I did not spend a lot of time altering this drawing — perhaps 60 minutes. A heat wave hit; I spent a good part of the day resurrecting an old air conditioner. Then, late in the afternoon, to the studio; this drawing's final image came quickly. The studio is cool and comfortable; it sits on a cement slab, kept dry by dehumidifier. OK, too much non-art-related information? Onward! Back to the studio I go! Just have to say... I like state 2 of "Drawing 06·18·2020" much more than state 1.
I was working on this drawing when my brother called. I do not consider this drawing finished. Its essence has been established; it requires another look, reflection, then alteration. Perhaps then satisfaction will occur. Come back tomorrow to see this drawing's final state.
I am at a point of departure. I am stepping, not particularly caring where I go, but resolutely. This is not a time for self-judgement. It is time to allow images to be born out of intuition, deep knowing intermingled with angst. All bets are off; all absolutes are off, dependency upon past masters is off. I am just doing it.
I show today images like nothing I have done before; nothing I have seen before. Have you seen anything like these? These works are allowed to exist because they do not crush past knowledge, they enhance it. They are informed by the past, but they step out from it, not from underneath it.
Drawing, as dense as this one, do not reproduce well. This one you gotta see to believe. My work continues to banter with, and insist upon, the frontal obvious; i.e., truth telling must be in the viewer's face. I have written about this before, but in this drawing I reiterate my acceptance of all things flat that are made on sheets paper and on shards of canvas.
Recently my drawings and paintings have become more studies than final images. I am in search of my own images. This is my process of becoming true to myself. I am in self-study; I am using image-making as my method. Perhaps, for the first time, I realize the reason Francis Bacon titled most of his works "Studies." My works double as studies of my myself and studies for future images I will make.
I am working hard to become enlightened, wholly myself. I look outside of me, I see much the same. Outside my studio there is continuing turmoil in my society; it too is working hard to become enlightened, more equitable, more caring, whole in its empathy. This is not true for everyone in our society; thus the battle continues. Overt people, knowing authentic human empathy is on their side, are marching in great numbers, calling for change, calling for us to be better; they are making great efforts to enlighten those who have strayed away from the rationality of treating one another with respect. Unfortunately we have a President who does not get it. I am optimistic. I believe we will move past this tumultuous era. Our society is based upon sound, empathetic, rational ideas. Please read again our nation's "Bill of Rights." As reminder I give you a reproduction of Faith Ringgold's painting, "Freedom of Speech."
My drawing, the one I show today, is enlightened as well. Through self-challenge and hard work I too am becoming less ignorant, better informed, civilized, illuminated; yes, enlightened.
Intensity is strikingly upon me. My dialogue never stops. I feel nervous, anxious. The intensity of my anxiety is increasing because I never find enough time in the studio in order to fully explore and to fully question; there are more demands on my time than making art. There is much to do, not enough time to do it. I am filled with fear of failure. I do not want the road to end before my journey is accomplished. I am on my way home. I need time, a lot of time, to find home, to find my personal authenticity. I have seen my true architecture, it resides interstitially between the bits and pieces of the living I am experiencing. It resides in my mind's eye, obscured by experience and education; I live with distorted ideas that I have inherited from people who have come before me. I recognize the ideas of others are not mine; this fills me with anxiety. This is my work; I am becoming my one true self.
This drawing is an example me seeing a necessary enhancement, one that makes my last drawing better. This solution comes after a day of conversation between me and this drawing. I chat with myself over every work. Mostly I go forward to new work, rather than second guess my last work. Here I saw an undeniable opportunity to jump forward into a stronger resolution.
Perception of space is perception of contrast. In these drawings I push value contrast as well as size and shape contrast. The other play in contrast is strict, geometric shapes (created with straight lines), versus organic abstracted forms (created with curves, oval, and rounds). These drawings are insightful. See also these types of contrast in the works of Francis Bacon and Ellsworth Kelly.
These works are not the endgame. These show insight, knowledge, acceptance, influence, and communication skills. I am on a road; I am recovering from delusion. I once believed I lived alone with artful insight. This is not a lonely man's game. I am communicating with you. The past (Art History), and the present (the real-life viewer, who lives here and now), are my true measuring sticks. I am better for accepting the truth; there is a requirement to proper social intercourse, which must be accepted in order to be seen, to be understood, to be believed.
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