Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
"...drawing and creativity are both replete with paradox...One always feels that the next drawing will reveal what one searches for, and the next, and the next. Another paradox is that by looking outward and seeing the world around you in the artist's mode of seeing, you gain insight into yourself. Conversely, by looking inward to find the artist within, you gain insight into the world outside yourself."
My dictionary defines the word paradox as "A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true". It strikes me that a drawing or painting is a natural paradox.
From my notes written two years ago while reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: "The left brain side denies God and sees the contradictions that have no resolution. The right brain side desires God, and sees him as the only possibility acceptable and ignores the contradictions, or even accepts them as necessary!
When we stare at something for a long time, like a sign with the word STOP or some other word, eventually the word becomes strange. We see the letters and their shapes, and the word loses its meaning, and becomes a thing, no longer a sign pointing to something else. That strange phenomenom I can now explain as the R-mode taking over from the L-mode."
Whether the R-mode and L-mode exist or not doesn't matter so much, as being able to accept life with contradictions. Being an artist means living with and creating paradox.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
God, if I speak my love to you in fear of hell, incinerate me
if I speak my love to you in hope of heaven, close it
in my face.
But if I speak to you simply because you exist, cease
withholding from me your
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The last pastel, which I did last night, is the closer approach at left top. The other pastel is from the night before. I will be knocking at the door next.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
This small farm shed is close to the edge of Luce Road in Williamstown, MA. I have drawn and painted it many times. As you can see, it's in a splendid place. Tonight it's probably deep in snow.
"To see is to enhance your sense of wonder both for the singular pattern of your own experience, and for the meta-patterns that shape all experience. All this suggests a useful working approach to making art: notice objects you notice. (e.g. Read that sentence again.) Or put another way: make objects that talk--and then listen to them." From Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
I wonder why I like that farm shed so much.
Friday, December 19, 2008
It was very still on Sheep Hill when I was there last week late in the afternoon. Above is a view looking down on the farm buildings at the lower right, which I did last night. Below is tonight's pastel from a different angle nearby.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
This weekend I visited Sheep Hill in Williamstown, MA. where I took photographs. I worked up two pastels from the photos. See below. There is no way a photograph can capture the enormity of the landscape. An earlier drawing that I did on site is posted above. I used a larger 9x12 colourfix sheet for this pastel, which wasn't large enough. I felt as if I needed something 10 x 20 feet.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This is the 5x7 landscape that I did last night. I have been working from digital photographs that I took a few weeks ago. I know that there are issues with working from photographs, but sometimes it can't be helped. I learned from the Morandi show at the Met that he used silk flowers for his still lifes, since they didn't wilt away, and I have read that Cezanne used fake fruit since they didn't rot. I use photographs since they make the clouds stand still.
Here's the landscape I created tonight:
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I started with pencil, moved to black chalk, then pen and ink, and finally started adding color with colored pencils, all over a span of a year and four months. Then I discovered pastels, which I have been using now for eight months.