Just remember to breathe!
Dear Enraptured Readers:
I'm not dead. In fact, I seem to be becoming quite recovered from my recent illness. Thanks to family and friends who helped me out!
The studio is full of canvasses - some in the process of being covered with real live paintings, others just waiting for me to buy some more gesso and get them finally prepared enough to work on, others sagging miserably at the corners. Looks like I didn't stretch them quite properly, and with a little time and humidity, they're drooping like undies on a line. It's dispiriting.
I'd lost my taste for sketching since about 2004 - I don't know if it's coming back. As I've said, I've been becoming too computer-dependent for the purposes of assembling the work. Without drawing with only my mind and hand, I was relying on the machine to bring up "chance" meetings - collage-style - of photographs I thought I might want to use, and that might work out into something fantastic when brought together onscreen. But, nope.
I try to motivate myself to draw from life. Vanity is a great blocker of achievement - I don't like doing things imperfectly, and my life drawing look crude and too imperfect. Impatience.
You can't rely just on chance to produce meanings. In throwing stuff together sometimes there were some nice collisions of images, but mostly it was all too empty. I was working too ass-backwards - and a bit desperately, I suppose. You can't rely on external things to provide the inspirational glue - the idea that will motivate and inform a work. No many how many things you pile up, you have to do that yourself.
I've always believed the gestures of the body are really important to art - how they give real individuality to the finished work. Running dead set against this, is how I percieved - and trained myself up in - what I call the 'imperial' tradition of oil paintings, which being usually made for those in power, tended to impersonality and a kind of grandeur that is somewhat removed from regular human considerations - and intimacies. Out of this conflict comes...well, some stuff I'm still dealing with.
In some ways, the computer can be a seductively powerful tool. On the other hand, in what I fear what might form the nature of a truly personal and integral art, I suspect the computer may have very little to do with it.
I'm on the damn thing a lot, though.
So - I'm trying to sketch more. The sketches look so far removed from what I've considered my good finished products that I'm a turned off.
Still, they're full of troublesome skirmishes with vexed men fighting dubious angelic-looking creatures. I wonder wot's up?
Some pics and such soon.