to get to their final versions. You can see some of these photos, and also reproductions of the paintings they preceded, in the catalog, Matisse: In Search of True Painting, from 2012 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in Art in New York City. So "No!", it isn't going to get any easier. Yesterday I spent several hours on the woman's head in the left panel in the painting Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. It is better, and nearly complete. Yes, this painting is moving forward, toward finality, but I am becoming an analytical artist in search for true painting! (The title of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition catalogue comes from something that Matisse wrote in a letter to his wife in 1919, namely that his artistic goal was always to "push further and deeper into true painting.")
Yesterday's drawing clearly represents my search for "trueness." It also took a few hours, as I made the effort to spin together form, volume, shape, depth, and composition. That's a short list of the concerns that animate my search for trueness.
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