April 12, 2018 6 pm. Heading home

Got to the studio before noon. Went right to canvases. Decided to work in figures, abstracted, wanting to sketch and follow line, particularly charcoal. Sketched the six, small and vertical 36 x 12 pieces that I originally bought as design templates for room screens. But I wasn’t inspired to make screens today.

Cranked the music. It’s interesting to observe where my thoughts go when I have the iPod blasting. Music takes me back to a specific time, a particular situation or even a person. I can feel 29 or 35 or very old and nostalgic. I sing along, I dance a lot. I think of stories, mine and others, many imagined of course, and I wonder where those thoughts come from. I sometimes wonder if I should explore any train of thought. Am I psychic? Perhaps. Even so, the information isn’t mine to act on. I can watch or wait or just move beside it. I have to remember that for each of us, there’s a unique journey. Concerns, worries, they float past me. But we’re aware of each other. A strong “knowing” happens to me when I’m creating.

Sometimes, if I let go and don’t act “too tight”, inspiration fills me up and I follow the impulse to grab this color or that, to use the roller, water down the pigment, mush it up with a brush, take charcoal to it again. None of the thoughts about why I am doing what I am doing are clear or exact. It takes a lot of courage to just dance with it. Today I felt brave, like a rock star.

I hit the four small 20 x 20’s, the three 30 x 30’s and one of the 48 x 48 canvases, too. I only stop because I get tired. Inspiration has to be tapped as soon as it hits…it’s like a wave or a fever and you can’t overthink it. It’s like experiencing grace…there are no thoughts to accompany grace. It has a presence. You follow it, like a smell. It’s instinctual and it’s brief.

I’ve wondered about my “point of view” as regards these figures, the impulse to suggest the body. This series started with gestures that turned into coupled figures…female? Dual sides to self? Not sure but I wanted to express the happiness I have being here, working again. I made an effort to jump in, begin, not think, not plan, not predict. It’s a similar experience to what happens during monoprint work. I’ve a vague idea of why I’m at the press or the easel. The Universe provides the fullness of the gift.

Three colors were used along with Titanium White: Carbon Black, Portrait Tone (flesh pink) and Titanium Buff, which is a warm beige. I used two, six inch foam rollers and a variety of brushes. I chew them up, like a demon.

These colors are ancient and basic. In many ways, the combination of all four is my version of a grisaille. Will I build upon the foundation or leave it, like a well made wall of masonry, which these hues suggest? Right now I don’t know. 9How strange that I keep coming back to masonry, stucco, buildings, structure.)

Anyway, some of these are abstracted…how far I will take the abstracted idea depends on my mood the next time I’m in the studio. I only know I want to make art. I enjoy works with specific subject matter as much as I enjoy those that confuse and confound me. What I want going forward in this series is to NOT get myself floundering on weak concepts. The visual, the composition will guide me. I want the idea to flow and be realized in as pure and as authentic a way as possible.

Thank you God for you assist.