This drawing demonstrates as well as any might how the mere act of drawing can become a walk through ideas. It’s the wrong format (it’s too squat). It lacks relevant detail. It’s just an exercise in motion. It’s me telling myself: this little bush is here, this span of light grass is there, and so on. And I hear my thoughts echoing back saying, “well, duh — tell me something I don’t know!”
I did already draw all these things in the painting that I’m trying to reenter. And there’s no new information in this drawing. And it’s not the right size or the right anything.
And yet it helps in its way. At least I think so ….
Or am I like the hapless drunk in Paul Watzlawick’s amazing book The Situation is Hopeless who looks for his car keys under the street lamp because “the light is better over here” (even though he dropped the keys over there).
It can be hard reentering a painting that you like. It’s not complete, but you’re not sure how to take it forward, and you don’t want to screw up the things that you already like. My recent crepe myrtles painting is giving me this sort of trouble.
You can add to my problem one that Mother Nature brings since it seems that she has her own blasé moods. And as the saying goes, “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Our Big Momma has decided not to freeze us to death (for which I am duly grateful), but she’s not bringing the sunshine out either. On gray days, it’s easy to feel blasé too — caught up in Mother Nature’s morose mood.
So how do you transport yourself into a world of crepe myrtles when so much conspires against you? The fear of failure, the somber light, a paucity of ideas — all make the once intrepid artist feel stumped.
I don’t know about you, but I draw. The drawing may be okay, prosaic, what evah — but today I am all those things too.
Nonetheless moving the lines around the forms helps me find a path back into the painting and it’s better to draw than to sit idly waiting for Mother Nature to get her act together.
I made the version that’s light and airy (the previous post). Then I wondered how it might look at the other end of day. So I made this version.