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May 2010

May 2010

Simple pleasures. Subtle shifts. Paper dancing in the wind.

Parallel streams. Even when totally focused I know that my mind is background processing my breathing, self-image, desire for money, digestion, little things that irritate, last nights dreams that linger and innumerable other threads. My task is to discern the form each thread adds to my drawings.

This drawing has been floating around unfinished on the desk since last Friday. I kept getting an uncertain feeling when I went to choose it. Maybe it was fueled by the possibility of the fireball in Times Square that ultimately never happened. Tonight I finished it and it now looks to me like the first glimmer of light at the end of a tunnel.

I'm fascinated by how we imagine time. When I plan my day I visualize moments in time as little boxes. How do I read this drawing? I think the top row maps the growth of a generic event, represented in yellow, from a single point on the left through many moments. The bottom row diagrams, in dark red, the simultaneous backward propagation in time of the result of that event. This implies that there are moments where one can feel both the buildup to an event and some effect of its future occurrence.

Late last night I felt like I *must* make a drawing even though I knew I should go to bed. I had an important meeting with a curator in the city today and I wanted to be rested. I sketched the lines and then finished the color this morning. The two figurative shapes that appeared seem to indicate that my subconscious was equally aware of the upcoming meeting. (It went well, btw.)

Cycle with troughs. Jumbled blocks means change is accelerating. Do the ups and downs seem steeper and faster to you too?

I drew three cards today where bent frames appear. How meaningful is this persistence? What does this group of frames have to say? Things aren't square? Our point of view is relative? We know all this. Maybe the negative space will give us something positive.

Devotional Drawing. I haven't made one of these types of drawings in a while; the kind where I devote myself to mark making. I let the marks flow and just pay attention to the sensation of drawing. After my solo show in 2007 I produced a set of 12 of these on large paper as a way to wind down from the heavy conceptual work I'd just finished. They were very dense with marks. I still find new ideas when I look at them.

Comfort drawing. Is it wrong to indulge in drawing? To follow the pencil? To feel the paper? To watch what grows? I see an egg on a pedestal and a city in a cylinder. Does my subconscious have a sense of humor?

Flat trees have no branches. New forms fill niches. The seeds in the containers by the windowsill have sprouted, amazingly enough, and each is telling a different story.

Energy embedded in structure. Today's drawing looks like that part of the creative cycle where thousands of ideas are sorted so a few can be fit into boxes. Lucky boxes.

Pile up. Delay. Changed plans. Diverted flow. Too many options. Inside and outside. Finding a way through. The safest place is the river.


Multi-streams. I'm in the shop every day now trying to crank out large works for a show in September. Bigger pieces open up many more creative directions. Focus, focus, focus.

Cut the sod. Till the beds. Cart the manure. It's time to plant again.

Linear time. Reshuffled time. Time everlasting.

I'm embracing the warm weather like an old friend suddenly recognized. My body keeps saying, "I can't believe you're here. I can't believe you've finally come back."

Into the maw. Devoured. Consumed by passion for the task. Thoughts and actions directed to the goal. Swallowed whole and reborn in flow.

Back to square one. Sometimes after a big burst of creativity these improvisational drawings revert to old familiar memes. Looks like I'm building new work from the ground up.

Gadgeting. Tinkering. Hammers and springs.
Cartoons. Robots. Making new things.

Two recent science headlines are working their way through my thoughts. The first announcement was about a stronger than predicted asymmetry in matter/anti-matter formation that could account for our universe's preference for matter. Paul Klee called the breaking of symmetry the 'cosmogenic moment'. The second item was about an experiment that inserted synthetic DNA into the nucleus of a living cell and the successful functioning of that cell. Computed DNA is poised to transfer programming to the biological world. Another cosmogenesis.

Coming full circle and ending up on the other side. This mobius awakening is happening for me as a generational shift. For example, I watch my son play t-ball and simultaneous re-experience my own childhood sports performances. Or when he is immersed in an all too familiar emotional transition I recognize that my new role, to process and empathize, is overlain on my own daily struggles to cope.

Shifting sands. Strong lights. Uphill roads.

Quiet streams mature into meandering rivers. New faults interrupt meanders. Flow goes where it must go.

Multitasking. So busy with creative work I hardly have time to draw. As I'm spending the day making big objects out in the studio I treasure even more the moments I can grab to see what's yet to come.

Windows go by.

The windows converge. What existed digitally is now transmuting to wood, formica, paint and paper.

Sketching the future. Making things in the studio feeds new ideas back into the drawings.

Showing new art to old friends. The shape of the shadow in front of the barn. Walking the fence. Meandering day.

The flower/cycle theme is persistent this week. What new things are about to bloom?