A Little Exercise

Sunday June 27th, 2010

Ink on paper

Needing to get some things off my mind, I tore down some sketchbook paper and started drawing whatever came out. Together they look like hieroglyphics but as I drew them they were just forms and compositions that had been swimming around.

I remember the Art of the Maya class I took in graduate school having a big effect on me and I still have a few of the books lying around. After I hung these, I looked through one of them again. I couldn’t place any specific form but some of them definitely had an overall quality that showed a close relationship.

I’ve been thinking a lot about over-thinking my work (no pun intended). The self-impossed requirement to understand what will come after the very thing I have yet to make has been paralyzing.

I don’t have a big drive to explain my work but yet it seems obligatory in the current environment. I love a great story but when it involves the purported meaning behind an art object or experience, I usually tune it out as it’s often heavy-handed and trite. A contrived story can really kill a good piece and a bad piece is rarely helped by a great story. But yet, they persist and it sells.

Maybe it gives people something to hang onto while they let themselves absorb the work. I know I’ve been guilty of this in relationships. It takes time to get to the heart of something and in the meantime I’ll create a story that gives me some foundation while I work out what’s real and meaningful from what’s superfluous and distracting.

No answers are forthcoming here, but the stream-of-consciousness drawings above help me cut through to something that is actually helpful.

  • these make me think of later philip guston things.

  • Shannon Von Wright

    You, and your words… just now, brought a really big smile to my face in the most wonderful of ways. Thank you.
    Now, I’m gonna take a look at your work.
    I’ll have to share with you rest of the story later, if you like. Enjoy the moment, to your destination.